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single-payer system

What is a single-payer system?

Single-payer system is a health care system in which one entity – a single payer – collects all health care fees and pays for all health care costs. Proponents of a single-payer system argue that because there are fewer entities involved in the health care system, the system can avoid an enormous amount of administrative waste. 

Instead, all health care providers in a single-payer system would bill one entity for their services. Within a single-payer system, all citizens would receive high-quality, comprehensive medical care PLUS the freedom to choose providers to a greater extent than most network-based health plans allow. Paperwork would also be dramatically reduced.

A single-payer system – like the Canadian health system and the United States’ Medicare system – is NOT socialized medicine. Read more about the difference between a single-payer system and socialized medicine.