Friedman makes a case for universal health care in Dollars & Sense

Gerald Friedman

In an article for Dollars & Sense, Gerald Friedman, UMass Amherst economics professor, argues that universal health care is the only viable solution to soaring health care costs. According to Friedman, the cost of health insurance has been rising more than twice the general rate of inflation for decades and the share of household income spent on health care has more than doubled since 1970 from 7% to 17%. “If current trends continued,” Friedman warns, “the entire economy would be absorbed by health care by the 2050s.”

While many believe that universal coverage is is fiscally impossible, Friedman conservatively estimates that moving to a single-payer system in Massachusetts would actually save approximately 16%, even after providing coverage to everyone in the state who is currently without insurance. He believes that the percentage of savings would be higher nationally. “This could be done largely by reducing the cost of administering the private insurance system, with most of the savings coming within providers’ offices by reducing the costs of billing and processing insurance claims.” (Dollars & Sense, July 2011)

Additional coverage of this article:

Physicians For a National Health Program, 7/1/11
Truthout, 7/5/11
Zcommunications, 7/5/11, 7/7/11