Health Coverage Doesn’t Guarantee Access to Care

  • People in countries with single-payer healthcare systems have experienced a significant decrease in access to health care, primarily due to longer wait times.
  • The median waiting time in Canada’s single-payer health system jumped from 9.3 weeks in 1993 to19.8 weeks in 2018, a 113 percent increase.
  • Patients at emergency wards in Britain’s government-run National Health Service have had to wait over 12 hours before receiving care.
  • Sweden, which has a universal healthcare system, suffers from “an abysmal waiting time situation”that “seems very difficult to rectify,” according to the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index.

One Insurer Means No Choice

  • Medicare for All would lead to the abolition—or near-abolition—of private health insurance.
  • For example, the Medicare for All legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders in 2017 would “replace all other insurance, with limited exceptions, such as cosmetic surgery.”
  • This means that patients and employers won’t have the option to change plans when they are dissatisfied.
  • A government-run healthcare monopoly may set healthcare prices too low, which will create shortages for critical healthcare treatments and services.

Solution: Improve Current System so It Works for Everyone

  • For all the deficiencies in our healthcare payment system, America remains the undisputed global leader in medical innovation.•Rather than scrap the current system altogether, we should fix its most obvious flaws while building on its best features.
  • Policymakers should reject Medicare for All and instead focus on improving access to affordable, reliable coverage while maintaining America’s innovation edge.

Click here to read the full policy focus and learn more about why a government-run healthcare program would make it harder for people to get the care they need when they need it.