restricted access Why the United States Should Adopt a Single-Payer System of Health Care Finance

Although nothing could be less fashionable today than talk of comprehensive health care reform, the major problems of American health care have not gone away. Only a radical change in the way the U.S. finances health care--specifically, a single-payer system--will permit the achievement of universal coverage while keeping costs reasonably under control. Evidence from other countries, especially Canada, suggests the promise of this approach. In defending the single-payer approach, the author identifies several political and cultural factors that make it difficult for Americans to obtain a clear view of this option. Finally, the author argues that much discussion of rationing is vitiated by bracketing more systemic questions to which the issue of rationing is inextricably linked.