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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 Friday, July 22, 2016
    By Suhas Gondi | in-Training, July 18, 2016
    In December of 2014, one week after the non-indictment in the case of Michael Brown, in-Training published an article entitled “A Lack of Care: Why Medical Students Should Focus on Ferguson.” In it, Jennifer Tsai argued that the systemic racism rampant in our law enforcement and criminal justice systems also permeates our health care system, affecting both access to care for black patients and the quality of care black patients receive. Lamenting that the medical community was largely absent from the Ferguson controversy, she cited startling statistics of disparities in health and health care as part of her call to action. In light of the events last week in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, it’s time to revisit this message.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016
    By Suzanne Gordon | The American Prospect, July 12, 2016
    As conservatives and congressional Republicans seek to dismantle the Veterans Health Administration, members of the commission called for giving veterans more private-sector options. After almost a year of meetings and hearings, the Commission on Care has finally issued its report on the future of the Veterans Health Administration.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016
    By Michael Blecker | San Francisco Chronicle, July 15, 2016
    Now that we are in the final stretches of the presidential campaign, it is important to examine both Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s views on the Veterans Health Administration — particularly the hot-button issue of “expanding choice” — that is, privatizing veterans’ health care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2016
    By Joyce Frieden | Medpage Today, July 15, 2016
    A single-payer healthcare system could work in the U.S., but only if doctors are involved with running it, according to James Burdick, MD. "When the Clinton health plan failed in late 90s, it started to bother me," said Burdick, a retired transplant surgeon. "Then I started thinking about how we could make it work. The idea of single-payer wasn't what I was thinking about -- I was thinking about how to make it work, and that meant doctors."

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2016
    By Jack Bernard | Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, Ga.), July 16, 2016
    My party, the GOP, is once again running for election this year on the old slogan of “repeal and replace Obamacare.” I agree that the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) has major issues, but the key question remains: What should be its replacement? We differ drastically on the answer.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 19, 2016
    By the editors | AJMC.com, AJMC TV, July 16, 2016
    The United States is closer than it has ever been to considering a single-payer health system. Patricia Salber, MD, MBA, of "The Doctor Weighs In," discusses how a single-payer system economically makes sense.

  • Posted on Monday, July 18, 2016
    By Alex Scott-Samuel | POGH blog (U.K.), July 17, 2016
    As you’ll know, the English NHS is in a bad way, with practically every part of the country in financial deficit. Many hospitals and many services are being closed down, cut back or rationed. At the same time, many long term contracts for the provision of NHS services are being awarded to private sector companies – though often people are unaware of this because the likes of Virgin, Carillion and SpecSavers are allowed to operate under the NHS logo.

  • Posted on Friday, July 15, 2016
    By Kay Tillow | Daily Kos, July 14, 2016
    Health care in the United States is the most costly in the world. The per capita the U.S. spends on health care is double the average of other industrialized countries, yet other nations have better outcomes in life expectancy, infant mortality, and most measures. In the U.S., we pay more but get less. About 40 percent of people in the U.S. forgo needed care because of cost.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2016
    By Chris Tomlinson | Houston Chronicle, July 12, 2016
    Money can't buy you love, but it can buy you health, according to a new study from Harvard Medical School. Add inequality in health care to the growing evidence that the United States is becoming a more class-based society, with a shrinking middle class, a greater economic gap between the rich and poor and growing social unrest.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016
    By David Lazarus | Los Angeles Times, July 12, 2016
    Starbucks announced Monday that it will give its U.S. workers a raise that will boost compensation by 5% to 15%. That’s very cool. The coffee giant also said it will offer employees more affordable health insurance that will cut costs by being less comprehensive. That’s not so cool.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2016
    By Ewell G. Scott, M.D. | The Morehead (Ky.) News, July 8, 2016
    Despite the Affordable Care Act including the helpful Medicaid expansion, our health care financing system is badly in need of a genuine fix. Deductibles, copays, and escalating premiums are causing financial difficulty for the 95 percent. There is a solution: Medicare for All.

  • Posted on Monday, July 11, 2016
    By Jack Bernard | The Boston Globe, Letters, July 11, 2016
    There is only one long-range solution for the problem of access to mental health services: Medicare for all.

  • Posted on Friday, July 8, 2016
    By Dan Mangan | CNBC, July 6, 2016
    Health-care inequality is the new income inequality. The rich in the United States -- despite being healthier on average than the poor -- have become the biggest buyers of health care, a dramatic shift in spending patterns across income groups, according to a new Harvard study.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 7, 2016
    By Andrea Germanos, staff writer | Common Dreams, July 7, 2016
    Buoying single-payer advocates' call for system that covers everyone and underscoring the nation's inequality, a new study finds that the wealthiest Americans are the ones receiving the most healthcare.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2016
    By RoseAnn DeMoro | Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, July 6, 2016
    When Democrats gather in Orlando on Friday to act on their party's platform, they should present a vision for the future beyond just defeating Donald Trump.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2016
    By Don Pfost, Ph.D. | The Pueblo (Colo.) Chieftan, July 1, 2016
    The broadcast and print media (including The Chieftain), opponents and, unfortunately, some supporters, erroneously claim that Amendment 69/ColoradoCare would create a “single-payer” health care system in Colorado. It would not. Here’s why.

  • Posted on Monday, June 27, 2016
    By Jack Bernard | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 24, 2016
    I have been amazed at the number of negative Medicare-for-all attack pieces printed in various respected papers over the last few months, making me wonder why primarily liberal economists would be attacking a program that progressives have been trying to enact since Truman.

  • Posted on Friday, June 24, 2016
    By Emily Kirchner | Common Dreams, June 24, 2016
    I am a fourth year medical student. I’ve dreamed about being a physician since I was in sixth grade. For a long time, my deepest hopes were to get into college, be accepted by a medical school, and maintain the grades and test scores needed to keep me there. My clinical rotations have taken me to hospitals across the state of Pennsylvania - from Pittsburgh’s North Side to North Philadelphia with stops in rural and suburban communities in between. Now I’m less than a year away from obtaining my medical degree.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2016
    News Release | Unions for Single Payer Health Care, June 20, 2016
    Over 5,000 miners rallied in Lexington, Ky. last Tuesday to protest health benefit cuts threatened to happen before the end of the year. Responding to the call of their union, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), miners came from seven states to gather at the convention center.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016
    By Mary Ellen McIntire | Morning Consult, June 20, 2016
    Democrats should push for universal health coverage ahead of the November election, several health care advocates urged the committee drafting the Democratic National Committee’s platform at a recent session focused on health policy.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler M.D., M.P.H. | Democratic Platform Drafting Committee Hearing, June 17, 2016
    I am a primary care doctor and professor of medicine and health policy. In 1986, I co-founded the non-partisan organization Physicians for a National Health Program, whose 20,000 members advocate for single payer reform.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2016
    By Rebecca Mahn | The Doctor's Tablet Blog, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, June 16, 2016
    There’s a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Now in my fourth year at Einstein, I am inspired by this ideal to fight for healthcare reform, specifically a single-payer national healthcare program.

  • Posted on Friday, June 10, 2016
    By Michael Corcoran | Truthout, June 10, 2016
    The ACA needs to be analyzed on its own merit. Such an analysis shows that the law cannot credibly be sold as a long-term solution or as a path to universal health care. It is important the public has an honest discussion about these realities, even though we cannot expect this discussion to take place within the spectacle that is the 2016 presidential election.

  • Posted on Monday, June 6, 2016
    By Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD | American Journal of Managed Care, AJMC.com, June 4, 2016
    On the first day of the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, being held June 3-7, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois, healthcare experts from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, compared and contrasted the care models that are widely adopted in each nation.

  • Posted on Monday, June 6, 2016
    By Michelle Chen | The Nation, June 3, 2016
    What happens to people’s health and well-being when whole continents suffer economic decline, and millions of people become exposed to the strains of poverty? For nearly a decade, the Great Recession has presented researchers with a disturbing natural experiment in public health, and emerging data shows that cancer’s death toll rose along with social hardship.

  • Posted on Friday, June 3, 2016
    By Andrea Sears | Public Service News, June 3, 2016
    Dr. Oliver Fein, who chairs the New York Metro Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, said it would make the state a leader in providing health care coverage, "offering a pathway to universal coverage without costing more and guaranteeing access to health care for everyone."

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016
    Study by Amy Funkenstein, MD, Stephanie Hartselle, MD, J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD | Medline Plus, March 25, 2016
    Children with severe psychiatric problems often have lengthy waits before they're transferred from a hospital emergency department to a psychiatric hospital due to insurance companies' "prior authorization" requirements, a small study suggests.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016
    By Cris M. Currie, R.N. | The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.), May 28, 2016
    I am a registered nurse. Virtually everyone I talk to about American health care has a horror story about paying their medical bills. Yet why is it that most of these same people are resigned to the idea that quality care requires insurance companies who supposedly are looking out for our best interests?

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2016
    By Jeffrey D. Sachs | The Washington Post, May 25, 2016
    Mainstream U.S. economists have criticized Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’s proposals as unworkable, but these economists betray the status quo bias of their economic models and professional experience. It’s been decades since the United States had a progressive economic strategy, and mainstream economists have forgotten what one can deliver.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2016
    By Leah Zallman and Steffie Woolhandler | The Huffington Post, May 26, 2016
    As with many of Trump’s claims, this one [that it costs the U.S. $11 billion annually to provide health care to undocumented immigrants] is wrong. But unlike some of his other falsehoods, the media has left this one unchallenged.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
    By Howard Waitzkin, M.D., Ph.D. | Medscape, May 20, 2016
    I confess: I am a disobedient doctor. After a career in academic medicine and public health, I decided to work part-time in a rural health program. There I began to understand the loss of control over the conditions of medical practice that has affected so many doctors. Administrative demands multiplied and constrained my ability to care for my patients in the ways I thought best.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    By Anna Zelivianskaia | Chicago Medicine, April 2016
    In a world with rapid news cycles and constant updates, medical students have found a way to make lasting change. Through the Chicago Medical Society they are introducing and advocating for resolutions on issues that are important to them.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | The Huffington Post, May 22, 2016
    Last week we posted a critique of the Urban Institute’s (UI) absurdly biased report that claimed Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal for single-payer health reform would cause a massive increase in health spending. Now, the report’s authors have issued a 12-page rejoinder to our criticism. But that response is riddled with distortions, misinterpretations and glaring factual errors.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | The New York Times, Letters, May 23, 2016
    Our health care costs more because our administrative costs, a result of a financing system that relies on for-profit insurance companies, are so high. Some of those costs are borne by physicians, who must pay for complex billing systems, denial management, preauthorization requirements, collections management and bad debt, as well as devoting patient time to discussing insurance coverage rather than medical issues.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    By Adam Gaffney, M.D. | Jacobin, April 26, 2016
    Every nation’s health system is split along a rights-commodity axis, ranging from a public system that provides a universal right to health care according to need, to a private enterprise that profitably provides care according to means. When the National Health Service was founded, notes scholar Rudolf Klein in The New Politics of the NHS, it was the first system that universalized government-provided care, and it thereby skewed health care toward the “rights” side of that axis.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2016
    By PNHP staff | PNHP Spring Newsletter, May 2016
    The Chicago Medical Society has voted to create a “research committee to analyze the benefits and difficulties with instituting and maintaining a single-payer health care system in Illinois … and the United States, with consideration of both economic and health outcome and health disparity improvements.”

  • Posted on Friday, May 20, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein | Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 17, 2016
    The latest attack on Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health reform proposal comes from John Holahan and his colleagues at the Urban Institute. They claim that under Sen. Sanders’ plan medical spending would shoot up by $518.9 billion in 2017 alone, and by $6.6 trillion over the next decade. Mr. Holahan’s analysis couldn’t pass a laugh test — it’s based on absurd assumptions, ignores a raft of real-life evidence from both the United States and abroad, and directly contradicts itself — but serious people seem to be taking it seriously.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016
    By Marcia Angell, M.D. | The Boston Globe, May 17, 2016
    Other advanced countries spend on average less than half as much per capita on health care as we do, provide truly universal care, and get generally better results, because they have either a single-payer financing system or tightly regulated multiple payers, plus a largely nonprofit provider system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016
    By Adam Gaffney, M.D. | The Progressive Physician blog, May 17, 2016
    Yesterday, New York Times health care reporter Margot Sanger-Katz, whose work I very much respect, entered the debate on the costs of Sanders’ single payer plan in a piece I find problematic, headlined “A Single-Payer Plan From Bernie Sanders Would Probably Still Be Expensive.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016
    By Josh Faucher | Students for a National Health Program blog, May 16, 2016
    I’ve been a part of SNaHP (Students for a National Health Program) since the beginning, watching our annual gathering grow from a few dozen people in a small conference room in 2012, to the massive turnout we had this spring with representatives from around the country.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016
    By Russell Mokhiber | Single Payer Action, May 17, 2016
    The Diane Rehm Show this morning was devoted to the topic — The Affordable Care Act Three Years In: What’s Working And What’s Not. The guests on the show were Julie Rovner, senior correspondent, Kaiser Health News, Stephanie Armour, healthcare reporter, Wall Street Journal, and Susan Dentzer CEO of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI) — what Dentzer describes as “a non-profit think-tank.”

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016
    By Liz Seegert | Medical Economics, May 25, 2016
    Health insurance is again in the political spotlight as Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders promotes his version of single-payer that he calls “Medicare for all.” He says it will improve care, reduce administrative burdens and allow physicians to focus just on practicing medicine.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016
    By David Woods | The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 16, 2016
    One hears these days mutterings by disaffected Americans that if Donald Trump becomes president, they will pack their bags and leave for Canada. One assumes, of course, that no wall will be built along the border to thwart their exit. I made the reverse trip. Having emigrated from Britain to Canada, where I became the editor in chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, I opted to come to the United States in 1988 for personal reasons.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016
    By Karen Palmer | Toronto Star, May 15, 2016
    In a dramatic show of physician support for deep health care reform in the U.S., more than 2,200 physician leaders have signed a “Physician’s Proposal” calling for sweeping change. The proposal, published May 5 2016 in the American Journal of Public Health, calls for the creation of a publicly financed, single-payer, national health program to cover all Americans for all medically necessary care.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016
    By Paul Redstone, M.D. | Clinical Psychiatry News, May 14, 2016
    If our patients cannot reliably afford the treatments we prescribe, it seems our only choice as physicians is to become politically vocal: So when will we all unite to insist on accessible health care (including dental) for all?

  • Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein | The Hill, May 12, 2016
    As physicians we feel obliged to offer our best advice. Our health care crisis can be solved. We have the resources needed to provide excellent care for all Americans; an abundance of hospitals and sophisticated equipment; superbly trained doctors and nurses; prodigious research output; and generous health care funding. Yet only thoroughgoing single-payer reform can realize the healing potential that is currently thwarted by our dysfunctional health care financing system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2016
    By David U. Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. | The Huffington Post, May 9, 2016
    The Urban Institute and the Tax Policy Center today released analyses of the costs of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ domestic policy proposals, including single-payer national health insurance. They claim that Sanders’ proposals would raise the federal deficit by $18 trillion over the next decade...To put it bluntly, the estimates (which were prepared by John Holahan and colleagues) are ridiculous.

  • Posted on Monday, May 9, 2016
    By Jeff Lagasse | Healthcare IT News, May 9, 2016
    More than 2,000 doctors backed a single-payer healthcare system in an article published by the American Journal of Public Health. While Presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is running on a Medicare for all platform, the proposal authors called their recommendation strictly non-partisan and described a single-payer system as publicly financed and covering all Americans for medically necessary care.

  • Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2016
    By Viji Sundara | New America Media, May 7, 2016
    Presidential hopefuls have their own ideas on what to do with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature legislation, when they move into the White House. Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks it should be replaced with a single-payer health plan of the kind Europe and Canada have.

  • Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016
    By John Geyman, M.D. | The Huffington Post, May 5, 2016
    This 2016 election season brings us three very different alternatives concerning future health care in this country: (1) continuation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with changes as necessary; (2) a Republican “plan” for health care; and (3) single-payer NHI.

  • Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016
    By Jessica Schorr Saxe, M.D. | The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, May 5, 2016
    Are you or someone you know forgoing medical care for financial reasons, having trouble with medical bills, being forced to change providers due to network problems, or reeling from arbitrary increases in premiums or deductibles? If so, you know the ACA has drawbacks.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016
    By Carolyn Y. Johnson | The Washington Post, May 5, 2016
    More than 2,000 physicians announced their support Thursday for a single-payer national health care system, unveiling a proposal drafted by doctors that appears to resonate with Bernie Sanders' call for "Medicare for All."

  • Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016
    By Olga Oksman | The Guardian, May 5, 2016
    A group of more than 2,000 physicians is calling for the establishment of a universal government-run health system in the US, in a paper in the American Journal of Public Health. According to the proposal released Thursday, the Affordable Care Act did not go far enough in removing barriers to healthcare access.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016
    By Kimberly Leonard | U.S. News & World Report, May 5, 2016
    As Republicans continue to debate how to "repeal and replace" President Barack Obama's signature health care law, thousands of doctors are hoping to re-ignite the conversation about moving to a single-payer system as a way to achieve universal coverage.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2016
    By Howard Waitzkin and Ida Hellander | Monthly Review, May 1, 2016
    As the Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare) continues along a very bumpy road, it is worth asking where it came from and what comes next. Officially, Obamacare represents the latest in more than a century of efforts in the United States to achieve universal access to health care. In reality, Obamacare has strengthened the for-profit insurance industry by transferring public, tax-generated revenues to the private sector.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2016
    By Susan Sered | AlterNet, April 26, 2016
    When we talk about the successes and shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act, and health care in the U.S. in general, little attention is given to dental care. While the ACA defines dental coverage as an essential benefit for those under 18, insurers aren’t required to offer dental coverage for adults.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2016
    By Kip Sullivan, J.D. | The Health Care Blog, April 21, 2016
    MACRA (the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act) is a mess. It is extremely difficult to comprehend, it is based on assumptions that defy commonsense and research, and it may raise costs.

  • Posted on Monday, April 18, 2016
    By Mark Krasnoff, M.D. | PNHP Missouri
    I’ve practiced general internal medicine for over 20 years, and I’ve personally witnessed the average American’s health care burdens descend into a national financial crisis. Yes, crisis.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
    By Marcia Angell, M.D. | Boston Globe, April 11, 2016
    A front-page story by Charles Ornstein in the Globe reports increasing concern about editorial decisions at The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), one of which is to defend the practice of medical researchers having personal financial ties to drug companies whose products they are testing. The NEJM's national correspondent referred to critics of such conflicts of interest as "pharmascolds."

  • Posted on Thursday, April 7, 2016
    By the Editorial Board | Salt Lake Tribune, April 4, 2016
    Functioning free markets do not — and never will — exist in health care because the sellers so often hold all the cards. Unlike someone in the market for a car, a television or a cell phone, people who need a particular medication cannot just decide not to buy a product until the price comes down, or just to do without it altogether. Unless they are interested in dying, or watching a family member die.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 5, 2016
    By N.F. Hanna, M.D. | New York Observer, April 5, 2016
    As a primary care physician practicing for three decades in the same location, I have had the privilege of seeing patients regularly across a span of many years. I have celebrated my patients’ joys and triumphs, but also mourned with them in their deepest tragedies and sorrows...The result: I have encountered far too many heartbreaking stories, more than enough to be certain that our health care system is deeply broken.

  • Posted on Friday, April 1, 2016
    By Mark Chee, Rebecca Gieseker and Rachel Stones | Chicago Maroon, March 31, 2016
    As medical students, we have chosen a profession dedicated to treating illness and helping people live healthy lives. Yet, early on during our training, we learn about the unequal access to care, unaffordable treatments, and medical debt that patients face because of our current private, for-profit health insurance system.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 30, 2016
    By Jack Bernard | The Wall Street Journal, Letters, March 29, 2016
    Re: Dr. Scott Atlas's "How to Fix the Scandal of Medicaid and the Poor" (op-ed, March 16): Dr. Atlas is correct about many of the problems faced by Medicaid, but his cure is worse than the disease. The fact is the poor can’t afford to go the high-deductible or health-savings-account route.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 29, 2016
    By Joseph Sparks | Sparks Remarks Blog, March 23, 2016
    Medicare-for-all advocates should rejoice. You are winning the debate. No one has refuted the benefits of this proposed single-payer health care system. The arguments that have been presented against Medicare-for-all have been wrong, misleading, and disingenuous. Even the haggling over cost is not much of a dispute. This issue is not whether Medicare-for-all will save money—it will—it is just a question of how MUCH will be saved.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
    The following tributes and reminiscences are among the messages that PNHP has received in response to Dr. Quentin Young's death on March 7. We will continue to gather these. We invite you to submit your own comments to info@pnhp.org.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2016
    By Ida Hellander, M.D.
    Learn where the remaining 2016 presidential candidates stand on health policy, from their views on single-payer to their policies regarding the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care issues. Also, please note that PNHP is a nonpartisan educational organization that neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office.

  • Posted on Monday, March 21, 2016
    By Anna Zelivianskaia, M4 | Chicago Medicine, February 2016
    In the middle of a busy emergency room, a resident tells me, “I just found out how much a brand-name proton pump inhibitor costs – a 400 percent markup from generic and a few pills cost over $200!” Unfortunately, this is nothing new. And, in my opinion, the problem will only worsen under what’s known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

  • Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2016
    By John Benzinger, M.D. | Santa Fe New Mexican, March 19, 2016
    The truth is that an improved, Medicare-for-all, single-payer system would cut costs drastically and provide coverage for everybody. Virtually every other developed country has an affordable universal system that proves the point.

  • Posted on Friday, March 18, 2016
    By Kenneth Zapp | Business in Savannah (Ga.)
    Canada spends less, both as a percent of their GDP and in real dollars than we do on their total health care system. In Canada, 10 percent to 12 percent of their GDP goes toward health expenses that cover all citizens. We spend 16 percent to 17 percent of our GDP on health services even though more than 10 percent of our citizens do not have coverage.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2016
    By the Editorial Board | The Capital Times
    Dr. Quentin Young, one of the greatest economic and social justice campaigners of the modern era, has died at age 92. Young served as a personal physician for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and organized the Medical Committee for Human Rights, which provided medical support for activists during the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. He helped to shape and advance the call for an understanding of health care not as a commodity but as a human right.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2016
    By Tom DeLoe, Ph.D. | Gettysburg (Pa.) Times
    As a business leader, you want to control your business environment as much as possible. This means controlling costs, building a good product or service, and beating the competition. There are at least four principles that you must strive to achieve in order to survive in a competitive business environment. They are efficiency, transparency, predictability, and the building of core functions. Let’s look at each of these principles, and how they relate to your business and our present health care system.

  • Posted on Friday, March 11, 2016
    By Vicente Navarro | CounterPunch
    The solution is fairly easy to see. We can see in other countries what should be done in the US. Look, for example, to Canada.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    By Adam Gaffney, M.D. | The New Republic
    Around the time that the insurgent campaign of Bernie Sanders hit its stride, a chorus of liberal pundits and economists began to coalesce around a decidedly grim message for the 60 million people in America who remain either uninsured or underinsured: Give up on your pipe dream.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    The following is a selection of initial obituaries and stories about Dr. Quentin D. Young, prominent leader of PNHP for nearly three decades, who died on March 7. The stories below are from The New York Times, NBC News, The Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, DNAinfo Chicago, Single Payer Action, and SocialistWorker.org.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 9, 2016
    By Wendell Potter | healthinsurance.org
    The first seven years of the Obama administration have been “yuge” for the health insurance industry, to use one of The Donald’s favorite words. To be more precise, it has been yuge — almost unbelievably yuge, in fact — for the well-heeled folks who own stock in the for-profit companies that dominate the industry, including Cigna and Humana, the two insurers I used to work for.

  • Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., and David U. Himmelstein, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    In the heat of battling Sen. Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton's camp (and the camp followers at the Washington Post and Fortune magazine) has made a remarkable discovery: National health insurance (aka Medicare-for-All) hurts poor people. How is that possible? It's not. But a widely-quoted analysis by Ken Thorpe, a former Clinton administration official, used statistical sleight of hand to zoom in on the tiny slice of the poor who might pay more (while getting better care), and hide the vast majority who would gain.

  • Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016
    By Trudy Lieberman | Health Review News
    In late January, as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders battled over a Medicare-for-all health system, PBS NewsHour co-anchor Judy Woodruff in a conversation with her guests David Brooks and Ruth Marcus posed this question: “Essentially the argument is whether you just wipe away what we have done and you go to a single-payer healthcare system, which most Americans say they don’t want, right, I mean...?”. ... Nevertheless, viewers — I was one — might have been flummoxed by her question. I recalled a Kaiser Family Foundation poll a few weeks earlier in mid-December, which found that 58 percent of Americans favored the idea, including 34 percent indicating they strongly favored it. What gives here?

  • Posted on Monday, March 7, 2016
    By Caroline Poplin, M.D., J.D. | MedPage Today
    The Kaiser Family Foundation December 2015 Tracking Poll demonstrates majority support among ordinary Americans (58%); a 2014 survey of physicians and medical students in Maine showed that many doctors also (in Maine at least) would prefer single-payer, especially those practicing primary care. So it is disappointing that liberal economists whom I respect, such as New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, conclude that single-payer would be too expensive and too disruptive -- that we should improve the ACA instead.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2016
    By David U. Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. | The Hill
    Back in 1993, when we met with Hillary Clinton at the White House, she acknowledged that single-payer national health insurance was the best solution to America's health care mess, but dismissed it as politically impossible.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 1, 2016
    By Eric Naumburg, M.D. | The Baltimore Sun
    Universal means everybody in, nobody out and no financial barriers to getting necessary health care. We need to create a health care system where people are not one major illness away from personal bankruptcy; where everyone is able to get needed care without worrying about cost; and where decisions about health care are made based on science and the input of patients and physicians, not by private, profit-driven health insurance companies.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2016
    By Don McCanne, M.D. | Common Dreams
    You remember the public option. During the drafting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), efforts were made to include a public option – a government-run plan that would compete with the private health plans in the insurance marketplace.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    By Alison Kodjak | NPR
    "The medical insurance industry is really a group of middlemen — there's no need to have middlemen between paying for care and actually receiving care," says Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, an internist and professor at the City University of New York's school of public health at Hunter College. Woolhandler signed the letter and has written several editorials defending Sanders' ideas.

  • Posted on Friday, February 19, 2016
    By Katie Johnson | Post-Bulletin
    Here's a question that cuts through the chatter: If you were offered a health plan that guaranteed all the care that you need — including prescription drugs, dental, vision and long-term care — for no more money, and likely less, than what you're paying now, would you sign up for it?

  • Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein | The Huffington Post
    Hillary Clinton and others charge that Bernie Sanders' Medicare-for-All plan would disrupt and threaten Americans' health care. But the smooth rollout of Medicare-for-Seniors in 1965 -- which many had also predicted would bring chaos -- belies that charge.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016
    By Doug Henwood | FAIR.org
    While the “left-leaning” is no doubt meant to suggest critiques from those who would be inclined to sympathize with Sanders, all the quoted economists have ties to the Democratic establishment. So slight is their leftward lean that it would require very sensitive equipment to measure.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2016
    By John Geyman, M.D. | Truthout
    Going forward, we have three basic alternatives to further reform our health care system: (1) continue with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with improvements as needed (which Clinton supports with barely a hint of what those changes might be); (2) the Republican "plan," including repeal of the ACA and emphasizing market-based "fixes," such as health savings accounts, selling insurance across state lines, and further privatization of both Medicare and Medicaid; and (3) National Health Insurance (NHI) through a Medicare-for-all plan, as currently embodied in HR 676, legislation pending in the House of Representatives.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2016
    By Dave Zweifel | The Capital Times
    But should the prospect of a tough battle to once and for all fix America's health care problems mean that the fight's not worth fighting? If that be the case, we still wouldn't allow women to vote, our elderly would still be living in poverty without a program called Social Security and there would be no Medicare even for folks over 65. They were all difficult fights, all considered unwinnable in their times, but the American people held their elected officials accountable and won those fights.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
    By Adam Gaffney, M.D. | Jacobin
    As the Democratic presidential primary race tightens to a virtual tie nationally, the debate over single-payer health care is growing increasingly tense — and consequential.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
    News release | Single Payer News
    The National Executive Council of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has unanimously endorsed HR 676, national single payer legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers of Michigan.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Any candidate who isn’t forthcoming with these details is ignoring our current dire reality. Our health care system has a literal death grip on this nation. It is the new “giant sucking sound” of money being vacuumed from our entire economy and into health care’s deep, private-profit pockets.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2016
    By Jack Bernard | The Citizen
    I am not in agreement with going back to the time before we had primary care insurance and having individuals fend for themselves, negotiating direct agreements with each of their doctors. The paperwork, research, skill and time required on both sides would be immense.

  • Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016
    By David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | The Washington Post
    The Jan. 29 editorial “The real problem with Mr. Sanders” alleged that Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) health-care plan “rests on unbelievable assumptions about how much he could slash health-care costs.” That dismissive claim was based on a deeply flawed analysis by Kenneth Thorpe, an Emory University professor and former Clinton administration official who, like Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, has done a recent flip-flop on the facts about single-payer.

  • Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016
    By Nadia Prupis | Common Dreams
    Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor in public health at City University of New York at Hunter College and co-founder of the advocacy group Physicians for a National Health Program, said Friday that the "numbers on single-payer do, in fact, add up."

  • Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016
    By John Benziger, M.D. | Kennebec (Maine) Journal
    People are waking up to see that corporate greed is hurting Americans. We have a broken for-profit health care system. Quality is mediocre, and more than 25 million Americans are still uninsured. Medicare, Medicaid and hospitals are under threat of new cuts. Meanwhile the nation’s for-profit health industry nets billions in profits, and CEOs take home tens of millions in pay.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    By Ken Terry | Medscape Medical News
    According to David U. Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, from the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, who wrote the article, the government share of national health expenditures will rise to 67.1% by 2024. At that point, they argue, there will be only a 4-point spread between what the US government pays for in our public/private healthcare system and the 71% of Canadian health spending that that country's government spends on its single-payer system.

  • Posted on Monday, February 8, 2016
    By Susanne L. King, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle
    Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened a dialogue about single-payer health care in the presidential campaign by supporting "Medicare for All." In response, single-payer critics have written analyses that misrepresent the costs of single-player health insurance, misleading the public.

  • Posted on Friday, February 5, 2016
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein | The Philadelphia Inquirer
    In our "read my lips/over my dead body" political culture, the threat of tax increases usually shuts down proposals for single-payer national health insurance. Lately, conservative pundits - and even liberals like Hillary Clinton - have been repeating the mantra that single-payer insurance would break the bank. Never mind that Canadians, Australians, and Western Europeans spend about half what we do on health care, enjoy universal coverage, and are healthier. Their health-care taxes are higher. ... Or are they?

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
    By David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | The Huffington Post
    Professor Kenneth Thorpe recently issued an analysis of Senator Bernie Sanders' single-payer national health insurance proposal. Thorpe, an Emory University professor who served in the Clinton administration, claims the single-payer plan would break the bank. Thorpe's analysis rests on several incorrect, and occasionally outlandish, assumptions. Moreover, it is at odds with analyses of the costs of single-payer programs that he produced in the past, which projected large savings from such reform.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
    Airtalk with Larry Mantle | Southern California Public Radio
    The following are excerpts from an unofficial transcript of a debate between Dr. Steffie Woolhandler of Physicians for a National Health Program, a practicing primary care physician and professor in the City University of New York School of Public Health at Hunter College, and Avik Roy, senior fellow at the Manhattan Policy Institute and current health care adviser to Marco Rubio. Only the remarks of Dr. Woolhandler, PNHP’s co-founder, have been transcribed here. A link to the full audio of the debate is provided at the end.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
    By Robert Zarr, M.D. | The Washington Post
    Single-payer expanded and improved Medicare for all would provide universality, affordability and cost containment. Single-payer would allow doctors to focus on their patients’ health needs, rather than on patients’ ability to pay. What Americans want is choice of doctor, not choice of health insurance. Americans want comprehensive, lifelong insurance that assures them they will get the care they deserve.