Jay wrote:It is. When has political control of anything ever led to reduced costs in America?
a single payer healthcare system would reduce costs because of the increased bargaining power and the spread of risk across the whole population. It would be a competitor to private healthcare. It ticks all your ideological fetishes, but you argue against it.
Capital control leads to increased costs too. Increasing competition is a main driver of cost reduction in business. Concentration of power is bad, no matter public or private.
How would it reduce costs? By refusing to pay for things? Because that's what medicaid does and there are a lot of places that don't accept medicaid because of it. Medicare doesn't, and if you ever go to Florida you'll see just about as many doctors as residents (feels like it, anyway), feeding off those geezer pill poppers. Yes, I am being hyperbolic to some degree. But this is America, you go and set up a single payer system and what you're really setting up is a cash cow for the political campaigns of all the people in Congress. Every hospital will have its own army of lobbyists asking for special consideration etc.
How do you keep costs down? The one thing that is always floated is efficiencies in administration. Ok, I can buy that right up until the point you realize that the newly formed agency will be staffed with an army of union government bureaucrats making six figure salaries with ironclad benefits packages and pensions and, this is key, no incentive to work efficiently. I don't begrudge people being paid well. I begrudge them being paid well to work poorly, which is inevitable within any government bureaucracy.
No one has proposed a NHS system here. No one is talking about seizing the hospitals and forcing every doctor into the civil service wage scales. No one is going to set up "death panels" that will cut costs. I'm not saying that any of these things are preferable to what has been proposed, but if the goal were to reduce costs, these are the steps that would need to be taken.
In the end, you're transferring the premiums that I and my employer pay into a tax by the government and I have to go through a government bureaucracy instead of a private one. In what way does this benefit anyone but the Democratic Party who gain a new set of reliable union government worker voters? I'll more than likely end up paying more for something I already have, is already frustrating to deal with, and will not be made less so by government control.