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Ublic Citizen Publishes "Road Map" for States to Move Toward Single-Payer Health Care,

Health & Wellness  (tags: disease, children, death, cancer, ethics, family, government, health, healthcare, humans, illness, investigation, medicine, prevention, nutrition, protection, research, risks, safety, society, study, treatment, women, warning, science )

- 1748 days ago -
The pathway to single-payer implementation is a winding one. Public Citizen has taken the opportunity to issue a new report that provides a road map to help navigate the process for states that seek such a system.

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JL A (281)
Friday July 12, 2013, 4:01 pm
Public Citizen publishes “road map” for states to move toward single-payer health care

by Dave Sterrett and Taylor Lincoln

Road Map to Single Payer IllustrationThe pathway to single-payer implementation is a winding one. Public Citizen has taken the opportunity to issue a new report that provides a road map to help navigate the process for states that seek such a system.

Efforts are moving forward in several states (Vermont, New York, California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Colorado) to have a single government payer for health care services instead of a patchwork of private and public health insurers. Such systems (see Canada) have a record of providing comprehensive, universal care at significantly less cost than we pay for the U.S.’s fragmented system that leaves millions of people with no coverage.

But leaders in many of these state governments may be unaware of how to overcome legal obstacles to move toward a single-payer system. Today, Public Citizen released a groundbreaking report that explains the steps that states can take to create a system that would maximize the efficiencies promised by a single-payer system.

Specifically, the report addresses how a state can free itself from the strictures of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and channel the federal money that would otherwise be spent by the federal government pursuant to the ACA into a unified, state-administered system.

To earn an ACA waiver, a state must demonstrate that its alternative would cover as many people and provide coverage at least as comprehensive as found in the ACA. But, with the goal of providing comprehensive universal care to the residents of their state, that bar is fairly easy to meet.

Beyond securing an ACA waiver, states also must overcome several other hurdles to integrate federal health care programs into their statewide single-payer system.

To the extent possible, a state needs to negotiate adjustments in the way federal programs, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, are administered in order to meld these programs with its own system. Although perfect integration would likely prove elusive, sufficient flexibility exists in federal law to permit a state to fashion a system that could appear seamless to patients and providers.

The state single-payer office would likely have to act as a behind-the-scenes traffic cop (one hopes with the help of a great deal of automation) to route bills to federal programs and other reimbursements centers while making good on payments to providers. While such a system would stop short of realizing the efficiencies of a pure single-payer system, it holds the promise of offering a system that is much more streamlined and sensible than what is currently in place.

Armed with this new report, state officials have in hand a road map to navigate the twists and turns of their important transition to a single-payer health care system.

Dave Sterrett is the health care counsel for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. Taylor Lincoln is research director for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division.

Helen Porter (39)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 12:09 am
Seems you're bringing us much good news.

Seems we are making a powerful difference.

May it be so,.

JL A (281)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 7:24 am
You cannot currently send a star to Zee because you have done so within the last day.

Kit B (276)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 8:11 am

These are smart states taking the self initiative to be one step ahead and prepared for the future. They will be the models of the not so distant future. States like Texas are an icon for what not to do, an ill fated attempt to force the past into the future. It just does not work. To use the Texas example, it is rather transparent that the efforts are designed to allow those who can buy and pay for healthcare to have access, those not able to pay the going rates, are considered irrelevant. Texas is not the only state walking along this path of broken glass.

JL A (281)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 8:17 am
CA has had the votes for Universal Health Care except for agreement on the funding model for years.
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 5:50 pm

JL A (281)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 6:06 pm
You are welcome Birgit.

Judy C (97)
Saturday July 13, 2013, 7:49 pm
I love hearing this! It's a breath of fresh air after hearing all the bickering of the two dinosaur parties over the hopelessly unwieldy and stupid "Affordable Care Act". It isn't going to do much to help anyone except some of the dinosaurs' BFF's, the insurance companies.

I think some states will have the good sense to utilize this model. Others, such as Texas, well described by Kit, will hang on by their fingernails to outmoded ways of doing things, so the haves will continue to have, and the have-nots can go to hell. To these guys, the faster they die, the better, in fact.

Because I live in Nebraska, it will be a cold day in hell before our state makes any innovative changes to benefit everyone, either. Gov. Heineman is one of the governors who rejected the federal Medcaid expansion funds. Thanks for this good article, J.L.

reft h (66)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 12:16 am
thanks for the article

JL A (281)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 12:22 am
You are welcome June.

Nancy C (806)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 5:00 pm
Sounds promising. We need some state models to give courage to others. TY!

JL A (281)
Sunday July 14, 2013, 5:06 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Nancy because you have done so within the last day.

Sheila D (194)
Monday July 15, 2013, 10:47 pm
I'm in MN and so far there have been two main choices for affordable care if you're a senior and have no supplemental insurance and no money to pay for any. One is BluePlus, run by Blue Cross. I chose the second, Ucare which is helped by the U of MN medical. Under each of those are several other choices. It would be so much better to have only one system - not all these. Add to that all the Part D drug plans and it gets almost overwheling to a senior new to the system, like me last yr.

JL A (281)
Tuesday July 16, 2013, 8:34 am
You cannot currently send a star to GGma Sheila because you have done so within the last day.
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