Saul Friedman is a columnist for Newsday, a daily paper for Long Island and New York. He saw my single-payer animation, and liked it so much that he turned it into his weekly column for this week! The quotes aren’t exact, but they’re not way off. Just to clarify:
How can the United States pay for a similar single-payer system to cover 300 million? “Money would come from employers and employees,” Walker says, “but most of the money is already in the system — it’s just currently going to HMOs [and other private insurers] instead of to a single payer.”
Money would come from employers and employees–that is, taxpayers. Did you know that 60% of the health care dollars are paid by government already? So we already have 60% of the money being collected by government. That other 40%? Most of it is dollars from private employers paying HMOs to insure private employees. That 40% would be sent to the single-payer instead of a number of different HMOs. It’s not *new* money. It’s just redirected.
As for employees, some funding schemes also have a personal income tax–but usually only for people making more than ~$90,000 a year. A Ohio single-payer group put together a proposal that lists how much Ohio residents would pay for single-payer in Ohio (Word doc).
If you’d like to see the studies citing single-payer as saving a substantial amount of money, look no further than The California Health Care Options Project, The Vermont Single-Payer Study, The Maryland Single-Payer Study, Massachusetts Health Care Studies,and Maine’s Single-Payer Microsimulation. Just to be clear, these analyses were done by The Lewin Group and Mathematica Consulting, two economic analyst groups. Not single-payer supporters.
I also found a great new site that summarizes state reform policies. Thanks Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for statecoverage.net.