Why Single Payer Healthcare is Not a Viable Solution

By Joe Ross

Richard Spencer, the guy who is known for coining the term “alt-right” recently advocated for a single payer healthcare system on Twitter. I am going to explain why this is a bad idea.

Advocates of single payer healthcare often point to the relative successes of it in places like Denmark and say that we should bring it here. Here is why they are wrong.

1. Demographics.

According to the world bank, the US population is 318.9 Million while Denmark’s is at 5.614. When countries are smaller, you can influence policy easier. By population, Denmark is close in size to Minnesota. There are racial differences as well. Now while the reader of this might believe in racial equality, Spencer and his followers certainly do not. The US is 65% white while Denmark is around 95% white.

There’s also the fact that among the white people, white Danes are mostly ethnically homogenous as well. Danes are a distinct group of people who have a long history together, while the white Americans here are collection of descendants of settlers from all across Europe.

2. The US has actual military expenditures.

According to this studythe US spends $596B / year on the military, Denmark spends around $3.5B.

Looking back at point number one, the US population is 318.9 million while Denmark’s is a mere 5.614 Million. That means the US spends around $1868 per citizen on the military while Denmark spends around $623 per citizen- so the US spends basically 3x more on military per citizen than Denmark. Too many military expenditures means less money for domestic spending.

3. Denmark is healthier than us.

66.9% are overweight and 33.9% of Americans are obese. In Denmark, 41.7% are overweight and 11.4% are obese. With an obesity rate that’s 3x higher, we will be spending so much more on health coverage for fat people than they ever will.

Source: http://obesity.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004371

4. Tax rates

Denmark’s personal income tax is 55.8%, and they have a sales tax rate of 25%. This would be like the US implementing the fair tax while nearly doubling the income tax instead of outright abolishing it. If you want single payer, acknowledge that this will have to happen.

You simply can’t compare a small, relatively healthy, racially and ethnically homogenous country with a small military to a large, unhealthy, ethnically diverse country that spends so much on the military, and come to the conclusion that Denmark’s healthcare policies are why their healthcare system is better.

So, what are some solutions to dealing with the healthcare crisis?

I might not have the perfect answer, but here are the ones I came up with off the top of my head.

  1. Get rid of employer based health insurance. With this, people wouldn’t have to worry about losing their health insurance if they lost their jobs, and can pick out a health insurance plan better for them.
  2. Allow healthcare services to discriminate on who they can service and list their prices. Everyone who has ever gone to the doctor knows that when picking out which doctor you go to you need to make sure that your insurance will cover it. You give them your insurance card, then at some point later you get a bill that shows how much your insurance covers and how much you owe. You can almost always negotiate it down. In one case, I personally reduced my bill from something along the lines of $140 to $46. This makes no sense. No other industry is like that. When you buy anything else, like food, the prices are listed clearly and you purchase them at the grocery store and you’re done. You can shop at any grocery or convenience store and do that. Can you imagine how weird it would be to purchase insurance for food? Just think about having to examine which grocery stores accept your food insurance, having no idea how much your food would cost when you purchase it, leave the store, then at some point later you get a bill saying how much your insurance paid and how much you still owe. It would the craziest thing ever. Why is healthcare any different?

In addition to all of this, among Americans, it’s mostly white people that oppose a single payer healthcare system and support market reforms the most, so if Spencer ever gets an ethnostate in part of the US, he’ll be in for a shock when single payer healthcare is pushed outside of the overton window.

For more on the topic, read “Newsflash: Healthcare Is Not a Right” by Michael Miller.