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 Monday, December 15, 2008
    By Robert W. Putsch | Helena Independent Record | Your Turn
    Montanans spent $4.9 billion on health care in 2003. If these authors are right, then Montanans paid over $1,600 in administrative costs for every man, woman and child in the state, including the uninsured. That means that only 69 cents of every dollar spent went to health care needs. Remember, administrative costs are passed on to patients, bill by bill, paycheck deduction by paycheck deduction, and even at the pharmacy!

  • Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008
    by Paul Bass | New Haven Independent
    She said she didn't know a lot about the health care plan Harry S. Truman pushed at the time. It was a universal health care plan. Government-run. Business interests like General Motors killed it by arguing that Americans don't trust government to run health care. They argued that private interests do it better -- private insurers, and private companies that offer the insurance plans to employees. Six decades later, companies like GM are struggling to stave off bankruptcy in part because of out-of-control health care costs.

  • Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Progressive
    Barack Obama needs to make good on his campaign pledge to reform health care. It is not enough to throw the issue off to former Senator Tom Daschle, Obama’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008
    By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
    Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for America’s elderly, plays a major and highly controversial role in our health-care system. To many Americans it is a blessing. Others view it as a source of all that’s wrong with American health care. I propose to explore these views in this and the next two posts to this blog.

  • Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008
    By Marc Yacht M.D. | St. Petersburg Times | Guest Columnist
    A simple legislative solution such as the Medicare for all goes nowhere as Americans suffer the consequences of a failing health care system affecting those with and without insurance. Onerous oversight and other cost cutting measures, driven mainly by insurers, have demoralized physicians, hospitals and other providers.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008
    By Kip Sullivan
    Data derived from polls have long found strong support for "Medicare for All" or single payer national health insurance. For example, a recent AP/Yahoo poll found that 65 percent of Americans agree that the U.S. should "adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayer". But so do other kinds of data, including data from citizen juries, focus groups, and even a national series of government-sponsored town hall meetings that were carefully designed to solicit support for anything but single payer. So, how come Democratic pollster Celinda Lake now claims Americans won't support single payer, and instead favor a plan that is a variant of managed competition? Because her latest research was brazenly biased. Kip Sullivan explains how and why.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2008
    By Jean Ruzicka | Park Rapids Enterprise
    When the Legislature convenes Tuesday, Jan. 6, health care reform will be on the docket and Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, will be advocating restructuring the current “business commodity.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008
    By Len Rodberg, PhD

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008
    Peter Mott | Rochester Democrat And Chronicle | Guest essayist
    How could covering more people decrease total expenditures? The difference is in "administrative costs." Private insurance companies have such costs totaling 15 percent to 30 percent. Medicaid is at 5 percent and Medicare at 1 to 2 percent. "Administrative costs" include advertising and shareholders' profits, as well as the billing and collecting costs of hospitals, doctors' offices, labs and X-ray facilities. These become a nightmare as patients change among a variety of insurers, or when they lose insurance by changing or losing their jobs.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008
    Dr. Rachel Nardin | Boston Globe | Letter to the Editor
    It's remarkable that an insurance industry group's website features an interview with a woman who says, "It's time for the government to step in." The American public increasingly realizes that we need real healthcare reform. We need national health insurance, which would cover everyone without deductibles or copays, be financed through payroll and income taxes, and give everyone free choice of doctor and hospital. The private insurance industry knows this would put them out of business, and they are determined to make sure it doesn't happen.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008
    By Shlomit Auciello | The Herald Gazette
    H.R. 676 would establish the U.S. National Health Insurance program to provide all residents of the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, and mental health services.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008
    Andrew D. Coates, MD, Albany Medical Center | Empire State Emergency Physicians Interim Communique (EPIC)
    The fact that 47 million Americans had no health insurance during all of 2006, and that tens of millions more have inadequate insurance and/or shorter periods without coverage, weighs especially heavily upon the [emergency department]. Non-urgent care in the emergency room has boomed, yet this is not the root cause of crowding in the ED. Instead, bottlenecks caused by the intense needs of a few patients result in ED crowding -- even one critically ill patient waiting for an ICU bed can trigger a cascade leading to a significant back-up for all patients, for hours, even days.

  • Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008
    By DANIELLE J. KOLIN | The Crimson
    Americans who lack health insurance are about 20 times more likely to donate a liver or kidney than to receive one, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School.

  • Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008
    By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
    Research around the world has shown that the process of the aging of the population by itself adds only a very small part -- usually about half a percentage point -- to the annual growth in per-capita health spending in industrialized societies, which tends to range between 5 and 8 percent, depending on the country and the period in question. The bulk of annual spending growth can be explained by overall population growth (about 1.1 percent per year), increases in the prices of health care goods and services, and the availability of ever more new, often high-cost medical products and treatments used by all age groups.

  • Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Philadelphia Inquirer
    It's time for Congress to stop getting carried away with financial bailouts for big industries, especially when it comes to some of the most-profitable and least-responsible companies: the health-insurance giants.

  • Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008
    By Roger Bybee | Z Magazine
    With employers flitting from one plan to another, sometimes on an annual basis, the notion of consistent, continuous health coverage has all but disappeared. "The average length of time a patient stays in any given private health insurance plan has dropped to less than two years," notes Rose Anne DeMoro, director of the California Nurses Association. "Health insurance on a continual basis is practically non-existent in the private insurance market," observes McCanne. In countless situations, "the insured individual was not granted the option of 'keeping the insurance you have'," McCanne notes.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008
    By CHRIS FRATES | Politico
    With President-elect Barack Obama showing no signs of backing off his pledge to push health care reform early in his administration, jockeying is intensifying among interest groups to position themselves for the fight ahead.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008
    By Rebecca Knight in Boston | Financial Times
    The Massachusetts healthcare programme widely seen as a test case for universal health coverage in the US faces mounting opposition from doctors who say the reform is failing.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008
    By Marie Cocco | Denver Post
    Here is a number easily understood by even the math-phobic: Every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate leads to another 1.1 million Americans becoming uninsured -- and causes still another million more children and adults to become eligible for state health insurance programs.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008
    by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon
    In a single-payer system, private insurance companies are basically removed from health care. Instead, the government pays all health care providers, and controls fees and costs. As in Canada, consumers would choose their own doctors-but almost never receive a hospital or doctor bill. Insurance deductibles and co-payments are also eliminated.

  • Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008
    By Dr. Taro Adachi | Baltimore Sun | Letter to the Editor
    Leaders of America's Health Insurance Plans have suggested that, in exchange for agreeing to accept all customers regardless of health conditions, they want a federal requirement that everyone buy coverage. But we have already seen such plans consistently fail on a state level.

  • Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008
    By Elizabeth Frost, MD | Pioneer Press | Letter to the Editor
    As a family practice doctor who works with the uninsured in St. Paul, I have recently become involved in health care reform. I believe single-payer national health insurance is the only way to provide quality affordable care for all.

  • Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008
    By All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
    Self-described as "one of the Democratic Party's leading political strategists," Celinda Lake has claimed that single-payer reform lacks meaningful popular support. Lake's research, done for the Herndon Alliance, has consistently supported reform based upon private health insurance. She and the Herndon Alliance are largely responsible for the notion that a single payer Medicare-for-all healthcare system is 'not politically feasible.'

  • Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008
    By MIKE DENNISON | Reporter's notebook | Billings Gazette
    When it comes to health care reform in America, there is a relatively simple solution that will cover everyone's basic health care, control costs and save businesses, most people and the country a lot of money.

  • Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008
    Editorial | Des Moines Register
    A single system could reduce administrative expenses associated with facilitating thousands of different private health-insurance plans in this country. It could increase leverage for negotiating lower prices. It could facilitate the expansion of electronic medical records, which would streamline paperwork and help prevent costly medical errors. It would boost the country's economy in the long run.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
    Editorial | Charleston Gazette
    America's for-profit medical system is the world's most expensive. For people with good insurance, it provides high-quality care. But 45 million "working poor" Americans - and many among the 1.2 million who lost their jobs so far this year - have no coverage. They must seek charity care or do without. That's shameful.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
    By Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. | The Huffington Post
    Because our current economic crisis is forcing us to think outside the box, one topic worthy of renewed discussion is health care. What if the Constitution said: "All citizens shall enjoy the right to health care of equal high quality and the Congress shall have the power to implement this article by appropriate legislation?"

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008
    By AMY F. ISAACS | Great Falls Tribune
    It's no longer news that at least 47 million Americans lack health insurance, and an additional 50 million are "under-insured" -- meaning whatever ails you is excluded. But we seldom hear that private health insurance wastes $350 billion every year, enough to pay for high-quality comprehensive health care for everyone.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008
    By DAN CHILDS | ABC News Medical Unit
    "Unfortunately, the COBRA legislation guarantees laid-off workers the right to continue coverage at their own expense, but does not make that coverage affordable," said Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

  • Posted on Monday, November 24, 2008
    by: Steve Weissman | t r u t h o u t | Perspective
    Growing up in Florida in the 1940s, I saw many of the doctors my family knew fighting against Harry Truman's effort to enact what they called "Socialized Medicine." Their immediate target was Sen. Claude Pepper, a New Deal Democrat who supported universal health care. Our doctor friends dubbed him "Red Pepper" and helped defeat him in the elections of 1950. Yet, for all this early "fight for freedom," I now find myself in France enjoying single-payer, socialized medicine, which I would heartily recommend to all Americans.

  • Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008
    By Scott Merzbach | Amherst Bulletin
    If a new presidential administration in Washington, D.C., could do one thing to help Amherst's budget problems, it might be to solve the issue of rising health care costs for municipal employees, according to town officials.

  • Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008
    By Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle
    Dear President-elect Obama: As you prepare to begin your presidency during a period of severe recession, you will be searching to make financially sound decisions for our country. You have promised to reform the health care system, and only one solution will enable you to create an effective system and save money: a single-payer national health program.

  • Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008
    By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
    More and more Americans are being priced out of health care as we know it. The question is how long American health policy makers, and particularly the leaders of our private health insurance, can justify this enormous and costly administrative burden to the American people and to the harried providers of health care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008
    Rose Ann DeMoro | National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association
    Millions of Americans have found out the hard way that access to coverage is not the same as access to care. A better, more cost-effective approach would be to simply expand Medicare to cover everyone, the only real way to assure guaranteed health care for all.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008
    Posted by Vanessa Fuhrmans | Wall Street Journal Blog
    Call it the ultimate inequity in health care. A team of Harvard researchers finds that people without health insurance are about 20 times more likely to donate a liver or kidney than to receive one.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008
    By DIANE COCHRAN | The Billings Gazette Staff
    Everything should be on the table as lawmakers consider ways to improve health care, Baucus said.

  • Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008
    Dr. William Klepack | Ithaca Journal
    In the U.S., where private health insurance companies dominate the payment system, of every dollar, 31 cents goes to administrative expenses and 69 cents to actual health care. In Canada, where there is a single-payer national health insurance program, administration accounts for 16.7 percent of health expenditures, with 83.3 percent of spending going to the care of patients.

  • Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008
    Ray Bellamy | Tallahassee Democrat
    Millions of families are struggling with economic hardship. Health-care costs are weighing on more Americans, contributing to about a million bankruptcies a year, and are a major factor in many home foreclosures.

  • Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008
    By Gilbert Cranberg | Nieman Watchdog | Commentary
    AARP, which purports to be the seniors' friend, has a lot of explaining to do to Iowa's Senator Charles Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. In a scorching letter to AARP, Grassley implies that the organization is more interested in profiting from seniors than in serving them.

  • Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008
    Jonathan D. Walker | The Journal Gazette
    America has a split personality when it comes to health care. There is recognition that the government has to provide care for the people, but there is a conflicting sense that private industry has to be involved because it can somehow be more efficient. Medicare Advantage is the upshot of this thinking -- but the result has been a lot of taxpayer dollars wasted on windfall payouts to private insurance companies.

  • Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008
    By DAVID ROSS STEVENS | Louisville Courier-Journal
    By now it is almost a cliche to say that America's health care system is broken. In response, many politicians who are calling for "reform" and "universal health coverage" are not, in fact, clarifying the situation because they include in their new plans the very elements that have busted the system. So the political battle in the first days of 2009 will be over "token reform" or a bold, truly universal type of health insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, November 17, 2008
    By Bob Balhiser | Independent Record
    The Baucus health care reform plan looks like the hodge-podge system we now have, just more of it! To top it all off, he “didn’t have a price tag for the plan.” Amazing!

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
    By Mike Shields | Kansas Health Institute
    More than 15,000 U.S. physicians, including some in Kansas, are calling on President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress to enact a single-payer, national health insurance plan.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
    By Don McCanne, MD | California Family Physician
    An efficient health care financing system should ensure that everyone receives the health care they need without facing undue financial hardship. Because of the millions of uninsured and the rapid expansion of inadequate underinsurance products, the burden of medical debt has become commonplace for all too many Americans.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
    Paul Clay Sorum, MD
    The politicians must be convinced, as they are writing a health reform bill, that the model should be HR 676, not the current Obama plan. County administrators have great credibility as professional public servants who are familiar with all the concrete problems caused by our current health care system. It is time for them not only to persuade their own county legislators to pass resolutions in support of HR 676, but more importantly to persuade the politicians in Washington to have the courage and foresight to institute truly universal coverage through a single-payer health care system.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2008
    By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times
    Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.

  • Posted on Monday, November 10, 2008
    An Interview with Steffie Woolhandler | Multinational Monitor
    Steffie Woolhandler is a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, a not-for-profit organization for physicians, medical students and other healthcare professionals who advocate a national health insurance program. She is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and co-director of the Harvard Medical School General Internal Medicine Fellowship program. Woolhandler is a co-author of Bleeding the Patient Dry: The Consequences of Corporate Healthcare (2001).

  • Posted on Monday, November 10, 2008
    By Josh Freeman, MD | Kansas City Star
    National discussions about which system of universal health coverage -- and yes, we need a system of universal health coverage -- will be the best to adopt often miss the point. The goal is not simply to "cover everyone," but to provide universal access to high-quality, cost-effective care.

  • Posted on Monday, November 10, 2008
    By Sara Robinson | Campaign for America's Future
    With one fell stroke, giving Americans universal access to health care will undermine some of the deepest and most persistent myths of the conservative worldview.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2008
    In an election that has brought out the highest voter turnout in Massachusetts probably since 1928, local ballot initiatives supporting single payer and opposing individual mandates passed by landslide margins in all ten legislative districts where they appeared. With almost all precincts tallied, roughly 73 percent of 181,000 voters in the ten districts voted YES to the following:

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2008
    By Ahmed Kutty | Kearney Hub
    With an economic meltdown under way and a new president and a new Congress about to be in charge of our country, time is now for Americans to demand a publicly funded health care financing system of universal, comprehensive and equitable coverage against illness.

  • Posted on Monday, November 3, 2008
    Richard L. Stivelman | The New York Times | Letters to the Editor
    No proposal for the delivery of health care in the United States will make a difference unless somewhere in the debate single payer (Medicare for all) figures in.

  • Posted on Monday, November 3, 2008
    By Kay Lazar | Boston Globe
    "Many of the [insurance] policies out there have such huge copayments and deductibles that people can't afford care," said Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care doctor at Cambridge Health Alliance.

  • Posted on Monday, November 3, 2008
    Rose Ann DeMoro | Palm Beach Post | Letters to the Editor
    If we can take ownership of our banks, why not a similar approach for our imploding health-care system? In homes across America, our health-care system is dying a quiet death. The millions who endure their pain away from the spotlight of Wall Street deserve sweeping systemic solutions as well.

  • Posted on Monday, November 3, 2008
    Editorial | The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) Americans will survive a protracted economic downturn if they have to forgo luxuries like daily lattes at Starbucks or new flat-screen TVs. But many will not make it if they continue to skimp on health care, as a story in last Friday’s Gazette indicated they’ve been doing. Stories like that -- another one appeared on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times -- make the best argument yet for the government to provide universal health insurance. Left to their own devices and dwindling resources, too many Americans can’t or won’t buy it themselves.

  • Posted on Monday, October 20, 2008
    By Stephanie Innes | ARIZONA DAILY STAR

  • Posted on Monday, October 20, 2008
    By Pat Berger | West Roxbury Transcript
    Voters in parts of West Roxbury, Roslindale and Brookline (Michael Rush’s district) will have the opportunity to vote on a non-binding ballot question on Election Day -- Nov. 4. The ballot question was initiated by Mass-Care, the organization that sponsors the campaign for single-payer health care reform in Massachusetts.

  • Posted on Monday, October 20, 2008
    By Phil Kadner | Southtown Star
    I suggested to someone the other day that now would be a good time for the government to launch a national health insurance program. "That would be socialism!" the person exclaimed. Our government plans to spend hundreds of billions bailing out Wall Street, including $250 billion for ownership in private banking institutions.

  • Posted on Monday, October 20, 2008
    By Bob Caylor | The News-Sentinel
    Even a few years ago, a Fort Wayne physician laying out an impassioned argument for national health insurance - at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, no less - might have seemed like an elaborate put-on. Dr. Jonathan Walker, a retinal surgeon, wasn't kidding anyone. In his own highly specialized practice, he sees a toll in people with disabilities and avoidable catastrophic expenses, and he knows that it's only a minuscule fraction of the human suffering and economic damage caused by tens of millions of Americans lacking health insurance.

  • Posted on Friday, October 10, 2008
    By Don McCanne, M.D., PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow | Huffington Post
    John McCain and Barack Obama both recognize that there are serious problems with our health care system, and that the voters want something done about it. They would both use public policies to modify the private health insurance market to accomplish their goals. Although it would seem that their goals are similar, the specifics are quite different because they have started from very dissimilar perceptions of the primary flaws in health care financing.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2008
    By Jane Bryant Quinn | Newsweek
    If you think that "The Market" -- whatever market -- always works for the best, you'll love John McCain's version of health insurance reform. It uses the tax code to shove you toward individual policies (more "choice!") and away from comprehensive, employer supported plans. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center puts the cost of his proposed subsidies at $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008
    by Harry S. Jacob, MD | HemOnc Today
    The Presidential candidates have provided markedly different health care proposals, neither of which seem likely to solve many serious ongoing problems facing our sick fellow citizens.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008
    T.R. Reid is a veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, a commentator for National Public Radio and the author of nine books, including three in Japanese. He is currently working on his 10th book, titled "We're Number 37!," in which he compares America's health care system to others around the world. It is scheduled to be published by Penguin Press in early 2009.
  • Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2008
    By Donna Smith | California Nurses Association
    If you think the companies that collect your health insurance premiums and pay your health care claims have been insulated from the economic crisis, think again. And if you think the health insurance industry that is suffering right alongside the financial services industry isn’t going to need a bail-out too, think yet again. Only the bail-out we will give the health insurance industry will be much more insidious and potentially far more dangerous to us all.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 7, 2008
    By Morton Mintz | Nieman Watchdog | Commentary
    Are there good questions that reporters could ask of religious leaders in their communities about the morality of a system that leaves 46 million Americans without health insurance, millions more with inadequate coverage, and, because of the economic crisis, guarantees big increases in these numbers? Are there also good questions about that same system that reporters could put to businessmen in their communities? Indeed there are, as I learned at a health care conference at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., on Sept. 18.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 2, 2008
    Cory Heidelberger | Madville Times, South Dakota
    Deron Arnold pays Blue Cross Blue Shield for his health coverage. Yesterday he got a letter from the Blue Cross Blue Shield saying that as of October 28, the company will no longer cover expenses at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis, where Deron plans to have his transplant. As of August 23, Blue Cross Blue Shield will stop covering physician expense at that hospital.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2008
    By Joanne Silberner | National Public Radio
    So the scorecard comes to this. Linda Oatley of Buckland, England, had several months' delay in getting coverage for a new treatment. She also has to pay a small fee for weekly physical therapy. Overall, she's happy with the National Health Service. And the scorecard for Jeff Rubin? A year and a half of cutting drug dosages, a repossessed house and bankruptcy. A few years ago, he wouldn't have supported a British-style system, with its slower drug approvals and limited ability to pick your own doctors.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008
    Editorial | Bangor Daily News
    A doctors’ organization, Physicians for a National Health Program, has been pressing for single-payer national health insurance. It points out that the United States now spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, while Americans lag in life expectancy and infant mortality rates and 47 million lack health coverage. It argues that 31 percent of the nation’s health care cost now goes into the private insurance bureaucracy and paper-work and that a single-payer plan would save more than $350 billion a year.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008
    [W]e need reconstruction, not only of America's physical infrastructure, but also of its society. Today close to 50 million Americans lack health insurance. About 40% of the nation's adult population is facing medical debts, or having difficulty paying medical bills. A universal health-care system would help American families, while cutting the nation's long-term health-care costs. And a large-scale federal investment in renewable energy and public-works projects would build the foundation for a strong 21st century economy.

  • Posted on Monday, September 29, 2008
    By Julie Mason | The Ottawa Citizen
    It's hard for Canadians to imagine the choices Americans must make to ensure health care. Can I take this more interesting job or will I lose coverage? Will I be able to send the kids to camp if my premiums go up? What if my illness isn't coverage later? What if I get sick while I'm waiting to get insurance? It's just as hard for Americans to get it that ordinary Canadians like our health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2008
    By BOB HERBERT | New York Times
    Talk about a shock to the system. Has anyone bothered to notice the radical changes that John McCain and Sarah Palin are planning for the nation's health insurance system? These are changes that will set in motion nothing less than the dismantling of the employer-based coverage that protects most American families.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2008
    By James C. Mitchiner | Other Voices | The Ann Arbor News
    Let us suppose, however, that a worker could find and purchase a policy for only $5,000 per year. What would it look like? My guess is that it would have either multiple coverage restrictions (non-coverage for pre-existing conditions, a prolonged waiting period before insurance became effective) or significant financial limitations (high deductibles or co-pays, puny lifetime maximums), which defeat the purpose of having insurance in the first place. Clearly, private insurers cannot make a profit by selling comprehensive insurance at premiums the average individual can afford.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2008
    By Phil Lopes and George Pauk | Tucson Citizen
    When Arizona voters cast their ballots this November, one of the questions they face is whether to vote yes or no on Proposition 101, the misnamed Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. They should definitely vote no.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2008
    Cathy Schoen, M.S., Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., Jennifer L. Kriss, Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D. | Health Affairs The number of underinsured U.S. adults--that is, people who have health coverage that does not adequately protect them from high medical expenses--has risen dramatically, a Commonwealth Fund study finds. As of 2007, there were an estimated 25 million underinsured adults in the United States, up 60 percent from 2003.

  • Posted on Friday, September 12, 2008
    Sheila James Kuehl | Senator, 23rd District
    I am writing to respectfully urge your signature on SB 840 because this legislation will bring a modern universal health care system to California, make health care predictably more affordable for California employers and families, and provide every Californian with a complete choice of their individual doctors and hospitals.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
    by Prajwal Ciryam | From The Medscape Journal of Medicine | Webcast Video Commentaries
    A single-payer system will harness the market's strengths while addressing its limitations. The private health insurance market is inefficient, bloated by advertising, duplicated bureaucracies, dividends, and executive compensation. What's worse, insurance policies are so complex and individuals' future needs so unpredictable that consumers cannot make the informed selections that induce competition between insurers.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
    Dr. William Clark | Times Record | Letter to the Editor
    Medicare for everyone costs less because administration at every level is cheaper. It's cheaper because insurers don't profit from your illness and because we would not pay chief executive officers seven-figure incomes. And we could finally get a handle on rising costs by planning and budgeting.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2008
    By DR. ANA MALINOW | Houston Chronicle
    Texans had little to cheer about in the recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau that the number of Americans without health insurance dipped slightly in 2007. Instead of the 47 million uninsured in 2006, last year our nation had "only" 45.7 million who lacked health insurance, a drop of a half percentage point from 2006 (from 15.8 percent of the population to 15.3 percent). Most of the dip was due to an expansion of government programs like Medicaid, especially among children.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2008
    Albany Catholic Blog
    Saturday, September 13th, in Albany, we will launch Single Payer New York, a grassroots coalition of organizations and individuals to work together in New York state for single-payer health reform, both state and federal. An amazing diversity of single-payer advocates have responded with plans to attend.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2008
    HOWARD A. GREEN, M.D. | Palm Beach Post Letters to the Editor
    The lower overhead costs of the most efficient Medicare insurance plan, which already treats more than 40 million people, would provide substantial cost savings to all Americans and businesses while maintaining quality private physician practices and hospitals. A majority of physicians in this country can't be wrong in their support of a single-payer national health insurance plan such as HR 676.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2008
    Leonard Rodberg | New York Times | Letters
    The cost of health care in Massachusetts is continuing to rise faster than the cost of living -- by 10 percent in just the past year. It will quickly outstrip government subsidies and the willingness of employers to provide decent coverage for their employees. Leaning on government subsidies that can’t be sustained, and requiring people to buy insurance they can’t afford, is not a solution. Only a real change in the way we pay for health care can truly address our long-term problems.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2008
    by Merton Bernstein and Theodore Marmor | Health Affairs Blog
    Sometimes even Medicare-for-All admirers succumb to the "yes but" syndrome, as in "yes, but Medicare-for-All is politically impractical." For example, after praising Medicare-for-All, The Health Care Mess concluded that "political reality compels us to ask whether there are not other ways" (besides Medicare-for-All) and answered that question "yes." Princeton economist Paul Krugman, who had extolled Medicare-for-All in 2006, put a foot in the "yes but" camp in 2007. He welcomed the Edwards, Massachusetts, and Schwarzenegger plans to compel individuals to select from among insurance plans, thereby forgoing Medicare-for-All's economies. The Edwards and Obama plans required a Medicare-like plan as one option. Krugman argued that such a plan's lower cost will eventually crowd out more expensive private plans. This overlooks private insurance's history of cutting prices to gain market share, later returning to double-digit boosts.

  • Posted on Friday, September 5, 2008
    Dr. McCanne served as PNHP President in 2003-2004 and writes a daily health policy "quote of the day" for single payer advocates.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008
    By ALWIN STEINMANN | Albany Times Union
    A number of medical professional societies, have called for health care reforms to provide universal coverage including the possibility of a single-payer system. An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that the majority of polled physicians (59 percent) supported the notion of a single-payer system. Given that 15 percent of our population lacks health insurance, and our overall expenditures on health care is in excess of $2.1 trillion, a single-payer system is no longer a fringe idea to be thought of as a dream. It's instead a realistic solution to a health care system that rewards excessive care and administrative infrastructure while ignoring the real needs of its patients and providers.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 4, 2008
    by Cheryl SooHoo | Ward Rounds
    "America already has singlepayer national health insurance. It's called 'Medicare,'" [Dr. Quentin Young] explains. "Medicare is the most successful program in the country, outshining any of the private sector insurance companies with their high administrative costs. Thirty-one percent of all health care dollars now go to absorbing the administrative costs of the big carriers. Medicare has an administrative cost of 3 percent. When you are dealing with a system where every percentage point is 21 billion dollars, the costs are fairly significant."

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008
    By JAMES J. BARBA | Albany Times Union
    Multiple payers have multiple rules for authorizing services, billing and the supply of requested data on the care actually delivered. A single set of rules, which everyone in the provider community follows, will eliminate most of this costly bureaucratic expense.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2008
    By Oliver Fein | The Philadelphia Inquirer
    The plight of the uninsured and uninsurable shows how the for-profit, private health insurance model of financing health care has outlived its usefulness. Originally conceived as a nonprofit enterprise (e.g. Blue Cross), the industry is now bent on maximizing profits by screening out the sick and minimizing claim payments.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2008
    James V. Bertolone | Guest essayist | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
    This coming Labor Day, working people from coast to coast will be working for candidates who are ready to turn around our health care system, turn around our economy, turn around the decline of the middle class and turn around America.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2008
    California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee
    The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today hailed the California Legislature's passage of a single-payer, expanded Medicare for all, style bill that would guarantee quality health care for all Californians -- and called it a model for the national healthcare reform debate that is sure to emerge in 2009.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2008
    Progressives for Pennsylvania Presents:
    Single-Payer Guaranteed Healthcare For All: A Mainstream Solution!
    Thursday, September 18, 2008, 7-9 PM

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
    Seattle Post-IntelligencerEditorial Board
    The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the number of people lacking health insurance dropped by more than 1 million in 2007 to nearly 46 million people. This is a headline that looks great until you see that what's declining is private insurance coverage and what's increasing is the number of people eligible for government programs such as Medicaid.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
    Remarks by Dr. Claudia Fegan at Reception at the DNC in Denver, Tuesday, August 26, 2008 for co-sponsors of HR 676
    There are 45.7million uninsured people in the United States. There are probably some 50 million people who are underinsured, meaning even though they have health insurance they cannot afford the care they need. While it is true we saw a slight decrease in the number of uninsured last year, this was due to a massive expansion of public programs. Were it not for the fact that 2.7million more people were covered by public programs last year; Medicaid, SCHIP and Medicare we actually would have seen an increase in the number of uninsured. It is so clear that a public national health insurance program is no longer the best option to cover all Americans, it is the only option. The private insurance industry is never going to get us to universal coverage.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
    by Daina Saib | YES! Magazine
    You wouldn't know it from the candidates' debates or reports on the major television networks, but a majority of Americans favor a government-run health insurance system similar to Canada's. Those lining up to support single-payer health care include medical professionals, business people, and many Republicans. Dr. Rocky White has been all of those things.

  • Posted on Friday, August 15, 2008
    By STEVE DOYLE | Huntsville Times
    Dr. Wally Retan knows the odds aren't great that Congress will pass a universal health care bill anytime soon. But the chairman of Alabama's "Health Care for Everyone" chapter still dreams of a time when all Americans have comprehensive, low-cost health insurance provided by the federal government.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008
    Dr. John Benziger | Letter to the Editor | Kennebec (Maine) Journal
    Some claim that uninsured Americans can get the care they need in emergency rooms. But ERs may provide too little, too late for the millions of uninsured with chronic conditions. They need regular medical monitoring and medications to control their illnesses and a whole array of services they cannot afford. Our profit-driven health care system leaves tens of millions vulnerable. Only single-payer national health insurance can fix this broken system and save thousands of lives each year.

  • Posted on Friday, August 8, 2008
    By Lance Dickie | Editorial Columnist | Seattle Times
    Searing headlines about local job cuts sharpen interest in universal health-insurance coverage. The topic grabs the attention of those vulnerable families and voters broadly defined as the middle class, the engine of change. Increasingly, the focus is on national single-payer health insurance. Acceptance of the concept is growing, especially among a key constituency: doctors.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 7, 2008
    The American Public Supports Guaranteed Healthcare on the "Medicare for All" or "Single-Payer" Model.
    Click here to download the flyer from California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
    By John Gever | MedPage Today
    Nearly one-third of uninsured Americans under age 65 reported having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, or some other chronic condition, researchers said.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 6, 2008
    Albany Catholic
    On Saturday, Sept. 13, single payer advocates from across New York will meet here to form a new statewide organization. Our aim: to build an unbeatable movement for a single payer public system that would fully fund comprehensive health care, including prescription drugs, for all. We invite all single-payer supporters to join us!

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 5, 2008
    By Azam Ahmed | Chicago Tribune
    U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) declared himself cancer-free on Monday at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine at the University of Chicago and challenged Barack Obama and John McCain to push for national health care for all Americans.