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PNHP RESOURCES

Articles of Interest Archives

These articles highlight many of the health care related stories in the news–ranging from single-payer op-eds by PNHP members to reports by newspapers on corporate health care.

  • Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015
    Single Payer News, April 29, 2015
    At its regular meeting on April 15, 2015, the Champaign County AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed H.R. 676, national single-payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.).

  • Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015
    By Wendell Potter | The Center for Public Integrity
    The health insurance industry took advantage of Washington’s infamous revolving door last week when it named former Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, perceived by many to be a liberal Democrat, as the face of its latest K Street-operated front group.

  • Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015
    By Allyson Pollock | Our NHS, Open Democracy (U.K.)
    The stated policies of the British Medical Association are to end the market in health care, oppose the purchaser provider split, and to reinstate the Secretary of State’s duty to provide universal health care throughout England.

  • Posted on Monday, May 4, 2015
    By Steve Early | In These Times
    Liz Nikazmerad is a rarity in American labor: a local union president under the age of 30, displaying both youth and militancy. For the last two year years, she has led the 180-member Local 203 of the United Electrical Workers (UE), while working in the produce department of City Market in Burlington, Vermont. Thanks to their contract bargaining, full-time and part-time employees of this bustling community-owned food cooperative currently enjoy good medical benefits.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    By Jenny Deam | The Houston Chronicle
    Not only do the vast majority of Texans think having insurance is important for them and their families, seven in 10 also want health coverage for everyone else. And they are willing to dig into their pockets to pay for it.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015
    By Emily S. Queenan, M.D. | The Toronto Star
    I’m a U.S. family physician who has decided to relocate to Canada. The hassles of working in the dysfunctional health care “system” in the U.S. have simply become too intense.

  • Posted on Monday, April 27, 2015
    By John Tozzi | Bloomberg Business
    Imagine Apple's first iPhone is still on sale today. Now imagine it costs many times its original price of $599, and that the price goes up every time a new, competing phone is released.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015
    By Johnathon Ross, M.D. | The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)
    Your series on preposterously variable health-care prices usefully pointed out one of the key symptoms of our sick health-care system (“The cost of care,” April 5, April 12). Sadly, making prices transparent will not help to control costs, because there never will be a normal market for most health-care services.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2015
    By Dr. Philip Caper | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    Getting health care in the U.S. often seems first and foremost to be about money. Our first encounter when seeking health care always seems to be with the billing department, not a caregiver. The problem often is about too little money.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 16, 2015
    By Stephen B. Kemble, M.D. | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
    Medicare’s “Sustainable Growth Rate” (SGR) formula, passed in 1997, required drastic cuts to physician fees annually. Each year Congress postponed the cuts in response to warnings that implementation would lead to severe problems with access to care for Medicare beneficiaries, but without changing the formula, effectively “kicking the can down the road.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
    By Laurence S. Jacobs, M.D. | Santa Fe New Mexican
    Bipartisanship can work. The old flawed formula for physician reimbursement in Medicare (SGR) will finally be permanently canceled and replaced, so that physicians will no longer be looking at roughly 20 percent cuts in reimbursement every year, absent one-year congressional fixes.

  • Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015
    By Joseph Eichenseher, M.D. | Sonoma County (Calif.) Gazette
    In previous columns in this newspaper you’ve heard a myriad of reasons why single payer, or Improved Medicare for All, benefits Americans and provides for a better and less expensive solution to the debacle of our current healthcare situation.

  • Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015
    By Dwight Michael, M.D. | Gettysburg Times
    We are five years into the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and yet we truly do not know how this very complicated bill will ultimately affect the affordability of healthcare in our country.

  • Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015
    By Theodore R. Marmor | Philadelphia Inquirer (Philly.com)
    In recent weeks, reform legislation that proposes to change how Medicare pays physicians drew much attention. The prod to action was the imminent expiring of the present fee schedule.

  • Posted on Monday, April 13, 2015
    By Samuel Metz | Truthout
    The Affordable Care Act is a sitting duck. Working with private insurance companies, hospital chains and Big Pharma, Congress superimposed arcane regulations on an already Byzantine system of financing health care.

  • Posted on Friday, April 10, 2015
    By John Geyman, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    The private health insurance industry in the U.S. has had a long run since shifting to medical underwriting and a for-profit status in the early 1960s. It finds itself increasingly dependent on the government as the costs and prices of health care have continued upward since the 1980s.

  • Posted on Friday, April 10, 2015
    By Jessica Schorr Saxe, M.D. | The Charlotte Observer
    “Skin in the game.” The phrase pops up frequently in health insurance discussions, as it did twice in the recent Charlotte Observer article about high deductible policies (“A Growing Risk: High Deductible Health Plans Can Ruin Finances,” April 9).

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 8, 2015
    By David Ray, M.D. | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
    As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Medicare program, and the third year of the Affordable Care Act, what can we say about the state of America's health care? For one thing, this: While the United States has centers which offer some of the most sophisticated medical treatments in the world, there is unequal access both geographically and economically to that care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
    By Marcia Angell, M.D. | The New York Review of Books
    Steven Brill has achieved the seemingly impossible—written an exciting book about the American health system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
    Single Payer News, April 7, 2015
    The Chattanooga Area Labor Council endorsed H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, at its regular monthly meeting March 23, 2015, reports Gary Watkins, Council president. H.R. 676 is the national single-payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich. The bill currently has 48 co-sponsors including Rep. Steve Cohen of Memphis, Tenn.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2015
    By Russ Britt | Marketwatch
    In a finding that could strike at the heart of Obamacare, researchers at Harvard University have determined the Massachusetts health-reform effort did little to bring down the rate of preventable hospitalizations and couldn’t make much progress toward reducing racial disparities in the rate of those instances.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 31, 2015
    By Alan Bavley | The Kansas City Star
    Dr. Joshua Freeman isn’t shy about what he thinks we need: A single-payer, Canadian-style system covering everyone. Freeman recently gave me an advance copy of his new book, “Health, Medicine and Justice: Designing a Fair and Equitable Healthcare System,” laying out his arguments.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | In These Times
    These two very much intertwined problems — high healthcare costs and medical profiteering — have only become more pronounced. They are also the concerns of Steven Brill’s bestselling new book, "America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System."

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2015
    By Ida Hellander, M.D.
    The bipartisan "Doc Fix" legislation (H.R. 1470) and proposed amendments will undermine traditional Medicare and advance the goal of its privatization.

  • Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015
    By Kay Tillow | Daily Kos
    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have worked out a deal, a permanent “doc fix” that would repeal automatic cuts in Medicare payments to physicians. Their bipartisan solution, if enacted, will plunge a stake into the heart of traditional Medicare, according to health policy expert Don McCanne, M.D., of Physicians for a National Health Program.

  • Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015
    By Harris Meyer | Modern Healthcare
    The proposed bipartisan House deal to repeal and replace Medicare's hated sustainable growth-rate physician-payment system offers Republicans a chance to make two significant benefit changes they've long sought. Now it remains to be seen if they can accept and lock in that victory.

  • Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015
    By Wendell Potter | Center for Public Integrity
    The Obama administration went to great lengths last week to inform us that it recovered $3.3 billion in fraudulent payments to Medicare health care providers in fiscal year 2014. Officials even went so far as to give an advance copy of their report to The Wall Street Journal, which, like the Center for Public Integrity, has been investigating Medicare fraud and abuse.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 19, 2015
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    A clash of cultures is rapidly developing among those of us who see the mission of the health care system to be primarily the diagnosis and healing of illness and those who see it primarily as an opportunity to create personal wealth.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    By Fred Schulte | NPR
    Federal health officials were advised in 2009 that a formula used to pay private Medicare plans triggered widespread billing errors and overcharges that have since wasted billions of tax dollars, newly released government records show.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    By Dori Zweig | Fierce Health Payer
    The Affordable Care Act seemingly has had little or no impact on health insurers' overhead, according to a new report from the International Journal of Health Services.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 17, 2015
    By Larry Donohue, M.D. | The Daily Herald (Everett, Wash.)
    Is our social contract obsolete, only a fond memory of a simpler time? Some, perhaps many, on the political right who embrace a libertarian view hold that their successes are self-made and so should be yours.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2015
    By David E. Drake, D.O. | The Des Moines Register
    Potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has stated: "There is one major country on Earth that does not guarantee health care as a right for all. There is one major country on Earth that spends twice as much per capita on health care as almost any other. There is one major country on Earth where private insurance companies and drug companies earn huge profits. Guess which country."

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015
    By Richard Dillihunt, M.D. | Maine Medicine
    For decades, I have admired the Canadian health care system, first while at a remote Northern Quebec fishing camp. There, impromptu sick call was held for the Cree, local aboriginal people with rights to this remote land. Members of this tribe had various complaints that we treated with our medical chest. Despite the difference in language in the elderly, the shyness barriers were easily overcome. They seemed completely confident in our medical abilities.

  • Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015
    By Johnathon Ross, M.D. | The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)
    The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing another case attacking Obamacare. This will not be the last.

  • Posted on Monday, March 9, 2015
    By Stephen B. Kemble, M.D. | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
    In 2009, the Hawaii Legislature passed a bill to create the Hawaii Health Authority, charged with designing a universal health care system covering all residents of Hawaii.

  • Posted on Friday, March 6, 2015
    By Kay Tillow | Firedoglake
    In 2010 the giant health insurance company WellPoint created an algorithm that searched its database, located breast cancer patients, and targeted them for cancellation of their policies.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015
    By Kim Krisberg | AAMC Reporter
    In early December, hundreds of medical students at schools nationwide donned their white coats and came together in protest after grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and New York decided not to indict police officers in the deaths of unarmed black men. From Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., to the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, medical students organized white coat “die-ins,” lying on the sidewalks and floors of their campuses en masse with signs that read “White Coats for Black Lives.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015
    By Robert Zarr, M.D. | Common Dreams
    As a primary care pediatrician who sees children of low-income families in Washington, D.C., I am reminded every day of the vulnerability of our children’s health to the ill-informed whims of our lawmakers and courts.

  • Posted on Friday, February 27, 2015
    By Chris Kardish | Governing (Washington, D.C.)
    There is perhaps no state lawmaker in the country who has pushed for single-payer health care with as much fidelity as New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried. Since 1992, he has introduced single-payer legislation every year, only to see his efforts fail to gain much traction. This year, Gottfried, a Manhattan Democrat and head of the Assembly’s health committee, is hopeful, though he may be the only legislator in the country making a full push.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2015
    By Marcia Angell, M.D.
    PNHP note: The following text contains the prepared remarks of Dr. Angell at a panel titled “Persistent Barriers to Reform of the American Health Care System” at the 27th Annual Policy Research Conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 28, 2015.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2015
    By Deborah Schumann, M.D. | The Washington Post
    The Feb. 17 front-page article “Faces of the subsidies case” was right when it said that health insurance “payments, which are referred to as tax credits, go directly from the federal government to the insurance companies.” That is how the Affordable Care Act was designed, by the insurance industry.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2015
    By Josh Freeman, M.D.
    I just returned from a week’s visit to Cuba with a group of journal medical editors and public health people. We met with many people in the medical professions including family doctors and nurses and people from highly specialized referral centers in pediatric cardiac and hepatobiliary surgery, nutrition, and diabetes, and with faculty and leaders from the school of public health and some of Cuba’s medical journals, including the Cuban Journal of Public Health.

  • Posted on Friday, February 20, 2015
    By Julie Pease, M.D. | Maine Medicine
    MMA’s Public Health Committee has designated access to healthcare as one of its priorities for 2015. During 2014, access to care changed for many Mainers. On the bright side, thousands who had previously been left out of our system are now newly insured and able to access healthcare.

  • Posted on Friday, February 20, 2015
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    We often hear boasts about American exceptionalism. But there is at least one area where being exceptional is a negative.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2015
    By Rod Watson | The Buffalo News
    The spat between doctors and a health insurer over which anti-addiction drug patients can get raises again the fundamental health care question Americans answer one way, and the rest of the world answers another: Whom do you trust?

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
    By John Geyman, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    Steven Brill, author of the well-known 2013 "Special Report, Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us," in Time magazine has just released his new book, "America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System."[1] Based upon in-depth reporting of interviews with more than 240 people involved in various ways across our health care industry, he gives us an inside look at how the Affordable Care Act was written, passed, implemented and changed over the last five years.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
    Single Payer News
    On January 5, 2015, the Jackson Central Labor Council meeting in regular session "voted unanimously to endorse and support H.R. 676, the National Single Payer Legislation," reports Joe Coleman, president of the CLC.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2015
    By Nancy T. Block, M.D. | The New York Times
    As Elisabeth Rosenthal eloquently documents in “Insured, but Not Covered” (news analysis, Sunday Review, Feb. 8), our health insurance system is little better than the nonsystem we had before the Affordable Care Act.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2015
    By Stephen Kemble, M.D. | Modern Healthcare
    Moving the ACO model to the privately insured means holding doctors and hospitals accountable for outcomes they cannot control—a bad deal for all.

  • Posted on Friday, February 13, 2015
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | The Huffington Post Canada
    In many countries, bereaved families get condolence cards and flowers. In the U.S., they are also deluged with hospital bills and insurance paperwork.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2015
    By Peter Wong | Portland (Ore.) Tribune
    State Sen. Michael Dembrow and a few hundred people have not given up on a single-payer system under which the government pays for all health care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2015
    By Andrea Germanos | Common Dreams
    Providing universal health coverage is a key way to address increasing global inequality, the head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2015
    By Aatif Mansoor, Channing James and Jenny Zhang | Minnesota Daily
    We are medical students who have devoted eight years of our lives to educating and training ourselves, along with three to seven more years of training left for our chosen specialty.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
    America’s Work Force Radio
    The following is an unofficial transcript of an interview that Vanessa Van Doren, a first-year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, gave to Ed “Flash” Ferenc, host of the labor-oriented, Cleveland-based “America’s Work Force Radio” on WERE-AM 1490, on Feb. 9, 2015.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
    The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann
    PNHP President Dr. Robert Zarr appeared on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" on RT America on Feb. 9, 2015, to discuss the limitations of the Affordable Care Act and the continuing need for single-payer reform -- an improved Medicare for all.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
    By James Fieseher, M.D. | Concord (N.H.) Monitor
    As much as we’ve prospered as a nation under the “free market” system, one size doesn’t fit all. There are just some things that don’t belong in a free-market system, particularly when it comes to an integration of services.

  • Posted on Monday, February 9, 2015
    By Elisabeth Rosenthal | The New York Times
    When Karen Pineman of Manhattan received notice that her longtime health insurance policy didn’t comply with the Affordable Care Act’s requirements, she gamely set about shopping for a new policy through the public marketplace. After all, she’d supported President Obama and the act as a matter of principle.

  • Posted on Monday, February 9, 2015
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Children should get vaccinated. The evidence is overwhelming that this is a safe and effective vital strategy for our nation’s health.

  • Posted on Friday, February 6, 2015
    By Rep. John Conyers | The Huffington Post
    The Republican-led House of Representatives just unsuccessfully attempted to undo the Affordable Care Act for the 56th time.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2015
    By Deirdre Fulton | Common Dreams
    Single-payer advocates are celebrating the reintroduction of the so-called 'Medicare-for-All' bill that would replace the nation's byzantine healthcare system, dominated by private health insurance companies, with a single, streamlined public agency that would pay all medical claims for the entire population, much like Medicare does for seniors today.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2015
    By Garry Rayno | The Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.)
    CONCORD, N.H. — “Who do you want to pay?” was the question a Dover physician asked in supporting a bill for a single-payer health care system in the state.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
    By Jim Kahn, M.D., M.P.H. | KevinMD blog
    We all know that the U.S. system of paying for health care is tremendously complex and inefficient: a multitude of insurers, thousands of insurance plans, innumerable medical bills, countless incorrect and denied claims.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
    By Jim Edwards | Business Insider
    I've spent half my life in the US and half of it in the UK, so I'm used to both countries' healthcare systems. I recently returned to London after 20 years in America, and after a few doctors' appointments I've come to see the NHS through American eyes.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
    By Alycin Bektesh | WFHB 91.3 Radio (Bloomington, Ind.)
    The following text is an unofficial transcript of excerpts from a radio interview given by Dr. Rob Stone, director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, on Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's recently announced Medicaid expansion alternative.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
    By Joseph E. Stiglitz | The New York Times
    A secretive group met behind closed doors in New York this week. What they decided may lead to higher drug prices for you and hundreds of millions around the world.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
    By Marina Bolotnikova | The Toledo Blade
    TOLEDO, Ohio -- Every Thursday night, CedarCreek Church in South Toledo becomes a bustling health clinic that serves the region’s uninsured population. Medical students in white coats take each patient’s vital signs, hear their complaints, and refer them to one of the clinic’s doctors.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
    By John Geyman, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    On this occasion honoring the anniversary of the birthday of Martin Luther King 86-years-ago, coinciding with the release of the movie Selma, it is fitting to recall his leadership on moral principles toward equity of health care in this country.

  • Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015
    By James Besante, MS4 | Common Dreams
    The King holiday was a sobering day of reflection, but it was also the crescendo to the very audible justice movement loosely organized under the banner Black Lives Matter.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015
    By W.T. Whitney Jr., M.D. | CounterPunch
    The U.S. split between a wealthy elite and the majority poor is old news. Yet as revelations surface as to who siphons off money for themselves and what happens to the impoverished many, the story continues. It gets into how governments deal with health care. In that regard, health care for children may serve as a marker for when government programs leave off serving the common good. The state of children’s health is like the proverbial “yellow canary” in a mine shaft whose death warned of toxic gas accumulation.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015
    By James Fieseher, M.D. | Concord (N.H.) Monitor
    In American politics, ideology often supersedes reason. We don’t have to look any further than in the New Hampshire state Legislature.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015
    By Joyce Frieden | MedPage Today
    WASHINGTON -- The lack of greater movement toward universal healthcare coverage -- especially a single-payer system -- in the U.S. can be boiled down to four letters: AFIG, according to Philip Caper, MD.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
    By Sarah Ferris | The Hill
    More than five years after the single-payer system was scrapped from ObamaCare policy debates, just over 50 percent of people say they still support the idea, including one-quarter of Republicans, according to a new poll.

  • Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015
    By Isaiah J. Poole | Campaign for America's Future
    A new study has put a price tag on how much more the United States pays in health care costs because it has chosen not to adopt a single-payer system: $375 billion.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
    By Louis Balizet, M.D. | Health News Colorado
    The beginning of the new year seems a logical time to review the Affordable Care Act and to speculate on its future. In 2014, we saw the start of the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, the end of Vermont’s attempt to expand coverage beyond the ACA, and continued legal challenges aimed at killing the ACA piecemeal. What do all these portend for 2015?

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
    By Dan Mangan | CNBC
    And you thought your bills were out of control.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
    By Sarah Kollmorgen | The New Republic
    Last summer, with Obamacare's initial troubles fading from view, The New Republic's Brian Beutler noted that certain problems with the healthcare overhaul won't ever go away because they're inherent to its architecture.

  • Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2015
    By Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., and David U. Himmelstein, M.D.
    Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Dec. 17, 2014, announcement that he would not press forward with Vermont’s Green Mountain Care (GMC) reform arose from political calculus rather than fiscal necessity. GMC had veered away from a true single payer design over the past three years, forfeiting some potential cost savings. Yet even the diluted plan on the table before Shumlin’s announcement would probably have lowered total health spending in Vermont, while covering all of the state’s uninsured.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | Jacobin
    Has the tide of health care justice turned — in the wrong direction? Last month, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced that he could no longer “responsibly support” a funding plan for his long-awaited “single-payer” plan for the state. It wasn’t long before some on the Right claimed a historic victory.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D.
    After years of work to elect a favorable governor, pass legislation and implement it, the people of Vermont were recently spurned by Governor Peter Shumlin when he announced that the state would not go ahead with the health law as planned. This turn of events provides an important lens for examining what happened in the advocacy for health reform and what must be done now. The fight for universal healthcare has been going on for a century in the US and it is certainly not over because of Shumlin’s failure.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2015
    By Laura Ungar and Jayne O'Donnell | USA Today
    Physician Praveen Arla is witnessing a reversal of health care fortunes: Poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through Obamacare and finally coming to his office for care. But middle-class workers are increasingly staying away.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2015
    PNHP note: The following opinion pieces are from three prominent figures in the health reform movement in Vermont.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    By Stan Gold | Sonoma County (Calif.) Gazette
    In the December issue of the Gazette, we pointed out that the U.S. is No. 1 in the world in health care costs (17.3 percent of our GDP), and that the U.S. health insurance industry is a barrier to the delivery of affordable, comprehensive, health care to the American people. We also noted that “Single Payer Health Care,” aka “Expanded, Improved, Medicare for All,” is a tried and tested solution to our health care problems. It has had many decades of successful performance in a large number of the world’s industrialized democracies.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    By Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D. | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
    Gov. Peter Shumlin wanted to enact a single-payer system in Vermont, but it soon became clear to him that he could not do it without federal support. The comprehensive federal waivers that would be required, as well as lifting Employee Retirement Income Security Act restrictions, would not be forthcoming from Congress. Therefore the label “single payer” was removed from the legislation and the bill was completely rewritten.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    By Claudia Chaufan, M.D. | Labor Notes
    Supporters of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system in the U.S. were puzzled September 27 when Swiss voters rejected a reform proposal by 62 percent.

  • Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014
    By Kay Tillow | Firedoglake
    It’s just a matter of time until Humana, Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare—all the private health insurers—will no longer exist as health insurance companies.

  • Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014
    By Scott Goldberg | Chicago Sun-Times
    On December 10, medical students at more than 70 schools across the country held “white coat die-ins” in response to the lack of indictments in the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2014
    By Pat Bradley | WAMC Northeast Public Radio
    Last week Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin told Vermonters he would stop his efforts to implement single-payer health care in the state. The decision has upset supporters, but they say it won’t stop efforts at the state or national level to implement single-payer.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014
    By Dave Dvorak, M.D., M.P.H. | Minnesota / ACEP Newsletter
    As emergency physicians, we have chosen to work in a setting that treats all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. We deliver more uncompensated care than any other specialty. Whether you see this as honorable or unfair, it is emblematic of a long broken system.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014
    By James Binder, M.D. | The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette
    Private insurance companies have conned us once again. It wasn’t long ago that many folks were pleased with a new insurance regulation that required private insurers to cover pre-existing medical conditions. People said it was the moral thing to do. It was also self-protective, since almost all of us will develop a chronic medical condition at some point in our lives.

  • Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    When I was a kid, I liked to play a game called “connect the dots” where I connected a series of numbered and apparently unrelated dots to reveal a picture of a person, animal or object. I still enjoy connecting dots, but now I do it with apparently unrelated observations and try and understand the picture they reveal. Here are several dots I have observed lately.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014
    By Sarah Wheaton | Politico
    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday dropped his plan to enact a single-payer health care system in his state — a plan that had won praise from liberals but never really got much past the framework stage.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    By Irina Ivanova | Crain's New York Business
    The Affordable Care Act has made an unwieldy system of health insurance even more complicated, and should be replaced with a centralized, tax-funded health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    By Hannah Keppler | AMSA On Call blog
    Last Wednesday, thousands of students at more than 70 medical schools across the country staged “white-coat die-ins” to make a statement about racial injustice, including as it manifests itself in our health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, December 15, 2014
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | Troy Media (Calgary, AB, Canada)
    In many countries, bereaved families get condolence cards and flowers. In the U.S., the survivors are also deluged with hospital bills and insurance paperwork.

  • Posted on Friday, December 12, 2014
    By Henry Davis | Buffalo News
    One patient went overseas for an operation to avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs here.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014
    By Lilly Workneh | The Huffington Post
    Medical students from more than 70 schools on Wednesday protested racial profiling and police brutality through the social media initiative #WhiteCoats4BlackLives.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    By Christy Duan | KevinMD.com
    In the pediatrics playroom, the medical team and I, a medical student, hunkered down in child-sized chairs to review patient progress notes. A television screen nearby diverted my attention. On CNN, video of protesters alternated with Eric Garner’s final moments. The television was mute, but I could hear Garner say, “I can’t breathe …I can’t breathe …” One moment, he is alive. The next, he is dead. The video loops again. One moment, he is alive. The next, he is dead.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Chicago Tribune
    Some of the newly insured have joined the ranks of those who can't afford to use their health coverage because their out-of-pocket costs are so high. This is an inevitable problem in a system in which people's total costs -- premiums plus deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and non-covered expenses -- are related poorly if at all to what they have left after paying for food, housing, utilities, transportation and other necessities.

  • Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014
    By Jeanne Lenzer | BMJ
    About one year since the launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchange program, the overwhelming majority of the 48 million people who were uninsured in 2012, remain uninsured — a problem that will persist for the next 10 years, according to government projections. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 37 million people will not have health insurance in 2015 and 31 million will be uninsured in 2024.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2014
    By Jeoffry B. Gordon, M.D., M.P.H.
    It is now five years since the ACA came into being and one year since it started financing patient care. Thus it is an excellent time to review its inadequacies from a health policy point of view.