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 Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Amy Goodman | Democracy Now, March 27, 2012
    As the Supreme Court weighs whether the Affordable Care Act goes too far, we host a debate on whether the law goes far enough.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Daniel D. Bennett, M.D. | The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.), March 30, 2012
    There is only one rational solution and this, I suspect, is where Rick Santorum and I disagree. A national tax-supported single-payer health insurance system will provide better health care AND more freedom.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Marvin Malek, M.D. |, March 29, 2012
    Federal policy should also begin to incorporate a comprehensive cost control strategy into their HIT policy. Neglecting the cost issue has led electronic health records adoption in the U.S. to have taken the most expensive possible route. So long as the electronic health records policy remains balkanized in the private sector, electronic health records costs will remain extremely high.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Robert Reich | The Huffington Post, March 26, 2012
    If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate in the new health law, private insurers will swarm Capitol Hill demanding that the law be amended to remove the requirement that they cover people with pre-existing conditions. When this happens, Obama and the Democrats should say they’re willing to remove that requirement – but only if Medicare is available to all, financed by payroll taxes. If they did this the public will be behind them — as will the Supreme Court.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Reid Fletcher | March 27, 2012
    A synopsis of the health care planks of some of the prominent contenders for the U.S. presidency, along with a brief analysis of the Massachusetts health reform of 2006.

  • Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012
    By Cory D. Carroll, M.D. | The Coloradoan, Letters, March 25, 2012
    Over the years, I have witnessed a new condition, not covered in any of my medical school lectures or textbooks, that is at epidemic proportions and worsening. The condition is caused by an out-of-control parasite -- the for-profit medical insurance industry.

  • Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012
    By Nancy A. Melville | Medscape Medical News, March 22, 2012
    In his keynote address here at the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) 62nd Annual Convention, Dr. Ansell declared that "healthcare as a human right is the moral issue of our time," and urged the audience of future physicians to commit themselves to patient advocacy during their careers.

  • Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012
    By Robert Kuttner | The American Prospect, March 23, 2012
    When the Supreme Court begins its extraordinary three days of hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, one of the oddities will be an amicus brief challenging the act’s individual mandate from 50 doctors who support national health insurance. They point out the inconvenient truth that, contrary to the administration’s representations, the government did not need to require citizens to purchase insurance from private companies in order to meet its goals of serving the health-care needs of the populace. Congress could have enacted a single-payer law.

  • Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012
    By James Hill and Samuel Levey | Iowa City Press-Citizen, March 22, 2012
    Many strong supporters of health care reform who rallied behind Obama’s early efforts now doubt the ACA will halt the inexorable rise in health care cost. Former New England Journal of Medicine editor Arnold Relman asks, “If neither party is proposing effective solutions to the cost crisis and political deadlock in Washington is preventing the consideration of new ideas, are we doomed to witness a slowly collapsing health care system that eventually will provide adequate care only to those who can afford to pay?”

  • Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2012
    By Kathryn Flagg | Seven Days (Burlington, Vt.), March 21, 2012
    “What I’m seeing right now is that they’re having their shills, the people they’re influencing, try to raise doubts about how the state will pay for universal coverage and what will happen to taxes,” Wendell Potter says. “They’ll try to … get Vermonters to second-guess themselves.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012
    By A.R. Strobeck Jr.
    Dr. John Geyman has written another tour de force on a health care topic. This time he examines the “silent crisis” which is rapidly unfolding in health care delivery: the unraveling and decline of the primary care structure.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
    By Arnold S. Relman, M.D. | Letters, The New York Times
    Congress has already created two limited single-payer systems — Medicare and the veterans’ health system — and no legal barriers prevent doing more. Since a mandate isn’t necessary for Congress to exercise its legitimate role in regulating health insurance, there is no justification under the Constitution’s “necessary and proper” clause for such a legislative requirement.

  • Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012
    By Joan Murray | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
    How do we ensure health care coverage, including the option of birth control, for all American women without troubling an employer's private moral beliefs?

  • Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012
    By Philip Caper | Bangor Daily News
    Health care reform has to be about more than just expanding health insurance coverage. It also has to be about making sure everyone has access to high-quality health care at a reasonable cost.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012
    By Bill Toland | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    One rationale behind the adoption of electronic medical records is that making a patient's records more easily accessible for doctors will result in more efficient care, partly by reducing duplicative tests. But physicians who have electronic systems -- and, more crucially, have the ability to easily order X-rays, CT scans and MRI images via computer -- are far more likely to order those kinds of tests than doctors without electronic access, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012
    By Joe Jarvis | Utah Healthcare Initiative blog
    It's clear from his comments that Dr. Krauthammer wishes that Obamacare would be repealed and that the nation would not go down the pathway towards single-payer health system reform. However, he directly states that given a choice between Obamacare and single payer, he would choose single payer, because "at least it would be rational."

  • Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012
    By Danny McCormick, David Bor, Stephanie Woolhandler, and David Himmelstein | Health Affairs Blog
    Our recent Health Affairs article linking increased test ordering to electronic access to results has elicited heated responses, including a blog post by Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT. Some of the assertions in his blog post are mistaken. Some take us to task for claims we never made, or for studying only some of the myriad issues relevant to medical computing. And many reflect wishful thinking regarding health IT; an acceptance of deeply flawed evidence of its benefit, and skepticism about solid data that leads to unwelcome conclusions.

  • Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012
    By Thomas Bodenheimer | Health Affairs
    “Breaking Point,” Geyman’s new book about primary care, reviews the promise and problems of primary care. His analysis leads the reader to wonder whether the medical home will reach a tipping point (success) and permanently transform primary care or a breaking point (failure) and be a short-lived blip on the health policy radar screen. Despite the book’s title and recounting of the difficulties facing primary care, the author seems cautiously optimistic that primary care will grow and thrive. The book has a clear point of view, which is that a single-payer system is a prerequisite to a strong primary care sector. It is well written, informative, evidence-based— and an important book for everyone concerned about the U.S. health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012
    By Bernie Fetterly | Ithaca (N.Y.) Journal
    We know that the Affordable Health Care Act was written by the insurance companies for the insurance companies. It does not deal with the rising cost of health care and it increases under- insurance for just about everybody. Also, 23 million Americans will remain uninsured. Can we really wait two more years and still have a bad health care plan that will cause many to die needlessly and also cause many to go bankrupt?

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012
    By Steve Lohr | The New York Times, Bits blog
    I wrote an article in Tuesday’s New York Times, which was based on a study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs that casts doubt on the widespread claim that computerized patient records will cut health care spending.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012
    By The Associated Press | The Washington Post
    A survey shows 1 in 5 Americans say their families are having trouble paying their medical bills. Worse, half of those who are struggling say they are unable to pay a single dime toward those debts.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012
    By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
    Electronic health records may not be as effective as expected at reducing the number of costly and unnecessary tests doctors order for their patients, a study published Monday in Health Affairs found. Among a national sampling of more than 1,100 doctors surveyed in 2008, those who had electronic access to results of imaging tests such as CT scans and MRIs ordered more tests, not fewer.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012
    By Steve Lohr | The New York Times
    Computerized patient records are unlikely to cut health care costs and may actually encourage doctors to order expensive tests more often, a study published on Monday concludes.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    With the approaching Supreme Court showdown on the President Obama's 2010 health care law (the Affordable Care Act, modeled, of course, on Mitt Romney's law in Massachusetts), the U.S. health care system remains a dysfunctional mess, as nurses bear witness to every day.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012
    By Margaret Newton, M.D. | Brattleboro Reformer
    Dr. John Geyman was a rural family doctor before joining the University of Washington School of Medicine. He eventually chaired its department of family medicine and is now professor emeritus. He has written extensively about America’s urgent need for health care reform. He was president of Physicians for a National Health Program from 2005 to 2007 and is a member of the national Institute of Medicine.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012
    By Jim Hightower | The Austin (Texas) Chronicle
    In these times of cold health care austerity, it reaffirms one's faith in humanity to learn that many hospitals are now going the extra mile to provide top quality care for all.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
    By Lenny Potash | Labor Notes
    Though it’s passed the legislature twice before, a bill to establish a single-payer universal health insurance system in California failed in the state senate in January.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    When veteran print and TV journalist T.R. Reid visited Maine last fall, he claimed we could provide health care for everybody and do it for less money with better results. At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network will air his latest documentary, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News,” which shows how it can be done.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
    By Single Payer Action | CommonDreams newswire, Feb. 14, 2012
    Fifty medical doctors who favor a single-payer health insurance system Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the individual mandate. In a brief filed with the Court, the 50 doctors and two nonprofit groups – Single Payer Action and It’s Our Economy – said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
    By Michael Ozer, M.D. | Letters, The New York Times
    I am struck by the quandary the United States has on issues like these by maintaining an employer-based health insurance system. If we Americans had a national single-payer system that covered all of our people, the arguments against infringement on religious liberty would be a moot point.

  • Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012
    By Winthrop Quigley | Albuquerque Journal
    The question is asked with regularity at legislative and congressional hearings, medical and public health conferences, political rallies and policy think tanks: Is health care a right, or a privilege?

  • Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012
    By Jacob Bor, Heather Lanthorn, and John Quattroch | The Harvard Crimson, Feb. 10, 2012
    If you were anywhere near Harvard Business School last Saturday you might have seen a 12-foot tall puppet dancing to accordion music while a merry band of “Congresspeople” and “health insurance executives” swilled champagne, showered each other in cash and sang round after round of “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow.” If you weren’t near HBS, you missed a fantastic party.

  • Posted on Friday, February 10, 2012
    By Cathleen F. Crowley | Albany Times-Union
    ALBANY – A local physician and activist was chosen as president-elect of Physicians for a National Health Program, a national organization of 18,000 doctors who support universal health care.

  • Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012
    By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
    MONTPELIER, Vt. — You can’t see them. They’re hidden from view and probably always will be. But the health insurance industry’s big guns are in place and pointed directly at the citizens of Vermont.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012
    The following remarks by Dr. Claudia Fegan, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, were delivered to the annual strategy conference of Healthcare-Now! on Jan. 28 in Houston.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012
    The Union (Grass Valley, Calif.)
    The Campaign for a Healthy California on Wednesday denounced the failure of the California Senate to pass SB 810, the California Universal Care Act. The bill died when it remained two votes short of passage.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
    By Julie Pease, M.D. | Portland Press Herald (Maine)
    For two years, while great effort has been spent debating health care reforms, costs for health insurance have continued to spiral out of control. Contrary to the assertions of Sen. Deborah Sanderson in a Dec. 30 column ("Legislature is tackling the causes of Maine's high health care costs"), there is simply no evidence to suggest that increasing competition in the for-profit insurance market will control health care costs, just as there is no evidence to suggest that federal reforms will be able to bring costs under control.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
    BARBARA COMMINS | Letters, The New York Times
    H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, would have cut out unnecessary administrative costs, given Americans real choice in their health care, and dissolved the employment-benefits contract that keeps us an indentured labor force. These are factors that both liberals and conservatives should be able to support.

  • Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012
    By Michael Parenti | CommonDreams
    When I recently went to Alta Bates hospital for surgery, I discovered that legal procedures take precedence over medical ones. I had to sign intimidating statements about financial counseling, indemnity, patient responsibilities, consent to treatment, use of electronic technologies, and the like.

  • Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012
    By David Gorn | California Healthline
    The idea of a single-payer health care system in California stalled on the Senate floor yesterday, falling two votes short of passage.

  • Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012
    By Lindy Washburn | The Republic (Columbus, Ind.)
    HACKENSACK, N.J. — Frances Giordano found out she had lung cancer in June. After that, the bad news just kept coming.

  • Posted on Friday, January 27, 2012
    By Allyson M. Pollock, et al. | The Lancet
    The National Health Service (NHS) in England has been a leading international model of tax-financed, universal health care. Legal analysis shows that the Health and Social Care Bill currently making its way through the UK Parliament would abolish that model and pave the way for the introduction of a US-style health system by eroding entitlement to equality of healthcare provision.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    By Thomas Walkom | The Guelph Mercury (Canada)
    Don Drummond, the Ontario government’s adviser-on-everything, is still a few days away from officially revealing details of his proposed spending cutbacks. But critics are already weighing in.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    By Chris Goeser, M.D., and Samuel Metz, M.D. | Statesman Journal (Salem, Ore.)
    Without reform, American businesses can survive only by shifting escalating health care costs to someone else. A "defined contribution" plan allows just that — it moves increasing costs away from businesses and onto employees. These plans do nothing, of course, for those without benefits or without a job.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012
    By Steven Reinberg, HealthDay Reporter | U.S. News and World Report
    People without jobs who have health insurance are less likely to get medical care or prescription drugs than people with jobs who have such coverage, U.S. health officials reported Tuesday.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2012
    By Stephen Kemble, M.D. | OpEd News
    Large health care savings become possible if competing plans are consolidated into a universal program with a single risk pool. This will eliminate insurance costs of underwriting, adverse selection, multiple private bureaucracies, brokers, lobbying, and marketing and advertising. Health plan incentives to avoid covering the sick and to “cherry pick” healthier subscribers and risk pools will be eliminated. There will be no pre-existing condition exclusions, cost-shifting, and disputes over who is responsible for paying for care.

  • Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012
    By Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    As partisans wrangle over fiscal matters like entitlements and taxes, what is getting overlooked is the more real and basic need to reform a huge and inefficient driver of America's economy: our health care delivery system. We spend far more than any other country on health care. Yet our citizens don't live as long as people in many other countries. Many of our health outcomes lag far behind other developed nations. The disparities in even basic care are too great between rich and poor. And too many Americans lack basic health insurance coverage.

  • Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012
    By Robert Remington | Calgary Herald
    With the family of deceased Canadian skier Sarah Burke facing a U.S. medical bill topping the value of an average Calgary home, I was reminded Friday of a quote by the late Justice Emmett Hall, a crusader for Canada’s public health-care system.

  • Posted on Friday, January 20, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    For more than a month, the Legislature has been focused on the governor’s proposal to cut $221 million from the Department of Health and Human Services budget by revoking Medicaid eligibility for about 65,000 low-income and disabled Mainers. His proposal has generated controversy, including marathon hearings, state house rallies, articles in many of Maine’s papers as well as a petition that garnered more than 8,000 signatures in less than two weeks, all opposing the cuts.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012
    From the office of California State Senator Mark Leno
    The Senate Appropriations Committee today approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while reducing the state’s ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012
    By Jessica Marcy | Kaiser Health News
    Vermont lawmakers are taking steps to move the state toward a publicly-financed insurance program and craft a state health exchange, which is required by the 2010 federal health law and which state officials hope to use as the groundwork for their eventual move to a unique single-payer system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012
    By Susan Leigh Deppe, M.D. |
    Opponents of Vermont’s new single-payer health law are fear-mongering about the supposed consequences of lack of “robust choice” in the health insurance marketplace. What they ignore is that health care doesn’t work like other “products.” It is better seen as a public good, like electricity. A publicly financed, single-payer system will actually give us more choice.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012
    By Jessica Schorr Saxe, M.D. | The Charlotte Observer
    In the exam room, the patient recounted her complicated illness. When she described symptoms related to her surgery, I suggested she see her surgeon.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012
    By Arnold Relman | The American Prospect
    Most people assume that insurance is an essential part of the health-care system. Some think it should be provided through public programs like Medicare, while others prefer to see it purchased from private insurance companies, but the majority believe that insurance is needed to help pay the unpredictable and often catastrophic expenses of medical care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    Various sources
    What follows is a partial listing of the media coverage given to parallel marches and rallies held on Monday, Jan. 9, in Sacramento and Los Angeles protesting the continuing injustices in U.S. health care and calling for universal, single-payer health reform. The protests were sponsored by the California Health Professional Student Alliance (CaHPSA), the Campaign for a Healthy California, Occupy LA, Occupy Sacramento, PNHP California and other groups. In Sacramento, the rally was immediately followed by student lobbying efforts in the state Capitol.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    By Samuel Metz and Charlotte Maloney | The Register-Guard (Eugene, Ore.)
    Modern mythology recounts James Carville giving candidate Bill Clinton memorable advice regarding his upcoming presidential campaign: “It’s the economy, stupid.” Those of us wrestling with health care reform might take similar advice: “It’s the financing, stupid.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    By Stephen Kemble, M.D.
    Consider H.R.676, the House single-payer bill kept "off the table" during health reform negotiations. It proposes public financing of universal health care, but leaves care delivery (doctors and hospitals) private and independent.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    The Hawaii Health Authority, which was established by the Hawaii Legislature as part of the state’s Department of Budget and Finance and tasked with being “responsible for overall health planning for the state,” issued a report to Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the Legislature on Dec. 23, 2011. It consists of a 1999 report by the Health Futures Task Force and a 2011 Update. A few of the members of the 1999 Health Futures Task Force are now members of the HHA.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012
    By Mary O’Brien, M.D. | CommonDreams
    After wincing a bit from the free flu shot, my young patient turned to me and said, “What you’re doing here is awesome – it’s so hard get health care!”

  • Posted on Monday, January 9, 2012
    By Arthur J. Sutherland III, M.D. | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)
    I would agree that Medicare is not perfect. It has been manipulated by the medical industries' influence over Congress and needs to be fixed to function correctly. We need a national health program like all other capitalistic nations already have in one fashion or another that is suitable to them.

  • Posted on Monday, January 9, 2012
    By John Benziger, M.D. | Letters, Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine)
    Last year, people woke up to the fact that corporate greed and injustice are hurting Americans. We have a broken for-profit health care system. More than 50 million Americans are uninsured. Medicare and hospitals, along with other public programs like Medicaid, are under constant threat of new cuts by lawmakers. Meanwhile, last year, the nation's five largest for-profit health insurers netted $11.7 billion in profits, and their CEOs took $54.4 million in pay.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 5, 2012
    By Julia Sisler | CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)
    With medical expenses the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the United States, an increasing number of desperate Americans are turning to websites to raise money to pay for medical bills of relatives and friends.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012
    WCHL Your Health Radio
    The following text is an unofficial transcript of a radio broadcast titled “Demystifying the Canadian Health System” that appeared on “Your Health Radio with Dr. Adam Goldstein and Dr. Cristy Page” on WCHL 1360 AM on Nov. 16. The program is produced weekly by the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
    I'm sitting by the hospital bed of a grateful Medicare beneficiary — my mother. She seems to be making progress in her battle against pneumonia, and she doesn't have the worry that many other patients here have about how they are going to pay their medical bills. Because private insurance companies and employers have shifted so many Americans into high-deductible plans, many of the younger patients here will soon find out that they are terribly underinsured and thus will be on the hook for thousands of dollars not covered by their policies.

  • Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011
    By Andy Metzger | WWLP News, Channel 22 NBC
    BOSTON - Five years after redrawing the lines in the national health care debate, Beacon Hill is looking at new reforms, closely studying payment system plans to lower costs and examining a government controlled single-payer model.

  • Posted on Friday, December 16, 2011
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    Do Americans need health insurance? The short answer is no — at least not in the form it currently exists in America.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011
    By Jason Motlagh | TIME
    A family physician, Dr. Arthur Chen, 60, was an unusual addition to the counter-culture of the Occupy Oakland movement. But the Connecticut-born Oakland resident who works in the city's Chinatown had a cause — health care reform — and the protests gave him a forum. He spoke to TIME's Jason Motlagh.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011
    By Dominic Rushe | The Guardian
    Pity Wall Street's bankers. Once the highest-paid bosses in the land, they are now also-rans. The real money is in healthcare and drugs, according to the latest survey of executive pay.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
    By Josh Moniz | The Journal (New Ulm, Minn.)
    Physicians for a National Health Program-Minnesota hosted an informational presentation for business owners on single-payer health care Friday at the New Ulm Country Club.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
    by Daniel Fireside | YES! Magazine
    Deb Richter resolved to fix the health care system almost as soon as she began practicing medicine more than two decades ago in inner-city Buffalo. “I was very naive, I guess,” recalls Richter. “A lot of my patients didn’t have insurance. I would prescribe medicines for patients but they wouldn’t be able to afford them, and then they would just get sicker. I was mortified.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011
    Lynne Milnes | Letters, The New Yorker
    Twenty-two years ago, when our daughter was born three months early, weighing one and a half pounds S.F.D. (small for date), I was in the hospital for months and had two operations. Emma’s twin had aborted a month earlier, but Emma held on to twenty-eight weeks’ gestation. She was in the I.C.U. for eighty-one days, saw every type of specialist, and needed to have nine blood transfusions. When all was said and done, we paid five dollars for the birth of our daughter — to cover the parking. She is currently finishing her university undergraduate degree, and I am very grateful that she was born in Canada.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011
    By Brad Cotton, M.D. | Circleville (Ohio) Herald
    Many of us were shocked and disgusted that for the second time in recent years Tennessee firefighters allowed a families’ home to burn to the ground. Seems the monthly premium for fire service had not been paid. I wonder if this family, like so many families today, was struggling deciding what bills to pay that month, choosing among their children’s prescription meds, school fees, car payments, certainly the chance of a fire seemed remote.

  • Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011
    By J. Mark Ryan, M.D. | Letters, The Newport (R.I.) Daily News
    Hospitals like Newport provide free care because so many in the community lack health insurance. More than 50 million people nationally and 10 percent of all Rhode Islanders are uninsured, and a larger number are “underinsured,” meaning that because of the high deductibles, co-pays and caps on their insurance policies, a single critical illness such as cancer will bankrupt them.

  • Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
    The money that patients’ rights advocates have to spend trying to convince the Obama administration that Americans should have decent health care benefits pales in comparison to the boatloads of cash insurers and their corporate allies have on hand to do largely the opposite. But at least the advocates are now in the game.

  • Posted on Friday, December 9, 2011
    By Stephen Kemble, M.D. | OpEdNews
    With or without with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the total national cost of U.S. health care is rising unsustainably, with an increasingly unaffordable share pushed onto patients.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 8, 2011
    By Danielle Alexander | AMSA On Call blog
    I met a patient last week who stopped taking her antidepressant medications because she had been denied long-term health insurance and thought it would improve her chances of eligibility. Unfortunately this obviously wasn’t in the best interest of her health.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 8, 2011
    By Jordan Green | Yes! Weekly (Greensboro, N.C.)
    The Cone Health Family Medicine Center on North Church Street in Greensboro might seem an unlikely place for a revolt to stir, but that’s exactly what was happening as Health Care for All North Carolina gathered for its annual meeting on a recent Saturday afternoon.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011
    British Medical Association | Press release
    Chaotic and poorly coordinated structural change currently taking place throughout the National Health Service in England before the Health and Social Care Bill is even law continues to threaten service stability, the British Medical Association said Wednesday in its latest briefing for peers currently debating the legislation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011
    By Jeanne Lenzer | BMJ
    A national doctors’ organization says that most of the authors of a federally sponsored report on recommended health insurance coverage have financial ties to insurers and drug companies and that the insurance scheme will leave many U.S. citizens without access to health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011
    By MARY ELLEN SCHNEIDER | The Oncology Report
    Physicians who support a single-payer health system are urging the federal government to reject the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations for designing the benefits package to be offered in the state-based health insurance exchanges.

  • Posted on Monday, December 5, 2011
    By Roger Bybee | In These Times
    Health care reform in the shape of the 2010 Affordable Care Act was supposed to relieve working Americans of the burdens of rising health care costs as they struggle to survive the jobless recovery.

  • Posted on Monday, December 5, 2011
    By Helen Redmond | Healthcare-Now blog
    Evidence of how bad the U.S. health care crisis has gotten continues to pile up. And with the federal government preparing to impose automatic cuts in the Medicare health program for the elderly and Medicaid health program for the poor, it will only grow worse – unless something is done to change the direction.

  • Posted on Monday, December 5, 2011
    By Zack Rubin | The Daily Tar Heel (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
    Dr. Steve Auerbach has shared his vision for a single-payer health system with Occupy movements nationwide, and on Friday he brought it to Chapel Hill.

  • Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011
    By Chelsea Conaboy | Boston Globe, White Coat Notes
    More than 2,400 health care providers and advocates sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius today objecting to recommendations made by a panel of the Institute of Medicine regarding what benefits must be covered in state health insurance marketplaces developed under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011
    By Andis Robeznieks | Modern Healthcare
    More than 2,400 people have signed an open letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius protesting the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for defining "essential benefits," which the signers said give more weight to "cost rather than medical need."

  • Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | Firedoglake
    Just last week, the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) released the results of its most recent study of the health care systems in the 40 counties considered to be “developed.” It came as no surprise to see that the U.S. health care system — if we can even call it a system — is still by far the most expensive on the planet.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011
    By Wendell Potter |
    A little more than a year ago, on the day after the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be John Boehner said one of the first orders of business after he took charge would be the repeal of health care reform.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011
    By CHRIS GAROFOLO | Brattleboro Reformer
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced on Tuesday Vermont will receive more than $18 million to fund the design and development of a larger health benefits exchange to serve as the foundation for the state's future single-payer plan.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011
    By Kay Tillow | All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
    Paula Friedman, Chair of the Retiree Committee of the Bergen County Central Trades and Labor Council in New Jersey, reports that their latest victory is the successful passage of a resolution by the Township of Teaneck calling for the “immediate enactment” of HR 676, national single payer health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

  • Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011
    By Deborah Stone | Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics
    In most other nations, insurance for medical care is called sickness insurance, and it covers sick people. In the United States, we have “health insurance,” and its major carriers — commercial insurers, large employers, and increasingly government programs — strive to avoid sick people and cover only the healthy. This perverse logic at the heart of the American health insurance system is the key to reform debates.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PRWatch
    Members of Congress and the Obama administration have assured us that on January 1, 2014, junk health insurance plans -- which offer only the illusion of adequate coverage to the millions of Americans enrolled in them -- will become a thing of the past.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2011
    By Ed Grystar, Chuck Pennacchio and Tony Buba | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    The current contract disagreement between Highmark and UPMC provides a clear example of why the free-market health care system has failed. When profit is the primary motive, patient needs get short shrift.

  • Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011
    By Kirsten Stewart | The Salt Lake Tribune
    Joseph Jarvis' decades-long push for a statewide health cooperative — a publicly funded, nonprofit health insurance trust to cover every Utahn for all medically necessary care — has been a non-starter in conservative Utah. Chances of it gaining traction grew slimmer with passage of President Barack Obama’s health overhaul, which Jarvis says “sucked all the oxygen out of the room.”

  • Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    America is the only wealthy country in the world that does not guarantee its people access to health care as a fundamental right. More than 15 percent of Americans are uninsured and many more are seriously underinsured. That was the bottom line message of T.R. Reid, author of the best-selling book “The Healing of America” and the television documentary based on it, “Sick Around The World.”

  • Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011
    By KAREN HOWLETT | Globe and Mail
    Canada should remain committed to publicly funded health care, and not open the door to two-tier medicine, says a new report by a top economist.

  • Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011
    STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER | Letter to the Editor | The New York Times
    Ezekiel J. Emanuel lowballs estimates of the current costs and potential savings on medical bureaucracy, and raises vain hope that health reforms short of a single-payer system will realize substantial savings

  • Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011
    By Merton Bernstein | Health Affairs Blog
    The McKinsey Global Institute reported in 2007 and 2008 that the United States spends twice as much for health care as for food. According to Census and Department of Agriculture data that pattern continues. Yet millions remain outside the protection of health insurance and many nominally within its bounds are seriously underinsured.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011
    By OccupyWashingtonDC
    The following is an excerpt from a much longer report titled "The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending."

  • Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011
    By Stephen Kemble | OpEd News
    Many still assume universal health care must mean higher costs, but other countries prove this assumption false. The US spends about twice as much per capita on health care as other industrialized countries, yet others are able to cover everyone and have better health outcomes.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011
    By Joshua Freeman, M.D. | Medicine and Social Justice blog
    In Seeking a Cure for Troubled Hospitals in Brooklyn (New York Times, Nov. 10), Nina Bernstein reports on the challenges faced by not-for-profit hospitals in that part of New York City.