Magazine article The American Enterprise

Mass Illness

Magazine article The American Enterprise

Mass Illness

Article excerpt

Remember Hillary-care? Well, Alan Sager, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, thinks he's pinpointed its problem: "Clinton's plan relied on price competition and a free market." With the chances for nationalized health care now having dimmed, Sager is leading a charge for government-run health care on a state-wide basis instead, in Massachusetts.

Sager's plan requires the government to allocate medical resources. "The key thing," he explains, "is to collect all streams of money in one reservoir and then make everyone eligible." Sager claims that he is not trying to rid the state of HMOs and private insurance, but just that the government will decide how much health care providers can charge for a particular service, and the money to pay for it will come from public funds rather than from individual pockets. He's not sure who will be in charge of the reservoir fund, but that hasn't stopped his plan from drawing the support of Massachusetts liberals.

The campaign for so-called "single-payer" health care statewide has been gaining steam for five years, aided by studies from Sager maintaining that the single-payer system will avoid the difficulties that have plagued other countries with nationalized health care. "People who tell you there will be rationing of health care are tricksters," he insists. …

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