Is single-payer healthcare a viable alternative?

David Himmelstein • JULY 14, 2015

David Himmelstein of the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College offers a look at the unresolved problems of the American healthcare system and argues that there are relatively simple and straightforward solutions available. Himmelstein argues that a large proportion of Americans are uninsured and are denied care. According to Himmelstein, this is especially unacceptable given the wasteful use of healthcare resources such as empty beds and unnecessary surgeries. He proposes that a national insurance plan that puts everyone in a single risk-sharing pool would be a better solution than the combination of an individual mandate plus subsidies that was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act. Himmelstein touches on what went wrong with Vermont's attempt to enact single-payer healthcare in 2014, and suggests that those challenges could be overcome in future attempts.

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