Single-Party Payer System for the US Healthcare

Abstract

Many governments have implemented unique healthcare delivery systems to meet their citizens’ medical needs. A single-party payer model has continued to deliver positive outcomes in different countries across the world, including Taiwan. The hybrid system associated with the United States has failed to meet the medical demands of many people due to issues of uneven insurance cover and disparity. This paper discusses the single-party payer system and how it can become the best option for this country.

Introduction

Governments have implemented diverse systems to ensure that their citizens have access to high-quality medical services. A good example is the single-party payer model whereby taxes fund essential medical services. Some countries have gone further to establish a multilayer insurance fund to meet the health needs of all patients. This paper gives a detailed case study of Taiwan since it has benefited significantly from the implementation of the single-party payer system. It will also describe how the U.S. government can consider such a model to transform the medical outcomes of every citizen.

Single-Party Payer System

A single-party payer system is founded on the concept of universal health care. Fox and Poirier (2018) indicate that taxes accrued from the general population will cater for all citizens’ medical demands. The existing systems can be developed in such a way that more people receive high-quality services from private organizations or government-sponsored institutions.

Taiwan is one of the countries that have managed to introduce and implement a single-party payer healthcare model successfully. In 1995, the Taiwanese government launched and made the National Health Institute (NHI) a mandatory insurance plan to support the reimbursement of medical funds (Fox & Poirier, 2018). This single-payer system is designed in such a way that all citizens in the country have equal access to high-quality medical services and support. Premiums are used to fund the NHI and are acquired from payroll taxes.

Private hospitals and institutions have become competitive and capable of delivering desirable care and support to different citizens. However, some organizations have been observed to provide inappropriate or necessary services to different patients in order to claim funds or compensations from the government (Liu & Brook, 2017). These issues and gaps explain why it has been necessary to consider a new strategy to make sure that there is a global budget for all key medical conditions.

Several aspects explain why this country’s single-party payer has succeeded. Firstly, the government has hired individuals who can provide exemplary organizational competencies to support the system. Secondly, the relevant ministry monitors the sustainability of the NHI program (Liu & Brook, 2017). Thirdly, the government’s human resources continue to provide adequate support and analysis to meet the demands of all citizens.

Comparison with the U.S. Healthcare System

The U.S. healthcare system is neither single-party payer nor multiplayer. Despite being an industrialized country, the government has failed to implement a uniform model that can ensure that all citizens have access to high-quality medical services. Over the years, the U.S. government has managed to enact several policies aimed at improving the rate of health coverage across the country. McDonough (2015) argues that the U.S. system is hybrid in nature because it has all aspects and attributes of a multiparty and single-party payer models.

The federal government remains responsible for the health needs of some of the country’s citizens. For example, it accounts for around 28 percent of healthcare expenses while local governments provide 17 percent of the costs (Levitt, 2018). The country has both private and public care delivery models. The healthcare system is designed in such a way that it provides medical insurance cover to millions of citizens through its Medicare, Veterans Administration, and Medicaid programs. Around 66 percent of the country’s employees receive insurance from their employers (Levitt, 2018). Despite such arrangements, the number of people without medical cover has remained high over the years.

Since the United States lacks a single-party payer to support or improve the coordination and delivery of medical services, it continues to record numerous problems. The first one is that the costs of medical services have remained high within the past three decades. The problem of medical insurance disparity makes it impossible for many citizens to record positive health outcomes. Individuals from minority groups are usually unable to receive timely medical support. The absence of a centralized universal care delivery system forces different individuals to incur increased health costs (McDonough, 2015). Such challenges explain why many citizens are still unable to realize their health and economic goals.

Recommendations for the U.S. Healthcare System

The U.S. lacks universal healthcare systems despite being one of the most developed nations in the world today. The absence of such a model explains why over 30 million American citizens still remain uninsured (Liu & Brook, 2017). The ACA policy has failed to improve the medical outcomes of all citizens. Dickman, Himmelstein, and Woolhandler (2017) go further to indicate that the country spends a lot of money to support its healthcare sector without delivering positive results. Individuals from minority groups are unable to access desirable care and support, including African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, and Native Americans (Levitt, 2018). Due to such issues, policymakers should consider the benefits of a single-party payer system to provide high-quality health services.

The government needs to examine the case of Taiwan in order to develop an evidence-based model capable of decreasing competition, combining all healthcare plans, and creating a uniform payment approach for all physicians and institutions. Focusing on the nature of Medicare, the country can transform it to become a national insurance program that meets the health needs of all citizens (Liu & Brook, 2017). Such a model will address the current disparity in the country.

The wasteful nature and increased spending rate associated with the current hybrid system will no longer affect the experiences of different citizens. This goal is possible since a single-party payer model will make it easier for the government to minimize costs (Levitt, 2018). The government can consider this system to introduce nationwide programs to overcome the burden of diseases affecting different citizens, including cancer, obesity, and stroke.

Additionally, leaders can propose evidence-based measures that will ensure that researchers, hospitals, and medical professionals interact harmoniously to transform the future of the sector (McDonough, 2015). This means that all stakeholders will work together and focus on the presented guidelines by the federal government to maximize patient outcomes and present powerful ideas for delivering medical services.

Conclusion

The above discussion has established that a single-party payer system has numerous benefits for the United States’ health care sector. The case of Taiwan can become a powerful model for introducing certain elements in this country in an attempt to meet the changing needs of all American citizens. Researchers should be part of this model to minimize chances of competition and reduce healthcare costs.

References

Dickman, S. L., Himmelstein, D. U., & Woolhandler, S. (2017). Inequality and the health-care system in the USA. The Lancet, 389(10077), 1431-1441. Web.

Fox, A., & Poirier, R. (2018). How single-payer stacks up: Evaluating different models of universal health coverage on cost, access, and quality. International Journal of Health Services, 48(3), 568-585. Web.

Levitt, L. (2018). Single-payer health care: Opportunities and vulnerabilities. JAMA, 319(16), 1646-1647. Web.

Liu, J. L., & Brook, R. H. (2017). What is single-payer health care? A review of definitions and proposals in the U.S. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 32(7), 822-831. Web.

McDonough, J. E. (2015). The United States health system in transition. Health Systems & Reform, 1(1), 39-51. Web.