Anyone who has studied the Affordable Care Act realizes that health insurance policies will be very expensive even though they have relatively low actuarial values (leaving the patient responsible for 30 to 40 percent of health care costs). The new national standard in health insurance is “unaffordable under-insurance.” The subsidies for the premiums and for out-of-pocket spending have been shown to be inadequate for far too many people, again impairing access, creating financial hardship, and even leaving tens of millions with no insurance at all.
Had we enacted a single payer national health program, we could have included everyone, while eliminating under-insurance by providing first dollar coverage. We could have paid for it by eliminating the profound administrative waste that uniquely characterizes our system, and by introducing the other efficiencies of a single payer system.
Wouldn’t it have been nice to be rid of the problem of the uninsured and under-insured so that we could intensify our efforts to improve income and reduce poverty? Or are those just not our national priorities?