This analysis considers how the US healthcare system would change if we were to transition from the current multi-payer system to a single-payer system. The analysis first presents facts that will be important in considering what a single-payer system might look like. Then, given these facts, the analysis considers specific issues about the transition.
1. Four factors affect a person’s risk of premature death.
Behavior, genes, environment, and healthcare services are the four factors that Impact people’s risks of premature death (Kaiser Family Foundation) (see Figure 1).
(i) Behavior: 40%
From Kaiser Family Foundation: “Health behaviors, such as smoking and diet and exercise, are the most important determinants of premature death.”
According to OECD, “Health at a Glance 2015”
While genetics is a risk factor, only about 5% to 10% of all cancers are inherited. Modifiable risk factors such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and excess sun exposure, as well as environmental exposures, explain up to 90-95% of all cancer cases.
(ii) Genes: 30%
(iii) Social and Environment: 20%
Figure 2 (from Kaiser Family Foundation) displays specific social and environment factors contributing to health.
More from the OECD report:
Recent analysis shows that, although overall spending on social services and health care in the United States is comparable to other Western countries, the United States disproportionately spends less on social services and more on health care.
(iv) Health Care: 10%