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If a single-payer healthcare system is adopted in the United States, will healthcare spending go down as a fraction of GDP?

Currently economists are divided on the question of whether single-payer saves money. Some argues that due to increased efficiency and scale, total healthcare spending would go down. Others argue that due to increased use of healthcare, total costs would go up.

Assume that before 2050, the United States adopts a single-payer healthcare system, defined as a healthcare service that provides coverage to all citizens in the United States. In the five years after the system is implemented, will healthcare costs go down as a fraction of GDP, compared to the previous five years?

The date of implementation is defined as the first day during which some citizens are provided care under a single-payer plan. Statistics will be obtained by averaging the percentage of GDP spent on healthcare, as reported by an official government organization of the United States, during the 5 years prior to implementation and the 5 years after implementation, excluding the year of implementation. For example, if single-player healthcare is implemented in June 2031, then the relevant time-periods for comparison are 2025 - 2030 and 2032 - 2037.

This question can close early if a single-payer healthcare system is implemented.

If costs go down, this question resolves positively. If costs go up, this question resolves negatively. If a single-payer healthcare system is not implemented in the United States before January 1st 2050, this question resolves ambiguously.


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