KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Perspectives On Single-Payer: Is It A Pipe Dream Or Is The GOP Repeal-And-Replace Plan Priming The Pump?

Editorials from a variety of news outlets offer different thoughts on the current single-payer health plan being advanced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and whether it is picking up momentum.

New York Magazine: How Graham-Cassidy Would Make Single-Payer More Likely
Perhaps the oddest thing about the last-ditch Republican plan to repeal Obamacare is that it is being sold not as a repeal of Obamacare — which is popular — but instead as a rebuke to a law that does not yet exist. “If you want a single-payer health-care system, this is your worst nightmare,” Lindsey Graham has boasted of his plan. “Hell no to Berniecare.” Graham’s weird promise that his plan “ends single-payer health care” has somehow taken hold, to the point where Republicans appear to believe it would foreclose even public debate on left-wing alternatives. The bill “stops us from having conversation in the future about Medicare for all,” claims Senator Tim Scott. (Jonathan Chait, 9/19)

USA Today: Focus On Obamacare, Not Single-Payer Pipe Dreams
Democrats have long suffered from an inability to present messages that are simple, appealing and understandable. That is one of the biggest reasons Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has had so much success. In his overly simplistic world, there is virtually no problem of economics or federal spending that isn’t the consequence of the rich getting richer and that can’t be addressed with higher taxes. (9/25)

USA Today: Time Is Ripe For Medicare For All
We now have the most wasteful, inefficient and bureaucratic health care system in the world. In fact, we are spending almost twice as much per capita as any other country, while our health care outcomes are often worse. Instead of providing quality care to all in a cost-effective way, our current system is designed to provide hundreds of billions in profits to insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry and medical equipment suppliers. Moving to a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system would eliminate insurance industry profits and reduce waste, saving up to $500 billion a year on administrative costs. (Sen. Bernie Sanders, 9/25)

The Hill: 'SandersCare' Doesn't Pass The Laugh Test
Since its inception, Medicare has exhibited poor cost control and unbridled growth. The program is riddled with fraud. A 2015 Government Accountability Office report estimated that over 10 percent of program funds, or 60 billion dollars, are squandered on fraud, waste, abuse and improper payments. ... Despite this undeniable reality, Sen. Sanders and his co-sponsors propose to miraculously give complete coverage to an additional 270 million people, while absorbing the costs and removing the constraints associated with copayments and deductibles. (Dr. Roger Klein, 9/24)

Chicago Tribune: Five Lessons From Canada On Single-Payer Health Care
The United States is about to debate the merits of Bernie Sanders’ proposal for a single-payer health care system. While cost will be an issue, evidence shows that many countries provide access to quality care for all their citizens through a single-payer model while spending far less than the U.S. does now. How can this be? (Colleen M. Flood and Allan Rock, 9/24)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.