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Dissecting Aetna’s surprising single-payer health care stance

May 16, 2017

By Sarah Kliff : cnbc – excerpt

Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini told employees in a private meeting Thursday that he thinks the United States “should have” a debate about single-payer. “Single-payer, I think we should have that debate as a nation,” Bertolini said in a video tape of his remarks provided to Vox by an attendee at the meeting. You can read his whole answer in my story — but here in VoxCare, I want to catch you up on what has happened since the video leaked this morning…

I think instead of shouting back and forth across the stage, let’s discuss what single-payer means. Is it a single source of financing, which does not yet get at the cost structure? Is it a health care system where the government owns the doctors and hospitals and operates them as well, like the NHS in the UK? What is that? So that when we start yelling single-payer back and forth, let’s discuss that…

Right now, in this country, the government doesn’t run anything in health care other than the ACA, and they’re doing a poor job of that. Aetna was the first financial intermediary for Medicare. We have the first check somewhere in my office to Hartford Hospital. We ran Medicare. The government didn’t. So what is single-payer, what does that mean? Let’s be clear when we say that, so that as the American public hears this comment about single-payer, they know what we’re talking about…. (more)

Some surprises in this article. Read it and see what you think.

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