Single Payer and Socialized Healthcare Systems

The debate discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the socialized healthcare system and single payer system has been in place for over a decade. The national health care system debate goes on to evaluate all the pros and cons of both types of funding and delivery and choose the most beneficial course for the upcoming changes in the healthcare of the United States. Single payer system carries a number of advantages for both the individual consumers and the country in general as it makes the healthcare services more accessible and affordable for the population, emphasizes disease prevention as a solution for cost-saving, and allows the government to create a unified database of medical records that would optimize the work of the system and make healthcare more efficient.

As defined by Saffier (2010), in single payer healthcare the services are delivered by privately owned organizations but are paid for publically by the government. Single payer social insurance is designed to cover the entire population of a country. In contrast, socialized medicine assumes that the government is the owner of the medical facilities and the employer of all the medical professionals, whereas the payments for the services are provided by the consumers individually.

Both systems have supporters and opponents. For instance, single payer healthcare is criticized for ethical issues occurring when health insurance is treated as an obligatory purchase (Lachman, 2012). Besides, Affordable Care Act empowers the federal government of the United States to lay fines on the citizens who do not purchase health insurance because legally it is treated as a mandatory tax that funds healthcare system (Lachman, 2012). The measures causing public dissatisfaction are in place to ensure that the population is provided with affordable care available to all individuals equally.

Among the main benefits of single payer and private market system employed in the United States is its affordability. Currently, the citizens of the United States are covered publically or privately through different insurance plans many of which are employment-based (Ridic, Gleason, & Ridic, 2012). The plans can be selected based on the types of services and support the cooperation of the employers and various medical organizations as to the provision of high-quality services to the population.

The adoption of EHRs and the future creation of the unified medical database for health records promoted by the current health care financing system in place in the USA are seen as a way to improve the current healthcare making it more cost-effective, responsive, and safe as many errors can be avoided when the doctors are able to access the previous cases of their patients (Menachemi & Collum, 2011). However, this change is opposed by many practitioners as it is associated with the loss of productivity at the initial stages due to the learning how to use the new system, and the costs for maintenance (Menachemi & Collum, 2011).

Finally, the single payer healthcare system is viewed as maximizing the quality of the services providing a particular amount of funds for each condition and taking into consideration the needs of all the patients. The system includes specific quality standards and norms of efficiency making sure that all the patients are treated safely and provided with the highest level of security (Sorrell, 2012).

Compared to socialized healthcare funding system, the one that is currently accepted in the USA provides the population with such benefits as affordable and accessible healthcare services, equal treatment, higher cost-effectiveness, and patient safety.


Lachman, V. D. (2012). Ethical Challenges in the Era Of Health Care Reform. Medsurg Nursing, 21(4), 248-251.

Menachemi, N., & Collum, T. H. (2011). Benefits and drawbacks of electronic health record systems. RMHP, 4, 47-55.

Ridic, G., Gleason, S., & Ridic, O. (2012). Comparisons of Health Care Systems in the United States, Germany and Canada. Materia Sociomedica, 24(2), 112.

Saffeir, K. (2010). Single Payer National Health Insurance. CSAM, 36(2), 2-3.

Sorrell, J., (2012). Ethics: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Ethical Perspectives in 21st Century Health Care. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 18(1).

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