Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Is Massachusetts getting a singler payer system?

Maybe, if Donald Berwick becomes governor.  Mr. Berwick is the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). He ran CMS between 2010 and 2011, but left when Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation to lead the agency permanently.  Now, WonkBlog reports that Mr. Berwick is running for governor of Massachusetts.  His platform claims that the state–whose earlier […]

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Should single-payer countries subsidize private insurance?

In many countries with universal public health insurance, the government also provides subsidies for private insurance.  Examples of this practice include Australia, Spain and the United Kingdom.  Why do they do this?  Is it a good idea? There are arguments on both sides. Public subsidies are good.  Public subsidies for private insurance can stimulate the […]

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Healthcare Outsourcing in the UK

Many liberals laud Europe’s government-run health care sectors as a model to emulate.  In particular, Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) often is seen as the ideal single payer system.  In reality, however, the British government itself does not supply all services. A study from the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) describes the gradual […]

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Is the U.S. a single-payer system?

Most people stereotype European economies as a single payer system whereas the U.S. uses a system of private insurance that is largely unregulated.  This characterization is largely false.  The U.S. has extensive regulation.  Further, the U.S. federal government pays for the largest share of health care.  According to a CHCF report, in 2010, the federal […]

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The Development of Universal Health Care in Sweden

Sweden adopted universal health coverage in 1955.  How did the universal health coverage develop?  A 2004 World Health Organization report provides the answer. Health insurance in the 19th century mostly occurred through mutual aid organizations, which paid out sickness benefits if their members became ill.  By 1885, about 10% of workers had joined “Friendly Societies.”  […]

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Scottish NHS pay £23 million in compensation, but U.S isn’t doing any better.

The Scotland Sun reports that the Scottish NHS paid £23 million ($40 million) to patients for subpar care. Is this due to the inherently substandard quality of care in a single-payer system? The answer is likely no. This figure only amounts to about £4.50 ($7.34) for every person in Scotland however. Drug-related errors in the […]

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Can a Multi-payer Financing reduce costs to Single-Payer Levels?

This is the question asked by Newhouse and Sinaiko in their 2008 paper in the Forum for Health Economics and Policy. The answer is yes.   Single Payer Country Health Exp as Share of GDP (2006) Canada 10.0 Norway 8.7 Portugal 10.2 Spain 8.4 Sweden 9.2 United Kingdom 8.4 Average 9.2 Multi-payer Country Health Exp […]

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