Nearly $200 Billion in Savings if Minnesotans Demand Single-Payer Solution for Families, Businesses

Press Release | The Lewin Group | April 16, 2012

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), coauthor of H.R. 676, Medicare for All, today released the following statement highlighting a report by respected health care analytical group, The Lewin Group, showing the State of Minnesota would save $189.5 billion over ten years by providing universal, single-payer health care for all residents.

“Single-payer health care is inevitable in the U.S. and the states are the first to recognize it.  Single-payer would cover all residents, reduce costs, increase the quality of care, lower costs to businesses, lower costs to families, increase worker pay, and relieve the state governments of enormous financial burdens that come with our health care system,” said Kucinich.

“Regardless of the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, health care costs continue to rise, jeopardizing budgets and preventing people from getting the health care they need. Single-payer is the only solution that is obviously constitutional and can meet our nation’s needs.”

The report from The Lewin Group showed that enacting a single-payer system in Minnesota would reduce health spending for the State by $4.1 billion (8.8%) in 2014. State and local governments would save an addition $35.7 million. Employers would save $1,214 per worker (“for employers offering health insurance coverage prior to the ACA”). Families would save an average $1,362 and the statewide savings would be $189.5 billion between 2014 and 2023.

“Insurance companies make money by NOT providing health care,” said Kucinich. “Americans are now mandated to pay massive subsidies to bail out the for-profit health insurance industry.

“One out of every three of our health care dollars goes to activities OTHER than providing care, like a massive lobbying effort to protect their profits.  Your total comes to 900 billion dollars every year.

“We have been mandating that the American people pay this much more for health care because Congress and the President have refused for decades to take on health insurance companies. This report is a wake up call for states, businesses and families struggling to deal with the rising costs of health care.

Congressman Kucinich introduced an amendment to the Affordable Care Act in 2009 in the Education and Labor Committee. The amendment, passed on a bipartisan vote but stripped from the bill, would have helped states pursue single-payer if that is what their residents wanted.

Fourteen studies by expert health care consulting firms have modeled the expected financial results if a state enacted a single-payer health care system to cover its residents.

[To view chart, visit original press release.]     

Fourteen of the fifteen studies showed very significant savings in health care costs while at the same time insuring everyone. Maine was the exception, showing no increase/decrease in state health spending under single-payer but providing health care to an additional 150,000 residents.