Thursday, July 12, 2007

Single-Payer FAQ

Here's question 1:
Is national health insurance “socialized medicine”?

No. Socialized medicine is a system in which doctors and hospitals work for the government and draw salaries from the government. Doctors in the Veterans Administration and the Armed Services are paid this way. Examples also exist in Great Britain and Spain. But in most European countries, Canada, Australia and Japan they have socialized financing, or socialized health insurance, not socialized medicine. The government pays for care that is delivered in the private (mostly not-for-profit) sector. This is similar to how Medicare works in this country. Doctors are in private practice and are paid on a fee-for-service basis from government funds. The government does not own or manage their medical practices or hospitals.

The term socialized medicine is often used to conjure images of government bureaucratic interference in medical care. That does not describe what happens in countries with national health insurance. It does describe the interference by insurance company bureaucrats in our health system.

Read the rest here.


Steve Bates said...

VERY useful information. Thanks for pointing to it.

Everyone should read all the other FAQ, and everyone who engages in discussions of the subject should emphasize the answer to first question, the one you reproduce, until that distinction is made clear beyond all doubt.

hipparchia said...

it's a great resource, and i'm glad to have found it. steal the link if you like.

Steve Bates said...

Thanks. Linked, with credit to you, of course.

hipparchia said...

no credit needed, but thank you for the kindness just the same.