Monday, June 13, 2005
Uninsured in America
A friend and Harvard classmate, Dr Rushika Fernandopulle and Susan Sered, is out with his new book which sounds timely and interesting, "Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity" based on some 120 interviews with those who are living in the US without health insurance. And today, this New York Times column by Paul Krugman quotes another book, "One Nation Uninsured: Why the US Has No National Health Insurance" by Jill Quadagno that cites that 75% of Americans wanted a national health insurance system in 1945. But Truman failed because of the American Medical Association lobby and southern politicians who feared integrated hospitals:
The great advantage of universal, government-provided health insurance is lower costs. Canada's government-run insurance system has much less bureaucracy and much lower administrative costs than our largely private system. Medicare has much lower administrative costs than private insurance. The reason is that single-payer systems don't devote large resources to screening out high-risk clients or charging them higher fees. The savings from a single-payer system would probably exceed $200 billion a year, far more than the cost of covering all of those now uninsured.