Oct 25, 2018

Single-Payer Side Effects: How the Proposed Program’s Costs Far Outweigh Any Benefits

Post by Freedom Partners

The federal government has an overspending problem.

Time and again, Congress acts as a rubber stamp for massive spending bills, passed with little transparency and under massive pressure from the prospect of a federal shutdown. Both parties — which have racked up over $33,000 in debt for each American household — are to blame for this woeful fiscal state.

Still, many in Congress are eager to double down — triple down, really — on our already-dismal spending problem. Chief among these reckless proposals is Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) single-payer plan, which would designate the federal government as the sole benefactor footing the bill for every American’s health care costs.

To call Sen. Sanders’ single-payer plan expensive is the very definition of understatement.

According to the left-of-center Urban Institute, single-payer would, at the very least, add more than $32 trillion in federal spending, a price tag so hefty that doubling personal and corporate income taxes would prove insufficient to bridge the gap. Not surprisingly, even if the electorate could stomach these tax hikes, the damage single-payer would inflict on the country’s business climate would be immense. Such a policy could well reverse the economic gains made possible by the Trump administration’s tax and regulatory reforms by running American businesses into the ground with higher costs.

And that’s if the implementation of single-payer goes according to plan, without additional unforeseen costs.

Single-payer would dramatically increase the demand for health services, according to several studies that have found individuals tend to purchase more services when those costs are covered by insurance, regardless of the value of, or need for, the services.

How does single-payer control and reduce costs for care to compensate for this fact?

It would stiff health care providers by cutting payments by as much as 40 percent or more, sometimes lower than the cost of the service itself. Under this scenario, providers could respond by reducing the quantity and availability of care.

Let’s not fool ourselves with the magic-beans rhetoric from single-payer’s proponents. That magic bean is a poison pill for Americans. The key to better for better health outcomes is through reforms that promote health care openness, principally by removing costly and meddlesome regulations that bar access to care.

Single-payer would balloon the federal budget while reducing access to health care services. That isn’t an improvement in the slightest — that’s an astronomically expensive program that works for no one.

Follow our blog to learn more about why single-payer is the wrong way for America to go. We need real solutions that break down barriers to health care for Americans. Single-payer is not one of them.