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Letter from an Expat: The Unexpected Benefits of a Single-Payer System

Ok, we know, ideological juices are already flowing having seen the words “single-payer” in the title. As Americans, we have been trained, in an almost Pavlovian way, to equate single-payer with the much-maligned and much-feared social and economic system called socialism. In fact, many confuse the tenets of socialism with the even more dreaded communism. Americans believe that anything short of a free market will take away our liberties and bankrupt the country. But wait, before we sit back and smugly dismiss the whole idea as one of those liberal hare-brain ideas, let’s consider some inconvenient facts from the rest of the world:

Our experience

We have traveled widely for both through our work and the occasional medical incident abroad where we have had countless opportunities to interact with patients and doctors in many different countries. Despite their inevitable gripes about minor issues, the unanimous verdict is that they wouldn’t change the system — by and large, it is working for them. When they talk about healthcare in the U.S., the reaction ranges from disbelief to downright derision.

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Letter from an ex-pat

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Dr. Patricia Salber and friends weigh in on leading news in health and healthcare

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