Explainers: Public Option & more
Our previous post talked about a healthcare "public option" and a "death spiral." Here's what these and other terms mean.
Public Option. What exactly is a healthcare "public option"? How does it differ from single-payer universal healthcare, Medicare for All? Why is it really just a scam? Two leading public health researchers and M4A advocates explain: https://www.thenation.com/article/insurance-health-care-medicare.
Death Spiral. In health insurance, what is a "death spiral"? Generally, insurers game the system, profiting from healthy people while pushing older, sicker people onto other plans, usually public plans where taxpayers bear the unequal cost. Eventually, the system breaks under the burden of this escalating imbalance — while private insurers make out like bandits. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_spiral_%28insurance%29.
Risk Pool. In health insurance — unless profiteers have gamed the system — the bigger the risk pool, the better. A risk pool consists of all the people being covered. A true single-payer system will cover all 330 million US residents in a single huge, stable, predictable risk pool — equitable and extremely cost-efficient.
#HealthDividend. Efficiency is a key to single-payer's anticipated cost savings. Single-payer Medicare for All will actually cost less overall than what we as a nation are paying today. For details, see https://medicareforall.weebly.com/health-dividend.html on this site.
Simplicity, Taxes, and More. Efficiency also stems from single-payer's simplicity and other factors. By contrast, private insurers are about seven times less efficient. Yet the bulk of cash they rake in, comes from the public purse — from our taxes. So why don't we call this endless Niagara of public money cascading to private insurers, "taxes"? Good question! Why do we complain about taxes but continue paying these profiteers without a whimper? Another good question! Michael Moore wonders too: https://youtu.be/yL722wpTdus?t=923.
Enough is enough. It's time to demand that our members of Congress enact single-payer Medicare for All.
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Ira Dember is a Houston progressive activist, strategic communications expert, and founder of MedicareForAll.us.