July 8, 2017


Why Single-Payer Health Care Saves Money (ROBERT H. FRANK, JULY 7, 2017, NY Times)

Total costs are lower under single-payer systems for several reasons. One is that administrative costs average only about 2 percent of total expenses under a single-payer program like Medicare, less than one-sixth the corresponding percentage for many private insurers. Single-payer systems also spend virtually nothing on competitive advertising, which can account for more than 15 percent of total expenses for private insurers.

The most important source of cost savings under single-payer is that large government entities are able to negotiate much more favorable terms with service providers. In 2012, for example, the average cost of coronary bypass surgery was more than $73,000 in the United States but less than $23,000 in France.

While both while save considerable money--measuring total health care costs as a percentage of GDP--the advantage of universal HSAs over single payer is that it affords less freedom.  Obviously by cutting health care costs in half you free up considerable money for productive investment, but single payer trusts that will happen spontaneously while HSAs force the investment upon individuals.

Posted by at July 8, 2017 8:32 AM