By RaeAnn Grossman

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Key Design Components and Considerations for Establishing a Single-Payer Health Care System is a long read and deserves discussion, digestion, analysis, and critical thinking. As someone who has worked on the health plan and the provider side, a public single-payer health care system makes me a bit nervous, especially as we consider the challenges around implementation, provider shortages, provider participation, and the current state of our medical expenses and quality.

The CBO report outlines options regarding the design and implementation of a single-payer health care system if applied in the United States. It also highlights the other countries using this system and how they still maintain a private insurance option, which deserves further investigation. I understand we want to do better and enable better health, but with the complex clinical and regulatory foundations in the U.S., coupled with extremely low health literacy rates, an extraordinary team of seasoned experts needs to weigh in. This team of experts will need to create thoughtful projections on the impact of provider shortages, access, and quality, along with tax, premium, and cost-sharing implications. In addition, the openness to balance billing is another area where the math could really get out-of-hand.

Read the full report here: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-05/55150-singlepayer.pdf

DataLink will continue to monitor the math, data, and movements as we discuss a single-payer health care system for the U.S. and/or Medicare for all.