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PNHP RESOURCES

Articles of Interest Archives

These articles highlight many of the health care related stories in the news–ranging from single-payer op-eds by PNHP members to reports by newspapers on corporate health care.

  • Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006
    The Business Review (Albany) | September 8, 2006
    As chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center, James Barba has a unique perspective on the health care industry both regionally and nationally. What he sees is a broken system in which costs are rising and competition is increasing, with no cure in sight.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2006
    Editorial | Sacramento Bee | Published September 10, 2006
    Careful, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Your ghostwriter seems to have just made you an opponent of Medicare.

  • Posted on Monday, September 11, 2006
    By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times | Published September 11, 2006
    Higher-income people will have to pay higher Medicare premiums than other beneficiaries next year, as the government takes a small but significant step to help the financially ailing program remain viable over the long term.

  • Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006
    By Aaron E. Carroll, M.D. | The Indianapolis Star
    The new uninsured statistics released recently by the U.S. Census provide a sobering reminder of the failures of the U.S. health-care system. In Indiana the number of uninsured has risen to 871,000: Nearly one of every seven residents lacks coverage. Even for those lucky enough to be insured, ever-skimpier private policies helped push an estimated 28,000 Indiana families into medical bankruptcy in 2001.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2006
    Montpelier, VT The Washington-Orange-Lamoille Labor Council became the first in Vermont to endorse HR 676, single payer universal health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Representative Bernie Sanders, that state's only member of the US House of Representatives, is among the 75 co-sponsors of HR 676.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    By Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle | Thursday, August 31
    Powerful forces have been shaping the new mandated health care insurance bill being developed in the Statehouse in Massachusetts. I was reading a news article this week about health care lobbying in our state legislature, and was astounded by the sums of money being spent by special interest groups to ensure that the new bill will protect their specific interests; i.e. their profits.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    Editorial | Rutland Herald, VT | September 3, 2006
    A single-payer health care system would save the state $51 million a year, according to a new study carried out for the Legislature and released last week. It would achieve these savings by reducing the wasteful administrative costs that burden the present system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    By Drs. David Iverson and Elinor Christiansen | Rocky Mountain News | September 4, 2006
    The new uninsured statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau provide a sobering reminder of the failures of the U.S. health-care system. Here in Colorado the number of uninsured has risen to 788,000: nearly 1 of every 5 residents lacks coverage. Even for those lucky enough to be insured, ever-skimpier private policies helped push an estimated 14,000 Colorado families into medical bankruptcy in 2001. As physicians who face our state's health-care crisis day in and day out, we support a single-payer "Medicare for All" system for Colorado and for the nation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    By PAUL KRUGMAN | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times | Published: September 4, 2006
    Let me tell you about two government-financed health care programs. One, the Veterans Health Administration, is a stunning success -- but the administration and Republicans in Congress refuse to build on that success, because it doesn't fit their conservative agenda. The other, Medicare Advantage, is a clear failure, but it's expanding rapidly thanks to large subsidies the administration rammed through Congress in 2003.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    At state conventions in August, the North Dakota, Delaware, and Washington State AFL-CIOs have all endorsed HR 676, single payer national healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). This brings to seven the number of state labor federations that have endorsed the Conyers legislation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    Vermont News - WCAX.com | August 30, 2006
    Vermont could offer health coverage to all its residents and spend $51 million less a year on health care under a single-payer system, according to a legislative consultant's report released Tuesday.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    By George H. Lesser | The Washington Times | Published August 16, 2006
    I have problems with our health insurance "provider," as I suppose some of you reading this do as well.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    By Louis Porter | Vermont Press Bureau | August 30, 2006
    A Legislative study released Tuesday concludes that Vermont could save money by adopting a single-payer health care system.

  • Posted on Friday, September 1, 2006
    By DOUGLAS WALLER | Time Magazine | Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006
    Until the early 1990s, care at VA hospitals was so substandard that Congress considered shutting down the entire system and giving ex-G.I.s vouchers for treatment at private facilities. Today it's a very different story. The VA runs the largest integrated health-care system in the country, with more than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes employing 14,800 doctors and 61,000 nurses.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
    Responding to newly-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that the number of uninsured Americans increased by 1.3 million in 2005, members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) condemned the sharp increase in the number of uninsured and called for a national health insurance program to provide comprehensive coverage to all Americans.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
    By Nancy Remsen | Burlington Free Press | August 30, 2006
    Supporters of a single-payer plan for all Vermonters have long argued it would produce significant administrative savings. This new analysis suggested reduced paperwork and processing at hospitals might shrink administrative expenses from 23.5 percent to 17 percent of total spending. Administrative expenses for doctors could drop from 27 percent of gross spending to 20 percent.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | USA Today Op-Ed
    Nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, and millions more have coverage so skimpy that a major illness would bankrupt them. Yet President Bush apparently thinks Americans are too well-insured.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006
    by MALCOLM GLADWELL | The New Yorker | Issue of 2006-08-28
    America’s private pension system is now in crisis. Over the past few years, American taxpayers have been put at risk of assuming tens of billions of dollars of pension liabilities from once profitable companies. Hundreds of thousands of retired steelworkers and airline employees have seen health-care benefits that were promised to them by their employers vanish. General Motors, the country’s largest automaker, is between forty and fifty billion dollars behind in the money it needs to fulfill its health-care and pension promises.

  • Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006
    By Maggie Mahar | The American Prospect
    While some progressives applaud efforts to force employers like Wal-Mart to take on greater responsibility for health care, others argue that our employer-based health care system is a failing relic of the past and that such gambits are actually counterproductive. Rather than trying to shore up our employer-based system, they say, we should seek to capitalize on that system's mounting woes to build support for replacing it with national health insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006
    By Bob Lodato | Bangor Daily News | Friday, August 25, 2006
    The Institute of Medicine considers the VHA's integrated health information system, which includes performance measures to improve quality, one of the best in the nation. Thus the quality issue is answered: a single-payer system, with good management, can provide quality care that beats the best private institutions.

  • Posted on Monday, August 28, 2006
    by Holly Dressel | Yes Magazine | Fall issue, 2006
    Should the United States implement a more inclusive, publicly funded health care system? That's a big debate throughout the country. But even as it rages, most Americans are unaware that the United States is the only country in the developed world that doesn't already have a fundamentally public--that is, tax-supported--health care system.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2006
    Nibbling around the edges with incremental change is not enough. We need courageous and thoughtful reform that provides what all Californians want -- affordable access to good-quality health care. This is what SB 840 achieves.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2006
    Carole Mikita Reporting | KSL | August 22nd, 2006
    Six community groups formed a coalition to bring awareness to what they call the healthcare crisis. The coalition called this event 'CHALK IT UP'; the chalk outlines of bodies are still on the sidewalk, each one representing a Utahn.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2006
    The sad joke is that plans like this are being marketed as "consumer driven." Healthcare consumers (that is to say, everybody) please take note: any so-called 'consumer-driven' health plan is really an anti-consumer hit and run. California State Senator Sheila Kuehl is offering a real alternative. Her bold legislative initiative would bring truly affordable healthcare to all.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2006
    The sad joke is that plans like this are being marketed as "consumer driven." Healthcare consumers (that is to say, everybody) please take note: any so-called 'consumer-driven' health plan is really an anti-consumer hit and run. California State Senator Sheila Kuehl is offering a real alternative. Her bold legislative initiative would bring truly affordable healthcare to all.

  • Posted on Monday, August 21, 2006
    The Salinas City Council this week endorsed a state Senate bill to provide universal health care for California residents.

  • Posted on Monday, August 14, 2006
    The United States will spend more than $2 trillion on health care this year, which is more than enough to pay for comprehensive health care for everyone.

  • Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006
    Poll after poll shows that's the way Americans want to go. Everybody knows the for-profit insurance companies will always try to squeeze out the biggest profit possible. It's the nature of the beast.

  • Posted on Friday, August 11, 2006
    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees announced plans yesterday to spend $60 million more a year to campaign for universal health coverage, to unionize 70,000 workers annually and to register 280,000 union members to vote.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 9, 2006
    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday signed into law a program to expand health care access to the estimated 82,000 uninsured city residents.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 8, 2006
    The United States seems to be adept at alleviating the pain caused by the health-care system--taking just enough action to forestall a system-wide crisis, but not enough to provide long-term solutions. Two recent examples of this are the changes to the Medicare payment structure for physicians and proposed solutions for the growing number of Americans without health insurance.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2006
    Nobody likes to hear the health care horror stories: emergency rooms clogged with sick people who otherwise can't see doctors, patients skipping treatments to afford food for their children, deaths from easily curable diseases that weren't detected. We don't want this in America.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2006
  • Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2006
  • Posted on Wednesday, August 2, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006
    While we in the United States spend approximately twice as much of our gross domestic product as other developed nations on health care, we remain the only industrialized country without universal coverage. Our problem worsens each year as insurance costs increase and gradual solutions have failed to make a dent in the problem.

  • Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, July 31, 2006
    On Saturday morning, June 10, an estimated 140 people joined elected representatives, public health officials, and health care providers at Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Louisville to hear the testimonials of individuals who understand the real costs of our national health care "meltdown."

  • Posted on Monday, July 24, 2006
    There is no way to make health care affordable and contain costs when the insurance and drug companies are siphoning off these kind of profits from the health care dollar, to say nothing of their "administrative costs" which include marketing and denying benefits in their "managed care plans." Health insurance company administrative costs are 10 times higher than the government-administered Medicare plan.

  • Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006
    Universal health coverage has become almost a universal goal across the political spectrum. There's a growing recognition that covering the uninsured – besides directly helping millions of people – would be good for business, the economy and the taxpayers and premium-payers who now pick up the tab.

  • Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006
    Like most states, Massachusetts has a serious health care crisis. The number of uninsured is rising (state estimates are as high as 750,000 people), costs are the highest in the country, and bargaining for contracts is often stalemated over employers' cost shifting demands.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006
    It was obvious that President Stern is as troubled about the out of control costs of health insurance as any American. It was also obvious President Stern has no constructive solution. He spoke of the health care crisis in America without offering a single constructive idea as to how this crisis can be addressed. Instead he blames politicians and business for their lack of leadership on this issue. He also belittles the concept of a single-payer system while complaining that American business can't compete with countries that have single-payer systems.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006
    We believe there should be a universal, government-financed system of national health insurance that will make health care available to everyone. This country has the financial means to do this; in fact, many studies show that we can do this without spending any more than now.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006
    [Rep.] Conyers cites a groundswell of grassroots support for national health care, mostly because carmakers and other large corporations say they just can no longer afford skyrocketing health care costs for their employees. "Collective bargaining is taking it on the chin" when it comes to health care benefits, Conyers said in an interview.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 12, 2006
    On Monday, July 10, the San Francisco Labor Council unanimously passed the following resolution in support of California Senate Bill 840, the California Health Insurance Reliability Act and House Resolution 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act.

  • Posted on Monday, July 10, 2006
  • Posted on Friday, July 7, 2006
    Two thousand delegates to the 34th International Convention of the United Auto Workers (UAW), meeting in June, strongly endorsed a single payer health care system and called for passage of legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers that would implement such a system.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 29, 2006
    The headlines read that rich Americans aren't as healthy as poor Brits, despite our spending twice as much money on health care as they do. Our newborns die at the highest rates of any rich country, even with our ever-advancing medical technologies.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006
    America's health care system, despite the efforts of millions of dedicated health care professionals, is broken. Frankly, nothing but national health insurance makes sense.

  • Posted on Monday, June 26, 2006
    Among the blunt assessments offered by Wall Street analysts at the event: the commercial insurance industry has given up trying to control health costs; much of the enrollment growth in the private plan side of Medicare is in plans that do little if anything to actually try to manage care; Medicare drug plans are going to set premiums for 2007 with basically no clue about whether they are running profits or losses in 2006; and starting in 2008, those plans are likely to cover a much more limited range of drugs.

  • Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006
    "While there are many intricate details to be worked out, the fundamental vision behind national health insurance is simple: We want a system of health-care coverage that will enable every man, woman and child of the [British Virgin Islands] to get the health care that they need," Chief Minister Orlando Smith said.

  • Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006
    Psychiatrists need to "tirelessly advocate" for a single-payer, universal health care system so every American has access to care as a right, not a privilege.

  • Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006
    Like most discussions of medicine, the article was mostly about money. Americans who have medical insurance get it from private companies, often as a benefit of employment. The poor and the elderly are sometimes covered by government plans. About 15 per cent of the population — 45.8 million Americans — don’t have any coverage at all.

  • Posted on Friday, June 23, 2006
    The real culprits are our neighbors to the north: If only those stubborn Canadians would abandon their nationalized health system and migrate to the United States, the size and better health of their population could reduce our group rates for months or years to come.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006
    So private payers, who already pay for Medicaid and Medicare through their tax dollars, have to pay again. Why not abandon the charade, put all the programs under one roof - the U.S. government's - and presumably save a lot with a single bureaucracy and economies of scale?

  • Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006
    New York Times Editorial: "In an ideal world, America would join the overwhelming majority of developed countries and hammer out some kind of national health care system. Failing such a sudden and unlikely onset of sanity, creative solutions are needed."

  • Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006
    Since 2000, employer-based health premiums have increased a staggering 73 percent, far outstripping increases in wages (15 percent) and inflation (14 percent). In 2004, this country spent $1.9 trillion on health costs, or 16 percent of the gross national product.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006
    A look at the raw numbers shows there is the potential for huge savings. For example, a hip operation that costs $50,000 stateside checks in at $18,000 when performed in India – and that cost includes travel expenses for two people.

  • Posted on Monday, June 12, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, June 12, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, June 12, 2006
  • Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2006
  • Posted on Thursday, June 8, 2006
  • Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2006
  • Posted on Wednesday, June 7, 2006
  • Posted on Tuesday, June 6, 2006
  • Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2006
    Despite complaints about long waits for services, Canadians are healthier than their U.S. neighbors and receive more consistent medical care, according to a report released on Tuesday.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 1, 2006
    To find the action near you, obtain the video, or a complete list of nationwide activities, go to www.healthcare-now.org or call 1-800-453-1305.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
    You can add Canadians to the list of foreigners who are healthier than Americans.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 30, 2006
  • Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2006
    The UAW has long advocated single-payer national health insurance as the fairest and most cost-efficient way to provide affordable, quality, comprehensive health care to every American regardless of income.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, May 15, 2006
  • Posted on Friday, May 12, 2006
    If we had a single-payer health care system, small business owners would be off the hook. Health care funds would come from a modest payroll tax, and would be administered by the government, at either a state or a national level. It would be like improved Medicare for all. Medicare's administrative costs are 3 percent: the current system of health insurance consumes 30 percent of the health care dollar.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 11, 2006
    On February 20, after almost 10 years as editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), I was fired without cause.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 10, 2006
    Ask a doctor what's wrong with America's healthcare system, and be prepared to pull up a chair. You'll hear a litany of complaints about Kafka-esque bureaucracies, litigious patients, unreasonable insurance companies, too few nurses, never enough time, too much testing and not enough talk. But complaining gets us nowhere--we need solutions. Here are my top seven reforms for health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 9, 2006
    Medicare for everybody makes the most sense. If you want continuity of care, if you want choice, Medicare is the only way to go.

  • Posted on Monday, May 8, 2006
    Despite solid evidence that turning Medicare and Medicaid over to HMOs raises the costs of these programs and damages quality of care, politicians of both parties continue to support the further privatization of both programs.

  • Posted on Monday, May 8, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, May 8, 2006
    Quentin Young, M.D.: We at the Physicians for a National Health Program advocate a national single-payer health system. Regarding the notion that this country can't have such a program, I defend the argument that we can't have anything but.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006
    Tomorrow begins the fourth Cover the Uninsured Week, a nonpartisan, national effort to urge U.S. leaders to make health coverage for Americans their top priority and to facilitate the enrollment of uninsured people who are eligible for subsidized health-care programs.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006
  • Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006
    Lorraine has no health insurance. We didn't know that. In fact, we'd been content to believe that her consulting business was going as well as she said it was. In her late forties now, she's a former accountant who never could find another decent job--also a news junkie, an avid reader, and an energetic volunteer in a number of worthy causes. But it turns out shefs been struggling with the cell phone bill and the rent.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 4, 2006
  • Posted on Wednesday, May 3, 2006
  • Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006
    National health care spending is climbing by more than 7 percent per year, outpacing economic growth by a substantial margin. As health care costs have climbed, so has the number of people without health insurance in the United States, even during a period of overall economic growth.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006
    In Shredding the Social Contract, John Geyman examines the development of the largest social insurance program in the country\Medicare\identifies the multitude of influences that have led to the current state of the Medicare program, and suggests that national health insurance (NHI) may be the only solution to its problems.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2006
  • Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
    Simple, buyers don't shop for health care. Sick people don't negotiate with doctors or hospitals or drug companies. They don't care what it costs; insurance or the government will pay. This vulnerability has been exploited and hijacked by greedy doctors, drug companies, insurers, personal injury lawyers, HMOs, and hospitals. About 50% of health care funds never even get to doctors or hospitals -- which themselves run bloated operations.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
    How does a single-payer system cut costs so dramatically? Such a system means no competing insurance corporations, no advertising, practically no billing or collecting, no stockholder profits. Usually it also means more regional health planning to avoid wasteful duplication of equipment but adding needed services.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006
    Bowing to public pressure at home and opposition in Ottawa, Alberta has shelved its controversial health-care reforms that would have allowed doctors to collect paycheques in both the private and public systems and patients to buy private insurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
    Dr. McGuire was the subject of a Page One article in The Wall Street Journal today that looked at how an elite group of companies is getting rich from the nation's fraying health-care system. Many of them are middlemen who process the paperwork, fill the pill bottles and otherwise connect the pieces of a $2 trillion industry.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
    A single-payer system would increase access to care for the uninsured and the underinsured, including the working poor. It would lower total health costs, in part by replacing 50 different state Medicaid programs and umpteen insurers with one system. This approach has the potential to improve quality and lower costs by improving care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006
    Unrealized gains on Dr. McGuire's options totaled $1.6 billion, according to UnitedHealth's proxy statement released this month. Even celebrated CEOs such as General Electric Co.'s Jack Welch or International Business Machines Corp.'s Louis Gerstner never were granted so much during their time at the top.

  • Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006
  • Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006
  • Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2006