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Review: "Debate Sharpens Over Single-Payer Health Care, But What Is It Exactly?" - NPR

This was a post by Julie Rovner on 1/22/2016 in collaboration with Kaiser Health News.

This short article should be required reading for every American because it clarifies the different types of healthcare paradigms we're currently using.

"A single-payer system is not the same thing as socialized medicine. In a truly socialized medicine system, the government not only pays the bills but also owns the health care facilities and employs the professionals who work there.

The Veterans Health Administration is an example of a socialized health system run by the government. The VA owns the hospitals and clinics and pays the doctors, nurses and other health providers.

Medicare, on the other hand, is a single-payer system in which the federal government pays the bills for those who qualify, but hospitals and other providers remain private."

In reviewing the VA's performance (poor) and Medicare's performance (fair), you can directly see the results of the socialized and single payer models.

Ms. Rovner goes on to explore various types of health structures around the world. I think Germany has the most interesting set up with their "sickness funds."

The most fascinating viewpoint of this article is the built-in notion that a health care system has to be based in "insurance." It surprises me that no country in the world has taken it upon themselves to build a system like PSYCH wherein a social safety net is laid for preventative care while incentivizing individual responsibility for sick care.

PSYCH is uniquely American...but likely won't be for long ;-)

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