How Much Would Universal Health Care Cost?

Affordable healthcare access should be the top goal of every government, but costs often stand in its way. At present, the United States spends more on healthcare than any other country while 37 million remain uninsured and 41 million lack adequate access to care despite this spending spree. A universal system, such as that proposed by Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All plan, could close this gap significantly; our latest data show it could save 13% off total expenditures on healthcare provision overall.

These savings result from reduced administrative costs associated with private insurance. The US healthcare system is complex, consisting of numerous payers and insurers that waste billions in overhead expenses; by streamlining operations with one payer system would save billions on administrative costs alone.

As well, a universal system would reduce premium subsidies by mandating universal participation in Medicare, thus eliminating most of the individual health insurance market’s costs. Furthermore, such an approach may lower costs by encouraging generic drug usage which are significantly cheaper than brand name medications; further fostering competition while improving efficiency through technology to streamline administration and increase oversight capabilities.

Debates over how much a universal system would cost have been clouded by claims that it will exceed federal budget figures. A recent video from Joe Biden’s campaign incorrectly compared the cost of his plan with Bernie Sanders’ single-payer proposal – showing just how easy it is to become misinformed about costs associated with new policies.

Financially speaking, universal health care should be determined based on what is both affordable and maximizes potential to enhance people’s lives. A clear budget must be established so policymakers can decide on investment technologies or raising taxes to expand coverage as needed. Any additional coverage needed beyond what was budgeted can be purchased separately.

Single payer health care systems may not be ideal, but it remains the best method for providing universal coverage. To learn more, sign up for our free Morning Briefing to receive weekly email updates of articles and videos related to universal coverage – don’t forget our social channels like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where we welcome your involvement – we look forward to hearing from you!

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