Single-Payer Systems Likely to Save Money in US, Analysis Finds

A single-payer healthcare system would save money over time, likely even during the first year of operation, according to nearly two dozen analyses of national and statewide single payer proposals made over the past 30 years. The study, published in PLOS Medicine, comes as California Gov. Gavin Newsom has created a state commission to find ways to achieve universal coverage, possibly through a single-payer system, and as the Democratic presidential candidates are debating “Medicare for All” proposals on the national stage. “Even though they start with different single designs and modeling assumptions, the vast majority of these studies all come to the same conclusion,” said James G. Kahn, MD, MPH, a professor in the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and a member of the Philip R. Lee Health Policy Institute. “This suggests that fears that a single-payer system would increase costs are likely misplaced.”

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