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WSIPP Releases the "Single-Payer & Universal Health Systems" Final Report


The United States' higher health expenditures do not translate to better health outcomes and quality of care for the entire US population. These countries provide valuable lessons for health care reform in the US. -- Single-Payer and Universal Health Care Systems: Final Report

Our Work Bears Fruit. In 2018, HCFA-WA successfully lobbied for a line item in the budget to direct the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to conduct a study of single-payer and universal health coverage systems. 

The interim report, published in December 2018, "discussed policies to promote universal health care, outlined health care coverage and expenditures in Washington, examined potential effects of implementing single-payer health care, discussed challenges to implementing it, and summarized characteristics of national and state single-payer proposals."

This final report, released in May 2019, "...compares the US health care system to that in other high-income countries. These countries have achieved universal coverage and substantially lower health care spending than the US. Some have done so with single-payer systems; others with multi-payer, insurance-based systems." Additionally, the report found these countries:

  • Have lower administrative costs and in the case of single payer, lower provider administrative costs.
  • Are able to promote the wise use of procedures, medical technologies such as imaging, and drugs.
  • Are better at limiting financial barriers to care and promoting more equitable access across income groups.

These reports are significant because the title includes the word "Single-Payer," and the reports are produced by a Washington state agency and are now on the record.

We will dig into the final report and have more to say about it in July.

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