Comparing Public and Private Health Insurance: Would A Single-Payer System Save Enough to Cover the Uninsured?
Publication Date: October 2007
Author(s): Benjamin Zycher
Keywords: uninsured; single-payer; health insurance
Coverage: United States
The public discussion of prospective reform of the U.S. health-care system has focused in substantial part on the question of how to extend insurance coverage to those now uninsured, and on how to deal with the attendant increased costs for the system as a whole. Some argue that a single-payer system similar to Medicare would realize savings in administrative costs sufficient to extend insurance coverage to all of the uninsured.
The central objective of this study is a comparison of the administrative and other important non-benefit costs of private health-insurance plans with those of Medicare, which is used as a prototype for a large single-payer (that is, government-financed) insurance system.