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Doctor's In

Doctor's In question for the day. Is a national health or one-payer system socialized medicine? Send you questions to mjyacht@gmail.com.

Q: Is a national health plan or one-payer system socialized medicine?

A:This question comes up frequently and deserves clarification.  

Socialized medicine is a system of health care in which all health personnel and health facilities, including doctors and hospitals, work for the government and draw salaries from the government. Doctors in the US Veterans Administration and the Armed Services are paid this way. And the Veterans and US military hospitals are also supported this way.

National health—for example, Medicare—is not socialized medicine. People with Medicare cards can pretty much choose their doctors and their hospitals. Those seniors belonging to HMOs have more restrictions. Their physicians accept Medicare rates but are independent practitioners and are not employed by the Government.  There is much misinformation relating to single payer or national health being socialized medicine.  This would not the case in the U.S. if a national health plan for all were enacted. Medicare is a prime example of National Health insurance.

It is important to note that administrative costs are drastically reduced in Medicare as well as fragmentation and inconsistencies in coverage. Medicare is a very efficient system providing health care services and is not socialized medicine.    

Dr. Yacht encourages health-related questions.  Appropriate questions and his response will be presented on the blog. He will only accept questions that can be viewed on the blog.  Due to the volume of questions, he cannot personally respond to readers. The opinions provided are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Questions can be emailed to mjyacht58@gmail.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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