Why do so many experts oppose universal health care, a one payer socialized medical insurance system?

3 Answers
Apr 24, 2017

Mostly, because it doesn’t work.


It doesn’t matter what your ‘political persuasion’ is, the fact of life is that in any system people will try to find, create, attain positions of relative power over others. All governments and their basic systems are flawed. Some are just more flawed than others.

SOMEONE has to make decisions, and that also implies power in whatever form it fits. REAL ‘economy’ is about the exchange of value. If there is no perceived value in a transaction, it will not happen. When the only ‘motivation’ is avoidance of painful coercion, then it is not a workable economy.

The terms sound simple. But, WHO really ‘pays’? HOW much, and to whom? Who receives a benefit?

I’d love to see a “Star Trek” economy, where everyone has what they need, has the opportunity to achieve as much as the can, and then participates and contributes back to society to the best of their abilities without envy for someone else’s position and perks. But, getting there from the current state of human economy is not a simple process.

Apr 24, 2017

A health system is hugely expensive. There would be waiting lists for surgery and other services. People would have expectations to jump the cue for whatever reason.


Canada has a one payer health system. There are advantages but the amount of money it costs and waiting times are real difficulties. Some people will go to the United States and pay for treatment if they can.

The system is controversial and various governments have limited benefits to save money. Dentists are not covered. There are other limits including caps on services for minor car accidents.

For healthy people it is a large tax burden. I believe it up to a third of all provincial government expenses are health care related. The health professions can be very difficult in the face of government cost cutting. Nobody really wants anyone scrutinizing their expenses particularly not the government. Health labor pay negotiations are painful.

In Canada health care is a provincial responsibly to a standard set by the Federal government so it does require 2 levels of government to agree to change things.

People also pay private insurance for dental and other "supplemental" care as well as addons like private rooms etc.

Apr 26, 2017

American doctors overwhelmingly do not want Single Payer.


Single Payer has the effect of seizing the labor of medical professionals and effectively making doctors civil servants. It would pay them significantly less for their services than what they currently earn under the present system. They do not like this idea. Medical students in America rack up more student debt than other college students, and they like the idea of getting out of debt and making good coin while they are still young enough to enjoy it.

I live in South Korea, where medical care is heavily subsidized by the government. This strikes a balance somewhere between Free Market and Single Payer. Doctors here would prefer something closer to America's system, prior to "Obamacare," but few Koreans would be able to afford good medical care under such a system. Daegu, a relatively large city in Korea, has dozens of hospitals and a surplus of MDs; it's kind of what happens when everybody's parents lean on them to become doctors.

I have also lived in China, where medical care is extremely inexpensive. Doctors are at more of a premium there. At the bigger hospitals, a glut of patients are lined up to see a handful of doctors. The doctor typically talks to the patient for about five minutes before moving quickly on to the next patient. This is a model for the problems posed by Single Payer. I think Korea's more pragmatic approach might be a better model for America's medical future.

To keep this Historical, the Provincial Government in Saskatchewan had a subsidized Health plan in 1947. It couldn't afford a fully covered universal program. In 1961 all the Provinces and the Canadian Federal Government agreed on a Universal Plan.