U.S. Needs Single-payer Health Care

Hedda Haning | PNHP | June 29, 2012

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has essentially approved the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, what affect will it have?

It will make practically no difference at all. So take a big breath and settle down. We will still have an inadequate health-care system that costs too much and covers too little. We will still have people going without care or going underwater, even bankrupt, to obtain necessary care. We do not have the best health-care system in the world, and the law won't change that.

Skimpy health insurance policies will consume at least 9.5 percent of family income, but leave patients unable to access care due to high deductibles, co-payments, co-insurance and other out-of-pocket costs. Nationally, 78 percent of those bankrupted by illness or injury are insured at the start of their illness, including 60.3 percent who had private coverage.

That is because the health-care industry will still be in the hands of the private industry that makes its profit by collecting premiums and denying care. Private insurance also tells you which physicians and which hospitals you can use. Big Pharma provides our drugs with absolutely no limits at all on charges. The pharmaceutical industry uses federally supported research to develop new patented drugs that often provide little improvement over those already available but cost orders of magnitude more...