Our system does work very well, however, for insurance companies and provider networks. According to the New York Times, 31 percent of insurance premiums are skimmed off by the companies and networks for executive salaries, advertising, stockholder dividends, and lobbyists who help keep the companies in control of our health.
Big Pharma and medical-device companies take more than their share of health care dollars, too. There’s little preventing them from charging the highest prices the market will bear. Unfortunately, theirs are life-saving and life-enhancing products, and the prices need to be regulated.
Our health care system is a protection racket. We need to eliminate health insurance and have government be the single payer, controlling costs and covering every American. The U.S. health care system costs more than $9,000 per person. Canada, which has a single-payer system paid for by taxes only costs $4,500 per person. Yet, in spite of paying only half as much for health care, Canadians live three years longer than Americans, as Quora reported in 2018.
Another option is expanding Medicare to cover all Americans. Currently, citizens over 65 have universal access to the health care they need. Medicare is paid for by a public “tax,” and the health care is privately run. It has been successful for decades, and seniors have a sense of security because of this program. Administrative costs are 5 percent, as PolitiFact confirmed.
Minnesotans aren’t bound to wait for the federal government to bring single-payer about. We could enact it ourselves; we just need the political will.