Sanders introduces a new Single Payer bill


S. 1782, The American Health Security Act of 2013 (189 pages):
Comment:  by Don McCanne, PNHP

Introduction of another single payer bill - S. 1782, The American Health Security Act of 2013 - is very timely. Here’s why.

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is proceeding, and a handful of citizens are pleased to finally gain entrance to an insurance market that they’ve been locked out of. Nevertheless, dissatisfaction is widespread because of a mandate to purchase insurance products that are expensive, that leaves individuals exposed to excessive out-of-pocket costs should they need health care, and that reduces health care choices by reducing the number of providers allowed in the insurance networks. Those with employer-sponsored plans are beginning to see the same changes that reduce both financial security and choices of physicians and hospitals. People are not happy.

The rocky rollout of the exchanges created more smoke than fire, but it did cause people to think more about whether Obamacare is a wise solution to the problems with our health care financing system. On the left, there is a loud and clear call to move forward with enactment of a single payer system - an improved Medicare for all. On the right, there is a loud clamor that Obamacare is so bad that we might end up with a single payer system. By some on the right, that’s posed as a threat, but by others it seems to be a dispirited acknowledgement that Obamacare is so bad, and the proposed Republican reforms are so ineffective, that people will demand a system that works - single payer.