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Argument: Universal health care reduces administrative costs (i.e. paper work)

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"Should the Government Provide Free Universal Health Care for All Americans?". Balanced Politics.org - "We can eliminate wasteful inefficiencies such as duplicate paper work, claim approval, insurance submission, etc. Think back to all the times in your life you've had to fill out a medical history, answering the same questions over and over. Think about all the insurance paperwork you've had to fill out and submit. Our current health care system generates an enormous amount of overhead. Every time we go to the doctor, a claim must be submitted, an approval department has to go over the claim, checks have to be mailed, patients are sent co-pay bills, and so on. The thing that's especially wasteful is that each doctor's office usually maintains their own record-keeping system. A universal healthcare plan would allow us to build one centralized system. There would be no need for maintaining insurance information or wasting time submitting claims. The work savings in the banking and postal areas alone would be worth billions every year."[1]


Paul Krugman, Robin Wells. "The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It". New York Times Review of Books. Volume 53, Number 5 ยท March 23, 2006 - "The cost advantage of public health insurance appears to arise from two main sources. The first is lower administrative costs. Private insurers spend large sums fighting adverse selection, trying to identify and screen out high-cost customers. Systems such as Medicare, which covers every American sixty-five or older, or the Canadian single-payer system, which covers everyone, avoid these costs. In 2003 Medicare spent less than 2 percent of its resources on administration, while private insurance companies spent more than 13 percent.

At the same time, the fragmentation of a system that relies largely on private insurance leads both to administrative complexity because of differences in coverage among individuals and to what is, in effect, a zero-sum struggle between different players in the system, each trying to stick others with the bill. Many estimates suggest that the paperwork imposed on health care providers by the fragmentation of the US system costs several times as much as the direct costs borne by the insurers."


Jonathan Cohn. "Creative Destruction. The best case against universal health care." The New Republic. November 12, 2007 - "Another virtue of more centralized health care is its ability to generate savings by reducing administrative waste. A universal coverage system that significantly streamlined billing (either by creating one common form or simply replacing basic insurance with one, Medicare-like program) and cut down on the need for so many insurance middle-men would leave more resources for actual medical care--and real medical innovation."

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