Once Its Greatest Foes, Doctors Are Embracing Single-Payer

Sep 2013
On a hill
By Shefali Luthra AUGUST 7, 2018

When the American Medical Association — one of the nation’s most powerful health care groups — met in Chicago this June, its medical student caucus seized an opportunity for change.

Though they had tried for years to advance a resolution calling on the organization to drop its decades-long opposition to single-payer health care, this was the first time it got a full hearing. The debate grew heated — older physicians warned their pay would decrease, calling younger advocates naïve to single-payer’s consequences. But this time, by the meeting’s end, the AMA’s older members had agreed to at least study the possibility of changing its stance.


Organized medicine, and previous generations of doctors, had for the most part staunchly opposed to any such plan. The AMA has thwarted public health insurance proposals since the 1930s and long been considered one of the policy’s most powerful opponents.

But the battle lines are shifting as younger doctors flip their views, a change that will likely assume greater significance as the next generation of physicians takes on leadership roles.


It seems that young doctors are more inclined to see health care as a right, and would rather deal with a government insurance system rather than, what they view, as a more complex mix of private insurance, and coverage.

With that in mind, I doubt that the republican preference for a wider range of plans sold across state lines would win the support of many young doctors.
Likes: 6 people
Apr 2012
Young Doctors know that one system would be better than the mess we have now.

They are organized,up to date, simplified.

I had a taste of that when my old Doctor retired and I gained a new one who looked at my case with new eyes.

Now,I am online,can check my tests, make appointments, even have online Doctors who can answer any questions I might have.

Single Payer would help them get away from the various Insurance Companies rules and redulations they deal with today.

Medicine is changing dramatically, so should the dated hodge podge we have today.
Jul 2014
Single Payer is coming, it's just a matter of time.

Years? Decades?

No worries, it's coming.

And it will suck.

Yes, there will be death panels.

But, do not fret...it's coming...
Sep 2013
On a hill
Single Payer is coming, it's just a matter of time.

Years? Decades?

No worries, it's coming.

And it will suck.

Yes, there will be death panels.

But, do not fret...it's coming...
Name a country with single payer health insurance that has death panels.
Likes: 3 people
Feb 2011
Boise, ID
I have been a fierce critic of single payer in the past. After spending enough hours debating about it and learning about how the new health care law was intended to work, and why it was so imperative that something be done about health insurance in 2010-11, I've changed my attitude about it.

I could name 3-5 changes we could make to PPACA (or provisions we could add to it) and we would basically have single payer. Consolidated, they would be:

1) No employer mandate, instead offer tax breaks or other incentives to companies that discontinue providing health insurance if they pass along at least 80% of their savings to employees in wages. One example of such an "incentive" is to reinstate the "Cadillac Tax" and make it applicable to all companies that insist on continuing to buy their employees' health insurance, starting in 3 years (giving them that amount of time to decide to stop).

2) Make everyone eligible for subsidies, assuming their insurance costs more than (x)% of their mAGI. No family glitch, no 400% poverty level subsidy cliff, no disqualification for subsidies based on an employer's offer of coverage. Literally everyone should be eligible for subsidies if the cost of insurance exceeds a certain % of their mAGI. Some people will not need the subsidies if the total cost of premiums is still less than 9.5% of their income, but there should be no one that is arbitrarily excluded and screwed over.

3) Restore the individual mandate, but allow people to buy skinnier, higher-deductible plans than are currently allowed.

4) Loosen the restrictive rules around HSAs. Let everyone set up an HSA regardless of the insurance plan they choose. Make it easier for people to save some of their own money for health needs.

If we did these things, it would cause a) health insurance to become divorced from employment, b) every individual to independently choose the insurance they feel is right for them, 3) those that are currently being arbitrarily hosed by the law's glitches and provisions would get a more fair deal, leveling the playing field for customers, 4) everyone's personal health insurance expense to be a function of their income, which is an inherent feature of single payer.

The one major downside? It would cost more federal dollars. Whoopdy doo. We're spending the money already anyway, just doing it stupidly and arbitrarily unfairly.
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Likes: 1 person