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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed May 11, 2016, 09:41 PM

23. I'm still looking for a factual refutation of the study.

From your CommonDreams link:

Missing as well (as well as some comment from the campaign - Sparkly) from any of the pieces was any meaningful critical analysis of the study’s highly contestable cost projections, as David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler—two of the nation’s leading experts on healthcare finance, and co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program—laid out yesterday in the Huffington Post (5/9/16). Himmelstein and Woolhandler called the Urban Institute’s cost estimates “ridiculous,” saying they “ignore the extensive and well-documented experience with single-payer systems in other nations—which all spend far less per person on healthcare than we do.”


Documented experience within different countries, populations, tax structures and needs does not equate laterally with what would happen if we instituted this tomorrow, even if we could. I like the idea of single payer very much, but it's not going to happen overnight. Sorry. It just isn't.

Himmelstein and Woolhandler note that the Urban Institute report assumes there will be 100 million more doctor visits per year, despite the fact that the plan does not involve an increase in the number of doctors. The Urban Institute report supposes that the US single-payer system would pay 50 percent more for prescription drugs than Medicaid currently pays, and ignores or minimizes administrative savings from a unified system that add up to $6 trillion over ten years.


Okay, let's unpack that. One of the criticisms IS that the plan does not assume an increase in the number of doctors, thereby creating shortages of care. Ultimately, I think that should be addressed; right now, Sanders plan does not do that. The study is probably taking into account current prescription drug discounts -- note that Medicaid and Medicare are two different things, by the way -- and the "administrative savings" from moving away from a for-profit industry (which I do support) are offset by the administrative costs of a government-run system for the entire country. A "unified system" doesn't mean those costs go away.

While honest people can disagree on these figures, readers were not clued in that there are legitimate healthcare experts who back up Sanders’ numbers. Instead, on the basis of one report, the Post painted his plan as at best fantastical and at worst a cynical effort to deceive the public on its “true cost.”


If honest people can disagree, are there many outside of the "Physicians for a National Health Program" who do? That would be good to see.

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Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
RiverLover May 2016 OP
Wellstone ruled May 2016 #1
KansDem May 2016 #7
Wellstone ruled May 2016 #12
Autumn May 2016 #2
RiverLover May 2016 #4
Corporate666 May 2016 #8
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Corporate666 May 2016 #18
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Ed Suspicious May 2016 #28
MisterP May 2016 #24
pat_k May 2016 #3
RiverLover May 2016 #11
liberal from boston May 2016 #16
CentralCoaster May 2016 #5
Kall May 2016 #6
frylock May 2016 #17
Cali_Democrat May 2016 #9
RiverLover May 2016 #10
chascarrillo May 2016 #19
Cali_Democrat May 2016 #20
chascarrillo May 2016 #25
kaleckim May 2016 #29
vintx May 2016 #27
hrmjustin May 2016 #13
hobbit709 May 2016 #21
monmouth4 May 2016 #22
LineNew Reply I'm still looking for a factual refutation of the study.
Sparkly May 2016 #23
kaleckim May 2016 #30
oldandhappy May 2016 #26
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