posted by gut
I'll remind you of this when single-payer eventually comes to the US.
Single-payer is going to be like watching a trainwreck. It's going to completely bifurcate the healthcare industry in the US. People will say it already is, but that's not exactly true. Currently, if you have decent coverage you can generally get the best treatment available.
What will happen with single-payer is private supplementary coverage, in some form, will emerge. It won't be cheap, and very few employers [outside of lucrative professional service firms] will offer it. Which means you'll have to go deep into your pocket for the best doctors, and most people won't be able to afford that.
The way it works now, most doctors only take so many medicare/medicaid patients. Single-payer means more of that. So it will be a lottery for the best doctors, or even keeping your own doctor, unless you have the cash to get to the front of the line.
It's also true when you pay doctors less, they have to treat more patients to pay the bills. With a fixed number of hours in the day, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how that plays out.
There's this awful myth fueling demand for single-payer that drugs and insurance are what's driving healthcare cost. That's not even 20% of it. Most people don't understand single-payer means paying doctors and hospitals a lot less. A lot less for research. If this debate was honest, people would want a different solution.
I just threw that one out there as an example of why "If you don't like what's happening, you can just leave" isn't actually that helpful. I'm vehemently opposed to single-payer personally.