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 19, 2009
    Editorial | Brattleboro Reformer
    No, nibbling around the edges won't deal with the threat that more and more Americans face -- that they will go broke or die because they haven't got health insurance. And the one plan that can solve this problem, some model of a single-payer system -- where the government collects taxes to finance national health insurance that covers every citizen and pays the bills for medical care -- is not being seriously discussed by anyone in the Obama administration.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
    By Irfan Dhalla and Chris Mackie | Ottawa Citizen
    If our goal is merely to convince Canadians that privatization can improve health care, selectively citing some European examples is a pretty good strategy. But if we truly want to bring the lessons of European health care to Canada, we should realize that privatization has never been the European prescription.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 18, 2009
    By Nancy Remsen | Burlington Free Press
    Dr. John Walsh, a neuroscience researcher from Worcester, Mass., stood Tuesday with 150 other sign-carrying supporters of government-financed health care outside the building where 400 invited guests would attend a regional health care reform forum sponsored by the Obama White House. Walsh passed out yellow fliers that denounced President Barack Obama for failing to live up to promises to consider a Canadian-style health insurance system. "Single payer is the choice in the polls," Walsh declared.

  • Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009
    By Nancy Remsen | Burlington Free Press
    For 90 minutes Tuesday afternoon, 400 people will vie for time to share an idea or concern they have about health care during the second of five regional health reform forums sponsored by the Obama White House.

  • Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009
    Leonard Rodberg | New York Times | Letters
    The Congressional Budget Office has shown that a mandate to purchase insurance will not lead to universal coverage. It has shown, as well, that neither information technology nor chronic disease management nor comparative effectiveness analysis -- all of which the administrationis counting on -- will significantly curb costs. Only a unified public plan, based on our successful experience with Medicare, can truly address the problems of the health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009
    James Floyd | Washington Post | Letter to the Editor
    The pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies have offered early support for President Obama's effort to reform health care. Judging by the measures discussed, they have little reason to oppose it.

  • Posted on Monday, March 16, 2009
    By Bill Roy | Topeka Capital-Journal
    Some claim universal medical care would open the floodgates of use and cost of medical care, and the government would soon be in the business of overtly rationing care. That's pretty frightening unless we look objectively at how we are now rationing medical care, and how badly our results compare with nations with universal coverage.

  • Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009
    By Jay Greene | Crain's Detroit Business
    Dr. Jim Mitchiner, an emergency physician from Clawson who supports a single-payer system, said health care insurance should not be linked to a job that can be lost or taken away. "I see people every day who have lost their job and have no insurance. It makes no sense. You lose a job and they don't take away your life or auto insurance policy," Mitchiner said. "I have lost complete faith in the private insurance industry."

  • Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009
    By DANIEL BARLOW | Rutland Herald
    Vermont doctors and other medical professionals who support a single-payer health care system plan to protest next week's Burlington health care reform forum organized by President Barack Obama's administration.

  • Posted on Friday, March 13, 2009
    By John Nichols | Capital Times
    Health care reform is a vital and engaging concern for tens of millions of Americans. But you would not have known it from Thursday's White House Forum on Health Reform, which was so narrowly focused and uninspiring that it almost made Hillary Clinton's bumbling efforts of the 1990s look good.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009
    Dr. Sanjay Gupta and former Pres. Bill Clinton | CNN, Larry King Live The good thing about single payer is the administrative costs are quite low. We probably waste $200 billion a year between the insurance administrative costs, the doctors and other health care providers' administrative costs and employers' administrative costs in health care that we would not waste if we had any other country's system.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009
    By Dr. Bruce Bender | Worcester Telegram & Gazette
    Massachusetts should find ways to reduce the administrative costs of providing health care. Rather than pay an average of 34 to 38 cents of each health-care dollar, we should work to match the same percentage as Canada, 17 cents. This could save $9 billion annually, which could either help prevent the need to cut health-care programs or could be shifted to help our towns, schools, universities, parks, roads, and bridges.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009
    Joy Slagowski | Daily News-Sun
    A health-care expert said Tuesday night there is one way to receive comprehensive medical treatment: Go to jail.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2009
    By RICHARD DAVIS | Brattleboro Reformer
    Opponents are preparing the next round of Harry and Louise ads. They will raise the specter of socialized medicine and the evils of government run health care. Their argument will fail this time not only because it isn't true, but also because people are hurting so much that they understand what changes need to be made.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 11, 2009
    By Amy Goodman | TruthDig
    President Barack Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. Single-payer is the system that removes private insurance companies from the picture; the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private. People still get their choice of what doctor to go to and what hospital to use. Single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery. Single-payer solutions, however, get almost no space in the debate.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    By Karen Tumulty | Time Magazine
    When you've been strong and fit your whole life, it can be easy to discount your body's first whispers of sickness as merely the side effects of daily living. Looking back over the past three years, my older brother Patrick now understands the meaning of his increasingly frequent bouts of fatigue, his fluctuating appetite and the fact that his blood pressure had crept up to 150/90. But Pat had always put off going to the doctor until he had to. Having bought health insurance that carried a $2,500 deductible, he knew he would have to pay for a checkup himself. That is no small consideration for someone who makes $9 an hour, as my brother did in his job as an administrative assistant for a lighting firm in San Antonio.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    By John Nichols | The Nation
    Health care reform is a vital and engaging concern for America--and for Americans. But you would not know it from Thursday's White House Forum on Health Reform, which was so narrowly focused and uninspiring that it almost made Hillary Clinton's bumbling efforts of the 1990s look good.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. & David U. Himmelstein, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Health Affairs
    In the end, Massachusetts' 2006 reform may be remembered as a short-lived expansion of publicly-subsidized coverage that served as political cover for the permanent destruction of institutions that have provided care and advocacy for New England's poor for decades.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    By Lance Dickie | Seattle Times editorial columnist
    Get ready for the coming conversation on a national health-insurance plan. As a crashing economy pushes millions out of their jobs and homes, continuing to link access to medical care to employment is hazardous to the nation's physical and economic health.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    Democracy Now
    President Obama hosted a White House summit Thursday on reforming healthcare. While President Obama said every idea must be considered, the idea of creating a single-payer national health insurance program appears to have already been rejected. We speak to Harper's senior editor Luke Mitchell, author of the article "Sick in the Head: Why America Won't Get the Health-Care System It Needs."

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    By Michael Vitez | Philadelphia Inquirer
    Marilyn Cawthon has been a nurse for 30 years. "All my life I provided health care to people," she said recently. "I thought when I needed it, it would be there and wouldn't drive me broke or crazy." It nearly did both.

  • Posted on Monday, March 9, 2009
    By Michael Mccord | Portsmouth Herald
    Though he didn't attend President Barack Obama's health care forum in Washington on Thursday, Dr. Thomas Clairmont felt that he was heard -- after fearing the health care reform proposal he supports would not be part of the discussion.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2009
    B. Jason MacLurg, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    As a long-time Seattle physician, I was pleased that the P-I supports health care reform toward a single-payer system (Opinion, Wednesday). Most Americans now fully understand that our health care delivery system is too expensive, too complex, too fragmented and overwhelmingly frustrating. Although some still believe that America has the best health care in the world, the truth is that our reimbursement system is killing us.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2009
    Kay Tillow | All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care
    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who ruled single payer "off the table" before he even started considering healthcare reform, is now trying to pressure the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to judge the Baucus health plan financially sound.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2009
    On Thursday, March 5, 2009, the White House will host a summit on how to reform the healthcare system. The 120 invited guests include lobbyists for various interest groups including the private-for-profit insurance industry (AHIP), some members of Congress including Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus who has already ruled single payer "off the table," and various others concerned with healthcare. No single payer advocates have been invited to attend.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2009
    Published by Swing State Blog
    One group is being left out of the White House's health reform forum Thursday: supporters of single payer health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 3, 2009
    Corporate Crime Reporter
    President Obama’s White House made crystal clear this week: a Canadian-style, Medicare-for-all, single payer health insurance system is off the table.

  • Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009
    by Chuck Idelson | California Nurses Association blog
    Hours after President Obama's speech to Congress in which he laid down a marker for achieving "comprehensive" healthcare reform, and getting it done this year, top administration aides have outlined the goals of what they want to achieve.

  • Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009
    By James E. Dalen | Arizona Republic
    Due to the recession, more than 2 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008 and millions more are expected to lose their jobs in 2009. The consequences of increasing unemployment will be much more serious in the United States than in other western countries. Our country is unique in that most of its citizens, at least 175 million, have employment-based health insurance. In most cases, loss of job means loss of health insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009
    By ANA M. MALINOW, MD | Houston Chronicle
    The more I listen, the more I hear that all Americans want a health care system that is affordable, accountable, accessible, comprehensive, universal and just -- not another Band-Aid that will condemn thousands of us to unnecessary pain, suffering, bankruptcy and death. Listen for yourself, and you will hear Americans clamoring for true health care reform.

  • Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009
    By Susanne L. King | Boston Globe
    Massachusetts has been lauded for its healthcare reform, but the program is a failure. Created solely to achieve universal insurance coverage, the plan does not even begin to address the other essential components of a successful healthcare system.

  • Posted on Monday, March 2, 2009
    By BETH SIRR | Helena Independent Record
    Sick of health insurance costs? Then pay attention. Some in Congress want to perpetuate the power of insurance corporations over our health care and what we pay to get it. There is an alternative. The U.S. National Health Care Act: Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR 676 could be implemented within 13 months (like Medicare was) and unlike the Wall Street bailout, would be funded by eliminating waste while providing a real hand up for every American family and business -- except the insurance industry.

  • Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009
    by Claudia Chaufan | Social Medicine Portal
    So President Obama gets it: he has recognized that the time to reform health care is now, and he is right. After touring the country during his campaign, he must be aware that thousands of Americans are going bankrupt, every year, because they cannot afford their medical bills, even when they have insurance, and are employed and middle class. He surely is also aware that thousands die of perfectly preventable illnesses because they lack health insurance. And that all of these things are unheard of, at least in developed economies.

  • Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009
    Statement of Sidney Wolfe, M.D. and James Floyd, M.D.
    Under a single-payer system, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers are paid from a single fund administered by the government. The system would eliminate the wasteful spending and high administrative costs of private insurance, saving almost $400 billion annually. This savings is enough to provide every American with the same high-quality care, including those who currently have insurance but still cannot afford medications and treatment.

  • Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009
    Andrew Coates MD
    To keep family coverage under COBRA, with the subsidy, it will cost people who are laid off, on average, almost one-third of every unemployment check. This money will go to a health insurance company, instead of food, housing and school expenses for the family.

  • Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009
    James Floyd, M.D. | Huffington Post
    Last week, the New York Times reported that Senator Ted Kennedy has been holding secret meetings with lobbyists to reach "consensus" on a proposal for national health care reform. Included in the list of participants were America's Health Insurance Plans, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America -- some of the same players who defeated the Clinton health care reform effort 15 years ago. Notably absent was Physicians for a National Health Program, the California Nurses Association, Healthcare-Now, and other advocacy groups that oppose the private insurance industry and support the creation of a national single-payer program.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009
    By Timothy P. Carney | DC Examiner | Beltway Confidential blog
    Although President Barack Obama promised that he would freeze out the lobbyists in order to finally reform our broken health-care system, his nascent push to overhaul the industry already shows signs of becoming a lobbying feeding frenzy, with health insurers, drug makers and employers all poised to benefit from government's expanded role.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009
    by Bob Balhiser | Queen City News, Montana
    Now that Tom Daschle is out of contention for HHS secretary, Sen. Baucus seems to think he has an inside track and is teaming up with Sen. Kennedy to push through his plan for health care reform. I cannot imagine a worse outcome.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009
    I think I've reluctantly come to the view that [single payer is] the only alternative. You know, we've tried a lot of other things. And we've been--you know, I was in the Clinton administration, and we debated a lot of alternatives, and I've watched things as they've emerged and, you know, evolved over the last twelve, sixteen years, and I think there's a growing consensus that the private market exclusion is not going to work.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009
    by John Nichols | The Nation blog
    Even though U.S. autoworkers have accepted pay cuts and efficiency schemes that mean they make less than autoworkers in many other countries, the enormous expense imposed by this country's for-profit health care system places an extreme burden on firms that manufacture vehicles in the U.S. How extreme? It is estimated that health care costs add as much as $1,400 to the cost of a car made in an American plant.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 24, 2009
    PNHP Western Washington
    By unanimous vote, the Seattle City Council today passed a Resolution sponsored by Councilmember Nick Licata, to ask the Washington State Congressional delegation to support two single-payer bills that would create a national health program. Congressman Jim McDermott has introduced HR 1200, the American Health Security Act, and Congressman John Conyers HR 676, the United States National Health Care Act.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009
    Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
    Too often journalism ignores or belittles reports or proposals as outside the mainstream and bound to fail, thus assuring they will remain outside the mainstream and fail. That, I believe, is what has been happening to proposals by three Democratic members of the House of Representatives to provide health care for all Americans through a system like Medicare, rather than depending, as now, on many private insurance companies.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009
    Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and two other Members of Congress today sent a letter to the CEO of General Motors, Mr. Richard Wagoner, Jr., to propose a different kind of auto industry rescue plan that eliminates the competitive disadvantage of inflated health care costs.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009
    Dr. Margaret Flowers | Maryland Commons
    We are told reforming health care is impossible in tough economic times. However, it is not only possible, it is necessary for economic recovery.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009
    Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report
    Modeling the U.S. health care system after Massachusetts' health insurance law would leave many residents without affordable health coverage, according to analysis by three Harvard Medical School physicians and a letter signed by 500 state physicians sent to Sen. Edward Kennedy.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009
    Rachel Nardin, M.D. In April 2006, Massachusetts enacted a health care reform law with the stated goal of providing near-universal coverage of the Massachusetts population. Nearly three years into the reform, we know a lot about what has worked and what hasn't. Examining this data critically is vitally important as the Obama administration considers elements of Massachusetts' plan as a model for national health care reform.

  • Posted on Monday, February 23, 2009
    By Pat LaMarche | Bangor Daily News
    It's because this year, as he has for many years, Michigan Rep. John Conyers has introduced HR 676, which already has garnered nearly 50 co-sponsors -- a bill that restructures our health care system much like the rest of the civilized world and guarantees health care for all Americans. And it's because poll after poll, like the October 2008 ABC News poll, shows that two-thirds of Americans support changing our current system to a universal system.

  • Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009
    By Madeline Zevon | Lower Hudson Journal News
    What is single payer? It refers to the administration of health-care funds by one payer, rather than by the current multiple insurance companies. This payer would be the federal government. Think of single payer as enhanced and improved Medicare for all. The League of Women Voters of Westchester, New York state and the U.S. League all advocate for single-payer health care.

  • Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009
    BY PAT FERRIER | Fort Collins Coloradoan
    T.R. Reid is uncharacteristically angry. He's angry the richest country in the world cannot provide efficient, affordable health care to all its residents. He's angry the World Health Organization ranks the U.S. 37th for the cost, quality and coverage of its health-care system.

  • Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009
    David Olive | Business Columnist | Toronto Star
    "Canada's health-care system is cheaper than America's by far (accounting for 9.7 per cent of GDP, versus 15.2 per cent here)," [Fareed ] Zakaria writes, "and yet does better on all major indexes."

  • Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009
    Dr. John Benziger | Kennebec Journal / Morning Sentinel
    Under pressure from the insurance industry, Obama's health-care reform is poised to completely exclude a single-payer "improved Medicare for all" option. Such a program would save enough money to provide comprehensive benefits for all Americans.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009
    By Lisa Wangsness | Boston Globe
    A trio of Boston doctors says the 2006 Massachusetts healthcare law is a poor model for a national system because it leaves too many people without affordable care.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2009
    Strange Bedfellows blog | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Single payer seemed like a futile cause during the Bush Administration, which put forward ideals for the partial privatization of Medicare. Now, with a Democrat back in the White House -- and a promise of action on health care - McDermott, and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., have introduced versions of a single payer plan in the new Congress.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009
    Laura S. Boylan, MD | The following letter was sent to the editor of The New Yorker on Jan. 22.
    Most Americans, including most physicians, supported national health insurance even before the recent economic collapse, polls show. Endorsers of the single payer bill H.R. 676 (Expanded and Improved Medicare for All) include 93 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, 450 union organizations in 45 states, and countless others representing a wide range of constituencies. This is not a fringe movement.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2009
    BY KIP SULLIVAN | Southside Pride, Minneapolis
    SF 118, the Minnesota Health Act, which would guarantee health insurance for all Minnesotans under a program called the Minnesota Health Plan, passed out of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee by a party-line vote of 7 to 3 on Feb. 10. The lopsided vote was a sign of the growing support for the single-payer approach. This is the first year since 1991, the year single-payer legislation was first introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, that a single-payer bill has cleared two committees in the Senate. The bill has never been heard in the House. It will get its first hearing in the House on Feb. 25.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
    by doctoraaron | DailyKos
    Saturday was a short day in the office. I came in to handle some paperwork and to see a few patients whom I couldn't manage to work in over the course of a busy week. It was an ordinary day with a typical, ordinary selection of patients....which is to say, that almost every one came with a story which cried out about how we desperately need change in our health care system.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
    By James Floyd, M.D. | Huffington Post
    As the global economic crisis deepens, our broken health care system continues to neglect an increasing number of uninsured Americans, which will top 50 million this year. Tens of millions more who have health insurance still cannot afford the care they need. The resulting illness from inadequate health coverage will lead to missed days of work and lost jobs, making it harder for us to recover from the recession.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 11, 2009
    by Russell Mokhiber |
    A politician says -- I support health care for all. That is a politician you should support, right? Wrong. A politician says -- I support universal health care. That is a politician you should support, right? Wrong. Universal health care. Health care for all. More often than not, these are code words for -- keep the private insurance companies in the game.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
    By VICENTE NAVARRO | CounterPunch
    Why Sanjay Gupta is the Wrong Man for the Top US Health Job.

  • Posted on Monday, February 9, 2009
    By DANIEL P. WIRT, M.D. | Houston Chronicle
    Americans are increasingly afraid that they can't afford to get sick, and with good reason. About half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses, and 76 percent of these individuals had health insurance when they got sick or injured. Those of us with insurance are paying a greater share of the premium and more deductibles and co-pays as well. Thus, not only do we have 46 million Americans without health insurance, but at least an equal number who are seriously underinsured.

  • Posted on Monday, February 9, 2009
    By Mike Dennison | Helena Independent Record
    With last week's political demise of Tom Daschle, the man expected to shepherd serious health care reform through the minefield of Congress, has reform been dealt a deadly blow? Not according to Montana's senior U.S. senator, Max Baucus, who said in no uncertain terms last week that he remains committed to enacting "comprehensive health care reform" this year.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009
    By Avram Goldstein | Bloomberg News
    Just as President Barack Obama prepares to overhaul the U.S. medical system, providers of U.S.- backed health plans for the elderly are raising prices.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2009
    Kaiser Family Foundation | News Release
    Cancer patients can face severe challenges in paying for life-saving care -- running up large debts, filing for personal bankruptcy and even delaying or forgoing potentially life-saving treatment -- even when they have private health insurance, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 4, 2009
    By Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, PhD, MPH | Renal and Urology News | Commentary
    It is unfortunate that the 35-year-old Medicare [End-Stage Renal Disease] program remains our nation's only universal health coverage not dependent on age, albeit limited to ESRD. The program has worked well, and its success should provide the impetus for replacing our present fractured health-care financing system with one that provides universal coverage for all U.S. residents regardless of age.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2009
    By KEVIN SACK | The New York Times
    Determined not to lay off any of her tight-knit band of workers, Ms. Allen is now agonizing over an equally unappealing option: whether to terminate the health benefits she provides for her employees and herself.

  • Posted on Monday, February 2, 2009
    William Thar, MD | New York Times | Letter to the editor
    The best way to save a lot of money and provide universal coverage is to expand Medicare to everyone. The system, widely supported by more than 60 percent of Americans, has the lowest overhead in American health care and works for more than 40 million elderly people.

  • Posted on Sunday, February 1, 2009
    By Ewell G. Scott, M.D. | The Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association
    Bottled water and health care reform have a lot in common these days. How, you say? Well, let’s take a look.

  • Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009
    Public Citizen
    Public Citizen has joined the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care because a single-payer national health insurance program is the only viable solution to our health care crisis.

  • Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009
    By David Swanson
    While a Democratic polling firm has just found, as pollsters always do, dramatic public support for public health coverage, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill appear divided, as they have always been, over whether to take a comprehensive approach to health care.

  • Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009
    by Donna Smith
    It seems everyone in the healthcare reform movement is hitching up his or her britches and feeling mighty proud of the prospects for action under President Obama and the adoring Democrats in his Congressional arsenal. Even some prominent Republicans are inching ever closer to supporting change to the broken health system. But I'm feeling significant dissonance between the words spoken and the policy offered to move forward.

  • Posted on Friday, January 30, 2009
    Reviewed by Theresa Welsh
    In this highly researched and well-written book, Dr. John Geyman lays out in clear language the repeated failure of the private health insurance industry to bring affordable and comprehensive coverage to the American people. He demonstrates with a wealth of facts and figures how the inexorable and continuous rise of health care costs have meant insurance companies must work hard at excluding anyone who might require expensive treatment, reduce coverage for everyone and constantly raise premium rates.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009
    By Alex Wayne, CQ Staff | CQ TODAY PRINT EDITION -- HEALTH
    A coalition of liberal advocacy groups and labor unions is trying to breathe new life into the idea of a European-style "single-payer" health system in the United States, a concept thought discredited after the collapse of President Bill Clinton's attempt at overhauling the health care system.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009
    by John R. Battista, M.D. | Prepared for Grand Rounds, Department of Medicine, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT
    The United States is the only industrialized country without universal health insurance. The United States consistently ranks in the lower third of industrialized nations in terms of the two universally accepted measures of health care system efficacy: infant mortality and life expectancy. In addition, because the United States spends about twice as much per capita on health care than other industrialized countries it ranks at the very bottom of the industrialized world in terms of health care efficiency, that is efficacy per dollar spent.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009
    Bruce Dixon, Managing Editor | Black Agenda Report
    It is estimated that 18,000 premature deaths occur in the US each year because of lack of medical coverage. Fifty or sixty million Americans have no health coverage at all, and another hundred fifty million are grossly underinsured. Democrats were able to pass SCHIP with a smaller majority under the Bush administration. They did not run on promises of "incremental reform". They ran promising to deliver national, comprehensive, universal health care. Clyburn himself is a co-sponsor of the single payer bill. So why are the expectations of House Democrats and the White House, with a popular wind at their backs, so unconscionably low now?

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009
    World Focus
    As part of Worldfocus’ Health of Nations signature series, correspondent Edie Magnus conducted this half-hour interview with Uwe Reinhardt on January 20, 2009, the day of President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2009
    Today, groups representing doctors, nurses, healthcare advocates and labor unions are applauding the Philadelphia City Council for voting in favor of single-payer healthcare. The resolution, sponsored by Councilman Greenlee and Councilwoman Tasco, makes Philadelphia the 28th city and 46th local government to pass a resolution in favor of HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act, sponsored by John Conyers (D-Ill). The resolution also calls for the enactment of the two single-payer state bills, SB 300 and HB 1660.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009
    John Tepper Marlin | Huffington Post
    My sister Brigid Marlin lives in the UK and a few days ago was watching a BBC program on health care in the United States. Brigid is not a public affairs junkie so I was interested when she sent me an email reporting that the program was a shocking portrayal of the high cost and low coverage of U.S. medical care. This itself is not news but there are two things about the show that are worth an alert: (1) The BBC's effectiveness in describing the problems with U.S. health care, and (2) The fact that Americans can't watch it.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2009
    By Andy Birkey | The Minnesota Independent
    Sen. Linda Berglin chairs the powerful Health and Human Services Budget Division in the Minnesota Senate and has long advocated a managed-care approach to rising health care costs. Although a staunch progressive on health care policy (she helped create and protect MinnesotaCare, the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents), she has typically demonstrated lukewarm interest in a single-payer system. But this year, Berglin has signed on as a coauthor of the Minnesota Health Act, the bill that would create the Minnesota Health Plan. The Act (HF 135, SF 118) would take health insurance out of the private sector and put it under the control of a state board to cover all Minnesotans.

  • Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009
    By Robert Wolfington III | Marshall (Minn.) Independent
    Dr. Ann Settgast, co-chairwoman of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for A National Health Program, said a single-pay insurance program would provide care for all U.S. citizens, while at the same time save money compared to the current multi-payer system.

  • Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009
    By GENE FENDERSON | Great Falls Tribune
    We don't really have a "system." What we have is a confused maze of coverage types and providers -- Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, SCHIP, military, veterans administration, Indian Health Service, federal employee coverage, health savings accounts, community health centers, private insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, medical coverage in auto insurance and more. Unfortunately, the Baucus plan simply adds even more layers of confusion to this hodgepodge, which is already driving costs up and up for all Americans. We can do better. We must do better. That is why a single-payer system must be on the table.

  • Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009
    Unions for Single Payer Health Care
    Montana Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said that in writing his new healthcare legislation “everything is on the table” except single payer. One wonders if Senator Baucus has been reading his home state newspapers or just listening to the lobbyists for the private insurance industry.

  • Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009
    Ryan Grim | The Huffington Post
    John Conyers plans to introduce his universal healthcare legislation today, a Conyers aide tells the Huffington Post. The bill - known last session as H.R. 676 - is a favorite of healthcare reformers who back a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Friday, January 23, 2009
    By Dr. Stephen Kemble | Honolulu Advertiser
    Economic analysis has repeatedly shown that administrative overhead is far greater for competing private health plans than for a publicly financed single-payer system. Administrative costs are about 31 percent of the healthcare dollar in the U.S., 15 percent in countries with single-payer plans.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009
    By Ezra Klein | In These Times
    The reason healthcare in this country costs so much more than in any other country is because we’re the only country that treats healthcare as a commodity.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009
    JACK BERNARD | Atlanta Journal Constitution | Letter to the Editor
    Given the upcoming stimulus package, it is the perfect time to do something about our irrational health care system. What better way to stimulate the economy than to spend funds on those in need of medical services vs. more bridges to nowhere.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    by Ann Settgast, MD | Twin Cities Daily Planet
    The upcoming change in administration has brought optimism and hope to the American public. Now is the time to demand meaningful healthcare reform rather than a replay of past failures. As a physician, I know that offering a placebo in place of known effective treatment is unethical. Hence, while I applaud the good intentions of Senator Tom Daschle, the Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) coalition, and others, I advise against their proposals to extend a system that is fundamentally flawed. In these times of economic uncertainty and crisis, single payer is the only fiscally responsible option for reform…and it is the only solution that will actually work.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    By DANIEL SUDDEATH | The Evening News and Tribune (IN)
    The most expensive health care in the world provides only run-of-the-mill results. That’s how Dr. Rob Stone, an emergency room doctor in Bloomington and director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, described America’s health care system during a New Albany City Council workshop Thursday.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    By MISCHA GAUS | Labor Notes
    Labor activists from 31 states gathered in St. Louis last weekend, solidifying their strategies to push "Medicare for all"--and to oppose the half-hearted health care plans circulating in Washington.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    By HELEN THOMAS | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    There is a lot on the incoming president's plate-- to put it mildly. Health care reform is one thing. With the economy in the tank and 47 million people without insurance, Obama should take a bold step and support a single-payer plan a la Social Security. It makes sense-- and better still-- it works.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    By MERTON C. BERNSTEIN | Kansas City Star
    Growing unemployment threatens workers, their families and the economy. Losing work income degrades family purchasing power and business income. Task one: Improve cash benefits to bolster both. And the unemployed and their families need assured health care. Being out of work increases the chance of illness and injury while decreasing the ability to cope with it.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2009
    by Tim Foley | Blog
    The top vote getter among health care ideas in's Ideas for Change competition was "Free Single-Payer Health Care for All." This no doubt is cause for joy for many of you who frequent this page.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009
    By Nicholas Skala | International Journal of Health Services
    This article illustrates [WTO constraints on domestic policy] through an evaluation of the potential effects of current WTO law and jurisprudence on the implementation of a single-payer national health insurance system in the United States, proposed incremental national and state health system reforms, the privatization of Medicare, and other prominent health system issues.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009
    By Louis Balizet, M.D.
    "Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it." So said Will Rogers about the weather, but he may as well have been referring to our health care system -- roundly decried, but still intact. Finally, however, on both state and national levels, well designed plans have emerged to replace our current wasteful chaotic system with the only workable alternative -- a single-payer, tax-financed system that eliminates private health insurance, provides universal coverage, and introduces adult supervision (centralized planning). Like the majority of American physicians, I feel that "medicare for all" is long overdue.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2009
    By Laura Ungar | Louisville Courier-Journal
    Louisvillians had a strong message for President-elect Barack Obama yesterday: The nation's health-care system needs either massive reforms or a complete overhaul.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009
    By Melissa Dahl, Jeff Rossen and Robert Powell |
    One of the nation’s largest health insurers has agreed to pay $50 million dollars in a settlement announced today after being accused of overcharging millions of Americans for health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009
    PNHP President Dr. Oliver Fein will be speaking at the "Health for All Inaugural Ball"

  • Posted on Monday, January 12, 2009
    By John Nichols | The Progressive
    Perhaps most impressive are the moves made by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, Physicians for a National Health Program, and Progressive Democrats of America to ensure that the option of single-payer is not forgotten as Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi establish their domestic policy priorities. To that end, sixty activists from these and allied groups met one week after Election Day at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington with Michigan Congressman John Conyers, an early Obama backer and the chief House proponent of real reform, to forge a Single-Payer Healthcare Alliance and plot specific strategies for influencing the new Administration and Congress.

  • Posted on Monday, January 12, 2009
    ROBERT CROWE | Palm Beach Post | Letter to the Editor
    Recently, my wife and I attended one of the meetings requested by Barack Obama to create a document advising the Obama team on health-care action to be taken by the new administration. About a dozen of us met at the Scottish Rites center in Lake Worth, a meeting which had been organized by a retired physician.

  • Posted on Friday, January 9, 2009
    By PNHP staff
    Dr. Paul Hochfeld, an emergency medicine physician in Corvallis, Ore., has produced and directed a new 47-minute film titled "Health, Money and Fear." The DVD features interviews with over a dozen physicians, administrators, civic leaders and health policy experts on the problems of today's U.S. health care "non-system" and the prospects for its reform.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2009
    By Sam Stein | Huffington Post
    Rep. John Conyers has written a letter to Democratic colleagues urging them to join him in publicly opposing the nomination of Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General.