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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 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.

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    by Matt Schlobohm | Public Policy & Poltical Mobilization Director, Maine AFL-CIO
    On Friday October 23, 2009 the delegates at the Maine AFL-CIO’s 27th Biennial Convention unanimously passed a resolution calling on the AFL-CIO to convene, after the current healthcare reform process in Congress concludes, a democratic strategic planning process to develop a long term strategy to win Single Payer national health insurance.

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    By Jeff Muskus | The Huffington Post
    While Democratic leaders abandoned the public option on Thursday, one senator reignited his push for an amendment that would allow states to test-pilot single-payer health insurance systems.

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    By MIMI KOREN | Sound and Town Report
    A Mamaroneck physician believes that a single-payer plan would be the only effective way to reform the nation’s health system. Early this week she denounced the reform bills passed by the House of Representatives and now up for debate in the Senate. “I don’t think [they] will fix things,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal. “The best thing to do [would be] scrap them both and do single-payer. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    From Dr. Laura Boylan
    I was arrested this morning in an act of peaceful civil disobedience along with a diverse group of seven others, including a medical student and a nurse, similarly passionate about Medicare for All. Ours was one of 17 actions organized by Mobilization for Health Care for All across the country to honor International Human Rights Day. We blocked the doors to Sen. Charles Schumer’s office building.

  • Posted on Friday, December 11, 2009
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | New York Times, Room for Debate blog
    Milk and lemon both taste good in tea. But mix them together and it’s a curdled mess. Similarly, the latest Senate health reform compromise combines two appetizing elements — a Medicare expansion and tighter insurance regulations –- to create a noxious brew.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009
    By Luke Mitchell | Harper's Magazine
    The idea that there is a competitive “private sector” in America is appealing, but generally false. No one hates competition more than the managers of corporations. Competition does not enhance shareholder value, and smart managers know they must forsake whatever personal beliefs they may hold about the redemptive power of creative destruction for the more immediate balm of government intervention. This wisdom is expressed most precisely in an underutilized phrase from economics: regulatory capture.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009
    By Susan Cloke | Opinion | Santa Monica Mirror
    Santa Monica physicians Matt Hendrickson, Gene Oppenheim, Geoff White, Nancy Greep and Steve Tarzynski, joining thousands of American physicians frustrated by insurance companies getting in the way of providing good care for patients, started a Santa Monica chapter of PNHP. Sheila Kuehl, the author of the groundbreaking bill for single payer in CA, twice passed by both houses of the CA legislature and twice vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger, spoke at their first event.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009
    By Bob Cesca | Huffington Post
    The fact remains that the private health insurance system is broken and America is being left behind by the rest of the world as we cling to the decaying wreckage of a failed healthcare system. Medicare is an obvious solution.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009
    By Kennedy Elliott | Medill Reports
    He approves the swine flu vaccine, sings to his patients and said he may be one of few people to have been uninvited to the White House. Dr. David Scheiner, President Barack Obama’s former physician, has been serving the Hyde Park community for more than 20 years.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2009
    By Ashley Smith
    The battle for health care reform is heating up in Congress. The House has already passed one bill, and the Senate is debating another version. But as Dr. Andy Coates explains, both bills will fail in solving the health care crisis--and, in fact, place a greater financial burden than ever on working people.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2009
    By HELEN REDMOND | Counterpunch
    Already defenders and apologists for the Democrat’s health care legislation are busy at work. In the next few weeks they will be working overtime to persuade, cajole, shame and ruthlessly attack if necessary, anyone opposing health care legislation. They’ll reserve special hysteria, invective and contempt for those of us who continue to support a single-payer, national health care system. And because it is the holiday season, we will be called heartless health care Grinches and silly, single payer, Bernie Sanders Scrooges.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2009
    By Tim Gaynor | Reuters
    Three nurses unions merged on Monday to form the largest-ever labor organization for U.S. medical professionals, which is expected to wield greater clout in collective bargaining and the national healthcare debate.

  • Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009
    by Philip Caper | CommonDreams.org
    As health care reform legislation enters a critical phase in Congress, it's important to keep our eye on the ball -- elements essential to the success of any reform effort. In order to define those elements, we must have a clear understanding of the nature of the pathology in our dysfunctional health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009
    By ROB KIEFNER | Concord (N.H.) Monitor
    Amid chaos, misinformation and misunderstanding, the health care reform bill was nudged through the House of Representatives by the narrowest of margins. By not letting the facts get in the way of their blustering arguments, wacky lawmakers from both sides of the aisle offered lots of hype and heft, at times bench pressing the actual 2,100-page document to underscore the strength of their positions.

  • Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009
    By Hirsh Cohen | Business Courier of Cincinnati
    The latest numbers are staggering. A new Harvard study in the American Journal of Public Health reports that nearly 45,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. because of the lack of health insurance. That’s a death every 12 minutes.

  • Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009
    By Sylvia Thompson and Iyah Romm | The Huffington Post
    If Massachusetts is going to be a model for reform, we must consider both the successes and failures of the past three years. It has become painfully obvious both in our studies and clinical practice that coverage does not equal care. Despite boasting the strongest primary care workforce in the country, the newly-insured in Massachusetts report waiting months for appointments. Meanwhile, the Connector has added 4.5 percent overhead to the already crushing administrative costs of our private insurance companies.

  • Posted on Monday, December 7, 2009
    By Donna Smith | CommonDreams.org
    The idea of a Medicare-for-All-type, single-payer health care system will be heard on the Senate floor. Late last evening, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont filed Senate Amendment No. 2837, and there are two additional original co-sponsors of this amendment, Senator Roland Burris of Illinois and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

  • Posted on Friday, December 4, 2009
    By D. Brad Wright | Huffington Post
    We've come to the end of the health care costs world tour and conclude today with a look at the price of three prescription drugs: Plavix, Nexium, and Lipitor. Please note that the $0 for the U.S. Medicare figures are outdated--I guess that Part D didn't report to this group or something. But the rest of the numbers are interesting.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2009
    Summary: This amendment would establish a single payer health insurance system that would cover every person legally residing in the United States. The single payer system would be regulated and funded by the federal government through a payroll tax and an income tax, but it would be administered by the states. It would replace the coverage and revenue titles of the current bill, but it would leave in place most of the provisions in the quality, prevention, and workforce titles of the bill. This amendment starts from the premise that health care is a human right, and that every citizen, rich or poor, should have access to health care, just as every citizen has access to the fire department, the police, or public schools.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009
    By Michael J. Klag | Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine
    I have to find a new doctor. Last month, my primary care physician wrote me a letter. He said he was leaving private practice. He’s an outstanding physician—a doctor’s doctor whom I’ve known since he was a medical student. His reason for closing up shop? The sheer frustration of getting paid by private insurance companies.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009
    CLAUDIA CHAUFAN | Letter to the Editor | San Francisco Chronicle
    In the Netherlands, the recently introduced for-profit insurance applies only to a small portion of services, and the results are mixed at best. As money is diverted from care to advertising, health care needs go unmet, and costs are steadily rising, as is popular discontent.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009
    By Igor Volsky | The Wonk Room, Think Progress
    Tomorrow is the the 44th anniversary of Medicare, a government-sponsored health care program that provides health coverage to virtually all of the nation’s elderly and a large share of people with disabilities. While Medicare is not without its problems, it has dramatically improved access to health care, allowed seniors to live longer and healthier lives, contributed to the desegregation of southern hospitals, and has become one of the most popular government programs.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009
    Steffie Woolhandler & David U. Himmelstein | Letter to the Editor | Orlando Sentinel
    Congressman Cliff Stearns in his My Word column Tuesday ("Use facts in health-care debate") repeats misinformation spread by a conservative think-tank about our study that found that nearly 45,000 Americans die annually because they lack health insurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2009
    Massachusetts Joint Comittee on Public Health
    Thank you, Madame Chair and Members of the Committee for the opportunity to testify this morning. My name is Iyah Romm, and I am a medical student at Boston University School of Medicine. I also serve as a national leader of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), where I am the New England Regional Director and Co-Chair of the Health Care for All Steering Committee.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2009
    Allison Kilkenny | The Huffington Post
    Dr. Julio Frenk, Executive Director for Evidence and Information for Policy at WHO says: "It is especially beneficial to make sure that as large a percentage as possible of the poorest people in each country can get insurance...Insurance protects people against the catastrophic effects of poor health. What we are seeing is that in many countries, the poor pay a higher percentage of their income on health care than the rich."

  • Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009
    Editorial | The Nation
    This is not what democracy looks like. When Americans vote, by overwhelming majorities, to place control of the executive and legislative branches in the hands of a party that has promised fundamental change, they are supposed to get that change. They are not supposed to watch as a handful of self-interested and special-interested senators prevent progress by exploiting the arcane rules of the less representative of our two legislative chambers--rules requiring that not a majority but a supermajority be attained in order even to discuss necessary reforms, and that a similar supermajority be in place to thwart a filibuster.

  • Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009
    By Lori A. Carter | Press-Democrat
    John Shearer, a Petaluma physician for more than 40 years and outspoken advocate for health care, died Nov. 18 only a few weeks after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 77.

  • Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009
    DR. PETER MAHR | Letters to the editor | The Oregonian
    The current federal health reform legislation's answer is to insure most Americans by mandating citizens buy private insurance. Unfortunately the private insurance industry and its related bureaucracy and administration waste $400 billion a year and leave many millions more underinsured and laden with medical bills.

  • Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009
    Jane Slaughter | Labor Notes
    Its been a frustrating year for supporters of single-payer health care reform–Medicare for all. They protested as their proposal, which they call the most comprehensive, humane, and economical solution to the health care mess, was sidelined from the get-go. Their jaws dropped as the Houses health care bill, which subsidizes the insurance industry by forcing almost everyone to buy insurance, with government help, was dubbed socialistand fascist.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009
    By Kevin Gosztol | Op-ed News
    On the day before Thanksgiving, members of single payer advocacy organizations gathered for a press conference to voice strong concerns with a Democratic health bill that they feel fails to address the biggest problems with health care in America.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009
    Ryan Grim | Huffington Post
    The insurance industry successfully fought off a Senate threat to revoke its antitrust exemption as part of health care reform, but the issue lives to fight one more battle in the conference committee negotiations that will take place between the two chambers.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009
    By HELEN REDMOND | Counterpunch
    I get weekly emails from Levana Layendecker of Health Care for America Now (HCAN) and Mitch Stewart from Organizing for America. In increasingly shrill prose, the two try to convince me to support whatever legislation emerges from Congress. They warn, “IF THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WIN, YOU LOSE.” I agree completely. That is why I won’t support any legislation Congress passes because the insurance companies have already won and we have lost.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2009
    By Greg Albo
    An interview with Colin Leys: Colin Leys lives in London. He is an emeritus professor of political studies and co-editor of the annual publication, the ‘Socialist Register’. He is currently active in the fight against the privatization of Britain’s National Health Service.

  • Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009

    Donald Broder | New York Times | Letter to the Editor
    We have forgotten our basic American value of looking out for one another. Would we support the idea of a fire or police department that provided help only to those who had a “Cadillac” protection plan? I don’t think so.



  • Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009

    Two online tools from The New York Times and the Kaiser Family Foundation



  • Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009
    By Stephen Janis | Investigative Voice
    Sitting in the Common Ground coffee shop in Hampden Friday afternoon, pediatrician Eric Naumberg displays the low-key mannerisms of a doctor who could heal the sick simply by imparting a bit of his own personal serenity.

  • Posted on Monday, November 23, 2009
    By Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | The following letter was submitted to the Washington Post
    The constituency for maintaining reproductive choice will be broad if middle-class women rely on the same system as the poor and near-poor. Because the new Medicaid and subsidized coverage will go to lower-income people, the middle class has little reason to be threatened by restrictions on abortions in that coverage. The lifeboat is kept in better repair if everyone -- rich and poor alike -- must rely upon it.

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    By Robert Reich | Salon
    First there was Medicare for all 300 million of us. But that was a nonstarter because private insurers and Big Pharma wouldn't hear of it, and Republicans and "centrists" thought it was too much like what they have up in Canada -- which, by the way, cost Canadians only 10 percent of their GDP and covers every Canadian. (Our current system of private for-profit insurers costs 16 percent of GDP and leaves out 45 million people.)

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    By Ida Hellander, MD

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    By SACHA PFEIFFER | WBUR Radio / NPR
    A new Harvard study finds that computerized medical records don’t save money or make hospitals more efficient, despite claims that health information technology could generate huge financial returns.

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    By Susan Heavey | Reuters
    New electronic record systems installed in thousands of U.S. hospitals have done little to rein in skyrocketing healthcare costs, Harvard University researchers said in a study released on Friday.

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    Jeoffry B.Gordon, M.D., M.P.H. | The New York Times
    Your editorial on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation against routine screening mammograms for healthy, low-risk women under the age of 50 takes a wise and balanced view. Nonetheless, this controversy has demonstrated a broad national consensus about the value of breast cancer screening. After practicing family medicine for nearly 30 years, I would observe that a critical aspect of this issue has been totally ignored: the deadly impact of lack of health insurance.

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    Editorial | Berkshire Eagle
    On Veterans Day, America honors those who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones, as well as World War I, which is passing deeper into history and is represented by only one surviving American veteran. America should also take this opportunity to assess if current veterans are being well-treated by the nation they serve, which means sending them to fight only in justifiable wars and providing them whatever health care they require. In this area, we can and must do a lot better.

  • Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009
    By Ann Settgast, M.D., and Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
    As physicians, we are troubled by the direction of federal health care reform. Whether via a public health insurance option or an insurance mandate, the proposals on the table build on the structure of our broken system—the most costly, fragmented, and bureaucratic in the world.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009
    By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE | New York Times
    Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan and the second-most senior member of the House, today ripped into President Obama and Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, accusing them of “bowing down” to “nutty right-wing” proposals just to get a health care bill passed.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009
    By Jason Pramas | Editorial | Open Media Boston
    I think it would behoove small business organizations to think hard about this issue. Because, even as I write, a really bad national plan that leaves giant insurance companies firmly in the drivers seat of American health are policy has been pushed through the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate for a vote - where it very well may get shot down.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2009
    Kaiser Family Foundation
    A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation examines health reform and access to coverage for abortion services, a subject that has become one of the most discussed elements of the reform debate. The paper explains current law regarding abortion coverage, discusses the treatment of coverage for abortion services under the major health reform bills under consideration in Congress, and explores the possible impact of the House-passed legislation on public and private coverage for abortion services.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009
    By CARLA K. JOHNSON (AP)
    Uninsured patients with traumatic injuries, such as car crashes, falls and gunshot wounds, were almost twice as likely to die in the hospital as similarly injured patients with health insurance, according to a troubling new study.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009
    By ALAN NASSER | Counterpunch
    The liberal imagination has broadened the scope of what it wants to dismiss as unrealistic, utopian and unpragmatic, i.e. as for all practical purposes impossible. These claims have typically been accompanied by the assurance that “This is not something that Americans would go for – it’s not the American way.” There are countless variations on this theme. Obama’s case against a single payer health care system is a conspicuous case in point. What distinguishes Obama’s position on this issue is not merely the weakness of his “arguments”, but the straight-ahead factual falsehood of the some of the counterclaims he has put forward in order to turn the desirable into the impossible.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009
    By Howard Waitzkin | Taos News
    A single-payer health program basically would extend Medicare to the entire population. Although Medicare is not without problems, people over 65 years of age widely support the system and express satisfaction with it.