We need to redouble our efforts on single payer

/ 26 May 2009

It’s not only my own institution, Luther Seminary, that is considering cutting various kinds of health benefits — organizations and businesses all over are facing the challenge. We need to make a fundamental change in the system, moving from a “moral hazard” model to a “social insurance” model. As Dr. McCanne of PHNP points out:

The point is that the structure of the financing system really matters. We can have a system in which individuals or employers are forced by economic circumstances to reduce or eliminate the financing of essential health care services, or we can have a system in which the government is forced by economic circumstances to demand greater efficiency by the health care delivery system so that everyone can have the health care that they need.

Unfortunately, members of Congress are moving forward with a model that will leave individuals and employers financially vulnerable for our health care needs - a patchwork of private plans and public programs that grow ever less affordable for most of us.

The model that would work is a single payer national health program. But last week, after a recital of several options that are still on the table, Sen. Baucus finally admitted, “Just to be honest, (single payer) is not on the table because it cannot pass.”</blockquote>