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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-15-13 06:23 PM
Original message
How much would single payer cost?-

July 2011

The bill got some attention last Congress, when single-payer advocates presented it as their alternative to bills coming from the House and Senate leadership, and the Congressional Budget Office looked set to score the bill. This was because then-Rep. Anthony Weiner got the House leadership to commit to giving H.R. 676 a floor vote. The CBO is required to score bills that are reported out of committee in either chamber, so such a vote would have required it to score H.R. 676. But because Nancy Pelosi and other House leaders thought a single-payer vote would hurt the chances of passing the main health reform bill, they rebuffed Weiner and the floor vote didnt come, H.R. 676 never made it out of committee, and thus the CBO was not required to score it. It sometimes provides estimates for bills that have not made it out of committee, but in this case, it did not.

But that doesnt mean there arent data on the budgetary impact of greatly expanding publicly-provided health care. In 2007 and 2009, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) introduced the AmeriCare Health Care Act, which would automatically enroll Americans in a Medicare-like public plan at birth and allow employers to choose between covering their employees or paying into the public plan to cover them.

The plan would be financed through these employee contributions as well as premiums and state contributions equal to their previous spending on Medicaid and S-CHIP, which would be rolled into the public plan. Unlike H.R. 676, the AmeriCare bill doesnt force providers to go nonprofit, and, importantly, it maintains a role for private insurers. People are free to opt out of the public plan and keep their employer-based health plan if they wish. This means its not a single-payer plan, but its the closest thing for which we have reliable numbers.

Those numbers come courtesy of the Commonwealth Fund, which commissioned the Lewin Group to take a look at AmeriCare and a few other health-care proposals in 2009. The resulting study predicts that, because of a public plans lower provider reimbursement rates and administrative costs, as well as its ability to negotiate down drug prices, enacting the bill would have resulted in $58.1 billion less annual health spending in 2010. It would increase the federal deficit by $188.5 billion a year, and employers would pay $61.5 billion more annually, but state and local governments would save $83.6 billion, and households a whopping $224.5 billion.

The AmeriCare bill would cover all the uninsured, leaving 85 percent of all Americans enrolled in the public plan, 10 percent in Medicare, and only 2.1 percent in employer plans.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-15-13 07:56 PM
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1. They've introduced Medicare for all at every session of congress since 2003, yet no one
ever had the CBO score it.

This is some evil kabuki theater, my friends.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-16-13 06:17 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Kabuki is right!
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-16-13 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Not always a bad thing.

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