With the dismantling of Obamacare, many parents are concerned about what kind of coverage they and their children will receive under the Trump Administration's new plan. But upon hearing that the Trump Administration's health plan may leave millions uninsured, some leaders and activists are starting to push for single-payer healthcare. So would single-payer healthcare be better for parents?
Instead of signing up for a private insurance plan, single-payer healthcare would leave healthcare financing to a single public agency, according to Physicians For A National Health Program. Premium costs would decline, as well as costs to employers, who would no longer have to provide health insurance options for their workers. Single-payer healthcare has often been referred to as "Medicare for all," because it would work similarly to the program. More money could be spent on health care instead of on administrative costs, which are up 24 percent of healthcare expenses, according to Bloomberg News. Meanwhile, less than 2 percent of Medicare costs go back to administrative expenses, according to Physicians For A National Health Program.
Single-payer healthcare would also go further than the Affordable Care Act or the American Health Care Act because it would make healthcare accessible to everyone and wouldn't leave people uninsured who earn too much money to be fully covered but can't afford high monthly premiums. Even better? Even those with pre-existing conditions (such as pregnancy) can't be denied coverage or charged higher premiums.
That's important because only 12 percent of insurance plans covered maternity care before Obamacare, according to the National Women's Law Center. And many children remain uninsured. Currently, 5 million children remain uninsured, according to the Kaiser Foundation. That may seem surprising given how well-known it is that parents could keep their children on their insurance coverage until the age of 26 under Obamacare. But if the parents themselves are uninsured, they must find another option.
Overall, 28 million people are uninsured. And The Guardian reported that as many as 52 million people could go uninsured if the American Health Care Act is passed. Which sounds terrifying.
So what would a single-payer healthcare system look like? One way it could work is for each state to control health insurance financing while each person has their choice of doctor instead of being limited by who will take their insurance. And it looks like some leaders are pushing efforts to create a single-payer system in California, CNN reported. California Sen. Ricardo Lara told CNN:
There's no doubt that Trump's election and what Republicans are doing to dismantle health care has really given us an opportunity to have an honest dialogue about how we get to health for all. I don't think we would have had the same opportunity if Clinton would have won. Then again, we also wouldn't be in a place where we're going to lose billions of (Medicaid) dollars for California.
Still, establishing a single-payer system would be rough even in a blue state such as California, where a bill proposing the measure failed in 2006. But some are still hopeful.
"It's a new day in politics," RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, told CNN. "There is a dynamic base of people who are demanding health care. Demanding. It's not discretionary -- they want it, they need it, they are fighting for it."