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, February 7, 2008
    By Robert Kuttner | The New England Journal of Medicine
    Changing demographics and medical technology pose a cost challenge for every nation's system, but ours is the outlier. The extreme failure of the United States to contain medical costs results primarily from our unique, pervasive commercialization. The dominance of for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies, a new wave of investor-owned specialty hospitals, and profit-maximizing behavior even by nonprofit players raise costs and distort resource allocation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2008
    By RICHARD PROPP | Albany Times Union
    When a health insurance company seeks for-profit status, it appears it has made a decision to fundamentally change how it operates to acquire a large infusion of cash. This fundamental change will logically result in a shift from a consumer-satisfaction priority to a shareholder-satisfaction focus.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2008
    Leland Y. Yee | San Francisco Chronicle
    I joined California nurses, school employees, senior groups and a number of labor unions last week in opposing the governor's flawed health-care bill, Assembly Bill X1 1. While the bill was touted as a fix to our broken health-care system, after extensive study by the Senate Health Committee and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, it is now clear that this proposal was bad for consumers and unfairly favored insurance companies.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008
    by David Adler | The New Republic
    Conservative lawmakers and many business leaders are touting health savings accounts as the silver bullet to fix America's dysfunctional health care system. But, while widespread use of health savings accounts is untested here, there is a country with a decade's worth of experience with similar consumer-driven health plans: South Africa.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008
    The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today offered praise to the Senate Health Committee for resisting enormous pressure to pass a badly flawed healthcare bill and pledged to work with legislators, community groups, and labor for genuine healthcare reform that avoids the serious shortcomings of AB x 1.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008
    Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    Before the leading Democratic candidates come to California for the upcoming super Tuesday primary February 5 and spend a lot of time talking about their health plans, they might want to cast a look at the demise of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's much ballyhooed healthcare bill.

  • Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008
    New Hampshire Medical Society
    The survey found that 81% of responding physicians agree healthcare should be "available to all citizens as part of the social contract, a right similar to basic education, police and fire protection," with 94% of primary care physicians endorsing this view. Two thirds of New Hampshire physicians, including 81% of primary care clinicians, indicated they "would favor a simplified payor system in which public funds, collected through taxes, were used to pay directly for services to meet the basic healthcare needs of all citizens."

  • Posted on Monday, January 28, 2008
    By Robert Gumbiner | Press-Telegram
    There is a somewhat illogical argument being made against expanding Medicare to include all citizens and taxpayers in the U.S., which is that Social Security and Medicare are going to go broke. This argument makes no sense. For one thing, if this were true, how could the federal government keep borrowing from Social Security and Medicare? The fact is, Medicare has the money and the federal government doesn't.

  • Posted on Friday, January 25, 2008
    By KIP SULLlIVAN | Minneapolis StarTribune
    If you liked the school report cards required by President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, you're just going to love the doctor and hospital report cards that will almost certainly be recommended by the two state health care commissions -- the Health Care Access Commission and the grandly named Minnesota Health Care Transformation Task Force -- due to report in the next few weeks.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008
    By Peter Freyne | 7 Days - Vermont's Independent Voice | Inside Track
    Surprise, surprise! Rep. Topper McFaun's health-care-reform bill -- the one the powers-that-be said was absolutely, positively not coming off the committee-room wall -- is going to get two days in the spotlight next week, after all! H.304, the Vermont Hospital Security Plan, would guarantee hospital coverage for all Vermonters while cutting $60 million in annual spending. Pretty radical stuff, eh?

  • Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008
    Media Release | The University of British Columbia
    Ten years after BC PharmaCare implemented spending limits for equivalent prescription drugs -- a policy known as reference pricing -- investments in British Columbia medical research are as strong as ever and continue to increase, according to a UBC study.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 24, 2008
    By Alice Dembner | The Boston Globe
    Spending on the [Massachusetts'] landmark health insurance initiative would rise by more than $400 million next year, representing one of the largest increases in the $28.2 billion state budget the governor proposed yesterday.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008
    Editorial | New York Times
    The nation’s failure to provide health insurance for all Americans seems to be harming even many of those who do have good health coverage. That is one very plausible interpretation of a disturbing increase in waiting times at emergency rooms that are often clogged with uninsured patients seeking routine charity care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 23, 2008
    H. DAVID PRENSKY | Letter to the Editor | Palm Beach Post
    The U.S. National Health Insurance Act, if enacted, would eliminate the excessive drainage of money that has nothing to do with providing care. The huge sums now going to the sales forces, advertising budgets, lobbying campaigns, shareholder dividends, and huge executive salaries and bonuses would be saved. These expenditures are the root cause of the present attempt to reduce the fees Medicare pays doctors.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008
    By Craig Axford | The Salt Lake Tribune
    America will never solve its health-care problem so long as we insist on arguing our crisis is inferior to the crisis everywhere else and therefore our system is superior to everyone else's. One is not being unpatriotic when pointing out other nations have managed to do some things better.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2008
    ABX1 1 contains an individual mandate with subsidies available to a very limited group of individuals. Employees who are offered health care, no matter how minimal or unaffordable, are denied all subsidies and access to the pool.

  • Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008
    Thomas Clairmont, M.D. & Pamela Clairmont, R.N. | Portsmouth Herald
    No one likes the current system with 47 million uninsured, an equal number under-insured, 50 percent of bankruptcies related to medical debt and heartbreaking story after story in the newspapers about local citizen's problems with the health care system. So how about evidence-based governance? All you have to do is look at the systems in Canada, Britain, France and other nations to see that it is possible to devise a health care program that covers everyone the same way, without any middlemen, and where there is never any worry about being able to afford a doctor's visit or an operation.

  • Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008
    JOEL A. HARRISON | San Diego Union-Tribune | Letters to the editor
    As the old saying goes, a lie told often enough becomes the truth. In this case, that it cost $1 billion to develop new drugs. Over the past 20 to 30 years, the pharmaceutical industry has averaged net profits three times that of other Fortune 500 companies. It spends more on marketing and lobbying than on research, often including marketing research in its calculations.

  • Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008
    by Claudia Chaufan |
    The "Health Care Security and Cost Reduction Act", also known as ABX1 1, and described by New York Times reporter Kevin Sack as a "bipartisan blueprint" conceived by Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Assembly speaker Fabian Nunez to bring "near-universal coverage to the country's most populous state", will neither provide health care security nor reduce costs of medical care. This article explains why.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008
    By Daniel Barlow | The Barre Montpelier Times Argus
    Doctors, nurses and other health professionals led a rally of more than 150 people at the Statehouse on Wednesday in support of a once under-the-radar bill that would create a "single-payer" system for covering hospital care in Vermont.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
    By Tom Linnell, EdD | The Coloradoan
    I am starting to see why all of us - liberals, conservatives and independents - might really like single-payer health insurance.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
    Jessica S. Banthin, Ph.D., Peter Cunningham, Ph.D., Didem M. Bernard, Ph.D. | Health Affairs
    Rising health care costs, combined with slowed economic growth, have created greater financial burdens for U.S. families in recent years--and raised the likelihood that they will face problems paying bills, accumulate medical debt, and even forgo needed medical care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 9, 2008
    Joanne Laucius | CanWest News Service | Ottawa Citizen
    Canada's health care system offers "excellent value for the money" says a British researcher who has studied preventable deaths in 19 industrialized nations.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
    Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    As the scorecard in Iowa is tallied, add insurance companies to the loser camp along with the disgraceful, rhetorical sham that forcing individuals to buy insurance is universal healthcare.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
    Ellen Nolte, Ph.D., and C. Martin McKee, M.D., D.Sc. | Health Affairs
    In a Commonwealth Fund-supported study comparing preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries, researchers found that the United States placed last. While the other nations improved dramatically between the two study periods--1997–98 and 2002–03--the U.S. improved only slightly on the measure.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
    By Nicholas Timmins | Financial Times
    More US patients die from diseases that could be treated by timely intervention than in any other leading industrialised country, a study by top health academics showed yesterday.

  • Posted on Monday, January 7, 2008
    By DANIEL BARLOW | Vermont Press Bureau
    While legislative leaders talk about a slow expansion of Catamount Health and Gov. James Douglas eyes reforms to stem jumps in insurance premiums, a wide-reaching proposal for the health care crisis is gaining steam among advocates.

  • Posted on Monday, January 7, 2008
    John P. Geyman, MD | Tikkun
    As we face the 2008 presidential campaigns, the stakes have never been higher for health care reform. Health care is pricing itself beyond the reach of lower-income and middle-class Americans with no cost containment yet on the horizon. Seniors with Medicare are paying much more out-of-pocket for their medical care now than when Medicare was enacted in 1965.

  • Posted on Monday, January 7, 2008
    J. Wesley Boyd | New York Times | LETTERS
    Why can't the leading Democratic candidates muster the courage to propose real health reform that will save lives, time and money -- and in addition that would be the most equitable of all options -- instead of rehashing proposals that have never resulted in universal coverage and haven't done anything to rein in the costs of health care? We have single-payer armed services, fire prevention and road maintenance. Aren't we long overdue for single-payer universal health care?

  • Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008
    By Bangor Daily News Staff
    Polls show that health care is a major issue -- rivaled only by the Iraq war -- in the current presidential campaign. Complaints about the present system include the mounting cost, the many left out, poor service and too much paperwork. Yet all the major candidates of both parties advocate only makeshift modifications of a system widely viewed as broken.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008
    Associated Press | The Boston Globe
    Uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage, according to the first national study of its kind and one that sheds light on troubling healthcare obstacles.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008
    Stephen Crockett
    It is obvious that none of the major Presidential candidates of either the Democratic or Republican Parties are supporting the right approach to providing universal healthcare. Frankly, all the Republican candidates are going to be major obstacles to achieving this national goal. While the top Democratic candidates (Clinton, Edwards and Obama) do support the concept, they are all offering Band-Aid approaches for a life-threatening economic and health crisis in America.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008
    In a stunning turn around, insurance giant CIGNA has capitulated to community demands, and protests that the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee helped to generate, and agreed to a critically needed liver transplant for Nataline Sarkisyan, a 17-year-old girl in the intensive care unit at UCLA Medical Center.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008
    by Michele Swenson | Board Member, Health Care for All Colorado
    Five proposals were selected to be evaluated by the Lewin Group, including an additional proposal written by a subcommittee of the Commission. The Colorado Health Services Single Payer Proposal is the only reform proposal that demonstrated any savings for the state -- $1.4 billion -- and also the only one capable of providing comprehensive health care for all. The Colorado Commission chose to base most of its recommendations on its own (5th) Proposal.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2008
    By Kim Dixon | Reuters
    Insured and wealthy Americans were more likely than the poor to get billions of dollars in free drug samples distributed by pharmaceutical companies to win patient and doctor loyalty, a study released on Wednesday showed.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2008
    The NH Medical Society announces, along with other NH civic organizations, a televised Forum on the timely topic of where the Presidential Candidates stand on changing US health care, on Thursday, January 3, 2008 at the MCAM Studio from 3:30-5:30 PM at 540 N. Commercial Street, Manchester New Hampshire.

  • Posted on Monday, December 24, 2007
    By Bob Williams | The Record Searchlight
    For too many Americans, loss of a job means loss of health care coverage. This has come home today among laid-off workers in the building trades as housing construction tanks. Too many Americans have no health care coverage even though they have a job. Other Americans, with health coverage, find themselves directed to emergency room care when their attack of chest pain occurs on the weekend.

  • Posted on Friday, December 21, 2007
    By JIM McMEANS | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Op-Ed
    More than any other factor, private health insurance coverage is the reason why the United States has a dysfunctional health care system in which over 45 million Americans lack coverage and approximately another 40 million have unreliable coverage. Americans who have unreliable coverage are sometimes called the underinsured. A better description is Americans who have private health insurance.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2007
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    In a present gift wrapped by the California Assembly with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Santa, Assembly members passed a bill mislabeled as healthcare reform that will guarantee not health care but millions of new customers for the insurance industry, with California taxpayers paying the bill.

  • Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007
    By Nelson Bradshaw | Catskill Mountain Foundation
    The Oneonta Free Clinic will make a valiant effort meet the medical needs of these people. But small, private clinics are not the real answer to the nation's mounting health care crisis, according to Doctor Friedell. "A free clinic is just a band-aid," says the physician. "It's a way of getting care to people in a hurry. My personal belief is that we need a single-payer health insurance system in this country. A simple name for the program might be Medicare for Everybody.

  • Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007
    By Susan F. Wood | The Boston Globe
    To ensure the health of our families we need strong, consistent leaders who value the integrity of science, make decisions on the best available information, and support prevention. Without that leadership, we will not succeed in promoting the health of all Americans. We shouldn't have to wait for a change in presidential leadership.

  • Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007
    By Doug Trapp | American Medical News
    The American College of Physicians has endorsed the concept of a single-payer health care system for the first time.

  • Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007
    IN 1971, President Nixon sought to forestall single-payer national health insurance by proposing an alternative. He wanted to combine a mandate, which would require that employers cover their workers, with a Medicaid-like program for poor families, which all Americans would be able to join by paying sliding-scale premiums based on their income. Nixon's plan, though never passed, refuses to stay dead. Now Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all propose Nixon-like reforms. Their plans resemble measures that were passed and then failed in several states over the past two decades.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007
    Richard Iammarino, M.D. | The Charleston Gazette
    In medical care, most charges are not related to cost. This is an important point. There have been many attempts to tie charges to cost. As health-care bills go up, it is clear that these are not working. It is in this area that a single-payer plan makes sense and will save money. A single-payer plan is the most effective way to help charges relate rationally to cost. The reason is the ability to be effective in negotiations.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2007
    ROBERT P. STEVENS | Palm Beach Post | Letters
    A single-payer system would provide the opportunity of a "medical home" (Health Affairs/Commonwealth Fund 2007) for everyone, thus reducing non-emergency traffic in ERs. It also would, and equally important, pay every doctor promptly for services rendered. These two solutions, and many others, have persuaded the American College of Physicians (124,000 physicians) to endorse single-payer along with 86 members of Congress (HR 676).

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007
    (excerpted from USA Today, Dec. 11, 2007)
    (In 1996) Obama said he would support a single-payer health plan for Illinois "in principal" [sic], "although such a program will probably have to be instituted at a federal level; the long-term objective would be a universal care system that does not differentiate between the unemployed, the disabled, and so on." The campaign says Obama has consistently supported single payer health care in principle.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007
    Jeremiah Schuur | The New York Times | Letter
    Mr. Krugman has devoted many columns to extolling the benefits of a single-payer system, so I am not sure why he is repeating politicians’ talking points about minor differences rather than asking why the three leading Democrats aren’t supporting the best reform policy.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007
    Jennifer Jacobs | Des Moines Register Staff Writer
    Himmelstein, reached by phone Monday at Harvard, said the study is accurate. The Northwestern academics misrepresented and manipulated the data, he said. “President Clinton is correct,” Himmelstein said. “But he’s wrong in saying his wife’s plan would do something about it.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007
    Angus Reid Global Monitor | Polls & Research
    42 per cent of respondents would prefer a plan that replaces the current health care system with a "single-payer" program where all health care costs are paid by the government, while 41 per cent would choose a plan that maintains the current system where most health care costs are paid by individuals or employers.

  • Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007
    By Russ Britt | MarketWatch
    While health-care reform may play second fiddle to the war in Iraq among voters this election season, it appears that the domestic issue is taking on new life thanks to medical-industry professionals.

  • Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007
    By Daniel Gallington | The Washington Times
    So far, almost all the Republicans have been able to say is that the Democrats propose faceless socialized medicine, a la Canada, the Britain and Europe -- and that it's way too expensive and will require massive tax increases. However, the Democrats aren't proposing that -- they are proposing almost everyone be required to buy private health insurance (Hillary Clinton) and/or that people who can't afford it, especially children, would get private health insurance free or at low cost (Barack Obama).

  • Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007
    By BRAD WARTHEN | Editorial Page Editor | The State
    Last week, I got a press release from a labor union that complained "that no Republican candidate has a plan to ensure all Americans have access to health care." That's true. But the union, which represents blue- and pink-collar workers in health care, was missing the fact that the leading Democrats are little better.

  • Posted on Monday, December 10, 2007
    Posted by Marisa Treviño
    As the presidential debate deepens, or gets more desperate, it won't be surprising to hear more and more candidates who are scared of the immigration issue spouting off just plain WRONG information.

  • Posted on Friday, December 7, 2007
    Niko Karvounis | Health Beat Blog
    On Monday the CDC released a landmark, and in many ways devastating, report on health care in the U.S. The report contains a wealth of data that, while not surprising to some, should help silence the dwindling few who insist that America's health care system is doing just fine. As a public service, I thought it'd be helpful to list some of the myths that the report demolishes (with some help from other sources as needed).

  • Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2007
    KAY TILLOW | Louisville Courier-Journal | Readers' forum
    We cannot solve the nursing "shortage" in Louisville without solving the conditions that force good nurses from the bedside and from their chosen profession. Many can't sleep after their 12-hour shifts for thinking about what almost happened and what could happen. The lack of organized nurse power to change these conditions and win truly professional standards of care and benefits has stifled health care progress in Louisville.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2007
    By Mary Ann Garnar | OP-ED | Special to The Courier-Journal
    A realistic and honest assessment of the proposals leads to the inevitable conclusion that the best solution for the greatest number is what is called universal, single-payer health insurance. That is, health insurance for all residents of the United States, largely funded with a tax based on income, and benefits paid out by the federal government. (A bill now in Congress, HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act, if passed, would establish just such a plan.)

  • Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2007
    by Julie Rovner | NPR Morning Edition
    "The term socialized medicine, technically, to most health policy analysts, actually doesn't mean anything at all," says Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of health policy at the University of North Carolina. Oberlander says the phrase actually dates back to the American Medical Association's fights against national health insurance in the early decades of the 1900s.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 6, 2007
    Center on Budget and Public Policies
    The government pays Medicare Advantage plans roughly $1,000 more per beneficiary per year than it would cost to cover the same person through traditional Medicare. Even though private plans were brought into Medicare to lower costs, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Congressional Budget Office have found that they are paid 12 percent more, on average, than it would cost traditional Medicare to cover the same beneficiaries.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2007
    Farhana Hossain | The New York Times
    The leading Democrats are competing among themselves over who has the better plan to control costs and approach universal coverage. The Republicans, for the most part, are promising to expand coverage without increasing the role of the federal government, and reduce cost through tax incentives. Most of the candidates have not presented a detailed outline of their health care plans, but here is what they have said so far.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2007
    By JASON ROBERSON | The Dallas Morning News
    Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics, says the Democratic surge shouldn't come as a surprise -- a similar donation migration (in reverse) was seen in many industries from 1994 through 1996, when the Republicans took control of Congress. "When power changes hands in Congress, the money follows the power."

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 5, 2007
    RICHARD M. BERLIN, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle | Letters
    As long as we have a system that includes insurance companies, money will continued to be channeled into executive salaries and other administrative expenses that do nothing to improve anyone's health.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007
    By Stacey Burling | Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
    The Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians - the nation's second-largest physician group - endorsed a single-payer health-care system yesterday.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007
    By Michael Kaplan | Boston Globe
    Piece-meal reform such as the new law will not work. Both employers and the public support the concept of single-payer healthcare. Big business is starting to realize that a single payer system will be the only affordable way to cover everyone. When will our politicians understand that their political futures will depend on supporting this kind of comprehensive reform?

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 4, 2007
    The Des Moines Register's Editorial
    Having taxpayers help pay your health-insurance bills is a great deal if you can get it. Those vying to lead the country have gotten it. But some of them don't think all Americans should have it. Republicans in particular denounce "government-run" health care while offering ideas of questionable value, such as medical-malpractice reform. A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office found that malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of health-care spending.

  • Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007
    By Donna Smith | American SiCKO and HealthCare-Now Road Show team
    It hasn't been an easy year. But as 2007 draws to a close, I can count among my political allies and new friends some of folks I would never have guessed would have given me the time of day outside of an exam or procedure room. We truly are blessed in this nation to have thousands of doctors who care enough about the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care to support real reform and to do so publicly.

  • Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007
    By BETH FOUHY | Associated Press
    Health policy experts generally agree that the only way to achieve truly universal coverage is to enact a "single payer" health care system that is run by the government.

  • Posted on Friday, November 30, 2007
    By Bonnie Washuk | Lewiston Sun Journal
    With insurance companies, hospitals, doctors and drug makers focused on profits instead of patients, health care has become unaffordable, not just to those without insurance but to those with it, said people who crowded into a labor union hall Tuesday night.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    By Susanne L. King | Berkshire Eagle
    For all you boomers who are looking retirement in the eye, cast your gaze on a recent Boston Globe article entitled "Blue Cross gave chairman $16.4 million in retirement pay." William C. Van Faasen, 58, collected those benefits in 2006, even though he didn't leave the company. He merely stepped down as chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, but retained his position as chairman, receiving nearly $3 million in salary and bonuses the same year he collected retirement benefits. This astonishing gift went to the chairman of a non-profit organization that does not pay income taxes to a state that is trying to provide universal health insurance to its citizens.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    Dr. McFarlin is Director of Internal Medicine at Broadlawns Medical Center, Polk County’s safety net hospital, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, and an advocate for universal healthcare reform.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    By Donna Smith | Progressive Democrats of America, Colorado member
    The road show has the mission of bringing the message of HR676, single-payer universal health care (The National Health Insurance Act), to the people of the area, and the issues of homelessness and lack of public facilities serving the poor and uninsured often go hand-in-hand with a lack of access to health care and other issues surrounding poverty.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    By Mary Engel | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    Illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are 50% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to use hospital emergency rooms in California, according to a study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007
    By ROBERT PEAR | The New York Times
    When senators debate health care, they usually speak in abstract terms about soaring health costs and the plight of the uninsured. But just 20 feet from the Senate chamber is a young man who knows those problems all too well from personal experience. The man, Sergio A. Olaya, runs the Capitol elevators on which the senators ride. Whenever the Senate is in session, he is on duty. Mr. Olaya, 21, is struggling with $255,000 of medical bills incurred by his mother before she died in April from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

  • Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007
    By Peter Freyne | Seven Days: Vermont's Independent Voice
    Richter doesn't mince words. And she's part of a growing body of medical doctors across the country who also want America to join the rest of the civilized world with regard to health care. They have an increasingly active national organization called Physicians for a National Health Program ( These docs share the "radical" notion with docs in France, Britain, Spain and Canada that "health care is a human right."

  • Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007
    Mark Gruenberg, Editor | Press Associates
    As the debate over the future of national health care heats up--at least among the Democratic presidential hopefuls--an advocacy group for single-payer government-run health care has published a leading medical scholar's point-by-point criticism of the health care plans offered by the top three Democrats.

  • Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007
    by Tom Walsh | The Ellsworth American
    Now living near Digby, Paul and Gretchen Volenik are enjoying all that rural Nova Scotia has to offer, including tax-funded medical care.

  • Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007
    Uwe E. Reinhardt | The New York Times | Letter to the Editor
    If Mr. Giuliani despises socialized medicine, as he now contends, perhaps he would abolish the V.A. health system if he were elected president. American veterans should challenge him to come clean on the issue.

  • Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007
    The California Democratic Party | Resolution Number ANA07.15
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the CDP strongly supports the drafting and passage of legislation that creates and enacts a single-payer health care program which provides comprehensive, secure, high quality, efficient and sustainable access to health care for all Californians.

  • Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007
    by Andrew D. Coates | Monthly Review
    Thus, this SCHIP expansion, even if enacted, would still fall short of meeting all the unmet needs as private health insurance fails ever more children than before. So one step forward, one step back.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007
    By Marshall Helmberger and Tom Klein
    The merits of the Canadian style of health care have been the subject of intense debate in the U.S. for months, sparked in part by Michael Moore’s recent documentary film, “Sicko”, which highlighted Canada’s system among others. Free market advocates have shot back, pointing to studies that show growing dissatisfaction among Canadians over long wait times for some types of medical care.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2007
    BY ERIC COOK | Kalamazoo Gazette
    Dr. James C. Mitchiner said single-payer health insurance can greatly reduce health care costs by removing the profits and broadening the risk pool. Mitchiner is an emergency-room physician at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and president-elect of the Washtenaw County Medical Society.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007
    Indira Dammu | Indiana Daily Student
    Contrary to Republican claims, however, no Democratic presidential candidate has advocated a "free" universal health care system. Sen. John Edward’s health care plan, the most promising within the field, calls for a small tax increase and repeal of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Sixty percent of Americans support such a tax increase if it means universal access to health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
    Harriette Seiler | Modern Healthcare
    Despite having good doctors and good hospitals, U.S. healthcare outcomes do not compare very favorably with those of other industrialized nations.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 13, 2007
    Robyn Blumner | Salt Lake Tribune
    Americans were taken in by health insurance industry foils Harry and Louise the first time Clinton offered this country decent health care reform, but they won't be fooled again. If Giuliani wants to make this election a referendum on America's health care system, he's going to flame out faster than a hospital can dump an uninsured patient.

  • Posted on Monday, November 12, 2007
    Rachel Nardin | The Boston Globe
    The VA is a rare success story in our healthcare system. The system offers more equitable and higher quality care than the average care in the private sector, and has become a medical leader in research, primary care, and computerization. Studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine and elsewhere have shown that compared with patients in HMOs, a higher percentage of patients at VA facilities have adequate control of high blood pressure and diabetes, and receive appropriate medications after a heart attack. So it's not the quality of care that veterans receive that's the problem; rather, it's their restricted access to care.

  • Posted on Monday, November 12, 2007
    By PAUL KRUGMAN | The New York Times | Op-Ed Columnist
    You might think that these facts would make the case for major reform of America's health care system -- reform that would involve, among other things, learning from other countries' experience -- irrefutable. Instead, however, apologists for the status quo offer a barrage of excuses for our system's miserable performance. So I thought it would be useful to offer a catalog of the most commonly heard apologies for American health care, and the reasons they won't wash.

  • Posted on Monday, November 12, 2007
    Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic
    If you've listened to Rudy Giuliani or any of the other Republican presidential candidates lately, then you've probably heard them claim that creating universal health care would necessarily lead to inferior treatments, particularly for deadly diseases like cancer. But that just isn't so. While the United States is a world leader in cancer care, other countries, such as France, Sweden, and Switzerland, boast overall survival rates that are nearly comparable. For some variants--such as cervical cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and two common forms of leukemia--the U.S. survival rate, although good, lags behind at least some other countries.

  • Posted on Monday, November 12, 2007
    By Vicente Navarro | Professor of Health and Public Policy | The Johns Hopkins University
    In his article "The Hillarycare Mythology" (The American Prospect, October 2007, pp. 12-18), Paul Starr, a senior health policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and a leading figure in Hillary Rodham Clinton's White House task force on health care reform, analyzes the origins, development, and final outcome of the Clinton administration's health care reform -- referred to by Republicans as "Hillarycare."

  • Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2007
    Steve Pomerance | The Daily Camera
    The single-payer approach provides savings from eliminating unnecessary costs that will help to cover the increased level of basic care that currently is simply not provided, so the final societal bill may not increase dramatically, and may even be reduced.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 8, 2007
    Jay Bhatt | Letters to the Editor | The Baltimore Sun
    As a medical student, I see the impact our broken health care system has on individuals and communities every day. Figures from the Institute of Medicine show that the lack of health insurance causes about 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in this country.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
    James Clancy addresses Physicians for a National Health Program in Washington
    Speaking to an American group called Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Clancy said only a small minority of people in Canada favour private health care solutions such as private insurance, user fees, medical savings accounts and parallel for-profit care. "The vast majority of Canadians have repeatedly said No to these proposals, because the principles on which these proposals rest cannot be reconciled with the values at the heart of our medicare," Clancy said.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
    Registered Nurse Response Network | Press Release
    Michael Moore's healthcare "horror" film SiCKO will continue its unique impact on American society and politics with its Nov. 6 DVD release, which will be commemorated with more than 125 nurse-led house parties around the nation, the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) reports today.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
    Bob Herbert | New York Times
    It would be great if there were something unusual about this story: A person without health insurance gets sick. The person holds off on going to the doctor because there's no way to pay the bill. The person is denied the full range of treatment because of the absence of insurance. The person dies.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 7, 2007
    Miles Mogulescu | The Huffington Post
    In Part 1 of this multi-part Huffpost series on the health care debate, I criticized the leading Democratic candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards -- for surrendering, without firing a shot, to the insurance and drug companies by opposing universal single payer health care. In this second installment, I elaborate on the difference between universal single payer health care and the Clinton/Obama/Edwards universal insurance mandate plans and argue that universal mandates are bad social policy.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007
    By JULIE BOSMAN | The New York Times
    But the Commonwealth Fund said yesterday that Dr. Gratzer had misused its research by calculating a five-year survival rate based on data on prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States and Britain. "Five-year survival rates cannot be calculated from incidence and mortality rates, as any good epidemiologist knows," the group said in a statement.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007
    By Vicente Navarro | Professor of Health and Public Policy | The Johns Hopkins University
    Whereas Jackson had called for a single-payer program similar to that in Canada, Clinton chose the opposite pole of the political spectrum: managed care competition. Managed care competition basically meant the insurance companies exercised full control over health care providers, with doctors working in group practices called Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007
    Greg Silver, M.D. | Letters to the Editor | St. Petersburg Times
    If "market-based" health care is so wonderful, how did it lead us to the miserable state of health care in this country today? Our leaders seem to have forgotten the fundamental truth of market systems: There are always "winners" at the expense of "losers." Will we, as a nation, continue to accept our fellow citizens as health care losers in order for health insurance companies to be the big winners?

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007
    DR. H. DAVID PRENSKY | Letter to the Editor | Palm Beach Daily News
    As it is now, costs are rising so outrageously that the 47 million without insurance have nightmares, worried over being hit with a serious medical condition. Too many of them find reality nightmarish when they actually are hit. In the words of Dr. Marcia Angell, for years editor in chief of the New England Journal and now a Harvard Medical School professor, "We can no longer afford not to have single-payer universal health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007
    By TIM JOSEPH | Times Union
    As an elected county leader, I find that a tremendous amount of my time, and my county's budget, is devoted to one or another aspect of health care for some segment of our citizens. Nearly all of that time is devoted not to delivering health care, but to sorting out who will pay for it. A big advantage of a single-payer system, compared with our current patchwork, is that it resolves this issue once and for all, and thus offers substantial savings in administrative costs.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 6, 2007
    by Paul Clay Sorum, MD; Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Albany Medical College | The Journal of County Administration
    Private insurers add enormous costs to our already skyrocketing medical expenditures. These include both insurers’ administrative costs--the salaries of their highly-paid executives and armies of employees, their marketing expenses, and (in the case of for-profit insurers) their profits--and the billing related costs imposed on providers. In California, billing and insurance-related functions for insurers and providers represent 20-22 percent of privately insured spending in California acute care settings.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2007
    Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle
    Physicians in Massachusetts are not alone in their dissatisfaction with the current health care system. More and more doctors across the country are joining Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which advocates for single-payer health care, funded and administered by the government. PNHP membership has increased to more than 14,000 members, and is growing rapidly. Single-payer health care is not socialized medicine; physician practices and hospitals would still be private, and patients would have their choice of providers. Single-payer health care is about the administration of our health care funds, not the delivery of health care.