by Dina Herrington | Our Voice Contributor
One misconception people have about single payer healthcare is that private health insurance won’t deny services while a public option will. In fact, insurance companies consistently deny critical services. These often life-saving services include therapy, medication, surgery, medical devices and treatment. This practice is essential to any insurance company’s bottom line, even for expensive, “premium”, private insurance.
Medicare and Medicaid are often confused for one another. Medicare, funded federally through our payroll taxes, is a single payer insurance offered to senior citizens who paid into the system and are over the age of 65. Medicaid is a state and federal funded program that provides healthcare to people who cannot afford to pay for health insurance.
Many don’t know that Medicaid requires copays for medication, physical therapy and other treatments. Although not as costly as the copays for Medicare and private insurances, the cost is still untenable for many Medicaid recipients that need multiple medications or treatments.
Planned Parenthood offers cancer screening for women AND MEN in addition to deadly STD prevention at little or no cost to consumers. Often it is the only place to get access to these services for millions of Americans.
Medicare is cheaper and more efficient. Economies of scale are removing the profit motive with Medicare. This means that the cost of private insurance will continue to outstrip the cost of Medicare for decades. Converting our healthcare system to a universal or single payer system reduces the cost of copays that leave so many Americans bankrupt.
Any medical professional will tell you that Medicare For All saves lives. Universal Healthcare ensures that ALL Americans get access to appropriate medication and treatment. In addition, faster, more appropriate treatment reduces disability and gets people back to work sooner than those who are routinely denied by private insurance companies.