a very compelling argument for single-payer from alternet:
the cost of corporate bureaucracy
where is the money going? an estimated 15 cents
of each private u.s. health care dollar goes simply to shuffling the paperwork. the administrative costs for our patched-together system of hmo's, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, and government programs are nearly double those for single-payer canada. it's not because americans are inherently less efficient than canadians -- our publicly funded medicare system spends under five cents per budget dollar on administrative overhead. and the veterans administration, which functions like britain's socialized medical system, spends less per patient but consistently outranks private providers in patient satisfaction and quality of care.
but in the private sector, profits and excessive ceo pay are added to the paperwork and bureaucracy. the u.s. pharmaceutical industry averages a 17 percent profit margin, against three percent for all other businesses. in the health care industry, million-dollar ceo pay packages are the rule, with some executives pulling down more than $30 million a year in salary and amassing billion-dollar stock option packages.
do those costs really make the difference?
studies conducted by the general accounting office, the congressional budget office, and various states have concluded that a universal, single-payer health care system would cover everyone -- including the millions currently without insurance -- and still save billions.