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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 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 | CommonDreams.org
    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 | Vtdigger.com
    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.

  • Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010
    Kaiser Family Foundation | News Release
    People who buy their own insurance report that their insurers most recently requested premium increases averaging 20 percent, according to a new Kaiser survey examining the experiences and views of people who buy health coverage in the non-group or individual market.

  • Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010
    By Kay Tillow | FireDogLake
    The Republican Party recently told its leaders to call the Obama administration’s new health law “Exhibit A” of a “runaway Washington government.” But that’s not how longtime GOP health expert Thomas Scully sees it.

  • Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010
    Rep. Dennis Kucinich: Madam Speaker, I rise today in memory of Nicholas Matthew Skala for his extraordinary service to our country. He dedicated his short life to advocating for full health care coverage for every man, woman and child in the United States.

  • Posted on Monday, June 21, 2010
    By Robert G. Evans | Toronto Star
    Today, Canada’s expenditures on health care match those by other OECD countries. The public share of overall health costs in Canada is relatively low for high-income OECD countries, around 70 per cent. Private insurance, primarily for prescription drugs and dentistry, now accounts for 12.7 per cent of Canadian health spending, 14th highest in the world. The OECD outlier is the United States, where extensive private finance supports uncontrollable cost escalation (now over 16 per cent of GDP). Getting these costs under control will be the major task facing Obama’s health-care reform.

  • Posted on Friday, June 18, 2010
    Bruce C. Vladeck, Ph.D. | New England Journal of Medicine
    Now that Congress has completed the epochal, exhausting, and contentious task of enacting comprehensive health care reform, it must confront another health care issue that is perhaps even more politically difficult: reform of Medicare’s physician payment system. On April 15, Congress voted to postpone a 21% reduction in Medicare fees that was to have gone into effect April 1, but a longer-term solution is not yet in sight.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2010
    By Elizabeth Dunbar | Minnesota Public Radio
    Dr. Elizabeth Frost, a family practice physician and a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, said the groups would like to see all Minnesotans covered by a plan paid for by state government.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
    By Paul T. Cheung | Denver Post
    To the long list of barriers Latinos face in getting care in this country, the Arizona immigration law adds another. Our health care system works best when chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma are controlled. Had Juan suffered a stroke or heart attack from uncontrolled blood pressure, his medical costs would rise dramatically and ultimately be passed on to the community through taxes and higher insurance premiums. More importantly, Juan likely would have suffered long term health effects impacting the quality of his daily life.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
    By Donna Smith | CommonDreams.org
    Oh, the things we did not fix in the healthcare bill are shocking. Just as seniors falling into the Medicare drug benefit donut hole begin to get the $250 checks meant to calm their fears about our new healthcare legislation, the rest of us would do well to remember the abuses of the for-profit healthcare system that will continue and even accelerate in the coming years.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
    By F. Douglas Stephenson | Citrus County (Fla.) Chronicle
    Over 45 million US citizens now lack any kind of health insurance, and millions more have very inadequate coverage in the policies they now carry. Among these with incomes below the federal poverty line, a third had no health insurance. Statistics show that among Americans who are inadequately insured, a significant number are sicker and die younger than those who have insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010
    By Chris Silva | American Medical News
    A new Vermont health care bill could lead to significant changes in the state's delivery and payment structures, including a possible move toward a single-payer system. Governor Jim Douglas announced May 27 that he would allow the bill to become law without his signature.

  • Posted on Monday, June 14, 2010
    By Jason Claffey | Foster's Daily Democrat
    The health care reform bill passed earlier this year — the largest expansion of coverage since Medicare was enacted in 1965 — did not go far enough, a prominent physician told the Portsmouth Rotary Club Thursday.

  • Posted on Friday, June 11, 2010
    By Jennifer Feals | Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald
    More than 100 business owners, health care professionals, patients and elected officials gathered Thursday to learn about a single-payer health care system, many stating their support.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2010
    Portsmouth Herald
    Portsmouth Primary Care Associates invites the public to "Everybody In, Nobody Out, One Group, One Plan, One Rate," a forum on health care reform from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 10, at the Frank Jones Center on the Route 1 Bypass.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2010
    By Maude L. Campbell | Cleveland Scene
    George Randt didn't go into medicine for the money. His influence was Dr. Bob — Robert Ballard, MD, a neighbor and family friend in post-World War II Bay Village whom Randt calls a true family physician. "He made house calls. He'd come down and see us when we were little and bring that black bag with the medicinal smell. He'd sit on the edge of the bed, and you immediately felt better just having him be there," says Randt. "And at street parties he'd bring out the banjo."

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010
    By Dr. Quentin Young | The Huffington Post
    The movement for single-payer health reform - an improved Medicare for All - is hopping in Indianapolis, "the Crossroads of America."

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2010
    Four important articles on the "Debt Commission"

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2010
    By Robert Kuttner | The Washington Post
    With the enactment of a large economic stimulus package, fiscal conservatives are using the temporary deficit increase to attack a perennial target -- Social Security and Medicare. The private-equity investor Peter G. Peterson, who launched a billion-dollar foundation last year to warn that America faces $56.4 trillion in "unfunded liabilities," is a case in point. Supposedly, these costs will depress economic growth and crowd out other needed outlays, such as investments in the young. The remedy: big cuts in programs for the elderly.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2010
    By Elliott | FireDogLake
    Most Americans saw President Bill Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich as staunch foes–"the polar extremes of Pennsylvania Avenue." But as Steven Gillon reveals in The Pact, these powerful adversaries formed a secret alliance in 1997, a pact that would have rocked the political landscape, had it not foundered in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2010
    By Jane Hamsher | FireDogLake
    There’s a very important an article in the Neiman Watchdog this morning (Harvard’s journalism review, Deputy Editor Dan Froomkin). It’s written by Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, entitled “Has Obama created a Social Security ‘death panel’?

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2010
    By Jane Hamsher | FireDogLake
    President Obama has packed the Debt Commission (also known as the cat food commission) with members who have an overwhelming history of support for both benefit cuts and privatization of Social Security.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 8, 2010
    By André Picard | Toronto Globe and Mail
    On Monday, a group of prominent American and Canadian physicians will debate, in Toronto, the question: “Be it resolved that I would rather get sick in the U.S. than in Canada.” One of the panelists is Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, chairman of the Democratic Party and a one-time presidential candidate.

  • Posted on Monday, June 7, 2010
    By Johnathon Ross, M.D. | Cleveland Plain Dealer
    Mrs. Brown (not her real name) was recently in to check on her blood pressure. She knows I've worked decades for a national health plan that would benefit individuals and businesses alike. "So what do you think of the reform bill, Doc?" she asked, hoping I'd be pleased.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 3, 2010
    By REED ABELSON and GARDINER HARRIS | The New York Times
    In selling the health care overhaul to Congress, the Obama administration cited a once obscure research group at Dartmouth College to claim that it could not only cut billions in wasteful health care spending but make people healthier by doing so.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 2, 2010
    By Roni Reino | Fosters Daily Democrat
    The Portsmouth Primary Care Associates will host a discussion with Oliver Fein, president of the Physicians for a National Health Program on June 10.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010
    By Rob Stone M.D. | The Huffington Post
    The WellPoint Inc. annual meeting May 18 in Indianapolis was contentious and dramatic. The first story out was about the collapse of Board member William "Bucky" Bush followed by CEO Angela Braly's sudden adjournment of the meeting while a line of concerned shareholders were still waiting to have their questions answered. That story went 'round the world, even picked up by the Singapore Straits Times, given legs by the irony of Mr. Bush getting assistance from the very doctor who had been regaling the Board minutes before. That physician, of course, was me.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 27, 2010
    By Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP
    Let me begin with thanks – twice. First, thanks for letting me work with you for almost 15 years; this has been one of the most satisfying journeys of my entire career. My colleagues in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement feel the same. Second, thanks for what the NHS does as an example for health care worldwide. If you’re a cynic, you’ll want to go get a cup of tea about now. I am going to annoy you, because I am not a cynic. I am romantic about the NHS; I love it. All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country.

  • Posted on Monday, May 17, 2010
    By Samuel Metz | The Oregonian
    How much would you pay to keep your private health insurance instead of a single-payer system? A thousand dollars? Ten thousand dollars? How about $350 billion?

  • Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010
    By Rob Stone M.D. | The Huffington Post
    The health insurance industry has been profitable for its investors. The five largest health insurance companies sailed through the worst economic downturn since the great Depression to set new industry profit records in 2009. WellPoint, UnitedHealth, Aetna, Humana, and CIGNA enjoyed combined profits of $12.2 billion, up 56 percent from 2008. It was the best year ever for Big Insurance.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 2010
    British Medical Association | Press Release
    The public is being urged to join the BMA’s ‘Look After our NHS’ campaign against the role of commercial companies providing NHS care in England.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    By The Editors | The Nation
    Drs. David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, longtime advocates for single payer with Physicians for a National Health Program, have sifted through the mounds of information and misinformation to bring you ten things you need to know about the new law and a few actions to bring true reform to the healthcare industry.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    From The Commonwealth Fund
    Three timelines for health care reform implementation: health insurance provisions, revenue provisions, and system and delivery reform provisions.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    By Phil Galewitz | Kaiser Health News
    The new health reform law is the most far-reaching health legislation since the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The following is a look at the impact of the law, which will extend insurance coverage to 32 million additional Americans by 2019, but which will also have an effect on almost every citizen. Here are some commonly-asked questions about how you might be affected

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    By Peter Knowlton, President, UE Northeast Region | United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America News
    UE locals bargaining for their members’ healthcare will get little help from the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA) passed by Congress and signed by the president. While millions of uninsured will gain access to coverage, and for the first time the U.S. government will prohibit health insurance companies to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, there are harmful aspects to the new law. Much as NAFTA legitimized cross-border corporate exploitation of workers, HCERA confirms the domination of healthcare in the U.S. by private health insurance corporations, whose own maximum profit remains their overriding priority.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    By David Swanson
    North Carolina house candidate Marcus Brandon defeated a 30-year incumbent tonight, by 60% to 40%, to become the Democratic nominee in an overwhelmingly Democratic district in Greensboro, North Carolina.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
    By Ethan Parke
    My name is Ethan Parke. I live in Montpelier, and I support universal health care in Vermont as outlined in S.88 and H.100. I thank the Senate President Pro Tem and the Chair of the Senate Health Care Committee for their commitment to giving serious consideration to S.88 in the Senate this year.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 6, 2010

    Kathlene S. Waller, M.D. | Fort Collins Coloradoan, May 6, 2010
    Dear Auntie Em,
    As I was just telling Toto a few days ago we're sure not in Kansas anymore. We've noticed that things are very strange when it comes to health-care reform here in the land of Oz.



  • Posted on Thursday, May 6, 2010
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. | Tikkun Magazine
    As we sit here on the other side of the recent health reform process, we have an opportunity for reflection. There were many times during the past year and a half when passage of a health bill seemed unlikely. However, in the end, the White House and Democratic leadership joined forces and converted the last holdouts with scare tactics of electoral turnovers and even a trip on Air Force One in order to muscle a bill over the final hurdles.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 5, 2010
    By Kevin Kelley | West Life (Westlake, Ohio)
    WESTLAKE, Ohio -- About 50 protesters demonstrated in front of St. John Medical Center Sunday afternoon to protest the termination of Dr. George Randt’s contract with Cuyahoga Physicians Network.

  • Posted on Monday, May 3, 2010
    By Dr. Susanne King | The Berkshire Eagle
    This is not a “health care” bill; it is a “health insurance” bill, which will hand out $447 billion in taxpayer money to insurance companies as subsidies to purchase inadequate insurance products. And the bill will require millions of Americans to buy these substandard products. The insurance companies are the big winners in this legislation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2010
    By Claudia Chaufan | Santa Cruz Sentinel
    Right after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Sentinel reporter Kurtis Alexander listed among its benefits that close to two-thirds of Santa Cruz's County 45,000 uninsured residents would become insured, and that those under 26 years of age would now be allowed to remain in their parents' plans. Is this great news and should we uncork the champagne? Not yet.

  • Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010
    By Michael Getler | PBS
    So, while the hard-nosed journalistic decision may be to focus on the real options and debate, it seems to me that to ignore something that was out there and popular with millions of people and thousands of health-care professionals but not really on the table, was a mistake. Although obviously tight on time, the producers should have found 30 seconds to take this into account because many Americans support it yet the deal makers never mention it nor is the politics of discarding it addressed.

  • Posted on Friday, April 23, 2010
    By Stacey Burling | Philadelphia Inquirer
    Ten to 13 percent fewer surgical patients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania would die if hospitals in those states had as many nurses as California law requires, according to a University of Pennsylvania study published Tuesday.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 22, 2010
    By Helen Redmond | FireDogLake
    I thought I understood Atul Gawande. I’ve read his books. They give me hope the medical culture of doctors and particularly of surgeons in the United States had changed. Dr. Gawande writes with clinical clarity, beauty, empathy and frustration about work inside the dysfunctional American health care system. Nothing escapes his surgically trained eyes  inside the operating room or out: nosocomial infections, medication errors, aging in America, military casualties. Gawande is obsessed with how to get things right so patients aren’t harmed or killed. He’s the kind of man who has the honesty, the humility and the cajones to apologize to a patient for almost killing him. And then calls the guy a few months later to see how he’s doing.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2010
    By Peter Hart | Fair and Accuracy in Reporting The PBS program Frontline on April 13 offered a look at the White House drive for healthcare reform titled Obama's Deal. Like a previous Frontline special about the U.S. healthcare system, the program failed to adequately include single-payer. But the way the show did it this time was remarkable.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 20, 2010
    Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Staff Report for Chairman Rockefeller
    Since August 2009, the Senate Commerce Committee has been investigating how commercial insurance companies spend the billions of dollars of premiums that American consumers pay them every year for health care coverage. One of the basic financial indicators that insurers, investors, insurance commissioners, and policymakers look at to understand how premium dollars are being used is the “medical loss ratio.” This staff report provides an update on the Committee’s investigation, including a review of new 2009 medical loss ratio information that health insurers recently filed with their regulators.

  • Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010
    Posted by Tiffany O'Callaghan | Time
    Health insurance companies in the U.S., Canada and Europe hold nearly $1.9 billion in fast-food company stock, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard Medical School and the department of medicine at Cambridge Health Alliance.

  • Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010
    By Deborah Brauser | Medscape
    Uninsured patients with moderate to severe migraine are twice as likely to not receive standard care, defined as abortive and prophylactic therapy, than those with private health insurance, according to results from a national survey study by researchers from Harvard Medical School.

  • Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. | Counterpunch
    It was with a sense of déjà vu that I watched the latest Frontline documentary about health care. “Obama’s Deal” endeavored to reveal the significant influence of health industry dollars on our political process; however, as in Frontline’s "Sick Around America," the producers did a disservice by the failure to educate the public about the bigger picture of the health care situation in this nation and the range of possible solutions.

  • Posted on Friday, April 16, 2010
    By TODD NEALE | MedPage Today Staff Writer | ABC News
    Companies providing life and health insurance owned $1.9 billion worth of stock in the fast-food industry as of June 11, 2009, researchers reported online in the American Journal of Public Health.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 15, 2010
    Dr. Quentin Young | The Huffington Post
    Having just gone through a grueling, frequently raucous debate on health reform, capped by the narrowest of votes to pass the Obama administration's bill, many activists are now tempted to adopt a "wait and see" attitude on how the new law plays out.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2010
    By Peter Shapiro
    Now that the dust has settled, however, a hard look at the legislation that prompted all the fuss suggests that, far from 'fixing our broken health care system,' it merely reproduces some of its worst features.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2010
    By Amanda Gardner | U.S. News and World Report
    "This study is really about the need to improve the healthcare system so everybody has access to a physician in an office so they don't have to go to an emergency department -- where we know they're not going to get the best treatment," added the study's senior author, Dr. Rachel Nardin, chair of neurology at Cambridge Health Alliance and assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

  • Posted on Monday, April 12, 2010
    By DANIEL BARLOW | Times Argus (Vt.)
    Senators voted 28-2 Wednesday to hire consultants to design a new health care model for Vermont, one of which would include a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Friday, April 9, 2010
    By Eric LaMotte | Synapse, The UCSF Student Newspaper
    Congressional Democrats, the White House and the press want us to play dumb and pretend that the law is a “sweeping measure of reform” that is going to bring meaningful change to patient’s lives, and that we should wait ten years to see how the reform goes before tackling the subject again. They want us to “Ignore” the deficiencies of the new law, despite the fact that Massachusetts, our model for national reform, is already retracting the expansion of insurance coverage it enacted in 2006 and cutting payments to safety net hospitals in order to sustain a fiscally irresponsible model of reform. Massachusetts has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, and yet we are emulating this system in an effort to address rising costs.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010
    By Dr. Ken Fabert | Yes! Magazine
    The New Zealand health system is not socialism. It is an example of an intelligent, educated population and government understanding that one of the cornerstones of a human rights-based society (as well as a healthy, productive, and creative society) is the social provision of health care.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010
    By J.K. Wall | Indianapolis Business Journal, April 6, 2010
    Saying WellPoint Inc. has failed to live up to its commitment to provide “the best healthcare value” for customers, three shareholders of the Indianapolis-based health insurance giant want it to convert to a not-for-profit organization.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010
    By Jeoffry B. Gordon, MD, MPH | Journal of the American College of Radiology
    The details of the controversy surrounding screening mammography and breast cancer mortality serve to highlight the importance of having a broad and comprehensive perspective on specific health care issues. We are all coming to grips with the realization that we must face illness and disease with limited resources. It is best that we devote our energies and resources to getting the most for our health care dollar. We must pay attention to the recommendations of evidencebased medicine, and the necessity for universal national health insurance could not be more clearly demonstrated.