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What Is a Federal Single-Payer Healthcare System?

by Kim GreeneJanuary 26, 2022
What Is a Federal Single-Payer Healthcare System?

When the government serves as the sole payer of healthcare expenditures in the economy, it is known as single-payer healthcare. Rather than individuals acquiring insurance via their employment or on the free market to cover medical expenses, the federal government often pays all of them.

While single-payer systems vary, they nonetheless have a few key traits in common. Notably, the government organization in charge of the health plan is in charge of determining who is eligible, choosing what services are covered, collecting the funds needed to pay for the plan, and paying providers for the treatments covered. The system's earnings and expenditures are often included into the government's overall budget, and eligible people are typically forced to contribute.

A single-payer system is one in which the government pays healthcare claims using money collected via the tax system. As a result, the government is the exclusive (i.e., sole) payer.

Norway, Japan, the United Kingdom, Kuwait, Sweden, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, and Iceland are among the nations that employ a single-payer system.

Single-payer systems, on the other hand, do not have to cover the whole population. As a result, even if a country has one or more single-payer systems, it will not reach universal coverage. This is what we see in the United States, where some individuals have single-payer care, while others have private coverage, and tens of millions of people have no coverage at all.

Proponents argue that a single payer system would solve a number of issues with the current system in the United States. Universal health care would be a significant step toward equality, particularly for the uninsured and underinsured in the United States. As seen in other nations, overall expenses and inefficient spending might be better managed through cost control and decreased administrative costs. Furthermore, a single payer system provides a stronger incentive for healthcare spending to be directed toward public health initiatives. Investing in childhood obesity prevention programmes in primary schools and daycares, for example, decreases obesity rates and comorbidities more efficiently and at a lower cost than paying for doctor visits to urge healthier diets and greater physical exercise.

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