Articles of Interest Archives

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

  • Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010
    By Michael Moore | Alternet
    I have a rule of thumb that's served me well my whole life: whenever corporate executives begin talking about how they support "free markets" and "competition," check to see if you still have your wallet.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
    By Evan Tuchinsky | Paradise (Calif.) Post
    Last week I took an assignment from another newspaper to cover the Mad As Hell Doctors' appearance in Chico. The advocates for a single-payer system were completing a tour of California, and the capacity crowd at Harlan Adams Theater was the biggest they drew. They found a very receptive audience.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
    Maine Public Broadcasting Network
    With health care costs high and rising, state lawmakers are trying to come up with new alternatives incorporating recent federal reform laws. Today in Augusta, a committee heard from a health care expert who says a single-payer system could save a billion dollars in Maine each year.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2010
    By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor | Reuters
    Americans die sooner than citizens of a dozen other developed nations and the usual suspects -- obesity, traffic accidents and a high murder rate -- are not to blame, researchers reported on Thursday.

  • Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010
    By Richard Cranium | Daily Kos
    Yesterday, I was introduced to a socialized, government-run, single payer health care system that works. And it is working beautifully, right here in America.

  • Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010
    By Dr. Quentin Young | The Huffington Post
    As we approach Nov. 2, it's fair to say that in many ways the distortion of political discourse in our country has never been worse.

  • Posted on Friday, October 15, 2010
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D.
    The following article summarizes a Congressional Briefing held on Sept. 23, 2010, titled “An analysis of proposed changes to Medicare before the Deficit Commission and a better alternative: Improved Medicare for all.”

  • Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010
    Single-payer health insurance is not a new concept, though it’s one that’s not always understood. It gets lumped into the term “government health care” and branded as “socialized medicine” like the national systems in, for example, Canada and Great Britain. However, as Dr. Paul Hochfeld noted, the proposals for the U.S. call for publicly funded, privately delivered care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010
    By David Pepose | Berkshire Eagle
    Voters in the 2nd and 4th Districts will test the waters for single-payer health care in a ballot question in November’s elections.

  • Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010
    By Deborah Sederberg | The News Dispatch (Michigan City, Ind.)
    In early September, The News-Dispatch published a story about Dr. Rade Pejic’s presentation to Michigan City Rotary on his support for a single-payer national health care program. The paper also carried a copy of Pejic’s survey on the merits (or lack of them) of a one-payer system. Of the 41 responses, 95 percent favored a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010
    By WALLY RETAN | Birmingham News
    As a nation, we spent about $8,000 per person on health care last year. That includes premiums, co-payments, deductibles and out-of-pocket payments for what insurance didn't cover. That's also the money employers didn't put into paychecks because they sent it to an insurance company.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010
    By EDWARD P. EHLINGER, M.D. | Minneapolis Star Tribune
    Insurance is a great mechanism that people can use to offset their risk of losing some material thing of great value like their house, boat, car or jewelry. It can also be used to protect a valuable personal occupational asset like a voice for an opera singer, a hand for a surgeon or a knee for a football player. And it can be useful in providing protection from a singular catastrophic event like a malpractice suit or the premature loss of life. But for something that is predictable, ongoing, needed by everyone, or necessary for the welfare of our community, an insurance model makes absolutely no sense. That's why we don't use an insurance model to provide police or fire services or to provide an education to our children. For these we use the tax model. Basic essential health care should also be in this category.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010
    By Landon Hall | The Orange County Register
    Bill Honigman, an emergency-room doctor at Kaiser Permanente in Anaheim and Irvine, says the only way to make real progress on a health care overhaul is to get rid of private insurance companies altogether.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010
    By Julian Pecquet | The Hill
    Physicians who want a single-payer government health plan will be marching at Saturday's "One Nation Working Together" rally in Washington, D.C. While the main focus of the march will be on jobs and the economy, part of the rally's theme — "demanding the change we voted for" — relates to dissatisfaction with the health care reform law, according to Physicians for a National Health Program.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010
    By Carla Amurao | Santa Barbara Independent
    Last night, the Mad as Hell Doctors, a group of activist physicians and health care providers, marched across town in an effort to raise awareness about universal health care and calling “Obamacare” a bare-minimum reform. From Anapamu Street to Canon Perdido, the sound of drums and cheers filled the air while passersby honked their horns and offered high fives and other plaudits.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010
    The following interviews with three members of the Mad as Hell Doctors who are presently on a 24-city tour of California appeared in the Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta, Oct. 2, 2010.

  • Posted on Monday, October 4, 2010
    By Dr. James C. Mitchiner | Ann Arbor News
    The announcement last month by the Census Bureau that the number of uninsured increased last year to a record 50.7 million individuals should come as no surprise to those who understand the uniquely American tradition of linking health insurance to employment.

  • Posted on Friday, October 1, 2010
    The following text contains the remarks of Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, at a session of the 40th legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in held in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16.

  • Posted on Friday, October 1, 2010
    Christopher Stack, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Indianapolis Star
    According to the Census Bureau, the number of uninsured rose by more than 4 million in 2009 to greater than 50 million nationwide. In Indiana, there are currently more than 900,000 uninsured, 14.2 percent of the population, including from 30 to 40 percent of those ages 21 to 26. A failing employer-based system now covers only 55.8 percent of the population, down from 64.2 percent in 2000.

  • Posted on Friday, October 1, 2010
    By Stephanie Innes | Arizona Daily Star
    Arizona voters in November could create their own law to keep the national health-care overhaul at bay when they vote on Proposition 106.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010
    Nancy Crumpacker, M.D. | Letters to the editor | The Oregonian
    Regence BlueCross BlueShield and other large insurers canceled their policies for children just before they would have had to accept any patient regardless of his or her medical condition. This confirms what we have long known: Since 20 percent of the population use up 90 percent of health care expenses in any given year, insurance companies make money by not insuring these costly patients.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010
    A presentation by Tsung-Mei Cheng at the Congressional briefing: “An Analysis of Proposed Changes to Medicare Before the Deficit Commission and a Better Alternative: Improved Medicare for All”

  • Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010
    The following contains the remarks of Olveen Carrasquillo, M.D., at a congressional briefing titled “An analysis of proposed changes to Medicare before the Deficit Commission and a better alternative: Improved Medicare for all” held in Washington on Sept. 23.

  • Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010
    By Anja Rudiger, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative, 2010

  • Posted on Friday, September 24, 2010
    By Henry Abrons | San Francisco Chronicle
    Looking at health insurance, the situation is truly dire. There was a dramatic spike in the uninsured - 4.3 million more, to a record 50.7 million - in spite of the expansion of government health insurance rolls by nearly 6 million.

  • Posted on Friday, September 24, 2010
    By John Driscoll | Times-Standard (Eureka, Calif.)
    In their pursuit of nationalized health care for everyone, Drs. Paul Hochfeld and Mike Huntington are under no illusions. They are swimming upstream.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010
    By Puneet K. Sandhu | Comment, California Law Review
    With the employer-provided health care system eroding and prospects for a national solution dim, advocates of expanded access to health care are once again invoking the idea of a right to health care.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010
    Gerald Gollin, M.D. | Redlands (Calif.) Daily Facts
    Our current patchwork system takes the taxpayer for a sucker by saddling the government with the responsibility of caring for the poorest and sickest in Medicaid, Medicare and the VA while leaving private insurers to profit from the rest. Most other industrialized countries have better health care outcomes than we do at a lower cost because the profit motive in insurance is minimized or absent due to some form of a single payer.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010
    By Margaret DeRitter | Kalamazoo Gazette
    Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of PNHP, says that even if the new health law works as planned, the Congressional Budget Office has projected that about 50 million people will be uninsured for the next three years and about 23 million people will remain uninsured in 2019. The new Census report, he says, suggests that those projections are likely too low.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010
    By Michael McBane | The Hill Times
    Imagine a plan to provide all Canadians with prescription drug coverage. Imagine such a plan would cost Canadians billions less than we are currently spending on prescription drugs. Finally, imagine a federal government that actually believed in medicare and in expanding it to include prescription drugs. Well, two out of three is a good start.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010
    A public drug insurance plan should form an integral part of a country’s pharmaceutical policies. The plan must tie together social programs designed to provide a minimum of well-being for all citizens, health policies designed to optimize public health, industrial policies aimed at attracting foreign investment, intellectual property policies, and tax policies designed to ensure greater fairness in redistributing wealth.

  • Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010
    By JOHN M. BRYSON | Minneapolis Star-Tribune
    The emotional debates over health care reform in the United States last fall and again this election season are puzzling to my wife and me. We are professors who were on sabbatical leave in London from August 2009 through August 2010, so we missed last year's debates. While in the United Kingdom we were automatically covered by the National Health Service.

  • Posted on Friday, September 17, 2010
    By Aaron E. Carroll, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    Every year about this time, the census releases its yearly numbers on the uninsured. Every year, I write an op-ed or a blog post. Every year, I get a little more depressed.

  • Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010
    By Tsung-Mei Cheng | Health Affairs
    This interview makes it clear that in the Swiss system, which is based on private health insurance, the government nevertheless plays a big role. The minister said, when asked who set drug prices in the Swiss system: "I set the prices for drugs."

  • Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010
    By Duke Helfand | Los Angeles Times
    California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from health insurer PacifiCare over allegations that it repeatedly mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed and ignored calls to fix the problems.

  • Posted on Friday, September 10, 2010
    By Bennett Hall | Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette Times, Sept. 8, 2010
    The loose-knit group of Oregon physicians who barnstormed the country last fall to promote a national health plan are planning another road trip, this time to California instead of Washington, D.C. “California’s ahead of the rest of the states, but there’s more than a dozen that are formulating their own bills as we speak,” said Mike Huntington, a retired radiation oncologist and one of two Corvallis physicians involved in organizing the Mad as Hell Doctors.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2010
    By now most of you have heard the disappointing news that our bill, SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act, was held on the Assembly Floor on the last night of session, effectively killing the measure until next year. Over my strong objections, Assembly leadership decided to hold the bill. Although we are greatly disappointed, we are determined to come back even stronger next year.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 7, 2010
    By David Lazarus | Los Angeles Times, Sept. 7, 2010
    It seems increasingly clear that insurance exchanges and mandates won't do much to lower medical costs or guarantee adequate coverage to all. Most likely, we'll see insurers vying to offer the most bare-bones policies at the highest prices they can get away with. Some sort of Medicare-for-all program remains the only equitable way that every American can be provided with adequate and affordable coverage.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 1, 2010
    Bob Balhiser | Letter to the Editor | Independent Record (Helena, Mont.)
    Max Baucus really talked up his so-called health care “debate” for well over a year. The fact is there was no “debate.” Max’s health care bill was principally written by Liz Fowler, a Baucus staffer and former V.P. of WellPoint, one of the largest health insurance companies in America.

  • Posted on Monday, August 30, 2010
    By Kay Tillow | All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
    On June 28, 2010, Honeywell locked out the 230 union workers at its uranium hexafluoride plant in Metropolis, an Ohio River town of 6,500 at the tip of southern Illinois 400 miles south of Chicago. A working class town nestled amidst the corn, soybean and wheat fields, Metropolis is known for its Superman statue on the court house square where most Illinois candidates, including Barack Obama, have stopped by for a photo op.

  • Posted on Friday, August 27, 2010
    By Clark Newhall | The Charlottetown Guardian
    I live in the U.S. 10 months of the year and in P.E.I. two months. From the election of Obama to the present, I have strongly advocated for medical care financed like Canada's medicare. We have your system in the U.S. and we, too, call it Medicare — but we Americans only have the right to decent health care if we are over 65. Our last best chance to achieve what you have achieved — person-based health care instead of money-maker medicine — disappeared when Obama could not or would not stand up to bottom-feeders like Limbaugh, Beck and the Drudge Report.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2010
    By David Rosenfeld | The Lund Report (Ore.)
    A loose coalition of single-payer advocates in Oregon has taken the first steps toward developing legislation for the 2011 session

  • Posted on Thursday, August 26, 2010
    By William Claiborne | Nieman Watchdog
    'Medicare for all' isn’t just an expression in Australia, it’s a reality, and there aren’t any death panels or government intervention in the choice of doctors or treatment. Bill Claiborne, a longtime Washington Post reporter now living in Australia, describes the system.

  • Posted on Monday, August 23, 2010
    Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) are today reaffirming their efforts to provide all Americans with health care that would allow access to the doctor of choice without premiums, co-pays or deductibles.

  • Posted on Monday, August 23, 2010
    By Saul Friedman | The Huffington Post
    It's not too late to observe and celebrate the 45th anniversary of Medicare, for it's a good occasion to wonder, in this time of economic distress, what life would have been like without it for the 45 million of us who are eligible because we are disabled or over 65.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010
    By Austin Frakt | Kaiser Health News
    With the ambition of reducing the federal debt, Congressman Paul Ryan has offered a proposal to convert Medicare to a voucher-based program. Under the plan, in time all Medicare beneficiaries would receive program benefits from private plans subsidized by government payments (vouchers). In principle, such a system could reduce federal Medicare costs if the subsidy grows more slowly than medical inflation, shifting more of the costs to care to individuals. The history of Medicare and its politics suggest it is unlikely to work out that way.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010
    By PAUL KRUGMAN | The New York Times
    One depressing aspect of American politics is the susceptibility of the political and media establishment to charlatans. You might have thought, given past experience, that D.C. insiders would be on their guard against conservatives with grandiose plans. But no: as long as someone on the right claims to have bold new proposals, he’s hailed as an innovative thinker. And nobody checks his arithmetic.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010
    Richard A. Damon, M.D. | Queen City News | Letter to the Editor
    The four basic system problems that exist in current U.S. health care – costs, affordability, access and quality of care – are intricately related to the alliance of the five biggest players in our failed health care model, namely (a) the insurance industry, (b) the drug industry, (c) the hospital industry, (d) business (e) and organized medicine.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010
    By Kevin Drum | Mother Jones
    Starting in 2014 insurance companies will no longer be allowed to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions. They'll have to take all comers for (almost) the same price, regardless of how healthy they are.

  • Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010
    By GAIL COLLINS | The New York Times
    The story in American history I most like to tell is the one about how women got the right to vote 90 years ago this month. It has everything. Adventure! Suspense! Treachery! Drunken legislators! But, first, there was a 70-year slog.

  • Posted on Monday, August 16, 2010
    By Ethan Parke | Vermont for Single Payer Supporter, Montpelier
    Throughout Hsiao’s presentation, what came clear was that in order to control costs and to make health care universal, there must be a rational system. Right now Vermont only has a patchwork of unaffordable insurance based on adverse selection, various government programs, problematic fee-for-service provider compensation, and fragmented financing, Hsiao said.

  • Posted on Friday, August 13, 2010
    Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Chicago Tribune
    Private insurance companies may, on paper, pay physicians substantially more than Medicare, but this must be taken in the context that Medicare actually pays the rates it publishes and pays on time, while private insurance companies subject physicians to a maze of voluntary and involuntary discounts, denials, delays and underpayments that make calculation of what physicians actually get impossible.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010
    By Jane Bryant Quinn | CBS Moneywatch
    You have to leave the country to get a proper perspective on the high cost of health care in the United States. Even if it’s just over the border.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 11, 2010
    By Noam N. Levey | Los Angeles Times
    Leaders of Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth, WellPoint and Aetna received nearly $200 million in compensation in 2009, according to a report, while the companies sought rate increases as high as 39%.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 10, 2010
    By Beverly Alves
    During our lifetime, many of us will face life-threatening or life altering illnesses or injuries, or perhaps we will watch those we love face them. Everyone is going to pass from this world (hopefully to a better place). We need a system in place that can provide support, guidance and direction to those who are facing these challenges. This system is called palliative care.

  • Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010
    By Johnathon S. Ross | Toledo Blade
    Medicare, which just turned 45, is a uniquely American program that should have been the model for health reform: no overwhelming bills, no denial of services, no limitations on what hospital patients can use or what doctor they can see.

  • Posted on Monday, August 9, 2010
    By Claudia Chaufan, M.D. | Santa Cruz Sentinel
    As Medicare celebrated its 45th anniversary July 30, the White House sent its present: a Deficit Commission, composed by some of the very folks who were unable, or unwilling, to see the $8 trillion housing bubble that brought the financial system to a halt. Nope. It's no joke: these folks are now at the forefront of the campaign to "save" Medicare and the budget.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 5, 2010
    By Quentin Young | Chicago Tribune
    Medicare, one of our nation's most cherished social programs, turned 45 last week. I was in active medical practice on July 30, 1965, when Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Its impact on older Americans and their families was swift and spectacular. I saw the results with my own eyes.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2010
    By John Nichols | The Nation
    Forty-five years ago today, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson flew to Independence, Missouri, to mark a milestone in the long struggle to establish healthcare as a right, not a privilege, for all Americans.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 3, 2010
    By Michael Corcoran | truthout | Op-Ed
    The grassroots single-payer movement in Vermont reflects the growing belief that the fight to make health care a human right must come from the states. But will the passage of federal reform get in the way?

  • Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010
    By Dr. Carol Paris | South Maryland Newspapers
    July 30 marks the 45th birthday of the Medicare program. Since the passage of this landmark legislation in 1965, Medicare has substantially lowered poverty among the elderly in our country, reducing the dilemma of having to choose between buying needed health care or buying groceries. While the cost of health care keeps rising, the cost is rising more slowly for those on Medicare than for those with private health insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010
    By Joseph Birnbaum | Times Herald-Record (Middletown, N.Y.)
    Despite the valuable controls being put in place to prevent the insurance companies from denying and limiting needed care, the fact remains that Big Insurance and Big Pharma (the medical/industrial complex) are still in firm control of our health-care system and will still be able to spend 25-35 percent (or more) of your health-care dollars on management, marketing and huge administrative salaries.

  • Posted on Monday, August 2, 2010
    By Susanne L. King | The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle
    Say "Happy Birthday" to Medicare, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson 45 years ago, on July 30, 1965. This national program provides health insurance coverage for everyone 65 years and older, regardless of income or health status, as well as covering people with disabilities. Our senior citizens love Medicare, which, along with Social Security, has substantially lowered poverty among the elderly, providing a secure safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.

  • Posted on Sunday, August 1, 2010
    HOWARD A. GREEN, MD | Letters To The Editor | Palm Beach Post
    Americans should celebrate this 45th anniversary of Medicare.

  • Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010
    The following text is an open letter to the single-payer community from Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. It was released on the eve of Medicare’s 45th anniversary.

  • Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010
    By CHRISTINE ADAMS | Houston Chronicle
    Today marks the 45th birthday of Medicare, the public insurance program that guarantees basic medical coverage to all seniors and people with severe disabilities regardless of their income, health status or where they live.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010
    Five part series analyzing the Obama health plan by Dr. John Geyman, Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he served as Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine from 1976 to 1990. As a family physician with over 25 years in academic medicine, he has also practiced in rural communities for 13 years. He was the founding editor of The Journal of Family Practice (1973 to 1990) and the editor of The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice from 1990 to 2003.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010
    By Richard Propp | Albany (N.Y.) Times Union
    Friday marks the 45th birthday of Medicare, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, in the presence of former President Harry Truman, an early proponent. Medicare has provided care to people 65 and older since 1966, and more recently to those who are disabled or who have end-stage kidney disease.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010
    By Lena Sun | Washington Post
    New census data released Tuesday confirm a huge spread in the rate of uninsured from state to state and the big difference in impact that can be expected as a result of the health-care overhaul recently passed by Congress.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010
    By Wendell Potter | The Huffington Post
    The nation's biggest insurers -- not happy with provisions of the four-month-old health care reform law that would force many of them to spend more of the money they collect in premiums for their policyholders' medical care -- are pressuring regulators to disregard what members of Congress intended when they wrote the law, so that they can keep raking in huge profits for their Wall Street owners. If they are successful, many policyholders will soon be shelling out even more than they do today to enrich insurance company shareholders and CEOs. Billions of dollars are at stake, which is why the insurers and their symbiotic allies are pulling out all the stops to gut a key part of the law that would require them to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar they take in for medical care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 28, 2010
    Bill Mahan | Letters to the Editor | Herald Leader (Lexington, KY)
    As a dedicated activist for single-payer health care, it has become crystal clear to me that the private, for-profit health insurance companies are the biggest detriment to having a health care system in the United States that is comparable to the rest of the developed nations of the world.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2010
    By Helen Redmond LCSW | FireDogLake
    The luck of the Irish was not with 23 year-old Natasha McShane on the night of April 23rd. The exchange student from Belfast, Northern Ireland, was beaten with a bat and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). She was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in critical condition and doctors weren’t sure she would live. Natasha did live and so began her odyssey through the for-profit American health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 27, 2010
    by Donna Smith |
    Since the health insurance reform bill passed this past spring, you’d think we suddenly stopped having American patients die and suffer unimaginable horror at the hands of the corporate owned and operated healthcare business system in the United States. No one tells the stories. The reality is that patients were props, and they just aren’t needed as props any more.

  • Posted on Monday, July 26, 2010
    By Kip Sullivan | PNHP Blog
    This six-part series originally posted at PNHP's blog explores the research on American attitudes about a single-payer (or Medicare-for-all) system to evaluate the truth of the new version of the “yes but” argument. We will see that the research demonstrates that approximately two-thirds of Americans support a Medicare-for-all system despite constant attacks on Medicare and the systems of other countries by conservatives. The evidence supporting this statement is rock solid. The evidence against it - the focus group and polling “research” commissioned by the “option” movement's founders - is defective, misinterpreted, or both.

  • Posted on Friday, July 23, 2010
    Below are excerpts on Social Security, Medicare and the nature of the Deficit Commission itself from the testimony of James K. Galbraith, Lloyd M. Bentsen, Jr., Chair in Government/Business Relations, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, before the Commission of Deficit Reduction, June 30, 2010.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 22, 2010
    James G. Kahn, MD, MPH | Testimony before California Assembly Health Committee
    My particular expertise in health system research is in billing and insurance-related administrative costs. My colleagues and I have demonstrated that as much as 1 dollar in seven that goes into a medical office is used to collect payment – for contracting, billing, copayment collection, and repeated appeals of claim denials. Overall, for health care funded through the private insurance system, fully 38 cents of each dollar goes to administration and profits, leaving only 62 cents for clinical care. 20 cents is avoidable administration – which would mainly disappear with single payer. This translates to billions of dollars that become available to pay for health care – more than $200 billion per year in the United States, and $30 billion in California.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    Martha Livingston | Letter to the Editor | The Guardian
    We in the US have "choice" and "competition" up to our eyebrows in a privatised system run – even after the recent healthcare "reform" – in the interest of the for-profit health insurance industry. Our system, leaving 50 million Americans out entirely and bankrupting 1.2 million every year because of medical bills, costs twice what yours does.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010
    By James Marc |
    Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell twice fumbled in addressing whether Jim Leddy can legally serve on the Vermont Commission on Health Care Reform while simultaneously serving as President of the Vermont AARP.

  • Posted on Monday, July 19, 2010
    By Charles Mathews | Cap Scan, the journal of the Capital Medical Society (Tallahassee)
    I was troubled and sleep-deprived by these past several years of frustrations and struggles to achieve a seemingly simple straightforward goal for this great Republic, namely health care for all, Medicare-type coverage, cradle to grave, such as all other advanced countries provide their citizens. Enacting legislation, single payer, has lain in the congressional hopper for years, where it is kept buried by the powerful lobbyists of the health care oligarchs.

  • Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010
    PETER MAHR, MD | Letter to the Editor | The Oregonian
    Oregon faces a $577 million deficit, and state leaders propose cutting state services, slashing jobs and reducing funding for schools. I would like to point out that the United States' failure to enact a single-payer national health insurance program directly affects our current state budget problems.

  • Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010
    By Richard C. Dillihunt, M.D.The Portland Press Herald
    Health care costs remain a major concern of all Americans. Inflation in such costs has become increasingly important in our fragile economy. Expanding alarmingly, much faster than that of the economy in general, these costs are dipping deeply into the ballooning budgets of middle Americans.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2010
    Quentin D. Young, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Chicago Sun-Times
    The solution, favored by a solid majority of the American people and physicians, is an improved Medicare for all -- single-payer national health insurance. Such a program would cover everyone, without exception, and give us the cost-control tools we need to deliver high-quality care over the long haul.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 8, 2010
    By Nicholas Skala. Updated by Chris Gray
    The PNHP National Office has identified 20 right-wing think tanks that employ full-time health policy "scholars" to oppose national health insurance and advocate for health care privatization, deregulation and market-based reforms. These groups are funded with millions of dollars from wealthy far-right foundations such as the Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation, the Charles Koch Foundation, the John Olin Foundation, the Adolph Coors family’s Castle Rock Foundation and the Scaife Family Foundations, which share an ultra-conservative social agenda.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2010
  • Posted on Tuesday, July 6, 2010
    I am Dr. Margaret Flowers and I am here today on behalf of Physicians for a National Health Program, the leading physician research, education and advocacy organization in support of a truly universal single-payer health system in the United States. I will speak specifically about the contribution of health care costs to our national deficit and the evidence-based remedy to control these costs.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010
    By David Himmelstein, Kip Sullivan & Steffie WoolhandlerPNHP 2010 Spring Newsletter
    The single-payer model precludes private insurance that duplicates the public coverage – a measure required both to control costs and to avoid the emergence of two-class care. The question of how to treat nonprofit, staff- and group-model HMOs is complex because they combine a nonprofit provider of care (clearly acceptable in a single-payer model) with a private insurance plan (which is not acceptable). After much debate, PNHP decided to include such organizations in its proposals, but with tight restrictions to minimize the problems inherent in the insurance component of HMOs.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 1, 2010
    By Katie Robbins
    The following text is the testimony that Katie Robbins, national organizer for Healthcare NOW, presented to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform on June 30 in Washington

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010
    By HELEN REDMOND | Counterpunch
    Liberals are on a mission to convince a skeptical public the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known by the last three letters, ACA) should not only be supported, it’s actually a good piece of legislation, a step in the right direction. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010
    What follows is an open letter from James Marc Leas, an attorney in Burlington to the Vermont Attorney General’s office. The letter is followed by the AG office’s original response.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
    By Dean Baker | TPM Café
    The opponents of Social Security and Medicare are getting in high gear. After all, it makes perfect sense that after the collapse of a housing bubble has just destroyed the life savings of near retirees that we would cut their Social Security and Medicare. Okay, at least in Washington that makes perfect sense.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
    By Claudia Detwiler M.S.W., M.P.H. | Coordinator of Outreach, Western PA Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 29, 2010
    By Nancy Remsen | Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
    The Health Care Reform Commission recommended Monday that the Legislature hire the Harvard economist who helped Taiwan revamp its health-care system for a six-month, $300,000 health research project for Vermont.

  • Posted on Monday, June 28, 2010
    By Roger Hickey | TPM Café
    On Saturday, the group known as America Speaks (funded by Wall Street mogul Peter G. Peterson and two other foundations) brought together several thousand people in meetings in 60 cities. They gave participants misleading background information about the federal deficit and economic options to achieve fiscal “balance” and future prosperity. But Peterson cannot be pleased with the participants’ mainly progressive policy choices, which will be presented on June 30 to the Deficit Commission that Peterson encouraged President Obama to create.

  • Posted on Monday, June 28, 2010
    By Nicholas Skala
    In the following short article, I evaluate and provide PNHP’s position on the “National Health Insurance Act” (H.R. 15), introduced by Rep. John Dingell and the “American Health Security Act” (H.R. 1200), introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott; particularly in comparison the “U.S. National Health Care Act” (H.R. 676), introduced by Rep. John Conyers. I also provide our thoughts on the politics of the various proposals.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2010
    By RONI CARYN RABIN | The New York Times
    Uninsured Americans often have difficulty getting care and paying for medications. But what happens once they are admitted to a hospital with a life-threatening illness?

  • Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2010
    By Steven Reinberg | Business Week
    Compared with six other industrialized nations, the United States ranks last when it comes to many measures of quality health care, a new report concludes.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 24, 2010
    By Maggie Fox | Reuters
    Americans spend twice as much as residents of other developed countries on healthcare, but get lower quality, less efficiency and have the least equitable system, according to a report released on Wednesday.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010
    By Dean Baker | The Huffington Post
    Next weekend will feature another milestone in the drive to cut Social Security and Medicare. The organization America Speaks will be hosting a series of 20 meetings in cities across the country. They will ask the people at these meetings, a cross section of the nation, to come up with proposals for dealing with the country's projected long-term budget deficit.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010
    By William Greider | The Nation
    In setting up his National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Barack Obama is again playing coy in public, but his intentions are widely understood among Washington insiders. The president intends to offer Social Security as a sacrificial lamb to entice conservative deficit hawks into a grand bipartisan compromise in which Democrats agree to cut Social Security benefits for future retirees while Republicans accede to significant tax increases to reduce government red ink.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 22, 2010
    By Greg Anrig | The Huffington Post
    Advocates of cutting Social Security benefits often argue ruefully that they wish that there was some other way to "save" the program. But, they say sadly, the only realistic choices involve shared sacrifice and pain. So they recommend changes like further delays in the age when full retirement benefits can be collected, reducing cost-of-living adjustments to Social Security payments, and other cuts that would reduce how much future retirees are scheduled to receive.