Doctors Demand Surprising Change To Obamacare

Is it time for the United States to adopt a single payer healthcare system like the one that exists in Canada?

More than 2,000 American physicians say that it is. So does presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

An article in RawStory explains that a group of doctors is calling for the adoption of a single payer, government funded health care system. These doctors believe that the current system of individual health insurance policies is far too complex and too expensive.

They say that with ever increasing copays and deductibles, poor people are still being shut out of medical care, or facing devastating costs to get that care.

The doctors also argue that Americans spend way too much money on medications. While other countries with single payer systems negotiate with the big pharmaceutical companies, Americans just pay whatever price is demanded.

More importantly, in spite of how much money the U.S. spends on healthcare, our outcomes continue to be worse than that in countries with single payer systems.

Because the U.S. government already pays for nearly two-thirds of the cost of healthcare in the country, the new system can be managed without significant cost increases. With so many different insurance plans, drug plans, and state health plans, the cost of the bureaucracy is outrageous. The new single payer plan would eliminate nearly all of that bureaucratic mess.

When Obamacare was implemented, it was said to be a step in the right direction. The belief was that we needed small changes toward universal medical coverage for all citizens. This group of practicing doctors disagrees.

Spokesperson David Himmelstein, one of the authors of the plan, says:

“Our patients can’t afford care and don’t have access to the care they need, while the system is ever more wasteful, throwing away money on bureaucratic expenses and absurd prices from the drug companies.”

Himmelstein says that under the proposed single payer system, patients would be able to see any doctor of their choosing because everyone would be covered. He knows that there is still a lot of opposition to such a bold change to our medical system, but he ends with a pointed reference to the current election cycle:

“Bernie Sanders showed you can do extraordinarily well campaigning on this issue.”

He’s right.

h/t to Raw Story

Featured image via Flickr, available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Karen is a retired elementary school teacher with many years of progressive activism behind her. She is the proud mother of three young adults who were all arrested with Occupy Wall Street. To see what she writes about in her spare time, check out her blog at "Empty Nest, Full Life"