It depends on the outcome of a single-payer system. Ideally, the goal of a single payer system should be to increase bureaucratic efficiency and curb excess. In the North America, the world’s biggest health care spender, the emergency room is the largest cost center in terms of both financial costs and energy use. If a single-payer system is implemented that includes the uninsured portion of the population that makes up the bulk of emergency room patients then, ideally, it should be more efficient. This argument, of course, assumes that offering a single payer system is less costly than allowing the uninsured to flock to the emergency room for care. An environmental impact could come in the form of decreased energy consumption as hospitals become more efficient and more capable of forecasting the demand for health services over the long-run.
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