By supporting the best possible care at fair and negotiated prices, a single-payer system financially benefits individuals, employers, taxpayers, and the economy as a whole:
- For individuals and families. For most people who pay for private insurance, the switch to single-payer is expected to lower the cost of health care while increasing coverage. The contribution to the single-payer fund replaces the sum of insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket expenses. Benefits are comprehensive and individuals choose their own doctors. People are financially more secure knowing they will never have to go bankrupt, drain life savings, sell their home, or otherwise sacrifice unduly because of high medical bills. Because the exact cost of health care is known in advance through prepaid contributions, it is easier to budget for family expenses. Children getting regular health care miss less school, increasing their chances for academic success and more stable lives. Workers have the potential to see higher wages and more job openings once employer payments for health benefits are stabilized.
- For employers. Employers will pay a percentage of payroll to the single-payer fund and be spared the expense of negotiating, buying, and administering health benefits for individual employees. It is anticipated that contributions to the system will be less than the current cost of private insurance. Savings will give businesses the opportunity to increase wages and/or hire additional workers, invest more in their businesses, and engage in more accurate long-range planning. A single-payer system evens the playing field domestically, as employers with similar payrolls will pay the same rates and all workers will have the same coverage. Single-payer helps U.S. businesses be more competitive with companies in countries that have universal health care.
- For taxpayers. More than half of all health care costs in the country are already paid for with tax dollars. The government also pays a significant portion of the private health insurance for public employees. A single-payer system stretches tax dollars through cost savings. It permits school boards and city and state government to save on employee health insurance expenses, thereby freeing funds for services vital to the safety and quality of life in our communities.
- For the economy. A single-payer system can be expected to slow growth in the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) taken up by health care, now approaching 18% and significantly higher than in developed countries with universal health care systems. A single-payer system that improves the health of the population strengthens all parts of the economy. A healthier workforce is a more productive workforce.