Letters to the Editor


From: Sarah Kemble
Sent: Thursday, September 30, 2004 8:19 PM
Subject: PNHP chapter formation

September 30, 2004

To the editor:

We could not agree more with your editorial reacting to the breakdown of our health care system (“A sick system,” Tuesday, September 14). Another recent op-ed piece by Ronald Brownstein (“A picture of stark contrasts,” Tuesday, September 21) elaborates in a helpful way on the problems. In the United States, we are spending far more for less care than any other society in history, with no end in sight as the trend accelerates. We therefore hope you will take the next logical step, and look forward to a Recorder endorsement of single payer health care financing in the near future.

Allowing the profit motive to control our health care system is a unique experiment here in the United States, and it has failed! Only by consolidating this important system (well over one-tenth of our national economy) under a single, publicly-responsive payer can we rescue Medicare and stop the hemorrhage of obscene profits, administrative waste and outright fraud by the largely-unregulated insurance and pharmaceutical corporations.

As doctors, we feel heartbroken to experience the destruction of our once great and generous health care system. Delivering expensive care to the uninsured population was always difficult, but used to be manageable as the problem involved small numbers of people, and charity care was an integral part of our culture. Now millions of working and retired middle class people join the ranks of the uninsured, as a once-affordable benefit of employment gets dropped from the cost of doing business. Even more disturbing, it is increasingly difficult to deliver needed care to our insured patients, as private insurance and Medicare premiums skyrocket, while coverage becomes stingier each year.

We now believe it’s part of our job as healers to come out publicly in the interests of our community’s health. This health care crisis can and must be addressed. We are pleased to announce that we are founding Franklin County Physicians for a National Health Program, a new local chapter of this respected national organization advocating for social justice and a single payer health care system. Your readers and our patients will be hearing more from us in the weeks and months to come! In the meantime, we hope that everyone seeking more information on this vital topic will visit the PNHP website at


Nancee Bershof, MD
Kathleen Kerr, MD
Jeff Dickey, MD
Dick McGinn, MD
Bert Fernandez, MD
Kat McGraw, MD
Merritt Garland, MD
Sandy Perkins, MD
Kathy Grandison, MD
Barry Poret, MD
Sarah Kemble, MD, MPH
Al Ross, MD
Flora Sadri, DO, MPH