Sanders’ proposal attempts to treat the many ailments within our current system, ailments which are increasingly hard to ignore. Around 30 million people remain uninsured in the U.S. According to the US Government Center for Medicare and Medicaid, U.S health care spending per person is also the highest in the Western world. The United States has consistently ranked last amongst 11 industrialized nations from 2004 to 2013 based on access, quality, efficiency, equity, and health, according to the Commonwealth Fund, even though we have consistently spent more than any of those other countries.
Despite spending half the money per person that the U.K does, we lag far behind them in safe and efficient care, access, and equity.
The vast inadequacies of U.S. healthcare, along with a growing discontent with our current system, has left many people actively looking for solutions more than ever before. When we look overseas and see single payer systems in much of the Western world, it seems like the best option that is available. Yet full single payer healthcare is not the right medication for America’s ailments.
Single Payer Health Care in Action
An example that single payer advocates like to point out is Canada. Canadian healthcare is, admittedly, much more efficient than America's. Canada spends about 9% of their GDP on Healthcare, about half of America's costs, yet the insurance provided is more comprehensive and reaches a larger percentage of its population. According to the University of Colorado at Boulder, "there is no alternative program, such as private health insurance, to which Canadians can turn for basic health care.” Costs are controlled and insurance is public in the Canadian system, while both hospitals and doctors are privately managed. Most funding and administration is done on a local level, and as a result, Canadian healthcare takes less people to administer than the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.