That’s why Republicans want a free market system, so insurers can make a profit off the sick. That's why they hate a single payer plan, there's no middle man.
But now Scott Walker is behind a public employee single payer system of self-insurance. Hey, that’s what it really is (except it's way too small to make a real difference):
WSJ: The Walker administration is considering switching 236,000 state employees and family members from a competitive HMO model, in place since 1984, to a self-insured program … Self-insuring, paying benefits directly and assuming the risk, instead of buying insurance, can save money while maintaining strong benefits, an organization of self-insured employers said. Walker tweeted: “Good meetings in the Capitol about how to provide quality and affordable health care to state employees.”
Walker is talking about what is essentially a single payer system for state employees. Hardly as cost effective as a national plan, but that’s the idea. This isn't an endorsement of Walker’s plan by any stretch, but I am seeing an incredible irony in everything Walker is saying:
Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, said self-insuring could eliminate the competitive pressure that keeps prices and premiums low in south central Wisconsin.
Sen. Miller must think the cost of a family plan at $21,600 is a “competitive/low” price. Not me. The current "competitive market" isn't that at all. A family plan in the competitive Affordable Care Act’s marketplace is around $10,000 (based on an income of $50,000, not including deductibles and co-pays). That's a big savings.
Even more ironic is how fast Walker turned his back on private insurers, the ones backing a Paul Ryan plan pushing free market solutions that would allow citizens to buy insurance across state lines.
Insures here are now singing the blues over Walker’s idea:
Linda Hoff, president and CEO of Physicians Plus — one of six insurers in the Madison area that cover many state employees, said the shift could threaten some of the companies’ viability. “It’s a big blow to all of us. I don’t know if there’s a way to go down that path and preserve the provider-owned HMOs.”
That's what a single payer system would do. There would still be a place for some insurers, but in a more specialized way.
Walker also deep sixes the Republican notion that any plan getting their stamp of approval must allow Americans to keep their current doctor.
Self-insurance could force some workers to find new doctors and pay a higher proportion of their medical bills … self-insurance would increase the state’s health costs by $200 million, disrupt patient-provider relationships, create instability in the Medicaid program, increase financial risk to the state and result in the loss of nearly 1,000 jobs.