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, October 15, 2007
    by David Himmelstein, MD | Posted by CommonHealth | WBUR 90.9
    The Connector merely serves as a glorified insurance broker, signing people up for coverage with plans like Blue Cross and Harvard Pilgrim. So on top of the 4% to 5% cut of every premium dollar that the Connector takes, Blue Cross and Harvard Pilgrim take their 15%. (I can't tell you what Tufts' share is -- their annual report for 2006 left out the figures -- though it does let slip that its net worth rose by $96 million even as enrollment fell).

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007
    By PHYLLIS BROWN | Napa Valley Register
    Single-payer healthcare, as would be established by HR 676 in Congress and SB 840 in California, is the only effective, genuine cure for our current healthcare nightmare. It is the only health reform that is universal, that assures uniform, comprehensive benefits for all, that guarantees patients' choice of doctor or medical facility, and that ends the routine, callous denial of care by insurance companies. It's also the only reform that restores health security for American families by bringing an end to ever-rising insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and rising drug and hospital charges.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2007
    By David Lazarus | Los Angeles Times
    I write a lot about healthcare reform. Now it's personal. I was diagnosed this past week with diabetes. As of Friday, I was injecting myself with insulin, something I'll be doing four or five times a day, every day, for the rest of my life. Without the injections, I'll likely die.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2007
    Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
    There is something in the air besides autumn. I've been waiting for readers to take me to task for the Gray Matters of Aug. 4, in which I suggested that all of us - young and old - needed a single-payer universal health plan, Medicare for All, even if it meant raising some taxes.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 9, 2007
    By ROBERT PEAR | The New York Times
    Tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been victims of deceptive sales tactics and had claims improperly denied by private insurers that run the system's huge new drug benefit program and offer other private insurance options encouraged by the Bush administration, a review of scores of federal audits has found.

  • Posted on Friday, October 5, 2007
    By David Montero | Rocky Mountain News
    There may be five proposals being considered to reform health care in Colorado, but only one seemed to satisfy most of the 150 gathered at the Millennium Hotel on Thursday night. That proposal was the so- called single-payer system.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 4, 2007
    Allyson Pollock | The Guardian
    The film is very much made for a US audience. Moore does not go into the huge changes that are taking place in European healthcare - and the new, privatising project going on here. It might surprise many British people who see the film to know that, for example, the British government has for years been in contact with Kaiser Permanente, one of the big US healthcare corporations, and is actively trying to remodel the NHS along American lines. All the reforms carried out by the government over the past few years have been aimed at that.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 3, 2007
    Leonard Rodberg | Newsday | Letters to the Editor
    These plans offer consumers only a "choice" of health plan, something that few if any consumers care about. What they don't offer is the choice consumers want: the ability to choose their doctors and their hospitals. Instead, the private insurers on whom these plans depend increasingly limit just such choices.

  • Posted on Monday, October 1, 2007
    By Marianne Mattera | Managing Editor | MedPage Today
    Presidential candidates might consider proposing a health care reform package that relies on a single-payer system, if results of a MedPage Today poll reflect the country's mood.

  • Posted on Monday, October 1, 2007
    By Kathy Waller | The Coloradoan
    Let's repeat that for emphasis. The single-payer plan will provide coverage for everyone and save more than a billion dollars for Colorado taxpayers. The other plans cost millions of dollars and still leave hundreds of thousands of people uninsured.

  • Posted on Monday, October 1, 2007
    Submitted by Dan Wilson | Best Syndication
    Michael Moore visited Oprah Winfrey on Thursday to talk about the health insurance industry. His movie Sicko has stirred a debate, and even Oprah admitted that it opened her eyes to the issue. The movie is a warning to the vast majority of Americans who believe they are protected because they have health insurance. The movie does not concern the 50 million without coverage.

  • Posted on Friday, September 28, 2007
    By PHILIP M. BOFFEY | The New York Times
    Rudy Giuliani has used the "s-word" to denounce legislation that would enlarge a children's health insurance program and to besmirch Hillary Clinton's health plan. Mitt Romney has added a xenophobic twist, calling the Clinton plan "European-style socialized medicine," while ignoring its similarities to a much-touted health care reform he championed as governor of Massachusetts. Other conservative critics have wielded the "s-word" to deplore efforts to expand government health care programs or regulation over the private health care markets.

  • Posted on Friday, September 28, 2007
    The Kansas City Star ran a series of articles, editorials, and op-eds on single payer and other health care reform proposals this summer -- here are two pro-single payer letters from their readership.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007
    By Jamie Court | The Los Angeles Times
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez claim they are close to a deal on healthcare reform that will require every Californian to prove they have a private health insurance policy -- but does not cap how much insurers can charge for it. Hillary Clinton's health plan, released last week, would require all Americans to have health insurance, also with no cap on premiums.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007
    by Michele Swenson | Colorado Springs Independent
    The Colorado Health Services single-payer proposal is the only one of four recently evaluated by the Lewin Group (asked by the state to develop and analyze health-care expansion proposals) projected to save substantial money and insure everyone. Single-payer saves money by eliminating wasteful administrative costs of multiple insurers, and permitting negotiation of bulk rates for pharmaceutical and durable medical goods. Estimated overall net savings is $1.4 billion.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007
    The doctor and nurse groups aired TV commercials yesterday challenging the health plans of the Democratic frontrunners, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. The ads ran only in New England and the Washington area during MSNBC's broadcast of a Democratic candidates' debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2007
    Quentin D. Young, MD and Don McCanne, MD | Chicago Tribune | Letter to the Editor
    Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton presents us with yet another health-reform proposal based on the fatal strategy of keeping private insurance companies in the driver’s seat. Her proposal won’t cover the 47 million uninsured, or even guarantee that people who have coverage today will have it when they fall ill and are unable to work.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007
    Don McCanne, M.D. | The New York Times | Letters to the Editor
    As long as we continue to build on our current fragmented system of financing health care through a multitude of private plans and public programs, we will never get a handle on rising health care costs. The administrative efficiencies of a single national health insurance program would free up enough funds to pay for care for the uninsured and under-insured. But reducing administrative waste alone is not enough.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007
    H. DAVID PRENSKY | The Palm Beach Post | Letter to the Editor
    Eliminating more than 1,000 insurance companies with their staffs of clerical workers, advertising and lobbying expenses, dividends to shareholders and large CEO compensation would save the system $400 billion. That is enough to cover every person in the United States. It doesn't call for adopting a system based on Sweden's but on simply expanding our own functioning Medicare. That system, initiated for those 65 and older 42 years ago, would now cover all.

  • Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007
    New York Times | Editorial
    One of the enduring frustrations of presidential elections is that candidates and their parties sound like Tweedledum and Tweedledee on many issues. In 2008, when it comes to health care, which is emerging as a defining domestic issue, voters will find stark differences in philosophy and commitment between Democrats and Republicans.

  • Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007
    by Alison Landes | Palm Beach Post
    Under HR 676, all medically necessary services are covered - primary care, inpatient care, outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, long-term care, mental-health services, dentistry, eye care, chiropractic and substance-abuse treatment. Patients get to choose their physicians, providers, hospitals, clinics and practices with no co-pays or deductibles, and private health insurers are prohibited from selling coverage duplicating these benefits.

  • Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007
    By Morton Mintz | Nieman Watchdog | COMMENTARY
    Substantial mainstream reporting on single-payer health insurance should have been triggered--or so one might think--by a succession of studies over the years that establish that Canada's health-care system saves or improves large numbers of lives while not wasting money on administrative expenses and fat executive-pay packages. Almost without fail, Canada gets higher ratings than the U.S.

  • Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007
    BY ROSE ANN DEMORO | LA Daily News
    Under the whip of California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and Senate President Don Perata, with the active prodding of some labor and interest groups desperate to settle for any health care legislation no matter how bad it is, the California Legislature last week passed a fundamentally flawed bill that just might set back real reform for years.

  • Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007
    By Barbara Ehrenreich | The Huffington Post
    Bow your heads and raise the white flags. After facing down the Third Reich, the Japanese Empire, the U.S.S.R., Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, the United States has met an enemy it dares not confront -- the American private health insurance industry.

  • Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007
  • Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007
    J. David Gaines, M.D., FACP | Wall Street Journal | Letter to the Editor
    The only solution is to eliminate the HMOs and go to a single-payer system that does not have to be administered by the government. The savings would increase reimbursements to health-care providers (and, it is hoped, stem the annual loss of primary care physicians) so that there would be greater access to care for more patients with fewer hassles.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
    By Annette Fuentes | USA Today
    The face-off between the president and Congress over whether to expand coverage for children highlights a larger issue: It’s about time that the nation has an honest discussion about health care reform.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
    I just read your Wall Street Journal article written on Sept. 13, 2007, titled "Sick Sob Stories." You begin by talking about Tracy's role in 'SiCKO,' and claim the bone marrow transplant denied by our insurer would not have saved him. You also accuse me of "sneering" over our situation.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    The pundits might have it right on this one. Hillary Clinton did learn a lesson from her 1994 fiasco on healthcare reform. Unfortunately for most of us who don't have an Inc. after our name or a private jet to cart us around, it was the wrong lesson.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2007
    Merton C. Bernstein | New York Times | Letters to the Editor
    Our sole hope for funding is to make better use of over $2 trillion already being spent by business and governments. Medicare-for-all would save literally hundreds of billions of dollars on nonbenefit charges by simplifying the processing of billions of billings for insurers and health care providers.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007
    by John Nichols | The Nation
    The former first lady, who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 1990s by responding to the demand for a sane and humane system to deliver affordable medical care to all Americans with a plan to drown the ailing in a bureaucracy designed to augment the profits of the nation's largest insurance companies, is back with an equally heavy-handed and unappealing "reform" proposal.

  • Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein | The Boston Globe
    IN 1966 - just before Medicare and Medicaid were launched - 47 million Americans were uninsured. By 1975, the United States had reached an all time low of 21 million without coverage. Now, according to the Census Bureau's latest figures, we're back where we started, with 47 million uninsured in 2006 - up 2.2 million since 2005. But this time, most of the uninsured are neither poor nor elderly.

  • Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007
    Don McCanne, M.D. | California Progress Report
    In a classic example of political irony, Democrats are abandoning their preferred option, single payer reform, in order to reach a compromise with the Republicans and the private insurance industry. They have crafted a model that they believe does not repeat the mistake of the Massachusetts reform program. California Democrats proudly proclaim that they will not require individuals who cannot afford private insurance to be covered by a program that is being inappropriately characterized as universal.

  • Posted on Friday, September 14, 2007
    By Louis Porter | Rutland Herald
    U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., has introduced a bill that would give five states money to try out programs providing for universal health care coverage -- an experiment he hopes will show that so-called single-payer government insurance is "the cost-effective and moral thing to do."

  • Posted on Friday, September 14, 2007
    By Irfan Dhalla, MD | CMAJ | July 3, 2007; 177 (1). doi:10.1503/cmaj.061064. In this article, I will argue that Canada faces a sustainability paradox: despite ever-increasing expenditures, both in absolute dollars and as a percentage of the national income, increases in overall spending on health care in Canada are sustainable for the foreseeable future.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007
    By Susan Okie, M.D. | New England Journal of Medicine | Perspective | Volume 357:525-529
    For recent immigrants -- especially the estimated 12 million who are here illegally -- seeking health care often involves daunting encounters with a fragmented, bewildering, and hostile system. The reason most immigrants come here is to work and earn money; on average, they are younger and healthier than native-born Americans, and they tend to avoid going to the doctor. Many work for employers who don't offer health insurance, and they can't afford insurance premiums or medical care. They face language and cultural barriers, and many illegal immigrants fear that visiting a hospital or clinic may draw the attention of immigration officials.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 12, 2007
    By Timm Herdt | Ventura County Star
    The California Nurses Association opposes any healthcare reform that falls short of blowing up the private insurance-based system and replacing it with a Medicare-style system in which everyone would be insured by the government. It's not this union's style to play nice or to compromise. Whether it's organizing, negotiating, advocating for patients' rights or fighting for political change, the CNA engages in what it calls "intelligent, focused, strategic militancy."

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007
    Mike Carroll | Mansfield News Journal
    After a wonderful Labor Day weekend I got to wondering what would happen if all workers would demand something be done about the health care crisis we face in this country. How long would it take for our elected leaders to fix this problem if faced with the possibility of losing their positions?

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 11, 2007
    By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times
    Private insurance companies participating in Medicare have been allowed to keep tens of millions of dollars that should have gone to consumers, and the Bush administration did not properly audit the companies or try to recover money paid in error, Congressional investigators say in a new report.

  • Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007
    Aaron E. Carroll, M.D. | The Indianapolis Star
    One year ago, when the U.S. Census Bureau released its figures on Americans lacking health insurance in 2005, I wrote a piece here describing the sad state of the health care system in America. Recently, the 2006 numbers were released, and things have only gotten worse.

  • Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007
    New York Times | Six Letters to the editor
    David Brooks (“The New Social Contract,” column, Sept. 7) dismisses a single-payer health insurance system on the grounds that Americans “will not likely embrace a system that forces them to defer to the central government when it comes to making fundamental health care choices.” Yet the federal government’s Medicare program has strong political support.

  • Posted on Friday, September 7, 2007
    By Rep. Dennis Kucinich | Modern Healthcare
    The real problem, I submit, is that healthcare in the U.S. is delivered by a system that is controlled and directed by for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies whose financial prosperity depends on providing as little healthcare as possible. We can no longer treat healthcare as a marketplace commodity for sale to those who can afford it. We must recognize that the U.S. stands alone among major industrialized nations in its failure to ensure adequate healthcare for its citizens is the problem.

  • Posted on Friday, September 7, 2007
    By Pius Kamau | The Denver Post
    We watched the running of the bulls in Pamplona from the safety of a balcony off a physician's office. A crashing crowd of thousands and half a dozen bulls ran down the narrow street below us. Then we saw a bull make an about-turn and attack several people, among them Lawrence and Michael Lenahan, brothers from Philadelphia. One suffered a deep wound to his buttocks; the other a less serious leg wound. Both required hospitalization. I visited the ultra-modern University Hospital where the Lenahans were taken, a facility where heart and kidney transplants are routinely performed. I believe their care was as good as that offered in many American trauma centers.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007
    Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) is touring California to gather support for a state-run, single-payer health care system, the Fresno Bee reports.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007
    By Deborah Burger | Los Angeles Times
    In alliance with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic leaders of the state Legislature, led by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez are rushing to enact a substandard health reform plan that will not reduce the health insecurity of California families.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 6, 2007
    The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is the ninth international union to endorse HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). The union represents 720,000 active and retired members.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2007
    By Mark Gruenberg | Workday Minnesota
    Labor unions will make achievement of affordable, universal health care the centerpiece of the 2008 election drive, elevating the issue to the top of the national domestic agenda, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney announced.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2007
    Excerpt from
    Dr. Ana Malinow | President, Physicians for a National Health Care Program
    We already outspend every industrialized country by almost twice as much per person, but our outcomes are nowhere near twice as good as everybody else's. The problem with the way our system is funded is that 30% off the top automatically goes to administration and profit.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2007
    By Arian Campo-Flores |
    It's a familiar story: America's emergency rooms are in crisis. But it's far worse than you think. How does the ER prepare for a terrorist attack when its medics can barely cope with the routine flow of mayhem on a Saturday night? A worried doctor traveled to Washington to sound the alarms

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2007
    Ray Clasen | The News Press | Fort Myers, Florida
    Forget the hodgepodge of ideas that have been floated in different states on this issue; the only solution to this problem that makes sense is a single-payer universal health system administered by the federal government, a sort of Medicare for everyone. The argument that the government cannot be trusted to efficiently administer such a plan is ludicrous. The government already effectively runs Social Security and Medicare. Other large governments, for example Canada and Great Britain, administer universal health care programs, and do so quite efficiently.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2007
    George Monbiot | The Guardian
    There is one set of costs the hospital cannot cut: the money it must pay every year to the private financiers. In September 1997 the government declared that these payments would be legally guaranteed: beds, doctors, nurses and managers could be sacrificed, but not the annual donation to the Fat Cats Protection League. The great free market experiment looks more like a corporate welfare scheme.

  • Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007
    By Benjamin Day | The Boston Globe
    There is little evidence that eroding safety net programs actually helps improve participation in the labor market or the healthcare market. This does, however, succeed in punishing the poor, throwing low-income communities back on their own resources, and increasing the stigma upon safety net recipients. In the case of the new [Massachusetts] health law, this is a particularly meaningless and insulting exercise, as the law itself provides stiff financial penalties for any who are deemed able to afford health insurance but fail to enroll in a public or a private plan.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007
    Tom Chorneau | San Francisco Chronicle | Sacramento Bureau
    As voter dissatisfaction with the state's health care system grows, increasing interest is emerging in moving to a state-run, single-payer program, according to a Field Poll released today.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 30, 2007
    By David Karwacki | The Salt Lake Tribune
    For more than 40 years Canada's Medicare has improved the quality of life for tens of millions of people, liberated them from the threat of unaffordable medical bills and made it easier for them to pursue their own definition of happiness.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
    By Derrick Z. Jackson | Boston Globe Columnist
    With poll numbers at 1 or 2 percent, the Ohio congressman is the nudge kicking at the knees of the Democratic Party to offer more than incremental change. He deserves more attention than he gets. On healthcare, he says what Americans believe, even as his rivals rake in contributions from the industry.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007
    Terry Gossard | The Charleston Gazette
    The pursuit of profit has always been the principal motivating driver that sustains the American economy. Few would argue this because it strives to provide an economic lifestyle essential to America’s work force, small businesses and large corporations and the overall viability of local, state and federal government. However, the delivery of basic health care to all Americans should be removed from the "profit equation" at least as we relate it to the corporate bottom line.

  • Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007
    By David Lazarus | LA Times Staff Writer
    "It's a flawed plan because it's the most expensive way that we could extend health coverage to everyone," said Don McCanne, a senior health policy fellow with Physicians for a National Health Program, a group of 14,000 doctors who advocate a government-run insurance system similar to programs found in all other industrialized democracies.

  • Posted on Friday, August 24, 2007
    By Kenneth Brummel-Smith | Tallahassee Democrat
    Michael Moore's recent documentary, "Sicko," has increased the heat on the discussion of health care. It's high time Americans and their representatives took a hard look. If we did a physical on our health care system, we'd have to say it is not doing too well. And the prognosis is grim.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2007
    BY JAMES C. MITCHINER | The Ann Arbor News
    The one approach we haven't tried - because of fear, complacency, politics, apathy, or all of the above - is to wring out the inefficiencies in financing, while maintaining our basic fee-for-service delivery model. This is the basic premise behind single-payer national health insurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007
    By Kevin Friedl | National Journal Group Inc.
    A new ad campaign running in Iowa seeks to put universal health care back in the spotlight and into the speeches of the three leading Democratic contenders. The National Nurses Organizing Committee, a group representing some 45,000 nurses nationwide, and Physicians for a National Health Program launched the series of minute-long ads last week in a buy that included two airings during the Democratic debate in Des Moines on Sunday.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the BC Health Coalition. | Press Release
    Why Wait? Public Solutions to Cure Surgical Waitlists looks at groundbreaking projects in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario that have significantly reduced wait times for procedures such as hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and others.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    News that some doctors in South Florida will now be charging patients annual "administrative fees" like credit card companies or banks is a sober reminder of how out of control our increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system has become, and in need of genuine, comprehensive reform.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    Editorial | Des Moines Register
    What's needed: a president with the vision and passion to reform this country's health-care system the way Johnson and Congress eventually did. It's up to Iowans - who are in the unique position of being visited by droves of presidential candidates - to demand that kind of vision and passion from our visitors.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    In 2004, General Motors announced that liabilities for employee health care topped $60 billion. In November 2005, GM laid off 30,000 employees. In January 2006, Ford cut 25,000 jobs. In February, Chrysler announced that it faces $21.1 billion in future retiree health-care liabilities. The majority of the obligation is not funded.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    Editorial | New York Times
    Many Americans are under the delusion that we have “the best health care system in the world,” as President Bush sees it, or provide the “best medical care in the world,” as Rudolph Giuliani declared last week. That may be true at many top medical centers. But the disturbing truth is that this country lags well behind other advanced nations in delivering timely and effective care.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    by Johnathon S. Ross, M.D. | Toledo City Paper
    Every day in the St. V's clinic, I see a near miss. Every week I see a wounding. Every month or so I see a death due to a sickness care non-system that leaves 50,000 Lucas County citizens, more than a million Ohioans, more than 45 million Americans uninsured, and all of us unsure if healthcare will be there for us if we need it.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    By Robert Gumbiner | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Michael Moore's film, Sicko, begins to expose the problem -- the lack of available health care insurance in the U.S. -- but does he go far enough? The number of people in the U.S. who lack health insurance is part of the problem. This number includes people who have no health insurance, people who are under insured and people who may be covered but don't have access to health care because of the lack of available health care providers or providers who refuse to cooperate with government plans such as Medicare or Medicaid.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2007
    By Danielle Martin | The Toronto Star
    It's as if the CMA were embarrassed about this aspect of its policy and decided not to highlight it in public statements and surveys. And embarrassed it should be. There is a compelling body of evidence against parallel private insurance in the Canadian context. There is also an inherent conflict of interest for physicians working in dual practice since, as the public would understandably perceive, these physicians could have an interest in promoting longer wait times in the public system to increase use of the more lucrative private system.

  • Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007
    One thing we found interesting: when we asked the two men our first question -- to name the one thing they'd change about the health care system -- they both began with the exact same words: The financing. And then they diverged.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2007
  • Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2007
    Dr. Laurence Jacobs | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle | Guest essayist
    The movie Sicko has stimulated discussion of health care costs and access in the United States. Our patchwork nonsystem of competing health care insurances, with its profit motive driving denial of care and of physician choice, is clearly failing. It needs to be replaced by a more rational and humane method of assuring universal coverage and care for all our citizens.

  • Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2007
    By Hedda Haning | The Charleston Gazette
    Co-payments and deductibles raise consumers' out-of-pocket costs substantially higher. Claims are denied. Many insured do not get the care they need, and the uninsured are totally out in the cold, but often invisible to the community.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2007
    by Paul Sorum, MD | Daily Gazette
    You should see Michael Moore's SICKO. You will both laugh and cry. You will feel disgusted both with our health care system and with Moore. It is, in Moore's typical style, outrageous, one-sided, and contrived. But its fundamental message--that the private health insurance industry is dangerous to our health--will resonate loudly with patients and physicians.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2007
    Consumer Reports | Summary of Key Findings
    Our principal finding is that the underinsured represent a large segment of the American population between the ages of 18 to 64: 29% of all persons with health plans, and 24% of the population as a whole. Although the travails of the uninsured have been widely-documented, our observation is that the uninsured represent only one segment of those lacking adequate health insurance. When we add together the uninsured (16%) with the underinsured (24%), we find two-fifths of a nation burdened by health care jitters.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2007
    Roger Bybee | The American Prospect
    The American Prospect talks to the co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program about why a single-payer system remains not only the most desirable reform goal in the United States, but an achievable one.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2007
    Drew Richardson | The News Leader | Columnist
    Although many plans on the table boast of universal health care, some merely have all citizens having some form of mandated health insurance. Only one piece of currently proposed federal legislation advocates universal and unrestricted access to health care. There is a big difference between having health insurance and having universal access to health care. The latter is what is referred to as a single-payer health care system and is essentially what Canada, Great Britain, France and Cuba (depicted in Moore's film) have.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2007
    Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
    In addition, while surveying the possibilities for universal health coverage, most of the press and even the authoritative Kaiser Family Foundation's new health care Web site, have failed to mention the only legislative proposal, endorsed by Kucinich and Moore, for a single-payer universal health plan: H.R. 676, the National Health Insurance Act, or "the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act."

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2007
    Judy Dasovich, M.D | The Springfield News-Leader | Ozarks Opinions
    Here is the typical scenario: People get sick, then they can't work so they lose their jobs and their medical insurance. They have a hard time paying their bills. Under these circumstances, $30 per visit for only the basics becomes prohibitive. These are the patients who come to us after finding that the Jordan Valley safety net is full of large holes. They may not have money but they're still sick.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2007
    By Stephen J. Bergman | The Boston Globe
    SOON AFTER HMO/managed care came to Massachusetts in the late '80s, I got a call from a patient I had admitted to the 28-day alcohol unit at the hospital. He said that he was being discharged after three days because that was all that the HMO would now pay for alcoholism. He said the HMO representative told him to go out and get drunk again and they would readmit him.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2007
    “Clearly there has been progress, and we can see many areas where jurisdictions are doing more and reporting in more accessible ways to citizens,” said Dr. Jeanne Besner, Chair, Health Council of Canada. “Reporting wait time information to citizens on the Internet has been no small task. These information systems have considerable potential to improve patients’ experiences with waits for care.”

  • Posted on Friday, August 3, 2007
    My name is Johnathon Ross. I am an internist. I practice and teach internal medicine at St Vincent Mercy Medical Center and have done so for the past 27 years. I am the medical director for the outpatient adult clinic which serves a center city population that includes a substantial number of poor and uninsured individuals. Every day I see a near miss. Every week I see a wounding. Every month or so I see a death due to our sickness care non-system that leaves 50,000 Lucas County citizens, over a million Ohioans and over 45 million Americans uninsured.

  • Posted on Friday, August 3, 2007
    David Felix, economist | Bangor Daily News
    This charge prompted me, an economist, to see the documentary. My conclusion? Moore is far less guilty of flawed economics and disregard of relevant facts than is Goodman. Moore is also straightforward about his values and ideology, whereas Goodman masks his as scientific economics. This impels me to defend my profession by exposing the falsity of his claims, and some of the salient facts that he ignores.

  • Posted on Friday, August 3, 2007
    Members of UAW local unions and regions across the country are working hard to win health care for all -- from passing resolutions and working with local coalitions to win statewide single-payer systems to getting state legislatures to endorse a proposed congressional bill that would extend Medicare coverage to all Americans.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2007
    Naomi Lakritz | Calgary Herald
    It is patently obvious they are standing up for their bank accounts, not their patients. That they are so eager to place patients at the mercy of insurance companies, whose subterfuges for skipping out on claims are well-documented in the U.S., shows their patients' best interests are the last priority.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2007
    By Prof. Gordon Guyatt | The Globe and Mail
    Investing in not-for-profit provision has a major advantage. For-profit providers need to earn a return -- typically 15 to 20% - for their investors. Non-profits can devote that money to patient care. That explains the findings from systematic studies comparing for-profit versus non-profit hospital and dialysis care in the U.S. Higher death rates from cutting corners in for-profit hospitals and dialysis facilities, higher charges to third-party payers in for-profit hospitals.

  • Posted on Friday, July 27, 2007
    By Robert Restuccia and Lydia Vaias | San Francisco Chronicle
    Drug companies care about what your doctor prescribes just as much as you do - and they're paying big money to find out. They are paying so much, in fact, that even though the vast majority of physicians disapprove of the sale of their personal prescribing data for marketing purposes, the American Medical Association persists in selling detailed physician information to the pharmaceutical industry. This data must be used for legitimate public health research - not brand promotion.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2007
    HENRY S. KAHN | Letter to the Editor | Atlanta Journal Constitution
    Don't be fooled by all the politicians claiming to support "universal" health care. If you read the fine print, most of their proposals dictate that everyone should buy a private health care card. What good is your card if it commits you to a $5,000 deductible and 50 percent co-pay before you receive any of your (limited) benefits?

  • Posted on Monday, July 23, 2007
    By LEO Weekly
    The red that progressive doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are seeing over the roughly 47 million uninsured Americans probably looks a lot like the blood-colored, "Sicko"-branded scrubs they wore Friday morning as they shouted, "I get sick!" in unison outside Baxter Avenue Theatres.

  • Posted on Monday, July 23, 2007
    By Jane Bryant Quinn | Newsweek
    Prepare to be terrorized, shocked, scared out of your wits. No, not by jihadists or dementors (you do read "Harry Potter," right?), but by the evil threat of ... universal health insurance! The more the presidential candidates talk it up, the wilder the warnings against it. Cover everyone? Wreck America? Do you know what care would cost?

  • Posted on Monday, July 23, 2007
    By Kathryn Bourgoin | Bangor Daily News
    Our country has had publicly funded education since 1643, when the first public school was started in Dedham, Massachusetts. Most people think education is a basic right, so why isn’t healthcare?

  • Posted on Monday, July 23, 2007
    Sau Friedman | Newsday
    Beware the front groups that claim they would help save Medicare or promote health care reform. More than likely they're saving or promoting themselves - at the expense of Medicare and your health.

  • Posted on Friday, July 20, 2007
    By USW International President Leo W. Gerard
    Michael Moore, the activist author and filmmaker, has given every union member in the United States a great tool of advocacy for our health care agenda with his new movie, "SiCKO."

  • Posted on Friday, July 20, 2007
    By Doug Trapp | AMNews staff
    Michael Moore's latest film, "SiCKO," has energized single-payer supporters and drawn attention to their cause. But what, if any, long-term effect the movie will have on the national debate on universal health care system reform is up for debate.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2007
    Fran Korten | Publisher, YES! Magazine
    Michael Moore's new movie Sicko hit me hard. I found heartbreaking the unnecessary suffering our heath care system causes so many Americans. But I also felt this powerful film could change public opinion about U.S. health care the way An Inconvenient Truth changed the public view on global warming.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
    by Leonard Rodberg & Don McCanne
    Private health insurance was an idea that worked during part of the last century; it will not succeed through the 21st Century. With jobs increasingly service-based and short-term, the large employment-based risk pools that made this insurance system possible no longer exist. Medical care has become more effective and more essential to the ordinary person, but also more costly and capital-intensive. The multiple private insurance carriers that emerged during the last century can no longer provide a sound basis for financing our modern health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
    By Jack E. Lohman | COMMENTARY
    Health care is looming as a major issue in the 2008 elections, but a root cause of soaring health care costs is being ignored both by the public and the press, at least until now. I’m referring to a very conflicted system of political campaign financing.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2007
    By PAUL KRUGMAN | New York Times
    The opponents of universal health care appear to have run out of honest arguments.

  • Posted on Monday, July 16, 2007
    BY MARTIN GROSS | Miami Herald
    Denial is normal when faced with the sad state of American healthcare. Who wants to hear that roughly one in six of us are uninsured and can't get access to care? Who cares that we have the 37th-best medical system in the world? Who needs to know that 18,000 American citizens may be dying each year because this country's system is not comprehensive or universal? This data came from the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine? Well, who are they to judge?

  • Posted on Monday, July 16, 2007
    By Susanne L. King | Berkshire Eagle
    The people around me cried as we watched a middle-aged couple move into a small room in their daughter's house after declaring medical bankruptcy. The husband had survived three heart attacks and his wife had developed cancer. Even though both had been gainfully employed and had insurance, they went bankrupt in their retirement years because of "cost-sharing," the term insurance companies use for sticking patients with high deductibles and co-payments.

  • Posted on Monday, July 16, 2007
    By Judith Graham | Tribune staff reporter
    In 1980, Dr. Arnold Relman penned a famous article in the New England Journal of Medicine warning of the rise of a new, powerful "medical-industrial complex" in the U.S. The commercialization of medicine, he argued, was not in patients' or society's best interest and undercut the ethics of the profession. A longtime editor of the New England Journal and professor at Harvard Medical School, Relman tackles the issue again in his new book, "A Second Opinion," published by PublicAffairs.