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Crowdsource ideas on government role in single payer

September 16, 2021

Summary: Today is an experiment: crowdsource day at Health Justice Monitor! We know that HJM readers think about healthcare reform and discuss it with family and friends, and we’d like to learn from that – garner the most persuasive arguments. Please share your ideas. If this works well, we’ll incorporate it regularly.

Comment by: Jim Kahn

What do you find to be the most persuasive arguments to counter the concern, “Our government can be counted on to get it wrong! Inefficient and ineffective! Look at the post office, the public schools, and Medicaid.”

My usual response is, “Our government gets it right when people in all social strata need the service (e.g., the fire department and Medicare among the elderly) and is especially good at disbursing funds (e.g., social security). Where government services fall short is when the beneficiaries are those without political power, e.g., Medicaid for the poor.”

A possible rejoinder is, “Yeah, but what if enough rich people buy out of the single payer system to support a parallel private healthcare system. They pay their taxes and also for their own upscale medical care. Like they do for private schools.”

To that I say, the “There aren’t enough people able and willing to pay twice for health care. Sure, a few super rich will buy out, but the vast majority – including large segments of society with powerful political voice – will stay in, as will almost all doctors. Just like Medicare today.”

What would you say in this discussion? What has actually worked well in conversations with skeptics?

Send your thoughts to healthjusticemonitor@gmail.com, subject line including “Crowdsource ideas on government role in single payer”. Brief please – 25-50 words. And, let us know if / how you want to be identified.

We’ll curate (edit, trim, organize) and compile in a Google document which we’ll share. (To assure a focus on content and civility, we’re not currently planning to make this site interactive.)

Many thanks. Looking forward to your ideas.

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