Why we need a single payer system for Health Care.

Friends, Americans, Countrymen, lend me your ears...

I am not a politician. I'm not an economist. I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn Express. I never graduated college, let alone Ph.D in something.

So, my only credibility is that I speak the truth. And the truth as I've seen it from [topic 14 {years of working with Lovecraft grade complex systems}].

I hear a lot of debate between talking heads about how we are on the crux of Socialism, and the the Free Market should decide everything. I'm going to throw out labels, because a) nobody who uses them really know what they mean and b) I find my genius is in playing with ideas, not vocabulary terms. Plus we all glaze over when someone starts talking over our heads, and we find ourselves nodding our heads like a 2 year old at a physics lecture.

I do have to do a bit of debunking before I start my own bunk though. One term that people keep nailing to the cathedral door is "Free Market." Well what does "Free Market" actually mean. It is not a free-for all bizarre where the fittest survive, and the unfit go out of business. There is more to it. A free market actually needs a support structure. Laws, and law enforcement, to curb stealing. A trusted medium of exchange, i.e. legal tender. An adjudicator of disputes. Buyers need equal access to all of the vendors, and vendors need equal access to all of the buyers.

There is also an oft forgotten principle of the "Do Nothing Option." I.E. if there isn't a vendor who will sell you something for a price you are willing to pay, you fold your money back in your pocket and go home. When a loved one's life is on the line, you can, and will, do anything in your power to save them. And in some cases, failure to obtain medical care is a crime.

So, lets start making this problem simpler. First and foremost, who should be covered? Well, by law, if you show up in an emergency room, they have to treat you for any life-threatening conditions, child birth, etc. So we as a society have already decided who should be covered: Everyone. The only question is who is going to pay for it?

And what we are paying for. Did you ever price out what you are getting in the way of services vs. what you and possibly your employer are paying out in premiums? I'll give you a hint, even after paying for all of the claims they paid out, and the hordes of paper pushers to process them, Insurance companies are bringing in Billions. With a B.

So what are we getting for our money? What are we actually paying for, today? Well it's not going to hospitals. If ERs were a money making endeavor, they would be opening them, not closing them. And when your uninsured friend of a friend went in with a broken leg, and left with a $3000 bill, her actual treatment was along the lines of a few hundred dollars tops. The rest was to pay for everyone else who skipped on the bill.

Including your friends with insurance. Because insurance companies don't reimburse hospitals what it costs them to perform a task. They reimburse what they think it's worth, which is as low a dollar figure as they can get away with and not be sued.

This game is going to go on forever, so long as we have private insurance. Because it is the Insurance company's stated reason for being to take in more premiums than they pay out in benefits (and overhead). Money does not grow on trees. It comes from somewhere, it pays for something, it leaves your checking account.

The Single Payer system is essentially a giant way to cheat proof the system. We essentially replace your insurance premiums with something akin to a payroll deduction for social security. (You already have a payroll deduction for health care, we are just changing where the check is addressed!) Like Social Security, it's mandatory.

And I don't care how people malign it, Social Security works, and works well. Widows and Orphans have something to fall back on. The elderly have a source of income when their working years are behind them. And I'll put a lot more stake in that SS check coming in than my 401k. It's just a shame the boomers were the generation to give up smoking... I mean, come on guys. You outnumber your children *AND* you want to live forever *AND* you want to be comfortable in your old age?

Back on subject... Mandatory Why? Because people are stupid. Nobody expects to be in a car accident. Nobody expects to have cancer. Everybody expects that if the ambulance shows up, they will be treated. Because it's mandatory, there's not question that everyone is covered. And because everyone is covered, nobody gets to skip out on the bill. Let's be grown ups.

So that covers the employed. Like Social Security, your spouse is an automatic beneficiary. (Assuming he/she doesn't work, and never paid into the system him/herself.) Children and pregnant women are automatically covered. And before we start griping about Welfare Queens and whatnot, here is why:

1) Children are cheap to treat. 2) Their expenses, while it varies for individuals, are predictable as a population 3) It's an investment that is cheap at twice the price. A healthy child grows into a healthy adult. A healthy adult gets a job and pays taxes

We would also fold into the system the population currently covered by Medicare and Medicaid. And given my druthers, I would put those guys in charge of the operation. They've been doing a fantastic job with the resources they've been handed. Not to mention, if your primary customer is old people, they have all of the time to complain, write letters to congress, etc.

So what will you pay? Basically, add up everything that was spent in the way of health care, and divided it by the number of people paying into the system. It's rather simple, actually. We also kill two birds with one stone. And with that as it's charter, we take congress out of the funding loop. (It would not be subject to the "Social Security Piggy Bank" effect because health care doesn't carry a balance. It takes in what it pays out, and no more.)

So in essence, instead of paying for paperwork, we will be paying for actual medical care. And of course, like Social Security, you are perfectly free to go out and get additional coverage, or to pay for things that we as a collective shake our head at.

All "Single Payer" is, in concept, is a single place to send the bill. Now there are some definite debates to have about what is covered, what is not covered, etc., etc., but let's as a people talk about the problem, honestly, and solve the problem without the solution being "someone else is paying for it."

All content copyright 2018, Sean Woods | email: yoda@etoyoc.com | phone: 703-342-2662