hap 312 healthlaw

Case Study #1: Health Care Reform – “Big Time Change”

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Imagine it is the year 2040. Health care has changed dramatically in the U.S. The current, and often-criticized, private system has disappeared. Instead, we now have a “single payer” landscape. So what? Patients receive their care from a system that the Federal Government runs and finances. They have no private insurance through their employer or other sources. Therefore, insurance companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield or CignaHealth play no role.

Most single payer systems involve paying for health care through taxes on your income. People who defend a single payer environment assert that having one payer will reduce costs to patients. Additionally, administrative expenses for marketing and funding medical training programs would decrease. Single payer supporters also maintain the “old” market-driven system led to higher out-of-pocket costs and shortages in underserved areas. Yet, critics assert that single payer damages individuals and businesses because they will pay more to finance the care and wait longer for needed services. These critics emphasize that other nations with single payer struggle to care for their residents. Why should the U.S. stay with this historically “underperforming” model?

  • State why the U.S. should – or should not – adopt a single payer health care system.
  • And answer the following questions:
    • How would a single payer system affect patients’ relationships with their doctors?
    • Could a doctor serve as an independent contractor to a hospital, instead of an employee?

c.Do you believe that a single payer model would improve the shortage of physicians in certain regions of the U.S? If yes, how? If not, why not? We discussed in class this issue about access to health care.

  1. In your response, you must define and explain what is a “single payer’ health care delivery and financing system.