Your Life, Your Health: National Health Program

James Holly, M.D.

In 2016, a group of physicians proposed a “Single-Payer Health Care Reform,” drafted by a 39-member working group and published in the June 2016 American Journal of Public Health. It has been endorsed by over 2,525 physicians and over 186 medical students but the numbers have not been updated in 18 months.

The abstract and part of the introduction to the draft proposal stated:  “Even after full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), tens of millions of Americans will remain uninsured or only partially insured, and costs will continue to rise faster than the background inflation rate. We propose to replace the ACA with a publicly financed National Health Program (NHP) that would fully cover medical care for all Americans, while lowering costs by eliminating the profit-driven private insurance industry with its massive overhead. Hospitals, nursing homes, and other provider facilities would be nonprofit, and paid global operating budgets rather than fees for each service. Physicians could opt to be paid on a fee-for-service basis, but with fees adjusted to better reward primary care providers, or by salaries in facilities paid by global budgets. The initial increase in government costs would be offset by savings in premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and the rate of medical inflation would slow, freeing up resources for unmet medical and public health needs...

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