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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 Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By Walter Tsou, M.D. | Philadelphia Inquirer
    By the early '60s, America was in the throes of the civil rights movement led by its charismatic leader, Rev. Martin Luther King. Discrimination and Jim Crow laws applied not only to bus rides and dining rooms but also to hospital wings and doctors’ waiting rooms, which often had separate curtains for blacks and whites. As it turned out, separate but equal was a failure not only in education, but in health care, too. Well before we started to measure health disparities, it was well known that minorities suffered far worse health outcomes.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By Robert Weissman | The Huffington Post
    During the debate leading up to passage of the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress thundered against the prospect of health care rationing.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By Nancy Altman | Huffington Post
    Medicare -- signed into law fifty years ago, on July 30, 1965 -- was supposed to be just the first step.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By David Potter, M.D. | Chico (Calif.) News & Review
    What computer were you using in 1966? Trick question. We didn’t have personal computers back then. Remarkably, during that year, without computers and 11 months after the Medicare bill became law, the government began paying medical bills for 18.9 million seniors.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams
    From Hawaii to Florida to Maine, communities in 25 cities across the United States are staging rallies, picnics, and flash mobs this week to celebrate Thursday's 50th anniversary of Medicare—and call for its expansion into a system that provides publicly-funded healthcare for all.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By Augie Lindmark | MinnPost (Minneapolis)
    On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson carried a considerable number of pens with him when he visited the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri. The occasion for his visit was monumental: He was about to sign into law H.R. 6675 — known to many as the Medicare bill.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 30, 2015
    By Johnathon Ross, M.D. | The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)
    At a local Senior Olympics event a few weeks ago, I talked with other participants about our nation’s continuing health-care problems in the age of Obamacare.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    By Garrett Adams, M.D. | Common Dreams
    The nation has a lot to celebrate when Medicare turns 50 on July 30.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    By Susanne L. King, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.)
    LENOX, Mass. — Medicare, a federal government program for seniors and the disabled, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Thursday, July 30. As one of our nation's most popular and valuable programs, covering 17 percent of the U.S. population, it has reduced poverty among seniors and improved the financial security of their families.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    By Vijay Das and Adam Gaffney | CNN
    Racism mars the history of health care in America. For years, black patients were relegated to separate -- and appallingly unequal -- hospitals and wards. Many were simply denied medical attention, either "dumped" into the care of other facilities or turned away at the hospital door.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    By Nick Anton, M.D. | The Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.)
    Only 50 percent of individuals over 65 years old had health insurance in 1965. Now 98 percent do.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    By Jessica Schorr Saxe, M.D. | The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer
    July 30, 2015, is the 50th anniversary of the day President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare bill and handed former President Harry Truman, a longtime advocate of a national health care program, the first Medicare card. It marks a good time to reflect on the progress made and possibilities remaining, as the original Medicare proponents envisioned that the program would, in time, expand to cover everyone.

  • Posted on Monday, July 27, 2015
    By Mary L. Ford | Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.)
    I’m fed up with citizens complaining that government is a problem, not a solution. I want my children and nieces and nephews to know that because of Medicare, my generation as we grow old does not have to turn to them to cover hospital bills and doctors’ costs.

  • Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015
    By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams
    The health insurance giant Anthem announced Friday that it is buying its behemoth rival Cigna for $54.2 billion, launching the largest such merger the country has ever seen and reducing the number of major U.S. insurers to a paltry three.

  • Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015
    By Paul Y. Song, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    When I graduated from medical school almost 25 years ago, I was asked by then U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, to raise my right hand and recite the Hippocratic Oath. In it, I recall "I will abstain from that system which is deleterious and mischievous to my patients."

  • Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015
    By Trudy Lieberman | Harpers
    In July 2009, as the Affordable Care Act moved through Congress, Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, laughed at the idea that any legislator would actually read the bill before voting on it. If such full-body immersion were necessary to support the A.C.A., he said, “I think we would have very few votes.”

  • Posted on Friday, July 24, 2015
    National Nurses United, July 23, 2015
    CHICAGO -- Registered nurses and other community leaders will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid Thursday July 30 with a festive event and action in Chicago.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015
    By Evan Tuchinsky | Chico (Calif.) News and Review
    Dr. Aldebra Schroll understands the workings of Medicare from the physician’s side of health care, but also as the daughter of policyholders. Her parents, ages 89 and 87, retired from New York to New Mexico 25 years ago and continue to live independently.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015
    By James Binder, M.D. | Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail
    Medical students are taught empathic, patient-centered interviewing skills during the first two years of medical school. Patient-centered interviewing is strongly linked to better health outcomes in patients.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2015
    By James Ronayne, M.D. | Chicago Sun-Times
    Medicare has become one of our nation’s most beloved social programs. Today it’s part of the U.S. tradition, as American as apple pie.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2015
    By C.V. Allen, M.D. | Modesto (Calif.) Bee
    You were a long time coming. With the Great Depression of the 1930s came demand for both health insurance and old-age pensions. Conservatives and the American Medical Association raised the cry of “socialized medicine” – threatening to sink both efforts.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 22, 2015
    By Eve Shapiro, M.D., and Richard Wahl, M.D. | Arizona Daily Star
    Medicare, one of our nation’s most valuable and popular social programs, turns 50 on July 30. Medicare is a federal health insurance program that covers 55 million Americans — those over 65 and younger people with permanent disabilities, currently 17 percent of the population.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2015
    By Karen Garloch | The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer
    Dr. Andrew Coates agrees with some critics of the Affordable Care Act. In many ways, he says the federal law “reinforced or worsened some of the most egregious inequalities and injustices in the health system.”

  • Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015
    By Kathryn Dean, M.D. | The Olympian (Wash.)
    “I need to admit you to the hospital for pneumonia,” I told my patient. He had reluctantly driven himself to the emergency room as his symptoms worsened. In between gasps, he asked, “How much will it cost?”

  • Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015
    By Theresa Chalich, R.N. | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Nicholas Kristof’s commentary “Poverty: Yes, It’s About Personal Responsibility but It’s Also About the Choices We Make as a Society” (July 12 Forum) on the need for collective responsibility was written at an opportune time. This July we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Medicare. What an impact this social program has made on improving health and financial stability.

  • Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015
    By Dominic F. Caruso, MD/MPH Candidate, David U. Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD | Harvard Public Health Review
    Racial and income equality are too often absent from conversations about health care financing.

  • Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015
    By Marc H. Lavietes, M.D. | Asbury Park (N.J.) Press
    Mergers of large health care facilities such as that proposed by Barnabas and Robert Wood Johnson are occurring across the country. They are facilitated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but are ruinous to the delivery of affordable quality health care.

  • Posted on Monday, July 20, 2015
    By Ray Bellamy, M.D. | Tallahassee Democrat
    In 1963 or so, a group of us UF second year medical students tramped upstairs to listen to some of a spirited discussion among Gainesville-area physicians along with UF faculty regarding providing nearly universal health coverage to seniors. I remember little of the discussion other than some inflammatory rhetoric about “government overreach and what it would do to or for Granny.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015
    By Rob Stone, M.D. | The Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)
    Do you look forward to calling your health insurance company with a problem?

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015
    By Fred Schulte | The Center for Public Integrity
    Government audits just released as the result of a lawsuit detail widespread billing errors in private Medicare Advantage health plans going back years, including overpayments of thousands of dollars a year for some patients.

  • Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | St. Louis Business Journal
    Until 1971, the United States and Canada were spending roughly the same percentage of GDP on health care, and had been following the same cost trends. That year, President Richard Nixon signed the HMO Act into law, while Canada full implemented their national health program. In a sense, North America embarked upon an experiment proactively comparing the private insurance model with a single-payer structure.

  • Posted on Monday, July 13, 2015
    The New York Times
    PNHP note: The three letters below were among six published in the Sunday (July 12) print edition of The New York Times in response to its editorial noting the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Posted on Monday, July 6, 2015
    By Robert Pear | The New York Times
    WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies around the country are seeking rate increases of 20 percent to 40 percent or more, saying their new customers under the Affordable Care Act turned out to be sicker than expected. Federal officials say they are determined to see that the requests are scaled back.

  • Posted on Monday, July 6, 2015
    By Robert Reich | The Huffington Post
    The Supreme Court’s recent blessing of Obamacare has precipitated a rush among the nation’s biggest health insurers to consolidate into two or three behemoths.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 2, 2015
    By Sonali Kolhatkar | Truthdig
    When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 25 that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) subsidies for health insurance for the poor were indeed constitutional, liberals cheered. The last-ditch attempt by the right to gut President Obama’s signature act failed.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2015
    By George Lauer | California Healthline
    Undocumented immigrants pay billions more into Medicare every year than they use in health benefits, and in fact they subsidize care for other Americans, according to researchers.

  • Posted on Monday, June 29, 2015
    By Melissa Stiles, M.D. | The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.)
    The Affordable Care Act withstood yet another attack as the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the King v. Burwell challenge. The issue was whether the ACA’s language allows the federal government to provide subsidies to people who bought health insurance in states that did not set up their own “marketplaces.”

  • Posted on Friday, June 26, 2015
    By A.W. Gaffney | Salon
    For those who want to open a bottle – or even a case – of champagne to celebrate yesterday’s ruling, I’d say: enjoy. But tomorrow, once the hangover has cleared, the work to transform our corporatized, fragmented, and inequitable health care system remains before us.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 24, 2015
    By Esther Yu-Hsi Lee | Think Progress
    Undocumented immigrants provided a surplus of $35.1 billion to the Medicare Trust Fund between 2000 and 2011, according to a new Journal of General Internal Medicine study recently published. The findings challenge concerns that undocumented immigrants are financially burdening the health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015
    By John Geyman, M.D. | Huffington Post
    Traditional, or Original, Medicare turns 50 on July 30, having had many challenges and achievements from the days of its passage to today. It is time to celebrate its many successes, note some of its current challenges and threats to its future, and briefly discuss how it gives us a strong foundation upon which to build still-needed health care reform.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2015
    By Karen S. Palmer, M.P.H., M.S. | EvidenceNetwork.ca
    In British Columbia, as in the rest of Canada, the health care system, “Medicare,” provides public funding for all medically necessary hospital and physician services.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2015
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | Jacobin magazine
    However the Supreme Court rules, Obamacare isn’t enough. We need a more fundamentally egalitarian health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, June 15, 2015
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | Anesthesiology News
    Unhappily, our success in rock ’n’ roll, technology and finance does not translate to health care. Americans pay twice as much as citizens in the average industrialized nation — our health care is the most expensive on earth. Yet our public health is a disgrace. There are 60 other countries where a pregnant woman and her baby have better chances of surviving the pregnancy. American diabetics are more likely to suffer a foot amputation from an untreated ulcer than are diabetics living anywhere else where you can drink the tap water.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015
    Corporate Crime Reporter, June 10, 2015
    The American healthcare system is riddled with fraud.

  • Posted on Monday, June 8, 2015
    By Ida Hellander, M.D. | Health Affairs
    Evidence-based health policy could transform the US health system. The evidence for single-payer systems is well summarized by Tsung-Mei Cheng in her article (Mar 2015) on Taiwan’s single-payer National Health Insurance (NHI).

  • Posted on Monday, June 8, 2015
    By Jessica Schorr Saxe, M.D. | The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer
    Have you weighed in on Luis Lang, the diabetic smoker who put off getting health insurance until he was about to go blind from complications of diabetes, only to find it was too late to enroll in an Affordable Care Act policy and that he wasn’t eligible for Medicaid in South Carolina? Since his story was reported in the Observer, it has unleashed a torrent of comments and has been widely disseminated through social media. Lang has raised more than $25,000 for eye surgery through the original story and his GoFundMe site – and is now an advocate for the ACA.

  • Posted on Monday, June 8, 2015
    By Stephen Kemble, M.D. | Modern Healthcare
    Regarding the recent feature “Physician quality pay not paying off”, several reviews have shown no improvement in population health measures or cost savings from pay-for-performance or pay-for-quality. It is time to face the fact that this is not a case of performance measurement of individual physicians being in a “fledgling state.” The reality is that healthcare, by its nature, is too complex and requires too much individualization to be amenable to management through standardized quality metrics for individual physicians.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 2, 2015
    By Tom Gates, M.D. | Lancaster (Pa.) Online
    I was astonished to read U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts’ criticism that Obamacare does not do enough to cover the uninsured, leaving 30 million without coverage, and that it “achieves too little at too high a cost.” Astonished, because for the last five years Pitts and his congressional colleagues have to all appearances been concerned not with covering the uninsured, but rolling back the modest progress we have made.

  • Posted on Monday, June 1, 2015
    By F. Douglas Stephenson, LCSW, BCD | The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun
    No greater disconnect exists between the public good and private interests than in the U.S. system of for-profit health insurance.

  • Posted on Friday, May 29, 2015
    By Dan Mangan | CNBC
    Obamacare is set to add more than a quarter-of-a-trillion—that's trillion—dollars in extra insurance administrative costs to the U.S. health-care system, according to a new report out Wednesday.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015
    By Chiang Been Huang | Atlanta Journal Constitution
    National health insurance has long been an issue of controversy among Americans. Even now, with Obamacare in place, Georgians and other U.S. citizens are divided as to its efficacy. Perhaps Taiwan’s experience with national health care can offer some perspective.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015
    By Dan Goldberg | Capital New York
    The state Assembly on Wednesday voted for a single-payer health bill, the first time in more than two decades the chamber has taken up the measure.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2015
    By James Binder, M.D. | The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette
    Our country would be better able to help its citizens prevent and manage chronic illnesses if we adopted a single-payer system. Our current primary care structure is designed to treat acute illnesses. Primary care providers do not have adequate time or the training to effectively treat the increasing burden of chronic conditions in our society, conditions such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, substance use disorders, depression.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    By Sarah Ferris | The Hill
    One-quarter of people with healthcare coverage are paying so much for deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses that they are considered underinsured, according to a new study.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    By Kathleen Kozak, M.D. | Honolulu Civil Beat
    All across the nation, health insurance exchanges are facing some difficult financial realities. Right here at home, the Hawaii Health Connector has already announced a contingency plan for ceasing operations and deferring the management of the insurance exchange to the federal government as of Sept. 30.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2015
    By Fred Mayer, R.Ph., M.P.H. | Drug Topics: Voice of the Pharmacist
    As healthcare professionals, pharmacists do not want to see anyone refused services for lack of health insurance. That is why in California 250 national organizations have united to support “The Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act,” H.R. 676, which will guarantee healthcare for all Americans through a universal single-payer healthcare plan.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015
    By Michael Hiltzik | Los Angeles Times
    Medicare means many things to many people. To seniors, it's a program providing good, low-cost healthcare at a stage in life when it's most needed.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2015
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    It is well documented that many other countries have created health care systems that are more popular than ours, cover everybody, are more effective as measured by better health outcomes, are better able to restrain increases in costs and, therefore, have per-capita costs that are a fraction of ours.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015
    By Wendell Potter | Center for Public Integrity
    If you think you’re paying too much for employer-sponsored health coverage, you might want to forward this to the HR department. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that your health insurer has been ripping off both you and your employer—to the tune of several million dollars every year—for decades.

  • Posted on Monday, May 11, 2015
    By Caoilfhionn Ní Dhonnabháin | Slugger O'Toole blog
    In the South we often look enviously at the British National Health Service.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 7, 2015
    By F. Douglas Stephenson | The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun
    Privatization by predatory corporations and the local and state authorities that cooperate with them use state underfunding to sabotage public mental health and social services, “proving” that government is incompetent and unable to deliver services.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 6, 2015
    By James Webster, M.D. | The New York Times
    “The Medical Bill Mystery,” by Elisabeth Rosenthal (news analysis, Sunday Review, May 3), is simply another piece of evidence why we need a single-payer (Medicare for all) system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015
    By Saerom Yoo | Statesman Journal (Salem, Ore.)
    Advocates for a universal state health system urged legislators Monday to consider how Oregon could create a publicly funded, single-payer health system.

  • 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.”