Sunday, April 24, 2016

Friday, April 15, 2016

Health Watch MN

Health Watch MN

The Virtues and Vices of Single-Payer Health Care — NEJM

The Virtues and Vices of Single-Payer Health Care — NEJM

NEJM Interview with Dr. Jonathan Oberlander

Closing comments:

we look at the entire patchwork of the American medical care system and
our insurance system there’re still so many holes in it, there’s so
much redundancy, and it’s so inefficient. And that’s why the single
payer idea is going to resonate far beyond whatever the outcome of the
2016 election is. Because when you have a health insurance that leaves
tens of millions uninsured, tens of millions underinsured, that is beset
by administrative complexity and is governed too often by profit,
there’s going to be an appetite for sweeping change. And whatever its
political fortunes are, and I don’t think they’re particularly good,
single payer is going to continue to speak to those who are disaffected
by what’s going on in American medical care and are looking for
something different, something better.

(The full 8 minute audio can be accessed for free at the link above.)


Comment by Don McCanne

Although single payer advocates may be disappointed with Professor Oberlander’s conclusion that the best way forward now
is to strengthen ACA and Medicare and to address underinsurance and the
affordability of private coverage, we need to keep in mind that he has
described the clear superiority of the single payer model, and that it
still has widespread popular support. His pessimism is based on current
political realities, which have been confirmed by over half a century of
failure to advance comprehensive, universal single payer legislation.

single payer seems to be an imperative, why has it not been enacted?
Oberlander writes, “Single-payer supporters have not articulated a
convincing strategy for overcoming the formidable obstacles that stand
in its way. Nor have they, despite substantial public support for single
payer, succeeded in mobilizing a social movement that could potentially
break down those barriers.”

He’s right, based purely on results to date. We have a lot of work to do.