Letters to the Editor The Seattle Times, April 5, 2016
by Marcia Stedman, Bothell
I greatly respect Paul Krugman. However, when it comes to health care, his understanding of a single-payer system is deeply flawed [“Learning from Obama,” Opinion, April 4].
He offers his opinion that “Obamacare is looking much more like a single-payer system than anyone seems to realize.” The Affordable Care Act bolstered the health insurance industry by requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance or else get it from their employers. Many of the law’s provisions did benefit Americans who otherwise were not able to afford medical care.
However, the system we have now under the ACA is not in any way a single-payer system. As long as multiple insurance companies and health plans are involved, it is a “multi-payer” system. As such, it does not provide anywhere near the truly universal access, administrative savings or negotiating power that a true single-payer system would. We already have one of those — it’s called Medicare, and it does bring down health-care costs and make care more affordable for its targeted population. It’s time to roll that system out to all Americans.