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PNHP RESOURCES

Articles of Interest Archives

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

  • Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010
    By Dr. Quentin Young | The Huffington Post
    It's not too late for the president to re-embrace his earlier support for single-payer national health insurance and set the nation on the right path. Were he to lay out the facts to the American people and provide energetic leadership for this eminently rational proposal, he would get strong, grassroots support from the public.

  • Posted on Monday, February 22, 2010
    By Dr. Oliver Fein | The Huntsville (Ala.) Times
    President Obama’s health reform plan hasn’t stalled just because of one election in Massachusetts. The seeds for today’s impasse were planted long ago.

  • Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010
    Adapted from an article by Frank Kirkwood
    The powerful drug and insurance lobbies that oppose single payer national health insurance used their influence inside Washington to keep single payer "off the table" during the health care debate of 2009. Now, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations may donate even more to campaigns, further increasing their stranglehold over our democracy. Campaign finance reform could curb the unrestrained growth of corporate influence and help restore our democracy.

  • Posted on Friday, February 19, 2010
    By Michael Roberts | Denver Westword
    Health Care For All Colorado (HCFAC) is behind a "Medicare For All" march co-starring Dr. Margaret Flowers, a Maryland pediatrician who was briefly arrested outside a Baltimore hotel where Obama was speaking while advocating for the issue.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010
    Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 17,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance, respectfully requests that you invite one or more of our representatives to participate in your White House health care session on Feb. 25.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 18, 2010
    Remarks by Kip Sullivan
    It’s easy enough to explain why the “public option” was defeated. It’s a lot harder to explain why it rose to prominence in the first place. Even in the watered down form in which it was adopted by Democrats, the PO was probably no more politically feasible than single-payer was, but it was a lot harder to explain. And the watered down form wouldn’t work, and it probably wouldn’t even have survived.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010
    By Healthcare-NOW!
    Once again the president and congress are not including any discussion of the only real solution to America’s health care problems – expanding and improving Medicare to cover everyone in America.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 17, 2010
    By Mark Leno | San Francisco Chronicle
    As outraged families and small businesses react to the latest health insurance premium increases, Californians are forced to face the fact that insurance companies are not in business to provide health care to people who need it. Premium increases are just part of the concerns - pre-existing condition denials, overturned doctors' decisions, coverage rescissions and other insurance industry abuses are sadly commonplace.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
    By George Jolly | The Saratogian (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
    Health care reform has derailed and is sitting beside the tracks. The proposals that came out of Congress are patchworks of policies which try to alleviate some of the most egregious failures of our present healthcare “non-system,” such as limiting the power of insurance companies to refuse to cover those with pre-existing conditions.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
    From Health Care for American Now
    The five largest U.S. health insurance companies sailed through the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression to set new industry profit records in 2009, a feat accomplished by leaving behind 2.7 million Americans who had been in private health plans. For customers who kept their benefits, the insurers raised rates and cost-sharing, and cut the share of premiums spent on medical care.1 Executives and shareholders of the five biggest for-profit health insurers, UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc., Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., and Cigna Corp., enjoyed combined profit of $12.2 billion in 2009, up 56 percent from the previous year. It was the best year ever for Big Insurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
    By LORETTA SWORD | The Pueblo Chieftain (Colo.)
    Proponents of a national health plan are disappointed that bills that emerged last year from the U.S. Senate and House didn't include a national health plan.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010
    By Helen Scott
    In England, no one referred to the cost of ambulance, X-rays, blood tests, doctors, hospital beds or medications. We were assured that my mother would not be discharged until she was medically fit to cope at home, and that they would provide an assessment and a care package--including such services as a visiting home aide, physical and occupational therapy, meals-on-wheels, etc.--to enable this.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2010
    The nation’s largest union and professional organization of registered nurses, National Nurses United, today joined the national condemnation of Anthem Blue Cross for imposing rate hikes of up to 39 percent for Californians with individual policies, but said the outrage must “go beyond words to action to end insurance abuses once and for all.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010
    By Paul Hochfeld | CommonDreams.org
    What do we say to our more conservative friends, who genuinely think that the Single Payer solution to our health care crisis would be a disaster? Try what follows. In the end, you may simply agree to disagree. That's O.K., but what follows may give them pause to think.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2010
    By Russell Mokhiber | Single Payer Action
    Single payer activists David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler are moving to New York City. In the fall of 2010, they will become full professors at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Public Health at Hunter College.

  • Posted on Monday, February 8, 2010
    From Health Care for All Pennsylvania
    The Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee today unanimously endorsed a resolution calling for passage of single payer healthcare, Senate Bill 400 and House Bill 1660, also known as the "Family and Business Healthcare Security Act."

  • Posted on Monday, February 8, 2010
    By CATHLEEN F. CROWLEY | Albany (N.Y.) Times Union
    The keynote speaker at an upcoming forum on health reform has two arrests to prove her devotion to her cause. Dr. Carol Paris, a Maryland psychiatrist, was arrested at a U.S. Senate hearing in June after she stood up and asked senators to consider a single-payer system. Paris was arrested again a week ago while trying to deliver a letter to President Barrack Obama.

  • Posted on Monday, February 8, 2010
    By JOHNATHON ROSS | The Toledo (Ohio) Blade
    I care for low-income patients in an inner-city Toledo clinic. My work there convinces me that our country never will have high-quality, accessible, affordable health care as long as private insurers make the rules. The best policy solution would be a single-payer system, such as an improved and expanded "Medicare for All."

  • Posted on Monday, February 8, 2010
    Bill Moyers Journal
    BILL MOYERS:When I saw pictures of Margaret Flowers being led away, I remembered those famous words attributed to another Margaret, the anthropologist Margaret Mead who said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Dr. Flowers is with me now. A pediatrician from Maryland who worked at a rural hospital and in private practice, her full-time job is now the fight for single payer health insurance. She works on Capitol Hill for the organization, Physicians for a National Health Program. Welcome to the Journal.

  • Posted on Friday, February 5, 2010
    By Duke Helfand | Los Angeles Times
    Policyholders are incensed over rate hikes of as much as 39%, which they say come on top of similar increases last year. State insurance regulators say they'll investigate.

  • Posted on Friday, February 5, 2010
    By Robert Stone | Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
    A single-payer, improved Medicare-for-all reform would lower costs, cover the uninsured and upgrade coverage for most Americans. It would prove sustainable and hugely popular. Under Medicare, patients have the freedom to choose their doctor and hospital and are free from the fear of financial catastrophe.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 4, 2010
    The Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Health Care Steering Committee & Advisory Board
    As grassroots representatives of millions of this country’s union members and in the interest of all working people, we respectfully submit that taking the single-payer solution off the table was both a strategic and tactical mistake. Medicare is an example of a successful single payer model and it is a very popular health care program. A “Medicare-for-All” system would be far more cost effective than any of the proposed current reforms based on the continuation of for-profit, market-based insurance. And it is a program that Americans are already familiar with--a solution right at our fingertips.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 3, 2010
    By Erin Sullivan | Baltimore City Paper
    Local health-care practitioners explain why they're willing to go to jail in the name of health-care reform.

  • Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010
    SB 810 (Leno), the California Universal Healthcare Act would provide fiscally sound, affordable healthcare to all Californians, give every Californian the right to choose his or her own physician and control health cost inflation.

  • Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010
    By Katie Robbins | MichaelMoore.com
    After a sobering loss for Democrats in the special election held to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts, probing exit polls about health reform show that the win of Republican Scott Brown who pledged to cast the vote that would kill national health reform, didn’t come from people who thought the national legislation was going too far, but that it wasn’t going far enough. Among Brown voters, 36 percent thought it didn't go far enough. Among voters who stayed home and opposed health care, a full 53 percent said they opposed the Senate bill because it didn't go far enough.

  • Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010
    By John Marty | MinnPost
    Please, restore the hope that you raised in all of us, bring back the inspiration that made the American people so excited by your inauguration. I urge you to step back, reconsider, introduce a health care plan that is truly universal, and fight for it.

  • Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010
    By Dr. Carol Paris
    Remember that we all have talents to contribute. Without Bill Hughes taking the video, our action wouldn’t have been as fruitful. Without Kevin Zeese, we’d have worried about our families and “legal stuff.” Without Mark Almberg, we wouldn’t have a press release. Without researchers like David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, we wouldn’t have compelling data to support us. We draw support from each other.

  • Posted on Monday, February 1, 2010
    By Barbara Power | Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph
    Do you have reliable, affordable, high-quality health care, guaranteed for life? Do all of your children? Parents? Grandchildren? Friends and neighbors? If so, congratulations.

  • Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010
    From Deslinde
    En Estados Unidos, 46 millones de personas no tienen seguro de salud porque no pueden pagarlo. 45.000 de ellas mueren anualmente como consecuencia directa de no estar aseguradas, o lo que es lo mismo, una muerte cada 12 minutos que podría evitarse si estas personas tuvieran acceso oportuno a los servicios de salud.

  • Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010

    Quentin Young | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
    President Obama’s State of the Union address had a high point when he pledged that anyone with a “better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.”



  • Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. | Op-Ed News
    I am a pediatrician who, like many of my primary care colleagues, left practice because it is nearly impossible to deliver high quality health care in this environment. I have been volunteering for Physicians for a National Health Program ever since. For over a year now, I have been working with the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care/ National Single Payer Alliance. This alliance represents over 20 million people nationwide from doctors to nurses to labor, faith and community groups who advocate on behalf of the majority of Americans, including doctors, who favor a national Medicare-for-All health system.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 28, 2010
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | Room for Debate Blog, New York Times
    Having surrendered in advance to the private insurers and drug companies who profit from our dysfunctional health financing system, President Obama and the Democrats who lead Congress couldn’t rally the American people to support their woeful plan against Republican attacks.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010
    By Marcia Angell, MD | Huffington Post
    Well, that was a game-changer! But don't misinterpret it (and don't blame Martha Coakley's lackluster campaign). Scott Brown's victory was not about the principles of either party, nor was it about the size of government, nor even about health reform, except indirectly. It was about disillusionment and anger with government.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 27, 2010
    President Barack Obama | State of the Union Address
    But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. (Applause.) Let me know. Let me know. (Applause.) I'm eager to see it.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2010
    By Clark Newhall | Salt Lake Tribune It has long been apparent that there was no consensus among progressives on the best way to achieve universal health care. From the very beginning, MoveOn and the labor movement gave lip service (sometimes) to single-payer ideas, but put their money behind whatever the president proposed.

  • Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010
    By Kristen Gerencher | MarketWatch
    The following is an excerpt from an article about the impact of Scott Brown’s election to the Senate from Massachusetts

  • Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010
    By Mike Rose | Austin (Minn.) Daily Herald
    When the current health care debate began in earnest last year, one potential topic of discussion was largely left out — “single-payer” insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010
    By GEOFF THOMAS | Daily Record (Morris County, N.J.)
    I am a health care reform activist, yet I cannot support the current health care finance reform bills moving through Congress. The current bills provide no real long-term savings, continue to enrich the bloated and inefficient for-profit private health insurance industry, and fail to address the crippling economic burden that every American worker must carry versus all competitors abroad.

  • Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010
    By Suzanne Gordon | Salt Lake Tribune | Progressive Media Project
    I've had enough of the derisive talk about "Cadillac" health insurance plans. They're not all that they are cracked up to be, and they are not what is driving health-care costs skyward.

  • Posted on Monday, January 25, 2010
    By James Thindwa | In These Times
    Frustrated Obama supporters are told that the “machinery of Congress” grinds slowly; that only incremental change is possible; and that folks on “the left” are demanding too much and letting “the perfect be the enemy of the good.” Thus, we get a healthcare bill that rewards a predatory insurance system with millions of new customers—at taxpayer expense.

  • Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2010
    James Hudson, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | The Tennessean
    Jack Irby of Smyrna is to be applauded for his stand on the issue of health care for Americans as being a right and not a privilege. He is on solid, rational ground when he concludes that the evidence is overwhelming that we must end the private insurance domination of health care in our country and move toward a publicly financed, single-payer Medicare for all approach.

  • Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010
    By Vicente Navarro, M.D. | American Journal of Public Health
    The election of President Obama seemed to be such a change and a sign of hope, because this was the trademark of his campaign. But since coming into office, he seems to have been poorly advised on his strategy for implementing the promised change. He has made several big mistakes.

  • Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010
    By Brad Jacobson | The Raw Story
    Wendell Potter, a twenty-year veteran of the insurance industry and former vice president of communications for Cigna, warns that current healthcare legislation does nothing to prevent the insurance industry from continuing its ongoing practice of increasingly shifting healthcare costs to consumers.

  • Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010
    By Robert Scheer | TruthDig
    The president got creamed in Massachusetts. No amount of blaming this disastrous outcome on the weaknesses of the local Democratic candidate or her Republican opponent’s strengths can gainsay that fact. Obama’s opportunistic search for win-win solutions to our health care concerns and our larger economic problems is leading to a lose-lose outcome for the president and the country.

  • Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010
    By Jane Slaughter | Labor Notes
    A Massachusetts local union president called it before the January 19 vote for senator: Ive never seen this much anger at the Democrats from union people,said Jeff Crosby, president of a General Electric factory local near Boston, as he prepared a last-minute leaflet to hand out in the plant. Its worse than NAFTA.

  • Posted on Friday, January 22, 2010
    By William Greider | The Nation
    Barack Obama went to Boston to rally voters and got a pie in the face. He lost his innocence as the valiant young president and also lost his sixty-vote majority in the Senate. Now we will find out what the man is made of--either a true political leader or just another show horse. Dozens of explanations are being offered for why the Dems were humiliated in Massachusetts. Democrats incline to grab easy answers. The president, if he is tough enough, will instead face the hard message of this political fiasco.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010
    By JESS BRAVIN | The Wall Street Journal
    Mr. Barnett argued that Congress would be on stronger constitutional ground had it taken a far more radical approach to restructuring the health-care system, such as raising taxes and creating a single payer for all Americans akin to the Medicare program that covers the elderly and disabled.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010
    Paul Hochfeld, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Gazette Times (Corvallis, Ore.)
    Sixty percent of all our health care costs are directly or indirectly taxpayer money. Because premiums paid by employers are tax-deductible, insurance companies receive a taxpayer subsidy to cover employees. Actuarially, working people are among our healthiest. Others, who want to purchase health insurance outside the workplace must, first, demonstrate health, then pay exorbitant rates. Seniors, who are at the greatest risk for high health care costs, are covered by the taxpayer through Medicare.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010
    By Howard Waitzkin, MD | American Journal of Public Health
    If we are serious about working to improve the devastating problems of access to services in the United States and other countries, we need to move beyond conventional wisdom about the value of market-based policies like mixed private-public systems.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010
    By Abdon M. Pallasch | Chicago Sun Times
    Dr. Quentin Young, who dressed the head wound King received from a rock to the head in Marquette Park in 1966, told an audience of King's contemporaries and fellow marchers -- King would be 81 had he lived -- at an Oak Park nursing home that King would want people to fight for health-care justice -- and that means a single-payer system, Young said.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010
    By Robert Kuttner | The Huffington Post
    How could the health care issue have turned from a reform that was going to make Barack Obama ten feet tall into a poison pill for Democratic senators? Whether or not Martha Coakley squeaks through in Massachusetts on Tuesday, the health bill has already done incalculable political damage and will likely do more.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010
    By Paul Post | The Saratogian (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)
    I think [the proposed health care legislation] should be defeated in its current form. I belong to a group called Single Payer New York. We promote the concept, “Medicare for all.” Under proposed legislation, only half the people without insurance or the underinsured would actually be covered. The rest wouldn’t. We want access. Health care should be for everyone. Also, health care quality should be improved, based on evidence-based medicine, and it should be “portable.” People shouldn’t have to change insurance providers when they change employers. Sometimes there are gaps and waiting periods. God forbid you have a serious illness during one of those times.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2010
    By Seth Sandronsky | truthout | Op-Ed
    Claudia Chaufan, MD, is an Argentine physician and assistant adjunct professor in the Institute for Health and Aging and Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also vice president of the California Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. According to its web site, PNHP supports "single-payer national health insurance - a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private." Dr. Chaufan talks to, and writes for, lay and expert audiences on the social dimensions of the diabetes epidemic and on single-payer health care reform. This is a recent email interview with her.

  • Posted on Friday, January 15, 2010
    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) | Press Release
    Two reports released today by federal unions found that the so-called “Cadillac” tax on higher-cost health plans contained in the U.S. Senate health care bill would actually affect average plans like those under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). The reports suggest that the excise tax would result in significant health benefit cuts and shifting of costs to employees, as plans try to avoid the tax.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010
    Ann Troy, M.D. | Letter to the editor | Pacific Sun (San Rafael, Calif.)
    If we had real healthcare reform, a single-payer system such as Medicare for all, all Americans would have access to healthcare, we would be able to choose our own doctors, doctors would be able to practice the way they want and would be paid fairly on a fee-for-service basis.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010
    By John R. Swartz | Letter to the editor | Concord (N.H.) Monitor
    Republican strategist Bob Luntz wrote it's not what you say but what people hear. He was correct. I keep hearing the phrase, "government-run health care," which is purposely vague and undefined. However, it frightens people who think that they will be forced to leave their current doctor and report to a dull gray building where they will receive poor treatment from a government doctor who graduated at the bottom of the class.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010
    By Russell Mokhiber | Single Payer Action
    During the question period, Dr. Margaret Flowers stood up to question Reinhardt about why Reinhardt – one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care economics and who writes a blog for the New York Times – wasn’t pushing single payer to the forefront.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2010
    By Rachel Kent | Fox 44 News
    There was a heated debate Tuesday night in Vermont state capitol over health care reform. It attracted hundreds of people. It was a three hour debate over whether or not there should be a state run health care plan.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2010
    By Daniel Barlow | Times Argus (Montelier, Vt.)
    Hundreds of Vermonters filled the Statehouse Tuesday for a public forum on health care reform, with a vast majority urging lawmakers to adopt a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2010
    By BILL SALGANIK | Labor Notes
    The theory behind the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-premium health plans is that people like Betty Diamond have too much health insurance, which causes them to get more medical care than they need. And if people like Diamond had thinner health care benefits, the theory continues, their bosses would pass the savings along in nice wage increases. But after serving on two bargaining committees—and surviving two cancers—Diamond, a technician at an AT&T data center in Miami, says the theory is off base.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 12, 2010
    By MARY M. CHAPMAN | New York Times, Wheels blog
    Nearly 100 auto workers and labor activists demonstrated in snowy, blustery conditions near the North American International Auto Show here, calling for a federal jobs recovery bill, a national single-payer health system and a green industrial policy.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    By: emptywheel | FireDogLake
    I was intrigued to see Gruber link–in his response to Ben Smith–to his May 2009 analysis of how to measure affordability for a national healthcare reform plan. After all, I’ve been debating with people who love to cite Gruber on affordability for months, and I’ve never seen them cite it. Now there are several reasons they might not want to rely on this paper. It might be that he starts out by arguing that you can still call something “affordable” even if it isn’t affordable for everyone.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    By Maggie Mahar | Health Beat Blog
    It should come as no surprise that the VA, the least “corporate” sector of U.S. health care, has adopted the Norway model. VA docs don’t take gifts or consulting fees from Pharma. The VA itself has an evidence-based formulary. Unlike Medicare, it does negotiate for discounts on drugs—and achieves substantial savings.The VA isn’t competing with other hospitals. It doesn’t worry whether “consumers” will go elsewhere. It worries about what is best for “patients.”

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    By Maggie Mahar | Health Beat Blog
    The story of the “Norway Solution” to hospital infections reminded me of a letter that I received in the fall, written by Svein U. Toverud, a Norwegian who lived in the U.S. from 1969 to 2003. While he was in the U.S. Toverud taught medical and dental students pharmacology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received medical care there. When he returned to Norway in 2003, he had an opportunity to reflect on the difference between health care in Norway and in the U.S.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    By Sara Mansfield Taber | The Washington Post
    In the final months before her death in May, my mother kept her shoes on all day, even when napping. She had to -- at her assisted-living facility in Mitchellville, Md., three certified nursing assistants looked after 39 residents. My mom couldn't depend on one of them to have the time to put her shoes on when she needed to get out of bed. Only in the mornings and evenings, when one of her private aides was with her for about 30 minutes, did she have personalized care.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    WBBM Radio
    Gov. Pat Quinn has named Dr. Quentin Young as the state's Public Health Advocate, according to a release from the governor's office Saturday. Dr. Young will develop wellness and education programs to help improve the health of the residents across Illinois.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    By STEVEN GREENHOUSE | New York Times
    When millions of blue-collar workers were leaning toward John McCain during the 2008 campaign, labor unions moved many of them into Barack Obama’s column by repeatedly hammering one theme: Mr. McCain wanted to tax their health benefits.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    Thomas Clairmont, MD | Letter to the Editor | The Telegraph (Nashua, NH)
    The current health care bills should be rejected. With 45 million people uninsured, 45,000 deaths annually due to lack of insurance, and nearly a million medical bankruptcies a year, a four-year delay in medical reform is unacceptable. Medicare was in place eleven months after passage in 1965.

  • Posted on Monday, January 11, 2010
    By Claudia Chaufan | The Social Medicine Portal
    I must confess that I was disappointed to see Dr. Atul Gawande’s mantra that more or more expensive care is not necessarily better care go unchallenged even by the otherwise outstanding Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now.” Unchallenged, that is, when this rather obvious (or at least very reasonable) observation was presented as the critical explanation for why the United States spends more in health care, per person, than any other country in the world, even as it leaves millions uninsured or underinsured, leads thousands to bankruptcy, and allows 45,000 people — 15 times the number murdered in 9/11 — to die for lack of health insurance.

  • Posted on Friday, January 8, 2010
    By Donna Smith | National Nurses Movement
    It’s hard for most of us to imagine a lifestyle supported by a $73 million retirement bonus. It’s even harder to imagine a whole nation’s healthcare controlled by those who have benefited so wildly from denying healthcare to those who need it.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
    By Louis Schlickman | Idaho Statesman, Reader's View
    A publicly financed health care system with predominantly privately delivered health care in our excellent U.S. facilities is easily achievable, would be highly ethical, and would provide profound economic benefits to our local and national businesses in competing with other companies that previously did not provide health care benefits because of costs.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    BRUCE TRIGG, M.D. | Letter to the editor, Albuquerque Journal
    H. EDWARD HANWAY, the chairman and CEO of Cigna Corporation, one of the largest private insurance companies, has a great deal to be thankful for this holiday season. Cigna, which had a profit of over $1 billion in 2007 and paid Hanway $30.16 million in 2008, has fared quite well in both the House and Senate health reform plans.



  • Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
    Drew Smith | Letter to the Editor | Acron Beacon (Ohio) Journal
    Dear Santa: I know that I haven't written in a while, but this is an emergency. Please, Santa, please bring us Medicare for all this Christmas. As an employee in a medical billing office, I can't watch any more people declare bankruptcy because they had the audacity to get sick so their bills are too high.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 6, 2010
    By HUMPHREY TAYLOR | Chairman, the Harris Poll, Harris interactive
    I pondered this question recently while attending the Commonwealth Fund’s International Symposium on Health in Washington where our latest survey comparing primary care in eleven countries was discussed. I heard presentations describing changes that have been, or are being, implemented in England, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. In some cases, these are fundamental reforms in how medical care is delivered and how providers are reimbursed. Many of these countries can demonstrate real improvements in the quality of care and efficiency in their systems.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    We recently interviewed Dr. David Himmelstein and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, co-founders of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), about the health bills emerging in Congress and the status of the movement for single-payer Medicare for All. Both are faculty members at Harvard Medical School and primary care physicians at Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts. The telephone interview took place on Nov. 30, several weeks before the Senate adopted its version of the bill. On the eve of the Senate vote, PNHP called for the defeat of the bill, saying it would do more harm than good and that it would make genuine reform more difficult in the future.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    After all the fanfare and high expectations that accompanied the prospect of national health care reform at the outset of this year, the legislation is staggering to a particularly inglorious end.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    By Sara Reeve | USC News
    Students at the Keck School of Medicine of USC are taking an active role in the debate over health care reform.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    By Margaret Flowers and Andy Coates | CommonDreams.org
    This week the sincere effort of millions of people across the nation once again proved effective in the face of determined opposition from the White House and Congress, as single payer health reform reached another milestone in its historic journey.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    By Miles Mogulescu | The Huffington Post
    If Barack Obama and today's Congressional Democrats were passing Social Security for the first time, instead of a creating a public program, they would likely be mandating that every American buy an annuity from a private, profit-driven Wall Street firm like Goldman Sachs (who could keep 15%-20% of their payments for overhead, profits and executive salaries) with the IRS serving as Wall Street's collection agency. If they were passing Medicare today, they would be mandating that every American buy a health insurance policy from profit-driven companies like Aetna, Humana and Wellpoint that would start paying benefits with 40% co-pays and $10,000 a year deductibles when they turn 65.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    By PETER MAHR | Hillsboro (Ore.) Argus
    As a family physician I must write to convey my frustration and indignation with the Senate health care bill.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 5, 2010
    By Greg Kaufmann | Published by The Nation
    The Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus in Congress with 82 members—it dwarfs the often-hyped Blue Dog Democrats with its 52 yapping pups. Yet the CPC has struggled to get the respect and attention it has strived for—prior to this Congress, it seemed like the mainstream media wouldn't even refer to it by name, instead using vague descriptions like "the liberal wing of the party."

  • Posted on Monday, January 4, 2010
    By Andrew Coates | Rochester City Newspaper
    The crux of the legislation in Congress is compulsory private insurance. Under the "individual mandate," a long-held wish of the insurance companies, the government will coerce people to become and remain their paying customers.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009
    By Matthew Rothschild | The Progressive
    Hold the champagne. And don’t get rolled over by the hyperbole. The Senate health care bill, which just passed 60-39, is nothing to cheer about.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009
    By Michelle Andrews | National Geographic Blog
    The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year.


  • Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009
    By BOB HERBERT | New York Times
    There is a middle-class tax time bomb ticking in the Senate’s version of President Obama’s effort to reform health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009
    By Dr. Andrew D. Coates | Florida Times-Union
    The public option is effectively dead. Once upon a time, proponents of the idea sought a Medicare-like program to offer a check, they said, on the private insurance industry.

  • Posted on Monday, December 28, 2009
    By Donna Smith | Commondreams.org
    So, all the great fanfare and all the king's horses. The great and almighty U.S. Senate has spoken. I will have to buy private health insurance -- forever, amen. The defective product that has left me wanting for real healthcare for all of my adult life is now a step closer to being the law of the land.

  • Posted on Monday, December 28, 2009
    By National Nurses United
    The 150,000 member National Nurses United, the nation's largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in the U.S., criticized the healthcare bill now advancing in the U.S. Senate saying it is deeply flawed and grants too much power to the giant insurers.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 23, 2009
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    After all the fanfare and high expectations that accompanied the prospect of national health care reform at the outset of this year, the legislation is staggering to a particularly inglorious end.

  • Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009
    By DANIEL BARLOW | Times Argus (Barre, Vt.)
    U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders was expecting to make history Wednesday. Instead, his amendment to create a single-payer health care system was used as a tool by Senate Republicans to create gridlock in the chamber as they sought to derail the health care reform plans of Democrats and President Barack Obama.

  • Posted on Friday, December 18, 2009
    By Deborah L. Shelton | Chicago Tribune
    A widening gulf in the health status of blacks and whites in Chicago comes even as disparities between the two races nationally have remained relatively constant, a new study has found.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009
    By Athena Godet-Calogeras, Peter Mott and Andrew Coates | The Buffalo News
    You might think that all of us who have worked so long and so hard for comprehensive and affordable health care would be jumping with joy at the recent passage of a House bill and the opening of the Senate debate on health insurance reform. Not so.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009
    By Susan Heavey | Reuters
    Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population -- or almost 60 million people -- went without health insurance at some point since January 2008, according to government estimates released Wednesday.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009
    By Glenn Greenwald | Salon.com
    Of all the posts I wrote this year, the one that produced the most vociferous email backlash -- easily -- was this one from August, which examined substantial evidence showing that, contrary to Obama's occasional public statements in support of a public option, the White House clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no such provision and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009
    By Emily P. Walker | MedPage Today
    Sanders said his amendment would save $350 billion in administrative expenses by eliminating private insurance companies from the picture.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2009
    I am here to share my reformed and informed belief that Senate Bill 400 is by far the best way to provide high-quality, affordable, accessible healthcare to all Pennsylvanians at a cost to practically all of us that is less than what we currently pay.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2009
    The following letter to Washington Post columnist David Broder from Dr. Ray Bellamy of Florida discusses not only Broder’s recent arguments, but also those of Dr. Atul Gawande at The New Yorker

  • Posted on Monday, December 14, 2009
    The following radio interview with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program and professor at Harvard Medical School, took place on the morning of Dec. 9 with an affiliate of Los Angeles-based KPFK Pacifica.

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    By Margaret Flowers
    On International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, health professionals and patients delivered cardboard cutout “bodies” to selected U.S. senators here to make visible the number of people who die in the senators’ home states because the nation does not have Medicare for all.

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    By Donna Smith | CommonDreams
    As my grandmother used to say, “I was born on a weekend but not last weekend.” The latest insult to Americans hungry for a bit of healthcare justice for all comes from the news that the Senate health bill now allows insurance companies to place annual limits on payments for some catastrophic illnesses, like cancer.