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Montana wants single payer on the table

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Letter to Great Falls Tribune

We should ask Max why he refuses to give single-payer health care a fair hearing. Perhaps because he knows that a well-designed Medicare-for-all plan will "pencil out" far better and be more user friendly and less complex than his plan.

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Submitted by jawbone on

Via Susie, this report by Massachusetts members of the Physicians for a National Health Program. The state mandated health insurance plan fails:

to achieve universal coverage, being too expensive and draining funds away from safety-net providers.

...the reform has given private insurance companies more business and power without eliminating vast administrative waste. In fact, it says, the "Connector" in charge of administering the reform adds about 5 percent more in administrative expenses.

In summary, nothing less than single-payer national health reform will work, according to authors Drs. Rachel Nardin, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, all professors at Harvard Medical School.

SNIP

The PNHP doctors' report says health plans people are forced to buy are not affordable and often skimp, making the mandate that individuals buy them regressive. And moreover, it says, peoples' experiences have shown that insurance does not guarantee access to care. snip

A final criticism the 19-page report offers is that the reform is financially unsustainable, as it does "nothing about a major driver of high health care costs, the overuse of high-technology care such as CT scanners and surgeries, and the underdevelopment of primary care."

Last winter, Himmelstein spoke about health reform to students at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. I asked him if single-payer advocates would work against any national reform effort that wasn't single-payer, as the single-payer camp did in California.

Himmelstein said that if the [national] reform plan looked like the Massachusett's reform he probably would prefer the status quo. He believes the reform has made most vulnerable patients in Massachusetts worse off. (My emphasis)