Blog Post: Comments to the Washington Examiner

The Washington Examiners‘ Robert King had an article today about the ongoing single payer battle, “Sanders reignites fight over single-payer healthcare“.

The article notes that though some would contend that the debate over incrementalism vs. more fundamental reform is already behind us, “…single-payer advocates beg to differ.” In this case, I was the single-payer advocate doing the begging:

“The Affordable Care Act didn’t address a lot of the problems in the [healthcare] system,” said Adam Gaffney, a physician, writer and single-payer advocate. Gaffney said his views don’t represent any groups he is affiliated with.

Cost-sharing requirements such as co-pays and deductibles have increased, and more than 30 million Americans are underinsured, Gaffney said.

“Regardless of what happens in the coming general election, the Affordable Care Act will not have killed single payer,” he said.

Gaffney said he was disappointed that Clinton seems to be “closing the door on a single-payer program given that so many people support it.”

Available at:


2 responses

  1. Adam, will this single payer plan cover medical transport for the management of serious medical crises?? The New York Times maybe (or another media outlet) just featured a situation in Butte Montana where the young child’s health insurance did not initially cover the $55,000 billed the parents for lifesaving med transport. Eventually the situation was resolved, but it turns out that coverage of these emergency transports, not a regulated service, is mostly either not covered or not addressed adequately in health insurance plans.
    Marianne peters

  2. Hi Marianne! So I’d say it certainly should. It would be hard to consider it comprehensive coverage if it excluded emergency medical transportation. Currently, Medicare does cover emergency transport, including air ambulance, when necessary.

    As per the Medicare webpage (
    “Medicare may pay for emergency ambulance
    transportation in an airplane or helicopter if your
    health condition requires immediate and rapid
    ambulance transportation that ground transportation
    can’t provide, and one of these applies:
    ■ Your pickup location can’t be easily reached by
    ground transportation.
    ■ Long distances or other obstacles, like heavy
    traffic, could stop you from getting care quickly
    if you traveled by ground ambulance.”