House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) sought to dispel what he called the cloud of misinformation that has surrounded universal single-payer reform.
Opponents of single-payer argue that scarcity of care and long waiting lines will inevitably occur in universal single-payer systems, Conyers testified before the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. While Canada and the United Kingdom have had waits for elective procedures, thats because they spend up to 60% less than the U.S. does on healthcare, he said.
Waiting lines do not exist in countries that adequately fund national healthcare, said Conyers, who sponsors a bill that would create a not-for-profit, publicly financed, privately delivered healthcare system that would ensure universal coverage. Other witnesses at the hearing backed the single-payer option, including Walter Tsou, national board adviser with Physicians for a National Health Program. Single-payer is the only reform that can control healthcare costs, through cutting insurance firms profits and using bulk purchasing, among other things, he testified.
Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.), the panels ranking member, countered that a one-size-fits-all approach to coverage would drive up taxes, stifle innovation and ration care while empowering bureaucrats.