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, August 2, 2011
    By Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | Twin Cities Daily Planet
    Medicare is an efficient, effective way of health care financing. It is what we all want for our parents and ourselves as we get older and heck -- it probably is a good idea for the entire nation. If we had Medicare-For-All maybe it would be so popular that Michelle Bachmann would be forced to defend it, too.

  • Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011
    By James T. Binder, M.D. | Saturday Gazette-Mail (Charleston, W.Va.)
    In the fall of 1982, when I working as a pediatrician in upstate New York, a mother made an appointment to have her child seen on an urgent basis. The child did not really need to be seen quickly, but the mother didn't know better. She was just worried about her child. She arrived and checked into the clinic. The receptionist greeted her with, "I should have known -- Medicaid."

  • Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011
    By James C. Mitchiner, M.D. |
    In yet another attempt to bridge the debt ceiling impasse by reigning in entitlement spending, President Barack Obama recently proposed raising the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 67. As we pass Medicare’s 46th anniversary on July 30, I propose that rather than raising the age for Medicare, we consider lowering it instead. In fact, let’s lower it to zero.

  • Posted on Monday, August 1, 2011
    By Ann Settgast, M.D. | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
    Whether the debt ceiling is raised or not in the days ahead, Minnesotans and the nation have reason to celebrate this weekend. Saturday marked Medicare's 46th birthday.

  • Posted on Friday, July 29, 2011
    By Dr. Quentin Young | FireDogLake
    With media attention focused on the debt-ceiling drama in Washington, and with so many Americans rightly preoccupied with the frightening level of joblessness and bleak state of the economy, it might seem strange to urge a national celebration of Medicare’s 46th anniversary this Saturday, July 30.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011
    By Kay Tillow | Letters, The Lexington (Ky.) Herald
    The Commonwealth Fund has published a June 2011 study of Medicaid managed care plans. The news is not good, but it is not surprising.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 28, 2011
    By Milton Hirshberg, M.D. | Cape Cod Times
    In my town, my family doctor held office hours and made house calls. He seemed to be as happy working in this occupation as anyone could possibly be. The medical specialists in town were a surgeon and a radiologist. If certain other specialists were needed, they came from Boston to the community-owned hospital when called. The town doctor made rounds twice a day at the county home for the poor and was in his office the rest of the day. There were a school nurse and doctor. Everyone received necessary medical care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011
    As Washington stalls over reaching a deal on the debt ceiling, residents across the country point to a solution to our health and fiscal crisis: “Improved Medicare-for-all.” The Medicare program will celebrate its 46th anniversary this Saturday, July 30, and events are planned from coast-to-coast to honor the nation’s most popular social insurance program, as well as call for its preservation and expansion.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011
    By Scott O'Connell | The MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, Mass.)
    Four members of a panel at Framingham State University last night gave their pitch for a single-payer health care system in the state, saying it would streamline administration, make care more widely available and potentially save billions of dollars.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011
    By Johnathon Ross, M.D. | CommonDreams
    For 30 years I’ve been teaching young doctors how to practice primary care medicine at a center-city clinic in Toledo. Every day we witness heart-wrenching scenes right out of a Charles Dickens novel -- scenes that illustrate the cruelty, arbitrariness and absurdity of our health care “system.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | The Oregonian
    Medicare turns 46 this week and there is much to celebrate. Medicare assures health care for seniors who might otherwise find health care inaccessible. It saves our government money. It makes the lives of our seniors better.

  • Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011
    By PAUL KRUGMAN | New York Times
    At the time of writing, President Obama’s hoped-for “Grand Bargain” with Republicans is apparently dead. And I say good riddance. I’m no more eager than other rational people (a category that fails to include many Congressional Republicans) to see what happens if the debt limit isn’t raised. But what the president was offering to the G.O.P., especially on Medicare, was a very bad deal for America.

  • Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011
    By David Moynahan, M.D. | Letters | Tallahassee Democrat
    Single-payer systems around the world provide better (yes, better, by every measurable outcome) health care for half the cost. We need to wake up and demand true health care reform. Advocates of the status quo are like a ship's passengers who demand that the captain stay on course and that the band keep playing instead of repairing a bad leak in the sinking USS Health Care.

  • Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011
    By Robert Reich | Robert Reich's blog
    Not only is Social Security on the chopping block in order to respond to Republican extortion. So is Medicare. But Medicare isn’t the nation’s budgetary problems. It’s the solution. The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They’re costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.

  • Posted on Saturday, July 23, 2011
    By Robert B. Doherty | From the July/August ACP Internist
    Physicians have been paid according to the number of visits or procedures they bill for a very long time, almost half a century for Medicare. Fee-for-service might have made sense originally, when everything was done on an episodic, acute care basis, but medicine has changed, and the payment system needs to change with it.

  • Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011
    By Maia Szalavitz | Time magazine
    Massachusetts requires health insurance for all, is second in the nation in the number of doctors per capita, and mandates equal coverage for mental and physical illnesses. Yet when researchers there posed as well-insured patients seeking treatment for depression, only 6 percent of calls to mental health facilities resulted in an appointment within two weeks, according to a new study.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011
    By David W. Freeman | CBS News
    Just because you have health insurance doesn't mean you can get a doctor. That's the apparent take-away message of a shocking new study showing that even in Massachusetts - a model for the federal health legislation that President Obama signed into law in 2010 - access to medical care is severely limited.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011
    By Rachel Zimmerman | WBUR CommonHealth blog
    “The takeaway here is that having insurance is obviously important but it is not sufficient when it comes to access to psychiatric care,” says Dr. J. Wesley Boyd, an attending psychiatrist at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, and the study’s lead author. “What does it say when there’s a patient with a potentially life-threatening disorder, such as the severe depression portrayed in our callers’ scenario, who is is essentially abandoned at a time of great need?”

  • Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011
    By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
    Massachusetts patients with top-flight medical insurance may still find it difficult to get the mental health services they need, according to research from Harvard doctors released today that provides fresh evidence of a crisis in psychiatric care.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 21, 2011
    By Timothy Shaw, M.D. | Letters, The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.)
    Applying the “Eccles/Reich compass” to health care, we should EXPAND Medicare, not cut it. American business cannot compete globally because of health care costs. A Green Bay small business owner pays $215,000 in health care insurance costs for 14 employees. A Medicare-for-all health system would collectively bargain to reduce medical costs per person, improve consumer confidence, increase workers’ buying power to create more jobs, and thus grow the economy.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2011
    By Anya Rader Wallack, Ph.D. | The New England Journal of Medicine
    Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont recently signed into law ambitious health care reform legislation that puts Vermont on course to implement a single-payer health care system. The law creates a Health Benefit Exchange, consistent with the federal Affordable Care Act, and anticipates using it as the administrative structure for a publicly funded program of health insurance coverage for all Vermonters.

  • Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011
    By Miles Mogulescu | Huffington Post
    With the August 2 deadline for increasing the debt ceiling fast approaching, the beltway media is quick to praise the "courage" of politicians who propose cutting Medicare, whether it's Paul Ryan for proposing to turn Medicare into a voucher program, or President Obama for proposing more modest cuts like increasing the eligibility age from 65 to 67 or "means testing" benefits based on income. But there's nothing courageous about putting more of the burden of medical care onto the backs of seniors who have spent a lifetime paying Medicare taxes in order to guarantee their medical security when they get older.

  • Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011
    Richard Propp, M.D. | Letter, Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
    I just returned from Connecticut, where I had a hip replacement without incident, followed by rehabilitation at my son's home. With Medicare on the cutting table, I fear the results of compromises. Traditional Medicare allows free choice of hospital and physician, not circumscribed by place of treatment. This is not true of Medicare Advantage, a privatized form of Medicare.

  • Posted on Monday, July 18, 2011
    By Hrayr Attarian, M.D. | Letters, Chicago Sun-Times
    Medicare, which will turn 46 on July 30, is far from a perfect program. However, having practiced in three states over the span of 12 years, I have spent countless hours pre-authorizing, appealing and trying to negotiate care for my patients with both Medicare and private insurers.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
    The insurance industry made it abundantly clear this week that it is in the driver’s seat — in both Washington and state capitals — of one of the most important vehicles created by Congress to reform the U.S. health care system.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011
    By Susanne L. King, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle (Lenox, Mass.)
    Celebrating 46 years this month, Medicare continues to pay for the health care of 47 million Americans. Medicare has improved the health of our seniors, reduced their risk of poverty, and improved the financial security of their families.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 14, 2011
    By Dave Zweifel | The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.)
    The American Medical Association, the organization that represents most of the nation’s doctors, claimed at its recent convention in Chicago that health insurance companies are inaccurately processing nearly one in five medical claims.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | The Nation
    Days after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, I arrived at the spring 2010 meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in Denver, where a fellow consumer representative introduced me to one of the hundreds of industry lobbyists swarming the convention center. “She’s somebody we can work with,” he said, clearly convinced that she would deal with us in good faith, even if we might disagree on certain policy issues. Over the next several months, other consumer reps agreed that she really did seem to want to do what was right for patients, even if the organization that paid her salary often seemed to care more about profits than people.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011
    By John Nichols | The Nation blog
    The word in Washington is that President Obama has, in negotiations with Congressional Republicans, offered to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 13, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | The Guardian (U.K.)
    Andrew Lansley's controversial National Health Service bill is premised on "choice and competition" and the creation of a market in health care. These three stories below from the U.S. show choice and competition at work on the ground. They also explain why 45,000 Americans die every year because they can't afford – and in many cases can't even obtain – health insurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011
    From National Nurses United
    The nation’s leading nurses’ organization, National Nurses United, today called on the Obama administration and Congress to oppose cuts in Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, and instead increase national revenues with a tax on major Wall Street speculative activity.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 12, 2011
    By Trudy Lieberman | Columbia Journalism Review
    Leave it to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman to speed along the process of making seniors on Medicare pay more for their care—the cost control method of choice at the moment, since it doesn’t disturb the profits of major stakeholders. After all, it was Lieberman who sealed the death warrant for the public option during the health reform debate. So the legislation he has proposed along with Senator Tom Coburn is consistent with his political MO. Lieberman’s proposal along with others like it may well slip into the bill, authorizing an increase in the debt ceiling with nary a word from the seniors who depend on the program. It would be grand if they knew what was afoot.

  • Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011
    By Jim Recht, M.D. | CommonDreams
    In honor of its 46th birthday this month, here is a brief history of Medicare: of the bitter controversy surrounding its creation, its subsequent achievements, and its current position at the center of congressional budget debates. I believe that once they understand the deep differences between this institution and our country’s more recent attempts at health care reform, most reasonable individuals will conclude that a national insurance system like Medicare offers a solution to the health care crisis, and that it should be fully funded and extended to cover all Americans from birth.

  • Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011
    By Chris Gibbar | Letters, The Coloradoan
    Medicare is less expensive to administer than private programs. Yet this wildly popular program is under attack. The Democratic Obama administration has offered to cut tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid, and Republicans in Congress are making serious attempts to privatize not only Medicare but Social Security. Both parties are failing the American people.

  • Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011
    By Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva | Twin Cities Daily Planet
    Senator John Marty contacted the TC Daily Planet after he read our June coverage of health care, specifically a Q&A with Senator Dave Durenberger on his support for federal health care legislation. Senator Marty let us know that he respectfully disagreed with Senator Durenberger’s view of solutions for our health care system. This is to be expected, since he’s the chief author of the Minnesota Health Plan, the only proposal for universal, single-payer coverage in Minnesota.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 7, 2011
    By David Sirota |
    While the contest for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is already revolving around conservative-themed attacks on "Obamacare," back when the health care bill was being legislated, the most important debate was within the Democratic Party, which held large majorities in both houses of Congress. On one side were the drug companies, the insurance companies and President Obama -- the latter who had not only disowned his prior support of single-payer health care but had also worked with his corporate allies to actively undermine a modest public insurance option. On the other side were progressives who opposed any bill which further cemented the private insurance industry as the primary mediator between doctors and patients.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 6, 2011
    Timothy Shaw, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Capital Times (Madison, Wis.)
    In 1991, Appleton and Green Bay had the lowest health care costs in the United States, but between 2000-2010, the physician/health insurance cartels have concentrated health care monopolies there, so that health care costs have risen 290 percent. While over 50 million Americans cannot afford health insurance, UnitedHealth Group pays CEO Dr. William McGuire a $124 million annual salary ($60,000 per hour).

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011
    Ann Molison | Letters | The Coloradoan
    Rep. Cory Gardner wants us to have vouchers to pay for our health care. This would end Medicare as we know it and would decrease the quality of medicine for everyone. I propose we do something that would save money, provide health care for everyone and create a more competitive opportunity for all businesses, especially small businesses and those in the manufacturing sector.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011
    By Wally Retan, M.D. | The Birmingham News
    Begin with what everyone knows. Health care costs and health insurance costs are climbing more than twice as fast as the cost of living and have been for years. There is no need for numbers to prove that statement. Just ask anyone who buys health insurance on his own, any employer trying to take care of his employees, and any employee whose wages are flat because of the rising cost of insurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 5, 2011
    ELIZABETH R. ROSENTHAL | Letters | The New York Times
    We do not have to reduce benefits or raise the age of eligibility to save Medicare. We need to expand and improve it so we have Medicare for all. This is what many other industrialized nations have done. They bring high-quality medical care to all their citizens at half the cost of what we spend.

  • Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011
    National Organization for Women | Press release
    The National Organization for Women wrapped up its 45th National Conference in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, June 26, setting NOW's policy and agenda for the coming year and looking toward the 2012 elections and beyond. Topping NOW's policy agenda are improved Social Security benefits for women and a "Medicare for All" single-payer health care system as the solution to our health and fiscal crisis, including supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders' American Health Security Act of 2011 (S 915).

  • Posted on Friday, July 1, 2011
    By Gerald Friedman | Dollars and Sense
    America’s broken health-care system suffers from what appear to be two separate problems. From the right, a chorus warns of the dangers of rising costs; we on the left focus on the growing number of people going without health care because they lack adequate insurance. This division of labor allows the right to dismiss attempts to extend coverage while crying crocodile tears for the 40 million uninsured. But the division between problem of cost and the problem of coverage is misguided.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011
    By Kay Campbell | The Huntsville (Ala.) Times
    Abston, a pediatrician who has been active with Physicians for a National Health Program, has written "Who is my neighbor? A Christian response to healthcare reform" to answer objections to government interference in the current patch-work system of health care coverage in the U.S.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 29, 2011
    By Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist
    The story you’ve been hearing is that (1) doctors are fleeing Medicare and Medicaid in droves and that (2) doctors much prefer private insurance to either of these programs. That’s not the whole story. Doctors, especially primary care docs, seem more likely to accept new patients with Medicare than with private capitated plans and likely many private non-capitated plans

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    By John Reichard | CQ Healthbeat
    Bruce Vladeck, who ran the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the Clinton administration, told a Senate Finance Committee hearing that the budget crisis facing the nation stems not from those two entitlements but from inadequate revenue and a flagging economy. Pump up revenues and get the economy growing and the financing challenges involved with the two government health care programs are manageable, he said.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    By Jean Ross, R.N. | Orlando Sentinel
    The view from the hospital floor where nurses give care 24/7 is quite a distance from the halls of Congress, which is consumed with debates on debt ceilings. Or from Labor Department cubicles, where monthly unemployment numbers are being crunched. Or from corporate boardrooms, which are signing off on executive bonuses.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    By Scott Hensley | NPR 'Shots' health blog
    There's a lot of chatter about how public policy can influence doctors' decisions about which new patients to see and which to turn away.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    ALICE POWELL | Letters | The Witchita Eagle
    Kudos to a Wichita physician for speaking out for the need and benefits of Medicare. His analysis of how "the current government-controlled, single-payer, 2 percent overhead system is preferable to a voucher system that turns seniors over to the vagaries of the private, for-profit insurance industry" helps us understand the improvements and the deficiencies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
    By Leonard Pitts Jr. | The Baltimore Sun
    I pay my taxes because this is how we the people pay for things we deem to be in our communal interest. This is how our military is sustained. This is how our children are educated. This is how our potholes are filled. This is how our libraries are stocked. This is how our police officers are supplied. This is how we take care of us. So I pay my taxes.

  • Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011
    By James Fieseher, M.D. | Letters | Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald
    Recently, a patient told me he was against a government-run health care system because it meant he would be paying for "deadbeats" who sponge off of hard-working people to get free health care. He had a point. He had a difficult job, and worked hard to make ends meet and pay for his own health care. Why should he pay for someone "too lazy to work and take care of himself?"

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    By Carey Goldberg and Rachel Zimmerman | WBUR
    “Our examination found that paying providers on a global basis has not resulted in lower total medical expenses.” It’s just a short, no-frills sentence, but it amounts to a bombshell dropped on a central tenet of the Massachusetts governor’s plan for the next phase of health reform.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    From Mass-Care
    WBUR's online health care blog, "CommonHealth," has a flashy headline article today titled "Massachusetts Attorney General Drops Health Reform Bombshell." What's the bombshell? That the state's proposal to control health care costs by moving people into accountable care organizations (ACOs) is unlikely to work, because patients who are currently covered by similar arrangements receive care that as just as expensive as everyone else.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    By Kevin Outterson, Professor of Law and Health Policy at Boston University | The Incidental Economist
    H.202 passed the House 94-49 yesterday and Governor Shumlin promises to sign it. The Vermont law deserves some careful attention, but doesn’t appear to be creating much of a stir in Vermont itself – the lead story in this morning’s Burlington Free Press was flooding on Lake Champlain and the most popular story on the website was UVM students in an annual clothing-optional rite of spring.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    By Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist
    Paul Krugman has been on a tear the last few days with a number of posts defending Canada’s Medicare. This was all leading up to his latest column, where he questioned why Medicare should be unsustainable in this country, when it’s sustainable there.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
    By Katharine Mieszkowski | The Bay Citizen (San Francisco)
    More than 100 protesters from community and labor groups rallied outside the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco Thursday morning to call for the end of private health insurance and for "Medicare for all," while members of the America's Health Insurance Plans met at their national convention inside.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
    By ROBERT MACKEY | The Lede Blog, New York Times
    As if conjured up by a presidential speechwriter to star in an anecdote about America’s dysfunctional health insurance system, James Verone, an unemployed 59-year-old with a bad back, a sore foot and an undiagnosed growth on his chest, limped into a bank in Gastonia, N.C., this month and handed the teller a note, explaining that this was an unarmed robbery, but she’d better turn over $1 and call the cops. That, he figured, would be enough to get himself arrested and sent to prison for a few years, where he could take advantage of the free medical care.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | blog at MedPage Today
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is in the process of being rolled out, however many questions remain. Will it guarantee universal coverage? Will it stand up to the many court challenges? The private insurance industry will receive an estimated 400 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize the purchase of these plans. Is this the best way to spend our money?

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Douglas Turner | The Buffalo News
    In New York, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, has introduced legislation creating a single-payer plan for all residents of the state. Gottfried is Health Committee chairman. His bill has more than 60 Assembly and Senate co-sponsors. Among them are Democratic Assembly Members Sam Hoyt, Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Mark F. Schroeder, of Buffalo.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Trevor T. Alford | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
    Looking to follow in the footsteps of Vermont, which passed legislation May 26 leading toward a single-payer health care system in that state, two lawmakers are pushing for the adoption of a public health option in New York.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Henry Chu | Los Angeles Times
    LONDON -- Two years ago, Britons were outraged when U.S. politicians like Sarah Palin, in the debate over healthcare reform, turned this country's National Health Service into a public whipping boy, denouncing it as "evil," "Orwellian" and generally the enemy of everything good and true.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist
    By now most of the blogosphere has weighed in on Joe Lieberman’s idea of increasing Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67 (see Frakt, Klein, Volsky, Drum, Krugman). Most of the focus has been on how the delayed eligibility will affect overall health costs. Though federal costs may go down, overall costs would not, because most would just be shifted to seniors themselves. Cost isn’t everything, though. There’s something else delay would do: harm health.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Jessica Marcy and Shefali S. Kulkarni | Kaiser Health News
    Nurses converged on Washington in their fight against Wall Street this week. Hundreds of nurses from across the country rallied to support broader access to health care and to call for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

  • Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2011
    By Rick Ungar | Forbes on-line
    The American health care system, as we currently know it, is well into its final days.

  • Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2011
    By Don Soeken |
    Ever wondered who the biggest culprits are, when it comes to defrauding the taxpayers of the United States? The answer to that question may surprise you.

  • Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011
    By Paul Krugman | The New York Times
    Every once in a while a politician comes up with an idea that’s so bad, so wrongheaded, that you’re almost grateful. For really bad ideas can help illustrate the extent to which policy discourse has gone off the rails. And so it was with Senator Joseph Lieberman’s proposal, released last week, to raise the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67.

  • Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011
    By Mary von Euler | The Washington Post
    Our problem is the soaring cost of medical care, as a whole, not Medicare, which is the most frugal part of our non-system. And the only way to control medical costs is via a single-payer system that covers everyone, so the government has leverage to tamp down excessive costs and eliminate waste, including the wasteful costs devoted to private-insurance overhead.

  • Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011
    By Steve Carlson | Superior (Wis.) Telegram
    An overwhelming percentage of the American people favor keeping Medicare just as it is. A sizable percentage would like to see the program expanded to include all Americans, which is probably the best way to preserve the program, extend coverage to everyone, and bring the costs of health care down going forward.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011
    By Kay Tillow | FireDogLake
    When doctors, nurses and others rose in his hearing to insist that single payer be included in the debate, Baucus had them arrested. As more stood up, Baucus could be heard on his open microphone saying, “We need more police.” Yet when Senator Baucus needed a solution to a catastrophic health disaster in Libby, Mont., and surrounding Lincoln County, he turned to the nation’s single-payer health care system, Medicare, to solve the problem.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011
    By 'Fresh Air' at WHYY | NPR
    "The only fair way to do this is where people have a card that gets them in, where that card is accepted widely and broadly by everyone, and [giving people] choice," Dr. David Ansell says. "So you could go anywhere you want, you get the care you want, and choose your own doctors — and that would be some sort of universal plan — Medicare for all, single-payer. We need a system that really gives patients — poor or rich — adequate care."

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PR Watch
    Ever wonder what happens to the premiums you pay for your health insurance? You might be surprised to learn that more and more of the dollars you pay for coverage are being sucked into a kind of black hole. ... If you've been paying attention to what health insurance company CEOs have been saying to Wall Street over the past several months, you will know that they are spending more and more of their firms' cash -- which comes from you, of course -- to "repurchase" their firms' stock. And Wall Street absolutely loves that.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    By Sam Husseini | Washington Stakeout blog
    A question to Rep. Ryan: 'If you’re a fiscal conservative and you want to provide a safety net, why wouldn’t you be for something like a single-payer health care system?'

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    By Charlie Cooper | Baltimore Sun
    The United States wastes about $3,000 per person annually in health care spending — nearly $1 trillion a year. That's bad enough. Even more disturbing is who gets that trillion. The fact is, we cannot understand politics in the U.S. by watching mainstream media or following the arguments of Democrats and Republicans. That's because neither side is honestly addressing the main problem.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    By Ezra Klein | Washington Post
    Republicans have a plan that has been tried repeatedly but that has never worked. Democrats have a plan that might work in theory, but it is untested at the scale they’ll need for it to work in practice. And both parties are too scared to talk about the only plan that has worked.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011
    By Andy Coates | Labor Notes
    A year after President Obama signed his health care reform with strong support from the labor movement, advocates of a single-payer system might be tempted to ask, “How’s that working out for you?”

  • Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011
    By Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, M.D. | Open Salon blogs
    In my view, the only solution to the mess “corporatization” has made of the U.S. health care system is to follow the example of other industrialized countries and establish a single, nationally funded health program, like the American Health Security Act of 2011 that Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative McDermott introduced last month.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011
    By Katherine Hobson | The Wall Street Journal
    The cost of cancer treatment is high and, according to the National Cancer Institute, growing. And at the individual level, the financial burden can be very heavy, even for patients with insurance.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Cara Matthews | The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.)
    Democratic lawmakers in both houses introduced a universal health care bill today, under which publicly sponsored coverage would replace coverage by insurance companies. Instead of premiums, there would be broad-based public financing of health care based on people’s ability to pay. It would be funded through a graduated income tax, and the system wouldn’t have deductibles or co-payments. Delivery of care would remain primarily private.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Emily P. Walker | MedPage Today, June 7, 2011
    Several hundred members of National Nurses United held a rally here on Tuesday to call for a single-payer healthcare system, an end to tax breaks for big corporations, and workers' rights.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Aaron Carroll | Washington Post
    There was a fascinating piece in the NYT yesterday that discussed the apparent shift in politics among physicians. When I was a fellow, back at the turn of the century, a colleague and I conducted a national survey of physicians to determine their level of support for national health insurance. At the time, I was sure physicians would oppose it en masse. Surprisingly, they did not — at least not to the levels that I had thought they might.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Dr. David Knutzen | Letters, (Wis.)
    I disagree since the most credible solution to the rising costs of Medicare, and all health care, has been offered repeatedly for many years and certainly during the health care discussions leading up to the health care reform law. It's a single payer system similar to those used by every other industrialized country where health care for all is provided for between 8.5 percent and 11 percent of gross domestic product.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | The Oregonian
    Robin Hood was legendary for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Now Rep. Paul Ryan proposes to do the opposite: He will rob poor seniors of their health care dollars and give tax breaks to the rich.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By Tom Duncan, M.D. | The Daily Astorian (Ore.)
    At its May meeting, the Clatsop County Medical Society hosted Dr. Paul Gorman, an internal medicine specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, who spoke about the ongoing health care crisis and the future of American medicine.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By Tristin Adie | The Indypendent (N.Y.)
    On May 26, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law H. 202, a bill that is intended to set the state on the road to a single-payer health care system. While the legislation puts off the creation of such a system for a number of years, this is an important initial victory for thousands of activists in the state who have been agitating for years for a truly universal system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By the Editors | The Nation
    The day after Democrat Kathy Hochul scored an upset victory in a special election deep in upstate New York’s Republican territory, former President Bill Clinton was getting real chummy with Congressman Paul Ryan, whose plan to privatize Medicare was widely seen as costing the Republicans the race and imperiling as many as a hundred GOP House seats in next year’s Congressional elections. Backstage at an event on national debt at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Clinton told Ryan, “I hope the Democrats don’t use it [the election] as an excuse to do nothing” on Medicare. Clinton may be right — but not in the way he seemed to mean.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By Rob Stone, M.D. | Counterpunch
    The traffic in downtown Indianapolis was moving slower than an insurance company clerk preparing a reimbursement check, backed up for blocks, and if we were one second late the doors to the WellPoint annual shareholders meeting would be sealed, protected by armed guards. We jumped out of the car, leaving it our friend Donna Smith to find a parking spot, and started running up the street, dodging traffic, past the phalanx of police cars and into the Hilton.

  • Posted on Monday, June 6, 2011
    By David E. Drake | Des Moines Register
    As a physician I am regularly faced with patients who have inadequate or no health insurance. A person may call my office to discover that their health "insurance" does not cover mental health or they have such a high deductible they can't afford to see me. In both cases my office may refer the person to a clinic with a sliding scale, to the same place where I might refer someone who had no insurance at all.

  • Posted on Monday, June 6, 2011
    STEVEN B. AUERBACH | Letter to the Editor | The New York Times
    According to your article, “there are no national surveys that track doctors’ political leanings.” There is, however, one statistically valid survey of doctors’ opinion that backs up the idea of a leftward shift. An article in Annals of Internal Medicine in 2008 showed that support for government establishment of a national health insurance system among doctors nationwide had jumped to 59 percent from 49 percent in 2002.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011
    By David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | Room for Debate Blog | New York Times
    Eliminating unneeded overhead would save Medicare nearly $100 billion annually. A thicket of insurance and hospital bureaucrats and profiteers distort medical priorities and drain money from care. The most obvious are private insurers who run Medicare Advantage plans that extract overhead, averaging 15 percent, or $1,000 per senior more than overhead in traditional Medicare.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011
    By Casey Seiler | Albany Times Unions
    Dr. Garrett Adams, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, is swinging through the Capital Region meeting with fellow advocates for a single-payer health care system, and doing interviews with Susan Arbetter of “The Capitol Pressroom”

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011
    By David Goodman | Mother Jones
    As Gov. Peter Shumlin took his spot on the granite steps of the Vermont State House, a row of people fanned out behind him wearing bright red t-shirts proclaiming, “Health care is a human right.” The slogan sounded noble, and wildly unrealistic. Until the governor spoke.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011
    By Brandon Glenn | MedCity News
    In Ohio, PNHP’s top official is Dr. Johnathan Ross, a Toledo internist who practices and teaches at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. Ross, who holds a medical degree from Cornell University and a master’s in health policy from the University of Michigan, is a past president of PNHP, having served a one-year term in 2000. Ross spoke with MedCity News about why he believes a health system based on profit will never provide the high quality and low cost the U.S. needs, what he sees as the major weaknesses of Obama’s health reform, and how his up-close experience with an HMO led him to support single-payer.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | The Huffington Post
    Of the many supporters of a single-payer health care system in the United States, some of the most ardent are small business owners who have struggled to continue offering coverage to their workers.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Ellen Oxfeld | Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
    Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the new health care bill into law Thursday. Many people may wonder how we came to this point. Why is it that Vermont is the first state to pass legislation that acknowledges that health care is a public good, and that the best route toward universal access and cost control is to create a health care system that is publicly funded? There are still many more steps to go be fore we reach this goal.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Thatcher Moats | Rutland (Vt.) Herald
    MONTPELIER — Amid a boisterous crowd of health care activists, lawmakers, lobbyists and administration officials, Gov. Peter Shumlin on Thursday signed into law the health care reform bill the Legislature passed earlier this month.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Zach Howard | Reuters
    Vermont became the first state to lay the groundwork for single-payer health care on Thursday when its governor signed an ambitious bill aimed at establishing universal insurance coverage for all residents.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer
    On the surface, it appears to be a no-brainer. Healthcare costs in the U. S. are twice as high as any other industrialized country. Most large corporations still pay a big chunk of their employees’ health care insurance premiums. Some are obligated by union contracts to pay an even larger percentage and to provide coverage for retirees. Many operate profitably in countries with national health care systems where they pay far less towards healthcare costs than they do in the U.S.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011
    Democracy Now!
    Today Vermont is set to make history by becoming the first state in the nation to offer universal, single-payer healthcare when Gov. Peter Shumlin signs its healthcare reform bill into law. The Vermont plan, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will attempt to stem rising medical care prices and provide universal coverage. We speak with Dr. Deb Richter, president of Vermont Health Care for All. She moved from Buffalo, New York, to Vermont in 1999 to advocate for a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the state. Gov. Shumlin calls her the “backbone” of the grassroots effort that helped persuade the Democratic-led state legislature to pass the bill this spring.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011
    By Rose Aguilar | Opinion, Al Jazeera English
    When Stan Brock started Remote Area Medical (RAM) in 1985, never in his wildest dreams did he think his services would be needed in the United States, the wealthiest country in the world.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011
    By Robert N. Shorin, A.C.S.W., B.C.D. | Newsday
    Regarding "Insurer puts undue pressure on doctors" [Letters, May 19]: I am a clinical social worker, and I can tell you from hard experience that many private insurance companies are only out to make a profit, often at the direct expense of their own customers, and at the indirect expense of the government.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011
    By Ezra Klein | The Washington Post
    Kevin Outterson is an associate professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University, as well as a blogger at the Incidental Economist. He’s also been following the Vermont health-care reform process in some detail, and is one of fairly few people who has actually read the 141-page single-payer bill that the governor is poised to sign. Earlier this afternoon, he walked me through what he’s learned.