That may not be true at all !
Consider Canada’s true single-payer system. Patients must wait an average of more than two months to see a specialist after getting a referral from their general practitioner, according to the Fraser Institute, a nonpartisan Canadian think tank. Patients can expect to wait another 9.8 weeks, on average, before receiving the treatment they need from that specialist.
Access to care is so poor, in fact, that 52,000 Canadians flee to the United States each year for medical attention. They refuse to wait in line for care as their health deteriorates.
The situation is no better under Great Britain’s mainly government-run health system.
**As for Scandinavia, patients there would likely advise Sanders to reject socialized medicine.
In recent years, Swedish residents have gravitated toward private insurance to avoid the rationed care and long wait times common in the country’s single-payer system. Today, roughly one in 10 Swedes — more than half a million people — has a private health insurance policy.**
Single payer would also require the adoption of large-scale tax increases. Although Americans would save money by not paying premiums to private insurers, the politics of moving immense levels of health care spending visibly into the federal budget are daunting, given the prevailing antitax sentiment. Furthermore, converting our long-established patchwork of payers into a single program would require a substantial overhaul of the status quo, including the ACA.4 Then there are the familiar institutional barriers to major reform within U.S. government, including the necessity of securing a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster.
In short, single payer has no realistic path to enactment in the foreseeable future. It remains an aspiration more than a viable reform program. Single-payer supporters have not articulated a convincing strategy for overcoming the formidable obstacles that stand in its way. Nor have they, despite substantial public support for single payer, succeeded in mobilizing a social movement that could potentially break down those barriers. The pressing question is not about whether Medicare for All can be enacted during the next presidential administration — it can’t — but where health care reform goes from here.
It’s possible that some states could, through waivers that begin in 2017, consider adding a public option to their marketplaces or even adopt single-payer systems. Yet Vermont’s recent struggles to make a modified single-payer plan work underscore the challenges to state action. At the federal level, incremental steps toward Medicare for All, such as expanding program eligibility to younger enrollees, are conceivable — though challenging in this political environment. Moreover, the fight over Obamacare is not over. Preserving and strengthening the ACA, as well as Medicare, and addressing underinsurance and affordability of private coverage is a less utopian cause than single payer. I believe it’s also the best way forward now for U.S. medical care.http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1602009#t=article
There is indeed a lot to learn from foreign, government-run single-payer systems — just not what Sanders and others might like to hear. From Canada to the United Kingdom and even Scandinavia, single-payer systems have proven cripplingly expensive even as they limit patients’ ability to access quality care.http://www.pacificresearch.org/socialized-medicine-a-global-failure/