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 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.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2009
    By John Geyman, MD | Tikkun magazine
    Together with a sizable majority of Americans, I am again hopeful for the future of our country. My special concern, however, is for our failing health care system and how it is pricing health care beyond the reach of ordinary Americans. Our system has come to the point where none of the many incremental reforms will work. The business model of insurance has failed, and we need to rebuild the system on a social insurance model.

  • Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009
    by Donna Smith |
    One of the most heart-breaking losses we've felt in recent years as we tried in vain to cling to some semblance of middle class reality as health crises crushed us is the loss of holidays, the loss of traditions, the loss of intimacy and the loss of respect from our own children who see no home to come to - and no reason to interrupt more exciting holiday pursuits when we can no longer play host to any sort of Smith family soiree with the same sort of meaning.

  • Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009
    Linda Mulka, MD | Summit Daily News (Frisco, CO)
    I am a board-certified family physician unable to actively practice because of effects of bilateral breast cancer radiation on my immune system. When dealing with Los Alamos National Lab’s self-insured United Healthcare administered program, I was evaded throughout the appeal process until arbitration to pay for services that Medicare would have covered to determine the appropriate treatment for my breast cancer. These tests incidentally saved over $30,000 for my treatment while allowing me to avoid cytotoxic chemotherapy. Considering what happened to me as a physician in their system, I can only imagine what would have happened to a non-physician.

  • Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009
    DR. WILLIAM R. ELSEA | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Letters
    Most people don’t realize that all could be covered for what we’re now spending if we adopted a Medicare-for-All system, and that private administrative costs are about 10 times Medicare’s administrative costs. Many studies show superior health care results in countries with national care.

  • Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009
    By Clark Newhall | Editorial columnist | The Salt Lake Tribune
    We don't have a health-care problem. We don't have a health-care crisis. What we have is a health-care famine.

  • Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009
    Robert Stone | The Journal Gazette
    Private health insurance, with its rising premiums, co-pays, deductibles, exclusions and so on, is becoming increasingly unaffordable for individuals, families and businesses. The private model of financing care is no longer sustainable; it is dying. It is more like a dinosaur stumbling toward a tar pit than a mighty gorilla.

  • Posted on Monday, January 5, 2009
    By Johnathon S. Ross | Toledo Blade
    With new leadership in place, America can end a national disgrace. Forty-six million of our friends, family and neighbors have no health care coverage at all. The Institute of Medicine estimates that over 18,000 Americans die each year from lack of health insurance alone. Tens of millions more risk bankruptcy because they have bare-bones insurance. Our troubled economy will only worsen this sad situation.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008
    Letters to the Editor | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Let’s put the dollars that would otherwise be spent paying administrators back into the health care system and enact a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008
    by Bob Balhiser | Queen City News, Helena, Montana
    Like the old saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth", it can likewise be said that too many fingers in the till ruin a health care system. Dr. Putsch has recently done an excellent job of outlining just how much of our health care dollar is spent on administrative costs by citing studies that peg the range between 31 to 38 cents. I think everyone can agree that either amount is out of line and serves to explain why our health care costs have grown exponentially.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008
    Aaron M. Roland | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
    The problem with President-elect Barack Obama's supposed emphasis on the costs of health care is that his proposals fail to deal with the biggest source of wasteful expenditures, our dependence upon private health insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008
    By Hilda Sarkisyan | Los Angeles Daily News
    One year ago, my beautiful daughter Nataline lost her long struggle with leukemia. Our insurance company, Cigna Healthcare, closed the door on us. Now we need to make sure that other families can have the security that our daughter didn't.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008
    By ROSE ANN DeMORO | The Tampa Tribune
    The most heartbreaking e-mail alerts that crossed my computer screen this holiday season arrived from an active, progressive union that has set up a fund for medical benefits for widows and orphans of their former members. Reliance on charity rather than a public safety net symbolizes what has become a perversely unique American solution to social problems, especially in the Bush administration era.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2008
    By Bill Roy | Topeka Capital-Journal
    In my most fertile imagination, about March 1, President Obama and new secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle, would call the governors to whatever site they choose and tell them they have a plan to turn health care administration and delivery over to them, along with adequate funds to implement the best system they possibly can.

  • Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008
    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | News Digest
    The rising numbers of unemployed and uninsured mean that "affordable health care has never been more urgently needed," and "at this critical juncture, a single-payer plan is the only medically, morally and fiscally responsible path to take," writes Oliver Fein, M.D., associate dean and professor of clinical medicine and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and president of Physicians for a National Health Program, in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution guest commentary.

  • Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008
    By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
    The percentage of the American population age 65 or over is 12.4 now and is projected to rise to about 21 by 2050. Only 7 percent of China’s population is 65 or over now, but that figure will shoot up rapidly to over 22 percent by 2050. And in a number of other industrialized countries — notably in Japan, Germany, Italy and Sweden — the elderly already represent close to 20 percent of the population, a level the United States will not reach until about 2040. Yet the world has not come to an end in these older countries.

  • Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008
    by Joel Moskowitz | IndyBay
    In 2007, CaliforniaSpeaks, a statewide initiative led by government and major health foundations, invited 3,500 Californians to discuss their views on health care reform. To the surprise of the organizers, an overwhelming majority expressed its support for single payer (which was explicitly written out of the “discussion guidelines”). Yet somehow, the final report managed to ignore the will of the people. Today, as Americans throughout the country head to house parties to discuss health care reform, invited by Tom Daschle, future Secretary of Health and Human Services, and armed by similarly constraining "discussion guidelines", the experience of Californians is worth remembering.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2008
    CHARLES I. WOHL, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle | Letters
    The extensive layoffs at KB Toys, as described in the Dec. 13 Eagle, will cause far more misery for KB employees than the loss of their jobs alone. The laid-off workers also lost their medical insurance on the day their jobs ended. Many unemployed KB workers will not receive subsidized health insurance through Commonwealth Care, the Massachusetts health plan, because their incomes before the layoffs exceeded 300 per cent of the poverty level, making them ineligible for subsidized coverage. They must buy health insurance or they face fines; and if they require medical care while uninsured, they face bankruptcy.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008
    By Dr. William Davidson Jr. | Lebanon Daily News (PA)
    Unfortunately, only 70 cents of every dollar paid into the system actually returns to us in the form of health care. Thirty cents out of every dollar goes to administer a very dysfunctional system that has become a profit center for special interests that do not have the best interests of our people at heart.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008
    Sherif Emil, MD, CM, FACS | Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
    Americans, the public, and their physicians have a major decision ahead. Will health care continue to be treated as a commodity bought and sold according to means or as a service sought and delivered according to need? American surgeons should continue to lead the world in innovation and creativity, but they should also apply the results of their resourcefulness to any patient in need, in an atmosphere of evidence-based care, patient freedom to choose their doctor, and resource optimization, free from micromanagement and bureaucratic hassles. I don't believe this can be achieved through expanding or amending our current nonsystem.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008
    Vicente Navarro, MD, PhD | Harvard Health Policy Review
    I appreciate the invitation from the Harvard Health Policy Review to discuss the relationship between national health care systems and the policy process. One cannot analyze this relationship without analyzing the political context in which it occurs, and since the U.S. is now in the midst of a very important political process -- the presidential primaries of 2008 -- it may be of special interest to readers of the Review to focus on the impact of the political process on the health care reform proposals put forward by the presidential candidates in this and past elections.

  • Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008
    By HARRY S. TRUMAN | November 19, 1945
    Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. The time has arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and that protection.

  • Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008
    By DR. OLIVER FEIN | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Opponents of single payer often admit it's the best, most efficient and equitable way to provide quality care, but say it's not politically feasible and is therefore off the table in this round of the debate. How so? A solid majority of physicians, 59 percent, and an even higher percentage of the public, 62 percent or more, support national health insurance, recent surveys show. Single payer should be front and center.

  • Posted on Monday, December 15, 2008
    By Saul Friedman | Newsday | Gray Matters
    Here's a question for Medicare beneficiaries and those who will soon become eligible: Why should you care about the estimated 47 million American men, women and children who have too little or no health coverage?

  • 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.