MAY 10, 2012 3:08PM

Even Republicans say it: the “single-payer” system works!

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Who would have thought that staunch Republicans and conservatives, unbeknownst to them, finally realized the benefits of the “single-payer” system? Interestingly, Texas A&M University announced yesterday that, in order to save $1.7 million in health care costs every year, the university’s Board of Regents has decided to consolidate all employees into a single health care insurance plan.

The move will apparently not only save A&M close to $2 million annually, but the monthly premiums are expected to be greatly reduced for all university employees. Some will see a 41% reduction in health care costs. No kiddin’

As described in the News Release below, the new Single A&M Care Plan won't have any negative impacts on getting access to existing medical services.

Just to be clear: this is not a true single-payer system, but one similar to Medicare (i.e., with deductibles and co-pays, etc.) (and managed by a private insurance company); hence putting the expression in quotes above.

What’s more striking?

This announcement corroborates what I have been discussing over the last three years:

Ballooning health care cost: is Medicare the culprit? (see figure below)

The case against the U.S. health care system

Let's Spread the Risk! (I mean Health care; Not Flu.)

As discussed in these posts, putting everyone into the same risk pool significantly helps in reducing health care costs. In short, this is what A&M is doing.

When will a similar proclamation be made at the national level?


The News Release: 


Figure 1
Figure 2

Here's an example about how health care expenditures changed following the implementation of the single-payer system in Canada in 1971:

Figure 3

Blue line: US; Red line: Canada

click tracking


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One day, Kanuk, we'll get there, even if we have to do it one school, one park district, one special interest group headquarters at a time...We will overcome!
Steve: When you have a very conservative institution that proposed the approach described above, there is still hope!
Really, not like it was UT Austin or anything!
Very interesting and gives hope that conservatives can actually recognize that there are effective ways to deal with the monstrous costs of our current (horrible) health care system.
onislandtime: Indeed, but don't refer this "consolidation" as socialism. They may revoke it!

In truth, change "A&M" with the "U.S." in the text above and we get Medicare for all...
I need to point out that A&M had three insurance providers 10 years ago. Over the last five years or so, it was down to two.
Actually, a majority of Americans are ready for a single-payer system -- it's the politicians (lobbyist lackeys) that are dead-set against it . Then, too, they have a pretty good system themselves.

The fact is govt programs already insure the elderly and the disabled under Medicare, veterans under the VA, the destitute under Medicaid and the children of the poor under SCHIP. So who do insurance companies insure at exorbitant rates? Mostly people who don't need healthcare -- and prior to Obamacare, they dropped anyone with any serious health problem.

That's a helluva business model if you ask me.
Tom: I agree that politicians in DC have very good medical insurance. It's a shame that the rest of us don't. Thanks for dropping by.
Sometimes, in the end, common sense wins.
And this, as Steve points out, in staid and staunch
College Station, not wild and whacky Austin.
Of course, up in Austin they're saying:
It's so obvious even an Aggie can figure it out.
Paul: Yeah, I would have been less surprised to see this at UT than at A&M. Hopefully, others will take note!
Another Republican: the Attorney General of the State of Louisiana ...
Bless him for his very strong words!
- Bob the Health and Health Care Advocate
Bob: Very interesting about the State of Louisiana's AG. The single-payer system is indeed better than what was passed two years ago.
I have to think that eventually single-payor will win out over the status quo.

The status quo is defended by free-market ideology/mythology; single-payor is defended by the fact that it works, as even this small example demonstrates.
Single-payer conserves funds, fuss and wellbeing. Why aren't righties for it? Ideology uber alles, I guess.
Mish: This is indeed a step in a good direction, but we have a very steep hill to climb. I had a discussion last night via FB with an acquaintance about this post and he’s still adamant that free-market will save the health care system. The government has no business in the management of health care. His words, not mine.

Myriad: You guessed it right!
While "staunch" and "stanch" are interchangable spelling variants when the word is used as a transitive verb (meaning either to stop the flow of {usually said of blood} or to stop, check, or deter an action), in its adjectival sense, the only spelling is "staunch" (meaning loyal, trustworthy, reliable, outstanding, dependable, persistent). The spelling "stanch" has no adjectival use.

To anyone who calles me a Grammar Nazi, I invoke Godwin's Law.
Eric: Thank you. I blame it on auto-correct in Word... ;-)