National Health Service
The United States is the only country in the developed world without a national healthcare program.
We aim to change that.
Improving American Healthcare
We're told national healthcare would be a failure. That it would cost too much money. That it would be “bureaucratic nightmare.” And much of what we've seen delivered from government as applies to healthcare only helps reinforce that narrative. Our national healthcare programs are rife with waste, fraud and ineffectiveness. The Affordable Care Act was not the solution it was originally sold as. This has led us to believe that national healthcare is a bad idea that will only indebt us at the expense of diminished quality of medical services - a message conveniently parroted by medical lobbyists who themselves profit greatly from our private insurance model.
But the circumstances supporting this belief are based not on the effectiveness of national healthcare as a concept, but rather due to the fact that our system has been compromised by the same causes to government failures across the board: inefficient structure, crony capitalism and endemic corruption. As it is our goal to target and remove these causes, it affords us a fresh opportunity to consider national healthcare under honest circumstances - and see for ourselves both why we don't have it today and why it works as well as it does in other countries.
To begin, we'll start by reviewing some basic facts:
At approximately $1.36 trillion per year, our public health programs are one of the largest expenditures of the federal government, yet they generally only benefit the poor, the elderly and low-income children.
Even though these programs are supposed to be funded through an additional income tax on our paychecks (FICA), they inevitably consume additional public money due to rampant waste and fraud. $1.36 trillion is equivalent to roughly $4,200 per-person, which matches the per-person costs of most national healthcare programs abroad. That means we're already paying for what single-payer healthcare would cost if our system were honestly run.
As it's not, we pay massive out-of-pocket costs for healthcare on top of the exorbitant public healthcare taxes we're already paying. Between wage contributions and out-of-pocket expenses, the average family of four pays $11,030 a year for healthcare if they have employer-sponsored healthcare, and upwards of $17,500 if they don't. That’s easily twice what most other western countries pay.
When combined with employer contributions, the total cost of healthcare for an American family of four with employer-sponsored healthcare is $25,826.
Between all levels of government, private companies and households, the United States annually pays $3.03 trillion on healthcare, or $9,523 per person.
On average, most Western countries have superior healthcare to the United States at far less money. The United Kingdom is annually rated near the top for average healthcare by the World Health Organization, and it has a per-capita healthcare cost of $3,405 per person that covers everyone in their country. We're nearly three times that. If we hypothetically adopted the UK’s single-payer model at their per-capita cost of $3,405, we’d save $6,118 in per-person total health spending.
Once we start looking at basic numbers the reality becomes clear: we can have single-payer healthcare because we’re already paying for it. And switching under honest circumstances would save enough money that people could buy platinum health plans on top of what a national health program offered and still come out ahead financially.
So why haven’t we done this today? There are six primary reasons.