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Monday, September 07, 2009


An unmentioned single-payer advantage?

I've been thinking about something I haven't seen written anywhere else; maybe I'm completely wrong. It comes about because I was just paying my car insurance bill. One of the items on that bill is "bodily injury", which is, I believe, the major item on the bill which is mandatory. If I hurt or kill someone with my car, their health care is paid for by my insurance. Which means, unless I'm missing something, that if we had a single-payer system, my car insurance should be a lot less expensive, since everyone's health care costs will simply be paid for by the single-payer system, no questions asked.

The same is true for home and business insurance (including workers compensation insurance in the case of the latter). If someone slips and breaks their leg on the steps of your home or business, insurance pays their medical bills. Again, with a single-payer system, such insurance would be unnecessary, because the medical care of the injured person would be paid for as a matter of course.

Both of these things mean that, if I'm correct, a single-payer system would save every driver, every home owner, and every business owner in the country significant money. Money which now goes to the insurance companies and, in the usual way of the insurance business, only comes back in part as payouts (since the insurance companies make a profit on auto, home, and business insurance, just as they do on health insurance). So the savings from a single-payer system go far beyond the savings in health insurance alone. If I'm right. And, if I'm also right, none of these things happen under the "public option" plan.

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