Couple of points. In a sense I agree with you on the single payer system. That is, if we've come to the point where it's accepted wisdom that everyone is entitled to medical care, might as well go all in. However, a true single payer system is still a price control system. In fact, it's even worse, as private transactions between doctor and patient are illegal. That's why a lot of wealthy Canadians will go to Buffalo or Michigan for medical care.
Also, while doctors do push patients towards expensive services or diagnostics to pad their own wallets, they also do it because of plaintiffs' attorneys. Whatever the reason though, you are crossing over into the territory of price controls when you say that some doctors are overpaid and some aren't. Sure you can make a value judgment in coming to that conclusion, but writing that judgment into the law comes with consequences. While I'm no fan of Sarah Palin, she is right that true government control over healthcare creates "death panels." (BTW, I'm fully in favor of death panels if I'm the one footing the bill).
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
While I certainly wouldn't call them "death panels", I agree that if you have a single payer system, you have to ration care to keep prices down. I'm all in favor of denying that an 70 year old person, who's got end stage liver disease or any terminal illness, get some radical $1M treatment. You have to draw a line somewhere. You have to say, hmmm, you might gain full mobility in your shoulder if I replace the joint, but if we go with a cheaper treatment, you will be able to live day to day with minimal pain, although your golf game may suffer. That's the trade off. If you want affordable, accessible care, you have to tell some people no.
Also, if gov't could provide better incentives for people to live healthier lives by focusing on preventative care, making PSAs about smoking, eating well, etc. that will help drive down costs by way of not needing them.
We could also aid that by trying to decrease obesity and diabetes by not subsidizing corn and as a side effect of that, subsidizing junk food/sodas, would be good, but that's a whole other discussion.
Edited by ATLL765, 28 June 2012 - 03:37 PM.