On March 23, 2010, President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law by the President. Also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, it is now the law of the land. Under this law, every American citizen must have health insurance, whether it be through the federal health insurance marketplace or their chosen private health insurers. Since the ACA's passage, it has met with controversy, and has even been challenged in the Supreme Court. However, the ACA is still the law, but alternative ideas exist nonetheless. I will explore both the cost and practicality of the single-payer tax system, which is one of the most vaunted alternatives to the current health care system -- the ACA.
After President Obama signed the ACA into law, it has dramatically altered the American landscape of healthcare. It is an inclusive insurance program that targets the poor, the elderly, the sick, and particularly, the uninsured (US Department of Health & Human Services, 2015, internet). The law makes a lot of insurance protocols mandatory, including the prohibition of coverage denial to children for pre-existing conditions, prohibiting insurance companies from rescinding coverage, as well as establishing consumer assistance programs throughout the nation, and many other benefits (US Dept. of HHS, 2015, internet). However, the single-payer healthcare tax system is on its way, according to some experts (Ungar, 2012, internet).
The single-payer system would, like Obamacare, be a type of expanded coverage that could be considered a "Medicare for All" (Ungar, 2012, internet). This system is simply an expanded Medicare, but its proponents argue that it will deliver quality insurance for all at low costs. In other words, single-payer healthcare coverage will focus on efficiency (Sanders, 2013, internet). One of the focuses of this system is the reduction of cost by eliminating waste at the level of billing and administration (Sanders, 2013, internet).
There are other advantages to this type of healthcare system. For example, this healthcare system would help employers become more profitable, as the enormous cost of employee healthcare coverage would be eliminated. Moreover, employees can keep their insurance as they move on to other jobs, thus not being tied down to a job because of its insurance benefits. Thus, not only does the single-payer system guarantee that healthcare, just as in other industrialized nations, is a right to all citizens, but it will keep costs down, as it will be administered state-by-state, only overseen and coordinated by the federal government that will set criteria as well (Sanders, 2015, internet). Doubtless, the single-payer system is the future answer to America's healthcare problems, problems that include quality healthcare delivery, affordable cost, and coverage for all citizens.
Sanders, B. (30 Sep, 2013). A single-payer system, like Medicare, is the cure for America's ailing healthcare. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/30/single-payer-cure-healthcare- reform
Ungar, R. (23 Feb, 2012). Single-payer healthcare is coming to America--are we ready? Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/02/23/single-payer- health-care-is-coming-to-america-are-we-ready/3/
US Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). Key features of the affordable care act by year. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/timeline/timeline-text.html