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New Docs Report on Single-Payer Health Care

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New Docs Report on Single-Payer Health Care

Democratic congressional candidate supports ‘Medicare for All' System

Phil Steck said that a new survey of doctors shows that the country is moving closer to a national single-payer health program. An Annals of Internal Medicine study released yesterday, conducted by two doctors at Indiana University, says that 59% of doctors support a single-payer universal health program. Last month, Steck joined with local members of Physicians for a National Health Program to express his support for single-payer health care.

"Over the past few months, I have talked to a large number of doctors and hospital administrators in the Capital Region and they have consistently expressed their support for a single-payer health care system," said Steck. "We already have a system similar to single- payer that works very well called Medicare. In the single-payer system, doctors and patients make choices, not insurance and drug companies."

Single-payer health care, also called "Medicare for All," is a system where a public or quasi-public entity manages health financing. The estimated annual savings from eliminating administrative waste caused by private insurers is $350 billion per year. This money is now spent on insurance executive compensation and bonuses, overhead, underwriting, billing, and sales and marketing departments.

"A primary reason why health care is so expensive in this country is because bureaucratic administrative costs account for 31% of all health care costs," said Steck. "In comparison, Medicare only spends 3 cents on every dollar on administrative costs, the lowest of any public or private provider."

47 million Americans who are now uninsured would be fully covered under the single-payer system. Single-payer would also eliminate the need for an estimated 1 million people annually to file bankruptcy because of medical bills. According to a 2005 Harvard University study, half of all personal bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused in some part by medical expenses.

Steck, an Albany County Legislator, also noted that 90% of the Albany County Property tax is currently being spent to fund Medicaid, a burden the County taxpayers would no longer bear under single-payer health insurance.

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