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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, March 18, 2010
    By Dr. Sheila Leavitt | The Progressive
    President Obama’s health reform proposal is not good for women, so it’s ironic he’s pushing it through during Women’s History Month.

  • Posted on Monday, March 15, 2010
    By RICHARD PROPP | Albany Times-Union
    After seven years of academic medicine, 20 years of private practice and 10 years at the state Health Department in patient safety, I became convinced by my studies that uninsurance and underinsurance were our biggest public health problems, responsible for extensive unnecessary illness, deaths, bankruptcies and economic noncompetitiveness. I retired from state government in 2005 to help form an interfaith alliance to work on this issue.

  • Posted on Friday, March 12, 2010
    PBS Bill Moyers Journal
    The following is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Marcia Angell, editor emeritus of the New England Journal of Medicine, on the second half of Bill Moyers Journal on March 5.

  • Posted on Monday, March 8, 2010
    BY SANDRA GUY | Chicago Sun-Times
    Individual health-insurance rates in Illinois will rise this year up to 60 percent, according to Michael McRaith, director of insurance for Illinois.

  • Posted on Monday, March 8, 2010
    H. Dixon Turner, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald
    Like Sen. Judd Gregg, I also believe Congress needs to start over with its health care efforts — but for very different reasons.

  • Posted on Monday, March 8, 2010
    By Rick Alterbaum | The Brandeis Hoot
    Last Thursday, President Obama and leaders from both parties deliberated for seven hours to espouse their talking points and delve into the intricacies of health care policy. They discussed a multitude of topics, ranging from health savings accounts to medical malpractice reform to the “Cornhusker Kickback.” What they did not mention, however, was the possibility of establishing a single-payer health care system. This failure of Congress to consider the plausibility of this policy has been the underlying tragedy of the health care debate.

  • Posted on Monday, March 8, 2010
    By MARK E. WILSON | Birmingham News
    Recently in clinic at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, I saw a man in his 50s who had a good relationship with his doctor until three years ago, when he lost his job and his health insurance. Before long, he could no longer afford health care from his doctor. He had a history of "borderline diabetes," but he felt reasonably well, until last month, when his big toe turned black. He came to our emergency room and was admitted with uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease and gangrene of his toe, which required an amputation.

  • Posted on Monday, March 8, 2010
    Dr. James C. Mitchiner | Ann Arbor (Mich.) News
    Count me among those who were not terribly disappointed at the outcome of the recent Senate race in Massachusetts to fill the un-expired term of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

  • Posted on Friday, March 5, 2010
    By Matthew Rothschild | The Progressive
    When Barack Obama gave his “this is it” speech on health care reform on March 3, he once again swerved out of his way to hit advocates of a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Friday, March 5, 2010
    By John Nichols | The Nation, The Beat Blog
    The president, who was once an ardent advocate for repairing are broken health care system by developing a single-payer "Medicare for All" program, now rejects the wisdom he expressed before moving to Washington.

  • Posted on Friday, March 5, 2010
    By David Swanson | OpEdNews.com
    California keeps passing bills for state single-payer healthcare, but Ahhhnold won't sign em, and Jerry Brown who wants to be governor doesn't seem to want it badly enough to make a commitment on healthcare. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is encouraged that their current governor has said he probably will sign a single-payer healthcare bill, and the legislature just might pass one. But Minnesota has an angle neither of these other states can claim: a serious candidate for governor who is the state's leading advocate for single-payer.

  • Posted on Friday, March 5, 2010
    By Amy Yannello | Sacramento News and Review
    For more than 7 million working Californians who currently don’t have health insurance, Congress and President Barack Obama’s attempt to reform health care has been an exercise in frustration. The public option was almost immediately taken off the table, despite the fact that most independent experts agree reform won’t work without it, and after a year of negotiations, no bill is in sight. If the politicians in Washington, D.C., don’t get their act together soon, California just might beat the feds to the punch with a single-payer system of its own.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 4, 2010
    From Unions for Single Payer Health Care
    Recently, The Maine state AFL-CIO has developed a number of materials, including a power point presentation, leaflets, cost analysis, and other tools to reach out to local unions and rank and file members to help educate and arm them with the knowledge of the benefits of single payer health care and how it works.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 4, 2010
    By Andre Picard | Globe and Mail
    Danny Williams has the unquestionable right to get medical treatment in the United States. But the ignorance and arrogance Mr. Williams displayed in making the decision to get heart surgery in Miami Beach is staggering.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2010
    By Susanne King | The Berkshire Eagle
    Aetna, Cigna, Humana, United Health, and Wellpoint scored record profits totaling $12.2 billion. In 2008, Ron Williams, CEO of Aetna, received over $24 million in compensation, about $450,000 per week. His weekly compensation would be enough to pay the yearly salary of three family doctors, whose median income in the United States is $159,000 per year.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2010
    By Robert Kuttner | The Huffington Post
    In all of the debates about health care reform, one of the stubborn realities is that neither the Obama plan, nor any of the Republican alternatives, will seriously alter the trajectory of relentless cost-escalation in health care. If you look at the Administration's own projections of federal deficits in the next decade and after 2020, virtually all of the alarming growth in deficit spending is Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 2, 2010
    From Democracy Now!
    After nearly seven hours of televised debate, President Obama’s so-called bipartisan healthcare summit ended Thursday without any substantive agreement between Republicans and Democrats. Republican lawmakers remained staunchly opposed to using the federal government to regulate health insurance. We speak to Columbia Journalism Review contributing editor Trudy Lieberman and pediatrician Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program.

  • Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010
    By Michael Hiltzik | Los Angeles Times
    The only way insurers can remain profitable at all is by selling healthy people on policies that don't offer much coverage at all, while squeezing older, less healthy people remorselessly so they either pay for most of their care out of pocket or get priced out of the insurance market completely (thus becoming a burden for taxpayers).

  • Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010
    By Bruce Bartlett | The Wall Street Pit
    There’s been a bit of a debate going on in the blogosphere lately about whether the Democrats should have proposed a more limited health reform plan in the first place. Such a plan might have gotten some Republican support or at least led to less intense Republican opposition and both improved the health system and given the Democrats a badly needed victory. The plan they proposed instead was too big to pass, so the thinking goes.

  • Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010
    By Dr. Quentin Young | The Huffington Post
    President Obama sought to create an impression of willingness to deal with his Republican opponents from a straight-up gamesmanship point of view. In this regard he prevailed, in my opinion. His skills of debate are quite formidable, as even his most bitter opponents have to admit. But the really important question is this: What are the American people being offered in the way of real health reform by the Democrats?

  • Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010
    By Peter Mahr | The Oregonian
    Obama's health care proposal does not include any of the basic principles for true reform. Our inefficient, expensive patchwork system of health insurance would be maintained. For-profit financing would continue in the private insurance market while individuals and employers would be forced to buy it. Finally, there is no guarantee of universal coverage. Millions would be left without insurance and millions more would face financial hardship in payment of their premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket payments.

  • Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010
    Lynn Moses Yellott | Letter to the Editor | Shepherdstown (W.Va.) Chronicle
    Every day, my husband, a physician at a community health clinic, treats people without health insurance who work one and two jobs. He provides the best care he can, but many cannot afford the tests and consultations they need. Some of his patients are among the more than 44,000 people a year in our country who die because they cannot get needed medical care. They deserve to suffer and die?

  • Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010
    Press Release from CNA/NNOC
    The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today praised the announcement from California Attorney General Jerry Brown that he will subpoena records from seven of the state’s biggest private insurance companies to review their policies that have led to public outrage over denials of claims and huge rate increases.

  • Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010
    By John Nichols | The Nation Blogs: The Beat
    Why not consider not just Republican alternatives to President Obama's proposal but the fix that Obama, himself, once suggested (as a 2004 U.S. Senate candidate) was the essential point of beginning for a just and equitable health-care system in a developed nation? Why not let the dozens of House and Senate members who support a Medicare-for-All, single-payer system into the discussion? Why not let House Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers, D-Michigan, Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and other members of Congress ask the questions that should be asked about Obama's compromise plan?

  • Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2010
    By Scott Horsley National Public Radio Of course President Obama himself opted for an incremental approach early on in the health care debate when he rejected calls for a single-payer system as too disruptive to the status quo. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch wants the president to reconsider, [saying] the government would avoid a lot of confusion and complexity by simply expanding Medicare to cover everyone.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2010
    By Steffie Woolhandler | Reuters, The Great Debate Blog
    President Obama, at today’s summit and in his proposal earlier this week, has embraced a deeply-flawed bill – the Senate bill – as his model for reform. That bill would leave about 24 million people uninsured in the year 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Leaving 24 million people without health insurance is neither “universal care” nor even serious reform. As my research team has recently shown, that 24 million uninsured people would translate into about 24,000 unnecessary deaths annually. As a doctor, I find that prospect completely unacceptable.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
    From Ben Day, Executive Director, Mass-Care
    Dear Single Payer Supporters - At 10AM [on Monday], the White House released the outlines of President Obama's health reform proposal "incorporating and improving on ideas from the House and the Senate, along with some new ones," in anticipation of a summit this Thursday with Congressional Republicans.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
    By Michael McAuliff | New York Daily News
    Reps. Anthony Weiner and Peter Welch are reprising a question that proved thorny for President Obama’s last health care summit: Where’s the single-payer advocate?

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
    by Robert A. Linden, MD, FACP
    “Rise and Fall” is written specifically for American citizens and discusses four of the most pressing problems with U.S. healthcare today: healthcare insurance, the disappearing primary care physician, pharmaceutical industry infiltration into the practice and science of medicine, and medical malpractice litigation. Dilemmas along with solutions with the pros and cons for each are reviewed through the eyes of an independent thinking, office/hospital, board-certified internist/geriatrician with hands-on experience and without a personal agenda. Despite this, the single-payer system for healthcare financing and the health court for malpractice reconciliation are both championed.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010
    by Donna Smith | CommonDreams.org
    Some patient stories just fill me with anger and shame. This one -- from Iowa -- is one of those stories. By now, we all know the plot. Patient has insurance. Patient gets sick. Patient cannot afford to keep insurance or find insurance that will cover illness. Patient goes without coverage. Providers demand up-front payment for cancer care. Patient calls on friends, family and community to help. Patient grovels. Cancer spreads. Patient grovels.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Posted on Friday, January 29, 2010

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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