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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, June 18, 2012
    By Silvia Casabianca | VOXXI News
    An Argentinean medical doctor, Claudia Chaufan arrived in California as a single mom of a 7-year-old in 1997. She had been accepted to a one-year postgraduate training in science and medical communication. Destiny had it that she’d fall in love with a man that eventually became her husband, and with a cause that is now her passion.

  • Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News (Maine)
    A few weeks ago, an article by Noam Levey of the Los Angeles Times caught my eye. It was titled “Global Push to Guarantee Health Coverage Leaves U.S. Behind” and it described how “even as Americans debate whether to scrap President Obama’s health care law and its promise of guaranteed health coverage, many far less affluent nations are moving in the opposite direction — to provide medical insurance to all citizens.”

  • Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2012
    By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese | Dissident Voice
    Six years after Massachusetts enacted the state version of Obama’s health law, the people of Massachusetts are not happy. According to a June 11th poll in Massachusetts, 78% of patients say the cost of care in Massachusetts is a serious problem and 63% say it has gotten worse in the last five years. Patients report longer waits, higher premiums, higher co-pays and are less satisfied with health care. The number of bankruptcies due to medical illnessand costs has continued to increase in Massachusetts too.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
    By Donna Smith | Common Dreams
    With great fanfare this week, the Washington Post reported that regardless of how the Supreme Court rules on the individual mandate provision, insurance giant United Healthcare plans to keep intact key consumer provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
    By Martha Bebinger | WBUR (Boston Public Radio)
    We’re hearing from a lot of different groups lately about what’s wrong with health care and how to fix it. But what do patients think? To find out, WBUR asked Massachusetts residents who said they had a serious illness, medical condition, injury or disability requiring a lot of medical care, or spent at least one night in the hospital within the last year.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
    By Jeff Danna | Chicago Tribune
    Brothers Elfego and Lorenzo Arroyo each suffers from a deadly liver disease. But despite the urgency of their situation, the Chicago residents have struggled to receive organ transplants.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
    By Claudia Chaufan, M.D. | Health Affairs, Letters
    Tomas Philipson and coauthors assert that the substantially higher costs of cancer care in the United States versus Europe are “worth it” (Apr 2012). The problem of lead-time bias aside, their assertion relies on additional problematic assumptions.

  • Posted on Monday, June 11, 2012
    How does the U.S. health care system stack up against Canada’s? You’ve probably heard allegedly true horror stories about the Canadian system — like 340-day waits for knee replacement surgery, for example. To separate fact from fiction, Aaron E. Carroll, M.D., the director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research in Indianapolis, identified the top myths about the two health care systems.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2012
    By Rep. Dennis Kucinich | The Hill, Congress blog
    When the Supreme Court issues its decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the debate will not stop. The ACA brought about immediate relief from some of the worst outcomes of for-profit health care, but it is by no means sufficient to temper the rapacious conduct of insurance companies who are determined to make money by not providing health care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 5, 2012
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    If President Obama is now confiding to Democratic donors that he may have to "revisit" health care in a second term if the Supreme Court throws out his first attempt, as Bloomberg News reported June 1, maybe this time we can get it right.

  • Posted on Monday, June 4, 2012
    By Jonathan D. Walker, M.D. | The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
    Here is something worth remembering as we celebrate Memorial Day: The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that every 80 minutes a veteran takes his or her own life. The problem is so serious that although only 1 percent of Americans have served in the military, former service members represent 20 percent of suicides in the United States. And the news is filled with stories about how the VA is struggling to get the funding it needs to address the problem.

  • Posted on Monday, June 4, 2012
    By Marcia Angell, M.D. | The New York Review of Books
    I admire Ronald Dworkin greatly, and I certainly defer to him on most legal matters, so it is with some reluctance that I take issue with his essay “Why the Mandate Is Constitutional: The Real Argument.” I have several objections, most of which concern not the legal matters, but his more general comments about the virtues of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  • Posted on Friday, June 1, 2012
    By David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | The Boston Globe
    The House and Senate health care proposals would set imaginary limits for spending growth enforced by secret “improvement plans” and wrist slaps for hospitals that overcharge; establish tiered payment schemes to consign the poor and middle class to second-tier hospitals and doctors; push most residents of the Commonwealth into HMOs (oops, we forgot, now they’re called “accountable care organizations,” or ACOs); and wipe out small doctor’s offices by “bundling” their pay into ACO payments. Apparently the legislators’ theory is that forcing health care providers to consolidate cuts costs. Oligopoly saves money?

  • Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012
    Public Citizen Health Letter
    The past year has seen single-payer health care in the news more than usual. May marks the first anniversary of Vermont’s health reform bill, which was widely touted as the first state single-payer law in the country — albeit only by those who had presumably not read the bill. Following closely on the heels of the Vermont law was one of the most high-profile U.S. Supreme Court cases in decades. The Obama administration’s controversial 2010 health reform law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), came before the Supreme Court this March over a challenge to its constitutionality.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2012
    By Chad Terhune | Los Angeles Times
    Thousands of patients in California and across the nation who take expensive prescription drugs every month for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments are facing sticker shock at the pharmacy.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012
    By Dina Mendros | Biddeford (Maine) Journal Tribune
    The Affordable Care Act passed Congress in 2010. Now the country is awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court to see if part or all of the act will be struck down. And even if moves forward unscathed, some say the so-called Obamacare doesn't go far enough.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012
    By Joseph Jarvis, M.D. | City Weekly (Salt Lake City)
    This year on Valentine’s Day, I joined 49 other physicians from across America in signing an Amicus brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Among these 50 physicians, I was the only one with a conservative political leaning. Despite the others’ more liberal/progressive leaning, they agreed with me that the individual mandate is unconstitutional. More importantly, we agree that Obamacare does not address the central problem with the American health-care system, which is its extraordinary cost. We also agree that the only way to really reform our sick health-care system is to radically change the way we Americans do health-care business.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2012
    By Roger A. Maduro | Open Health News
    The open source strategy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was the focus of the recent Open Source Think Tank Conference in Napa, California held April 12-14. This conference, sponsored by the Olliance Group and now on its 7th year, has become one of the premier open source gatherings in the world. Top IT leaders of the VA came to the conference to ask for the advice of the open source community in finalizing the VA's strategy for the future of its world-class electronic health record (EHR) system, VistA.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 22, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News (Maine)
    A couple of weeks ago, nine medical specialty societies released a list of 45 medical tests and procedures they believed are significantly overused. On the heels of this announcement was a conference on “Avoiding Avoidable Care” attended by about 150 experts, mostly physicians. I attended.

  • Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012
    By Colorado Public News and Erika Gonzalez | KUNC Colorado Public News (NPR)
    In 2008, Kimberly Fague was diagnosed with organ failure. Plagued by nausea, she lost a third of her body weight. She suffered from confusion and constant fatigue. Her liver and surrounding organs swelled to the point that she developed a hernia.

  • Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012
    By Dan Carpenter | The Indianapolis Star
    Young, who is national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, can remember when the profession was a lot more conservative than that. From his long perspective, popular sentiment will overcome concentrated power just as it did with race and gender equality.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012
    By Jeff Swiatek | The Indianapolis Star
    At an annual meeting marked by shouts and a street protest, WellPoint shareholders on Wednesday rejected a proposal pushed by labor unions and liberal health advocacy groups to change the way the company discloses its political spending.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 16, 2012
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    If you ever want to rekindle your hope for American medicine, spend time with medical students. These bright, energetic minds are going into medicine for all the right reasons — to help people, relieve suffering and find new ways to cure illness and eradicate disease.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012
    By Peter Shapiro | Labor Notes
    With health care premiums rising three times faster than workers’ income, more and more unions have come to see the existing health care system as unsustainable, despite their best efforts at the bargaining table.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 15, 2012
    By Bob Herman | Becker’s Hospital Review
    One of the biggest buzz words in health care today is "reform" — and to quote REO Speedwagon, "It's everywhere." Perhaps the biggest poster child of the term "reform" is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that President Barack Obama signed into law in March 2010.

  • Posted on Monday, May 14, 2012
    By Noam N. Levey | Los Angeles Times
    Even as Americans debate whether to scrap President Obama's healthcare law and its promise of guaranteed health coverage, many far less affluent nations are moving in the opposite direction — to provide medical insurance to all citizens.

  • Posted on Friday, May 11, 2012
    By Roger Brown | Bristol Herald Courier
    BRISTOL, Va. -- The United States must move toward adopting a single-payer national health insurance program – or continue to risk seeing its future threatened by an inadequate system that wastes huge amounts of money and keeps millions of Americans from getting necessary medical care, two longtime physicians and health care advocates said Wednesday.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 9, 2012
    By Single Payer New York | Healthcare-Now
    ALBANY, N.Y. -- Doctors, nurses, patients, senior citizens, anti-poverty advocates, faith leaders and medical administrators joined Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and state Sen. Thomas Duane in unveiling an updated and revised single-payer legislative proposal for New York State on Tuesday. More than 70 state lawmakers are co-sponsors.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 9, 2012
    By Bernard Lown, M.D. | Dr. Bernard Lown’s Blog
    Ever since starting clinical practice 62 years ago I have looked forward to this conference. Mercifully, good fortune and good genes enable me to attend. From my earliest days in medicine I have struggled against the prevailing model of health care. My opposition in part was provoked by the growing prevalence of overtreatment. Resort to excessive interventions seemed to be the illegitimate child of technology in the age of market medicine. If more than a half century ago overtreatment was at a trickle pace, it is now at flood tide.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 8, 2012
    By Aaron Carroll, M.D. | CNN
    For decades, the attempts at health care reform have aimed to increase access. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations in the world that does not provide universal health care to its citizens. And repeatedly, those who oppose it have been forced to argue that access isn't the problem some make it out to be. Why?

  • Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012
    By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | KevinMD blog
    The call came in the middle of a busy office day; the radiologist had found a suspicious area on the mammogram. I had received similar calls many times in my primary care practice. This time was different; the patient was me.

  • Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012
    By Amanda Waldroupe | The Lund Report (Portland, Ore.)
    Three prominent critics of the country’s current health care system and ardent reform advocates appeared in Portland today to discuss their views on health reform, President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and what ought to be done to ensure that everyone has access to quality health care.

  • Posted on Monday, May 7, 2012
    By David U. Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. | The Nation
    Bernard Avishai portrays progressive critics of Obama's health care bill as hopelessly naïve and out of touch with political reality. But intimate acquaintance with medical reality drove the criticism from us and our 18,000 colleagues in Physicians for a National Health Program who advocate single payer. As doctors, we're too cognizant that the plan will leave 23 million uninsured and thousands dying each year from lack of coverage; do nothing for our insured patients with coverage so skimpy that serious illness would lead to bankruptcy; strip tens of billions from safety net hospitals; and let medical costs continue to skyrocket, leaving Medicare and public workers' coverage open to savage cuts. Whatever its political merits, the bill is a failure in medical terms.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012
    By Lumi St. Claire, MD | KevinMD blog
    There are an awful lot of reasons that led up to my eventual resignation from a career in primary care medicine. I don’t know that any one of them is more important than the other (it really just depends on which day you ask me). One that stands out for me though as a universal problem shared by millions is Managed Health Care, and the imposition it has posed on physicians and patients alike is enormous.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012
    By Dr Kailash Chand | publicservice.co.uk
    The NHS will now become 'just a logo' – a US style insurance scheme that is divorced from care delivery and dishes out public money to private companies, now that the government's NHS reforms have passed into law, writes one leading clinician

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012
    By Greg Dobbs | The Denver Post
    When I'm sick, I want the world's best health care as much as anybody.

  • Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012
    By Ann Settgast, M.D. | The Star Tribune (Minn.)
    The need for our hospitals to provide uncompensated care to uninsured and underinsured Minnesotans will continue to grow if we do not fundamentally change our system. Assuming the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, more than 250,000 Minnesotans will remain uninsured, while hundreds of thousands more will rely on skimpy insurance that does not properly protect them from serious financial strain if they fall ill.

  • Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012
    By Bennett Hall | Corvallis Gazette-Times
    Taking a page from Vermont’s playbook, Oregon reform advocates plan to launch a major campaign to have health care declared a human right.

  • Posted on Monday, April 30, 2012
    By JULIET LAPIDOS | The New York Times
    Long before the sexting scandal that ended his career, Rep. Anthony Weiner advised the president on how to pass healthcare reform. Robert Draper reports in his new book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do,” that in September of 2009 Mr. Weiner told the president, “I think you’re looking at this entirely the wrong way. You need to simplify it. Just say that what we’re doing is gradually expanding Medicare.”

  • Posted on Friday, April 27, 2012
    By Jessica Silver-Greenberg | The New York Times
    Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
    By Alice E. Knapp | Maine AllCare
    Good people reasonably disagree on the merits of “Obamacare” (the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or “ACA”). Recent Congressional Budget Office estimates, however, project the ACA will leave approximately 27 million Americans uninsured in 2016 and beyond. While I might once have been persuaded that the law’s coverage gains justifies its failings, I now equate leaving 27 million Americans uninsured with having passed a law that freed but 90 percent of this nation’s slaves.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 25, 2012
    By Harriette Seiler | Louisville Courier-Journal
    Despite certain positive and/or promised benefits in the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), there is one major flaw that mars the whole endeavor: the legislation keeps the private insurers in the mix.

  • Posted on Monday, April 23, 2012
    By Wendell Potter | The Huffington Post
    One of my responsibilities when I was head of corporate communications at Cigna was to help ensure that the company's annual meeting of shareholders ran smoothly and, if at all possible, attracted no negative publicity.

  • Posted on Monday, April 23, 2012
    By John Daley, M.D. | The New Hampshire Union Leader
    While Obamacare risks being overturned by the Supreme Court, Vermont has pushed ahead with a primarily single-payer plan called Green Mountain Care, led by progressive governor Peter Shumlin.

  • Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News (Maine)
    Marcus Welby, M.D., the iconic general practitioner of 1970s TV, will probably never make a comeback. As I described last month, the overwhelming preference of young doctors is to go into medical specialties rather than primary care, mostly due to the much greater earning power of specialists.

  • Posted on Friday, April 20, 2012
    By Suzanne Lindgren | Utne Reader
    It’s been awhile since Obama’s proposal for universal health care was replaced by a compromise known as the Affordable Care Act. Despite detractors from the right and left, Obamacare’s sell – that the Act would give millions of uninsured Americans coverage – appeased many. But now, as we wait to hear the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, some have begun to whisper of a second chance for a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012
    By Winthrop C. Dillaway III, M.D. | The Star-Ledger (N.J.)
    In 2009, when President Obama began his term of office, the U.S. health care system was painfully dysfunctional. He announced an initiative for health care reform. Early on, “universal health care” garnered thought and attention. Unfortunately, with the ensuing debate and politics, the concept of universal health care faded and disappeared.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    By Sam Baker | The Hill
    Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is continuing to argue for a single-payer health care system, saying it would not raise the same constitutional questions that have dogged President Obama's health care law.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    By Ellen R. Hale | Louisville (Ky.) Medicine
    David A. Ansell, MD, MPH, visited Louisville in January to offer evidence from his long career as an internist in Chicago for a one-card national health program. Author of the recently published book “County: Life, Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital,” Dr. Ansell delivered a lecture to University of Louisville medical students and another to the general public. He also spoke at Grand Rounds for the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine and the Annual Meeting of Physicians for a National Health Program-Kentucky.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012
    By Jack Bernard | Modern Healthcare
    Assuming it is not overturned by a very highly politicized Supreme Court, millions of the uninsured will eventually receive coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It is a first step. But the reforms did not go nearly far enough in cost containment. Or, we believe, in coverage. We are building on a shaky foundation: expansion of private insurance companies.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    By Jonathan D. Walker, M.D. | The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
    Obamacare is the nickname for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA for short. It has been a target for criticisms that range from valid concerns to groundless fear mongering, and soon the Supreme Court will decide whether the mandate to buy insurance is constitutional. But there is one fundamental problem with the law that is rarely mentioned. To understand that problem, you need some background.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012
    By Gerald Friedman | Dollars and Sense
    “The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act” (HR 676) would establish a single authority responsible for paying for health care for all Americans.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012
    By Eric Salk, M.D. | Emergency Physicians Monthly
    Your main argument that "health care, if it is a right, involves requiring someone to do something for me, and by definition, that makes the person rendering the care a slave to the person with the right to that care," is a classic straw man argument that approaches absurdity.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012
    By Sarah van Gelder | YES! Magazine
    What happens if the Supreme Court strikes down the “individual mandate” in the health care reform law? Commentators ranging from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich to Forbes Magazine columnist Rick Ungar agree: Such a decision could open the door to single-payer health care—perhaps even make it inevitable.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012
    By Phil Kadner | Southtown Star (Tinley Park, Ill.)
    Let the national health care debate begin again. It appears that the U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of striking down the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare).

  • Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2012
    By Miles Mogulescu | The Huffington Post, April 3, 2012
    No one -- not even the most hard core, right-wing libertarians -- disputes that the federal government has the constitutional authority to tax all Americans to pay for Medicare-style health insurance for all, as it pays for Medicare for everyone over 65.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012
    AFT Public Employee Advocate, April 2, 2012
    Dr. Andrew Coates has not been on the job that long, but he has quickly learned that the patients he sees need an advocate in the legislative and executive branches of government where decisions are made about the state’s delivery and availability of psychiatric care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 4, 2012
    By Joan Brunwasser | OpEd News, April 2, 2012
    If we truly want to create a health care system that works for everyone, then we will have to be persistent and clear in our demand for a system that works for everyone, and that's single payer.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012
    By Amy Lange | Star Tribune (Minneapolis), April 2, 2012
    Minnesota would not be alone among the states if it forged ahead to provide a universal and unified health system. Governors, legislatures and citizens groups are pushing similar reforms in Vermont, Montana, Oregon and Hawaii. And Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton favored a universal system for Minnesota in his 2010 campaign.

  • Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012
    By David U. Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler MD, MPH | Truthout, March 30, 2012
    For 50 years, we've been told that computers would give doctors ready access to past tests and diagnoses, eliminating duplicate tests that are unnecessary and costly. But it turns out the reverse is true.

  • Posted on Monday, April 2, 2012
    By Hedda Haning, M.D. | Sunday Gazette-Mail (Charleston, W.Va.), April 1, 2012
    I came to the conclusion long ago that we must have the same program for everyone: universal coverage for all, fair for everybody. We must take care of everyone equally if the system is to work and be supported as Social Security and Medicare are -- by a wide margin.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
    By Marcia Angell, M.D. | USA Today, March 27, 2012
    The major provisions of the law, meant to increase the number of insured Americans while controlling costs, will be implemented in 2014, but a few are already in effect. What are its prospects, and will it survive intact to its next birthday? The outlook, I'm afraid, is not good.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Amy Goodman | Democracy Now, March 27, 2012
    As the Supreme Court weighs whether the Affordable Care Act goes too far, we host a debate on whether the law goes far enough.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Daniel D. Bennett, M.D. | The Capital Times (Madison, Wis.), March 30, 2012
    There is only one rational solution and this, I suspect, is where Rick Santorum and I disagree. A national tax-supported single-payer health insurance system will provide better health care AND more freedom.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Marvin Malek, M.D. | Vtdigger.org, March 29, 2012
    Federal policy should also begin to incorporate a comprehensive cost control strategy into their HIT policy. Neglecting the cost issue has led electronic health records adoption in the U.S. to have taken the most expensive possible route. So long as the electronic health records policy remains balkanized in the private sector, electronic health records costs will remain extremely high.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Robert Reich | The Huffington Post, March 26, 2012
    If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate in the new health law, private insurers will swarm Capitol Hill demanding that the law be amended to remove the requirement that they cover people with pre-existing conditions. When this happens, Obama and the Democrats should say they’re willing to remove that requirement – but only if Medicare is available to all, financed by payroll taxes. If they did this the public will be behind them — as will the Supreme Court.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 27, 2012
    By Reid Fletcher | March 27, 2012
    A synopsis of the health care planks of some of the prominent contenders for the U.S. presidency, along with a brief analysis of the Massachusetts health reform of 2006.

  • Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012
    By Cory D. Carroll, M.D. | The Coloradoan, Letters, March 25, 2012
    Over the years, I have witnessed a new condition, not covered in any of my medical school lectures or textbooks, that is at epidemic proportions and worsening. The condition is caused by an out-of-control parasite -- the for-profit medical insurance industry.

  • Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012
    By Nancy A. Melville | Medscape Medical News, March 22, 2012
    In his keynote address here at the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) 62nd Annual Convention, Dr. Ansell declared that "healthcare as a human right is the moral issue of our time," and urged the audience of future physicians to commit themselves to patient advocacy during their careers.

  • Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012
    By Robert Kuttner | The American Prospect, March 23, 2012
    When the Supreme Court begins its extraordinary three days of hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, one of the oddities will be an amicus brief challenging the act’s individual mandate from 50 doctors who support national health insurance. They point out the inconvenient truth that, contrary to the administration’s representations, the government did not need to require citizens to purchase insurance from private companies in order to meet its goals of serving the health-care needs of the populace. Congress could have enacted a single-payer law.

  • Posted on Friday, March 23, 2012
    By James Hill and Samuel Levey | Iowa City Press-Citizen, March 22, 2012
    Many strong supporters of health care reform who rallied behind Obama’s early efforts now doubt the ACA will halt the inexorable rise in health care cost. Former New England Journal of Medicine editor Arnold Relman asks, “If neither party is proposing effective solutions to the cost crisis and political deadlock in Washington is preventing the consideration of new ideas, are we doomed to witness a slowly collapsing health care system that eventually will provide adequate care only to those who can afford to pay?”

  • Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2012
    By Kathryn Flagg | Seven Days (Burlington, Vt.), March 21, 2012
    “What I’m seeing right now is that they’re having their shills, the people they’re influencing, try to raise doubts about how the state will pay for universal coverage and what will happen to taxes,” Wendell Potter says. “They’ll try to … get Vermonters to second-guess themselves.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 21, 2012
    By A.R. Strobeck Jr.
    Dr. John Geyman has written another tour de force on a health care topic. This time he examines the “silent crisis” which is rapidly unfolding in health care delivery: the unraveling and decline of the primary care structure.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
    By Arnold S. Relman, M.D. | Letters, The New York Times
    Congress has already created two limited single-payer systems — Medicare and the veterans’ health system — and no legal barriers prevent doing more. Since a mandate isn’t necessary for Congress to exercise its legitimate role in regulating health insurance, there is no justification under the Constitution’s “necessary and proper” clause for such a legislative requirement.

  • Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012
    By Joan Murray | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
    How do we ensure health care coverage, including the option of birth control, for all American women without troubling an employer's private moral beliefs?

  • Posted on Friday, March 16, 2012
    By Philip Caper | Bangor Daily News
    Health care reform has to be about more than just expanding health insurance coverage. It also has to be about making sure everyone has access to high-quality health care at a reasonable cost.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012
    By Bill Toland | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    One rationale behind the adoption of electronic medical records is that making a patient's records more easily accessible for doctors will result in more efficient care, partly by reducing duplicative tests. But physicians who have electronic systems -- and, more crucially, have the ability to easily order X-rays, CT scans and MRI images via computer -- are far more likely to order those kinds of tests than doctors without electronic access, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 14, 2012
    By Joe Jarvis | Utah Healthcare Initiative blog
    It's clear from his comments that Dr. Krauthammer wishes that Obamacare would be repealed and that the nation would not go down the pathway towards single-payer health system reform. However, he directly states that given a choice between Obamacare and single payer, he would choose single payer, because "at least it would be rational."

  • Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012
    By Danny McCormick, David Bor, Stephanie Woolhandler, and David Himmelstein | Health Affairs Blog
    Our recent Health Affairs article linking increased test ordering to electronic access to results has elicited heated responses, including a blog post by Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT. Some of the assertions in his blog post are mistaken. Some take us to task for claims we never made, or for studying only some of the myriad issues relevant to medical computing. And many reflect wishful thinking regarding health IT; an acceptance of deeply flawed evidence of its benefit, and skepticism about solid data that leads to unwelcome conclusions.

  • Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012
    By Thomas Bodenheimer | Health Affairs
    “Breaking Point,” Geyman’s new book about primary care, reviews the promise and problems of primary care. His analysis leads the reader to wonder whether the medical home will reach a tipping point (success) and permanently transform primary care or a breaking point (failure) and be a short-lived blip on the health policy radar screen. Despite the book’s title and recounting of the difficulties facing primary care, the author seems cautiously optimistic that primary care will grow and thrive. The book has a clear point of view, which is that a single-payer system is a prerequisite to a strong primary care sector. It is well written, informative, evidence-based— and an important book for everyone concerned about the U.S. health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012
    By Bernie Fetterly | Ithaca (N.Y.) Journal
    We know that the Affordable Health Care Act was written by the insurance companies for the insurance companies. It does not deal with the rising cost of health care and it increases under- insurance for just about everybody. Also, 23 million Americans will remain uninsured. Can we really wait two more years and still have a bad health care plan that will cause many to die needlessly and also cause many to go bankrupt?

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012
    By Steve Lohr | The New York Times, Bits blog
    I wrote an article in Tuesday’s New York Times, which was based on a study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs that casts doubt on the widespread claim that computerized patient records will cut health care spending.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012
    By The Associated Press | The Washington Post
    A survey shows 1 in 5 Americans say their families are having trouble paying their medical bills. Worse, half of those who are struggling say they are unable to pay a single dime toward those debts.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012
    By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
    Electronic health records may not be as effective as expected at reducing the number of costly and unnecessary tests doctors order for their patients, a study published Monday in Health Affairs found. Among a national sampling of more than 1,100 doctors surveyed in 2008, those who had electronic access to results of imaging tests such as CT scans and MRIs ordered more tests, not fewer.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 6, 2012
    By Steve Lohr | The New York Times
    Computerized patient records are unlikely to cut health care costs and may actually encourage doctors to order expensive tests more often, a study published on Monday concludes.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2012
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
    With the approaching Supreme Court showdown on the President Obama's 2010 health care law (the Affordable Care Act, modeled, of course, on Mitt Romney's law in Massachusetts), the U.S. health care system remains a dysfunctional mess, as nurses bear witness to every day.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012
    By Margaret Newton, M.D. | Brattleboro Reformer
    Dr. John Geyman was a rural family doctor before joining the University of Washington School of Medicine. He eventually chaired its department of family medicine and is now professor emeritus. He has written extensively about America’s urgent need for health care reform. He was president of Physicians for a National Health Program from 2005 to 2007 and is a member of the national Institute of Medicine.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 23, 2012
    By Jim Hightower | The Austin (Texas) Chronicle
    In these times of cold health care austerity, it reaffirms one's faith in humanity to learn that many hospitals are now going the extra mile to provide top quality care for all.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2012
    By Lenny Potash | Labor Notes
    Though it’s passed the legislature twice before, a bill to establish a single-payer universal health insurance system in California failed in the state senate in January.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    When veteran print and TV journalist T.R. Reid visited Maine last fall, he claimed we could provide health care for everybody and do it for less money with better results. At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network will air his latest documentary, “U.S. Health Care: The Good News,” which shows how it can be done.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
    By Single Payer Action | CommonDreams newswire, Feb. 14, 2012
    Fifty medical doctors who favor a single-payer health insurance system Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the individual mandate. In a brief filed with the Court, the 50 doctors and two nonprofit groups – Single Payer Action and It’s Our Economy – said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional.

  • Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
    By Michael Ozer, M.D. | Letters, The New York Times
    I am struck by the quandary the United States has on issues like these by maintaining an employer-based health insurance system. If we Americans had a national single-payer system that covered all of our people, the arguments against infringement on religious liberty would be a moot point.

  • Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012
    By Winthrop Quigley | Albuquerque Journal
    The question is asked with regularity at legislative and congressional hearings, medical and public health conferences, political rallies and policy think tanks: Is health care a right, or a privilege?

  • Posted on Monday, February 13, 2012
    By Jacob Bor, Heather Lanthorn, and John Quattroch | The Harvard Crimson, Feb. 10, 2012
    If you were anywhere near Harvard Business School last Saturday you might have seen a 12-foot tall puppet dancing to accordion music while a merry band of “Congresspeople” and “health insurance executives” swilled champagne, showered each other in cash and sang round after round of “For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow.” If you weren’t near HBS, you missed a fantastic party.

  • Posted on Friday, February 10, 2012
    By Cathleen F. Crowley | Albany Times-Union
    ALBANY – A local physician and activist was chosen as president-elect of Physicians for a National Health Program, a national organization of 18,000 doctors who support universal health care.

  • Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012
    By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
    MONTPELIER, Vt. — You can’t see them. They’re hidden from view and probably always will be. But the health insurance industry’s big guns are in place and pointed directly at the citizens of Vermont.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012
    The following remarks by Dr. Claudia Fegan, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, were delivered to the annual strategy conference of Healthcare-Now! on Jan. 28 in Houston.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012
    The Union (Grass Valley, Calif.)
    The Campaign for a Healthy California on Wednesday denounced the failure of the California Senate to pass SB 810, the California Universal Care Act. The bill died when it remained two votes short of passage.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
    By Julie Pease, M.D. | Portland Press Herald (Maine)
    For two years, while great effort has been spent debating health care reforms, costs for health insurance have continued to spiral out of control. Contrary to the assertions of Sen. Deborah Sanderson in a Dec. 30 column ("Legislature is tackling the causes of Maine's high health care costs"), there is simply no evidence to suggest that increasing competition in the for-profit insurance market will control health care costs, just as there is no evidence to suggest that federal reforms will be able to bring costs under control.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012
    BARBARA COMMINS | Letters, The New York Times
    H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, would have cut out unnecessary administrative costs, given Americans real choice in their health care, and dissolved the employment-benefits contract that keeps us an indentured labor force. These are factors that both liberals and conservatives should be able to support.