How Would It Work?

Those were the players in the health care system. Now, let's take an imaginary look at how the system would be run.

The Single-Payer(s)

Okay. You got me. I lied. Please forgive me. Most blueprints suggest that the US would have regional payers--so, maybe a Western, Mountain, South, Midwest, South, and Northeast payer. Each would be responsible for a certain number of states, and each would still work with the others, so that if you live in California and take a trip to Atlanta, you're still covered. These payers would handle their states' paperwork and payments, and would get their money from the federal government, who would collect all the money to begin with.

The Doctor's Office

You go to see a new doctor. You give them your health card, they scan it, and you're in their system. You fill out the paperwork about your health for your doctor, and see him or her. The doctor either treats you or sends you to a specialist, and you don't see a bill or invoice. The doctor simply bills the regional payer electronically for the treatment or care he or she provided, and within 30 days, the doctor is paid.

Next: Let's compare it the current system...