Billionaire Mark Cuban has proposed scrapping insurance companies from the U.S. health-care system and instead using federal funds to boost medical staff numbers and make care more widely accessible.
In a series of tweets late Sunday, which appeared to advocate parts of the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS), the tech titan and philanthropist weighed in on President Donald Trump's beleaguered health-care reform agenda, saying that insurance companies were draining U.S. funds with "artificial" and inflated costs.
"Dear politicians. Let me ask a question. If every person in our country had health insurance, would we be any healthier?" Cuban posited in the first in a series of tweets.
He then went on to criticize the U.S. system, which relies on individual health insurance policies, and claimed that eradicating the role of private insurers could reduce costs by 50 percent or more. This would bring the U.S. system closer in line with the U.K.'s NHS or Australia's Medicare, which are largely state-funded.
"No chance a system where you give an ins (insurance) comp $, then beg them to spend it among limited options is the way to optimize our healthcare," Cuban insisted.
Cuban proposed that if he were in the president's shoes he would repeal Barack Obama-era insurance subsidies and instead use the funds to double medical school capacity and offer needs-based grants to increase staff numbers.
"Single Payer is not the solution," Cuban stated in his final tweet, saying that the current system feeds directly into the hands of inadequate insurance companies. Single-payer health insurance refers to a system in which a single public body organizes health-care financing, but the delivery of care remains mostly in private hands.
The U.K.'s NHS system, though widely commended, is not without its troubles, however, as it struggles to manage growing patient numbers with increasingly tight funding and falling staff numbers.