What’s next after 'reform'?

Queen City News
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, August 11, 2010

To the Editor:

The foreseeable outcome, four months after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), is greatly in question. Polls show three diverse opinions: the Democratic, the Republicans working to repeal it, and those feeling it makes no difference.

Dr. John Geyman, emeritus professor of medicine at the University of Washington, has written a comprehensive appraisal of PPACA in his book, “Hijacked: The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform,” September 2010, Common Courage Press (print and eBook format). It is an account to be read by virtually every person who values the future of health care in the U.S.

The four basic system problems that exist in current U.S. health care – costs, affordability, access and quality of care – are intricately related to the alliance of the five biggest players in our failed health care model, namely (a) the insurance industry, (b) the drug industry, (c) the hospital industry, (d) business (e) and organized medicine.

Geyman convincingly lays out the roles played by each and shows how our system, based upon “monopolistic capitalism,” is not the way to hold down costs. It is easy to understand his contention that political buy-out of health policy by the five free market entities at the Congressional level is the mechanism through which thousands of people suffer, and many die unnecessarily, as our health standing among the industrialized countries of the world declines and costs escalate at unsustainable levels.

Geyman warns against the destructive socioeconomic path we are on and the disregard for the health and well-being of the majority of people in this country by our policy makers.

If you are concerned as I am, go to and become an advocate for single payer.

Richard A. Damon, M.D.
Bozeman, MT