What Is Single Payer Health Care?
Single payer refers to the method of financing health care in Maine. In a single payer system, health care is funded by the public whose money is managed by the state government or governmental agency. It is not Socialized Medicine. Unlike “socialized medicine,” the delivery of health care in a single payer system is handled by the same private health care providers that we use now. The Federal Medicare system uses this model, as do most developed countries around the world.
Single payer funding has advantages over private health insurance:
Single payer is nonprofit. There are no private shareholders and overpaid CEOs making fortunes from the financing of health services
Single payer is efficient. Doctors and hospitals deal with one payment entity, rather than with a multitude of insurance companies thereby eliminating much of the current administrative burden and cost.
Single payer is fair. The funding for health care is raised through taxes, which are set according to our ability to pay.
Single payer controls costs. A public process determines the level of health spending, and providers are reimbursed at uniform, negotiated rates. This would be similar to the way pubilc utilities are regulated.
Single payer allows your choice of doctor and hospital.
Single payer savings are used to provide health care to all people as a human right. Patients no longer have to worry if they will be able to afford health care. Preventative care will reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
Single payer financing in Maine would preserve our health delivery system, which is known for high quality.
- Federal support for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration would continue.
- Single payer assures adequate funding for rural hospitals.
- State revenues derived from taxes would replace private insurance premiums.
- Corporate “stakeholders” would no longer be able to take enormous profits from the financing of health care, in the process bankrupting individuals, and draining the economy.
- Single payer would put health care financing where it belongs—in the hands of the people, and our democratically elected representatives.