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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, August 20, 2012
    By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
    In an editorial published Tuesday in BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal, two public health professors and a best-selling author in the field of behavior economics explain why they think paying doctors more based on quality metrics is inherently problematic. Hospitals and doctors can easily change their reporting practices to improve their quality scores, they wrote. And financial incentives can undermine doctors’ intrinsic desire to help their patients.

  • Posted on Monday, August 20, 2012
    By Bill Toland | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    With insurers and Medicare hoping that they can cajole doctors and hospitals into providing better care by paying them for good performance, a pair of articles in a top medical journal is now arguing the opposite -- that so-called "pay for performance" programs can have a detrimental effect, prompting some physicians to game the system in order to bring about desired results.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
    By Sharon Johnson | Forbes.com
    Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential choice of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, an arch enemy of the Affordable Care Act, may push President Barack Obama‘s health care reform into the center of the 2012 political ring.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 14, 2012
    By Ida Hellander, M.D. | PNHP
    “Premium support” or voucher proposals for Medicare are a mainstay of conservative health policy. They have been defeated for over three decades, starting with President Reagan’s FY 1981 budget proposal. They are a key feature of “managed competition” -- type reform proposals. Although President Clinton embraced managed competition in his ill-fated health reform bill, he vetoed the 1995 Balanced Budget Act which would have turned Medicare into a voucher program. Premium support proposals were defeated again in 1997 and 2003.

  • Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012
    Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP | JAMA
    In preparation for today, I asked your dean of students what she thinks is on your mind. So, she asked you. The word you used—many of you—was this one: Worried. You're worried about the constant change around you, uncertain about the future of medicine and dentistry. Worried about whether you can make a decent living. You’ve boarded a boat, and you don't know where it's going.

  • Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012
    By Ethan Parke | Vtdigger (Montpelier, Vt.)
    Single payer critics warn that Vermont should not go forward with Green Mountain Care because there are too many unknowns. But one thing is certain — if we do nothing, health care expenditures in Vermont (from all sources) are expected to reach $10 billion a year by the year 2020. That’s a back-breaking $16,000 per person, which could very well doom our economy.

  • Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012
    By Bill Mann | MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal
    It’s a relief to see hard facts finally emerging on this side of the border about Canada’s single-payer health-care system.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2012
    By Susan Perry | MinnPost.com
    For the past decade or so, we’ve been hearing repeatedly about an “innovation” crisis in pharmaceuticals. Big Pharma and its friends in government and elsewhere have claimed that research into new drugs is slowing down, primarily, they say, because of onerous regulatory demands.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    By Ann Settgast, M.D. | Southside Pride (Minneapolis) The day the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was upheld by the Supreme Court was ironic for me as a physician. Two of my patients asked me to prescribe medication for uninsured family members: A mother asked me for an inhaler for her adult son with uncontrolled asthma, and another asked me if I could refill her husband’s blood pressure medications for a month or two until he is able to find another job following his lay off. He cannot see his doctor due to his uninsurance.

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 7, 2012
    By Dr. James Mitchiner | American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) News
    "You can always trust the Americans to do the right thing, once they’ve tried everything else."

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012
    By Julie Pease, M.D., et al. | Bangor Daily News
    On the occasion of Medicare’s 47th birthday, we urge the immediate expansion of Medicare to everyone in the United States. We need a health care system that provides access to every one of us, no matter how sick, poor, old or unemployed we may be. We need reduced costs. We need improved health outcomes.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012
    By Bill Moyers
    I read a news story this week that sent me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. This past Monday, July 30th was the 47th anniversary of Medicare, and to celebrate it, the "Raging Grannies," as they’re known, gathered outside the county office building in Rochester, New York to protest rumored cuts to their Medicare coverage.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012
    By Tom Eblen | Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader
    Medicare turned 47 years old last Monday. Bill Mahan celebrated by setting up a booth on Main Street to try to convince passersby that America's health insurance crisis could be eased considerably if everyone had Medicare.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012
    By Bennett Hall | Gazette-Times (Corvallis, Ore.)
    On a recent Wednesday night in Corvallis, a dozen people sit around Nadine Grzeskowiak’s living room sipping organic lemonade and munching gluten-free pie while video images flickered on a screen.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012
    By Dr. Marvin Malek | The Rutland Herald
    Three hospitals in Colorado have announced that they will forgive the medical bills of the victims of the Aurora, Colo., mass shooting. A kind gesture. These individuals suffered serious gunshot wounds, and many will be left with lifelong disabilities. It seemed like this was enough suffering for these individuals and their families to endure.

  • Posted on Monday, August 6, 2012
    By UWE E. REINHARDT | Economix Blog, The New York Times
    Last Friday’s exuberant celebration of Britain’s National Health Service during the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics, directed by the Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle, got me thinking about American attitudes about socialized medicine.

  • Posted on Thursday, August 2, 2012
    By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS | The Wall Street Journal, August 2, 2012
    Under pressure to squeeze out costs, some of the U.S.'s biggest health insurers are quietly erecting more hurdles for patients seeking medical care. The companies are in many cases reaching back to the 1990s and boosting the use of techniques that antagonized patients and doctors alike.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012
    By Paul Jay | The Real News Network
    The following is an unofficial transcript of a video interview with Gerald Friedman, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Friedman recently prepared an economic impact study of how a single-payer system would affect the state of Maryland

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012
    By National Nurses Movement | Daily Kos
    It’s been one month, almost exactly, since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. But almost every day provides a fresh reminder of the need to go much farther to permanently fix our broken health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012
    By Carey Goldberg | CommonHealth, WBUR
    It’s not enough to get everybody insured. You have to get everybody insured well enough so that they get the care they need. And in the case of very poor people, even a $1 or a $3 co-pay can be a barrier to care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2012
    By Sarah Kliff | The Washington Post, Ezra Klein's Wonkblog
    It’s well known that the Massachusetts health law increased health insurance coverage. The picture on how it changed access to health care is a little bit less clear. Some research has suggested that access has increased – a 2011 study found a 6.6 percent increase in residents with primary care doctors. At the same time, other research has shown access gains eroding.

  • Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012
    By Donna Smith | MichaelMoore.com
    Has your insurance company called you recently to ask you to sign up for a wellness or disease management program? Has that same company told you it’s a free service to policyholders and promised you that they do not share the information with the departments and people who administer your benefits and claims? You – like me and millions of other Americans – are being scammed.

  • Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012
    By Margaret A. Nosek | Houston Chronicle
    With all the commotion surrounding the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it would be easy to overlook an important birthday: Today is the 47th anniversary of Medicare, the public health insurance program that covers our nation's seniors and people with severe disabilities.

  • Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012
    By Raymond Feierabend, M.D. | Bristol (Va.) Herald Courier
    Isn’t it time that we stop putting our collective heads in the sand? We need to look seriously at improving our current Medicare system and making it available to all Americans as the way to address our failed health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012
    This Open Letter was published to honor Medicare’s 47th birthday. It comes on the heels of the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act and increasing threats to Medicaid and Medicare. The letter argues for the expansion of Medicare to all people in the United States and sees Medicare as the solution, not the problem.

  • Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012
    By Katie Robbins | Healthcare not Wealthcare
    In the midst of a fierce debate on the national level around the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, the Divestment Campaign for Health Care made its official debut. Its stated mission: “to expose how the health insurance industry puts the need for profit above the needs of patients and to escalate public support for total removal of the private health insurance companies from our nation’s health care.”

  • Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012
    By Jack Bernard | The Charleston Gazette "Repeal and replace!" That is a very catchy slogan indeed. Of course, any objective observer knows that it has very little chance of happening, but it still makes for a great sound bite.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012
    By Dr. Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist
    I can’t count the number of times I’ve been told this week that it’s just a “fact” that single payer systems lead to increased wait times. It appears that pointing out that this is not true is “rude”. So be it.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012
    By Dave Dvorak, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
    "How much will this cost?” he asks. It’s the question at the heart of any business transaction: Is this new car, this plane ticket, this iPad worth the asking price? But the man sitting before me is not a customer in an automobile showroom or an electronics store. He is my patient in the emergency department, and he is weighing whether to undergo the chest CT scan I have just recommended.

  • Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012
    The following article was written by Melissa @PermissionToLive, who has chosen to use her first name only | RH Reality Check
    When I moved to Canada in 2008, I was a die-hard conservative Republican. So when I found out that we were going to be covered by Canada's Universal Health Care, I was somewhat disgusted. This meant we couldn't choose our own health coverage, or even opt out if we wanted too. It also meant that abortion was covered by our taxes, something I had always believed was horrible. I believed based on my politics that government mandated health care was a violation of my freedom.

  • Posted on Monday, July 23, 2012
    By Philip Caper, M.D.
    The affirmation of the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, on June 28 by the U.S. Supreme Court was a big step forward for our country. But parts of the act itself are a step in the wrong direction.

  • Posted on Friday, July 20, 2012
    By David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | Common Dreams
    It’s good the Supreme Court decided to follow the Constitution rather than play politics. But, from a medical point of view, there’s little to celebrate in its upholding of the Affordable Care Act.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012
    By Michele Munz | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    In a meeting room at a St. Louis County public library, Dr. Ed Weisbart started his health insurance reform presentation with pictures of sick people.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012
    By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Nation
    Now that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, former insurance company executive Wendell Potter’s appeal to single payer advocates to “bury the hatchet,” recently published in The Nation, is both misdirected and shortsighted.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012
    By Jack Bernard | Des Moines Register
    We Republicans have ourselves to blame for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012
    By Stephen Kemble, M.D. | OpEd News
    There is a widespread assumption among health policy experts that the key problem with runaway health care costs is unnecessary care driven by the incentive to over-treat that is inherent in fee-for-service payment of doctors. Therefore, the argument goes, we need to improve financial incentives for care coordination and reorganize doctors into "Accountable Care Organizations," forcing primary care, specialist physicians, and hospitals into shared financial arrangements that shift at least some insurance risks onto providers, countering the fee-for-service incentive to over-treat.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012
    By Rob Stone, M.D. | Herald Times (Bloomington, Ind.)
    The Supreme surprise June 28 upholding the constitutionality of President Obama’s health reform still leaves much to be done before the American people will have a health care system worthy of a civilized nation. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will never live up to its name as it contains insufficient cost controls to make care affordable. Hospitals will still charge $265 for a $2.25 tetanus shot. Insurance companies will continue to drive up premiums.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012
    By Ivan Moore | Anchorage Press
    To be honest with you, I’m not much of a fan of the “individual mandate.” I don’t think it’s much of a solution, given the soaring costs of health care and health insurance, to say “You must have it!” and fine people if they don’t. I’d much prefer a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Friday, July 13, 2012
    By Milton Hirshberg, M.D. | Cap Cod Times, Letters
    Economists at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have projected that all of medical care spending will grow at an annual average of 5.8 percent over the period 2010 to 2020. The growth is only slightly faster than that of the core system we had in the absence of the new legislation.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2012
    By Arnold Relman, M.D. | USA Today
    The Affordable Care Act narrowly escaped death at the hands of the Supreme Court, but its troubles are far from over. Stability in how Americans will get their health care in the future is now just as much threatened by the ACA's internal flaws as it is by Republican opposition and fresh lawsuits.

  • Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012
    By J. David Gaines, M.D. | The Wall Street Journal, Letters
    Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, the unfortunate reality is that the law, despite its modest benefits, is not a remedy for our health-care crisis. It will not achieve universal coverage, as it leaves at least 26 million individuals uninsured. It will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance because of high co-pays and gaps in coverage that leave patients vulnerable to financial ruin in the event of serious illness, and it will not control costs.

  • Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012
    By Johanna W.H.van Wijk-Bos | Healthcare not Wealthcare
    Today the Presbyterian Church (USA) took a step toward divestment from for-profit health insurance companies in the United States by instructing the appropriate committee of the General Assembly to begin a process of information gathering. The Mission Through Responsible Investing Committee (MRTI) is instructed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to request information and explanations of health insurance companies.

  • Posted on Monday, July 9, 2012
    By Scott Harris | Between the Lines
    In a long-awaited decision from the Supreme Court, the justices handed down a 5-4 ruling on June 28 that upheld the constitutionality of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, which mandates that all citizens who are financially able purchase private health insurance, or be subject to a tax or penalty. Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts surprised many by siding with the court's liberal members, providing a majority opinion that will allow the health care reform legislation to be implemented as planned by 2014. However, in writing the court's opinion, Roberts explained that he upheld the legislation's individual mandate as a tax, not as a valid exercise of Congress' commerce clause power.

  • Posted on Friday, July 6, 2012
    By Kay Tillow | Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)
    The Supreme Court, in declaring the Affordable Care Act (ACA) constitutional, has endorsed a flawed attempt to solve the nation’s health care problem. Moreover, the court’s decision will only prolong many of our current health care issues.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012
    Vermont Physicians for a National Health Program The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the bulk of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate. They affirmed that health care may be financed through taxation. The worst insurance abuses are being curtailed. Americans will benefit from reforms Vermont has enjoyed for years. Many people without insurance, especially young adults and people with low incomes, will gain health care coverage.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012
    By Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | The Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.), Letters
    I think it is interesting that the Supreme Court has upheld the idea that the individual mandate as a tax is constitutional. What does this mean? First of all, it means that we as a nation have decided that health care is a “greater good” -- that everybody deserves health care. Second, we have decided that everyone pays in to health care. We have already decided to do this in Medicare, but now we are extending the concept to everyone.

  • Posted on Thursday, July 5, 2012
    By Hedda Haning, M.D. | The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette
    Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has essentially approved the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, what affect will it have?

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    By Roy Romanow | Globe and Mail
    July 1, the birthdate of our great nation, is also the birthdate of Canada's emblematic health-care system. And this weekend we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the introduction of medicare in Saskatchewan. Now often referred to as unsustainable, this milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on the hard fought accomplishments of the past, to re-evaluate today's system and to consider the growing debate about its future.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    By Wendell Potter | iWatch News
    Health insurers avoided their worst case scenario last week — the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down the individual mandate but letting the rest of the health care law, especially profit-threatening consumer protections, go forward. Now the industry can focus on a goal it has had all along: getting rid of those pesky consumer protections.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    Many of my patients will benefit from the Affordable Care Act: A 25-year-old with sickle cell disease can keep his insurance. A 32-year-old mother can get contraception. And a 47-year-old hemophiliac doesn't have to worry about being too sick for health insurance. I'm celebrating these things and others.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. | Yubanet.com
    As a physician, I find it very odd that the debate over the Affordable Care Act has focused on the effect the law will have on the presidential election rather than the impact it will have on patients, health professionals, and health outcomes.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2012
    By Clark Newhall, M.D. | Counterpunch
    In an eagerly anticipated opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as “Obamacare," an unusual alignment of justices upheld the Act nearly entirely. The crucial part of the decision found the odd-bedfellows combination of Chief Justice Roberts joining the four "liberal" justices to uphold the "individual mandate," the section of the law requiring all Americans to buy health insurance from private health insurance companies. The alignment is especially strange given the lengths to which Justice Roberts had to go to support his convoluted reasoning.

  • Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
    By Christine Adams, Ph.D. | Houston Chronicle, Letters
    Regarding "Decision affirms division" (Page A1, Friday), the Supreme Court's ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not solve our health care crisis. ACA does provide mild but temporary relief for many Americans (allowing children to remain on parents' health insurance until age 26; eliminating pre-existing conditions exclusions, etc.).

  • Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
    By Jack Bernard | Kansas City Star
    A physician friend recently said to me “Once every 15 years, health care reform comes around. If we do not succeed this time, we will have to wait another 15 years.”

  • Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
    By John Nichols | The Nation
    There have been few steadier Congressional hands throughout the debate over health care reform than that of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Principled in his support for the real reform of “Medicare for All,” yet pragmatic in his advocacy for Affordable Care Act provisions that expand public health programs and allow states to experiment with single-payer options, Sanders has been in the thick of every fight over President Obama’s signature reform. And the ensuing legislative and legal battles over its implementation.

  • Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | The Oregonian
    Is the Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act good news or bad? It depends on who you are.

  • Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
    By Jonathan Kotch, M.D. | The Herald Sun (Durham, N.C.)
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. Five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if for refusing to buy insurance is a tax that Congress has the power to impose.

  • Posted on Monday, July 2, 2012
    By Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D. | The Journal News (Lower Hudson Valley, N.Y.)
    There is a better path to health-care reform. Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, the law will not remedy the U.S. health crisis.

  • Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2012
    By Robert Weissman | Yes! magazine
    There is a single solution to the challenges of providing coverage to the 50 million who are uninsured that would curb out-of-control health care costs and provide a humane standard of care to all who enter the medical system. That solution is an improved Medicare-for-All, single-payer system.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Marcia Angell, M.D. | The Huffington Post
    The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, puts me in mind of the old proverb: Be careful what you wish for. Democrats on a victory lap should watch their step, because John Roberts may have given Mitt Romney a gift. The impact on the health system will be much smaller than the political fallout, because with or without Obamacare, the American health system will continue to unravel -- quickly if Romney is elected, slowly if Obama is re-elected.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Joshua Faucher | Post-Bulletin (Rochester, Minn.), Letters
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is anything but a complete solution to our health care crisis. The bill still will leave at least 26 million devoid of insurance coverage. Equally worrisome, it will force many into a relationship with private insurers for coverage that is too expensive and often incomplete. We must react by implementing the non-profit, single-payer insurance system our country needs and deserves.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Frederick W. “Rick” Ford | The Palm Beach Post
    Although the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the law is not a remedy to our health care crisis, as it leaves at least 26 million uninsured, will not make health care affordable to Americans with insurance, because of high co-pays and gaps in coverage that leave patients vulnerable to financial ruin in the event of serious illness, and will not control costs.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Quentin Young, M.D. | Chicago Tribune, Letters
    The Supreme Court decision on health care reform achieved several goals. It affirmed the constitutionality of the federal health care reform legislation and clearly gave President Barack Obama's re-election a big boost.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Walter Tsou, M.D. | CommonDreams
    The Supreme Court has spoken. The Affordable Care Act, briefly on the ropes, has been blessed as the law of the land.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D. | The New York Times, Letters
    Let’s get real about health care reform. Although the Affordable Care Act will bring health insurance to many, it will not bring health care to all or control costs. Millions will still be uninsured or underinsured: one job loss or illness away from bankruptcy. Billions of dollars will continue to be wasted by private, for-profit insurance companies through inflated administrative costs, profits to shareholders and huge salaries for chief executives. These dollars could all be going toward providing health care if we eliminated this unnecessary middleman.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator | Labor for Single-Payer
    Yesterday's Supreme Court decision that substantially upholds the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was widely praised by the national labor movement. "Working people won a resounding victory," proclaimed SEIU President Mary Kay Henry as she thanked President Obama and the members of Congress who supported the ACA.

  • Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012
    By Quentin Young, M.D. | Chicago Sun-Times, Letters
    The Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health reform leaves much to be done before the American people have a decent health system. Unfortunately, the reform won’t control costs but will leave 26 million people uninsured and everyone else with “unaffordable underinsurance,” or coverage so skimpy it doesn’t protect from financial ruin in the event of illness.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 28, 2012
  • Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
    National Nurses United, Press Release
    Five years after release of their searing indictment of the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, filmmaker Michael Moore and the real-life stars of SiCKO, will hold a reunion Saturday night in Philadelphia. The event is at 7 p.m. at the Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Street.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
    By Laura Flanders | The Nation
    Margaret Flowers, MD, is a pediatrician whose exasperation with the American health care system turned her into a single-payer activist. In 2009 she was arrested at the Senate Round Table on Health Insurance for attempting to speak on behalf of a single-payer plan when single payer had been cut out of the conversation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
    The American Medical Student Association and Physicians for a National Health Program are pleased to announce the winners of the first national single payer essay contest for medical students.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2012
    By Mari Edlin | California Healthline
    Neither the Affordable Care Act nor the challenges it faces in the Supreme Court has stopped the wheels from turning for the California Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Program and Campaign for a Healthy California.

  • Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012
    By Laurence S. Jacobs, M.D. | The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.)
    The country now awaits the upcoming Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). No matter what decision is made, however, it is important to recognize the inadequacies of the ACA, and to understand the optimal solution to our health insurance crisis.

  • Posted on Friday, June 22, 2012
    By Patricia Downs Berger, M.D. | Letters, Boston Globe
    Universal access to affordable, high-quality medical care is what we all want for ourselves and our families, but it can only happen if we have a single-payer system that embodies this goal. Such a system means that there would be a single government entity that would pay health care bills instead of myriad private companies and government plans.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
    By Jonathan D. Walker, M.D. | Frost Illustrated (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
    When it comes to overall health, African Americans tend to do much worse than average. A few examples: according to the Center for Disease Control, death rates for black Americans surpass those of Americans overall for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and HIV. According to a study published in Health Services Research, white males live approximately seven years longer than African American males, and white women live more than five years longer than black women. Finally, African Americans fare far worse when it comes to infant mortality-their rate is almost double the national average.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
    Steffie Woolhandler, M.D. & David U. Himmelstein, M.D. | The New York Times, Science Times
    Re “The Reward for Donating a Kidney: No Insurance" (The Consumer, June 12): Health insurers’ refusal to cover kidney donors after their donation is patently unjust.

  • Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012
    By Marcia Angell | Room for Debate, The New York Times
    If the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act's mandate to buy insurance, it will have done the right thing for the wrong reason. The court's Republican majority will have used the Constitution as an excuse to undermine President Obama. (Anyone who still thinks the Supreme Court is not a political body hasn't been paying attention.)

  • Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012
    By David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | The New York Times, Room for Debate
    Occupy Wall Street wasn’t born in time for the 2009 health care debate. But that debate was a quintessential display of the power and privilege of the 1 percent.

  • Posted on Monday, June 18, 2012
    By Li-hsia Wang and Henry Abrons | San Francisco Chronicle, Letters
    The California HealthCare Foundation’s report on Medi-Cal might lead Chronicle readers to believe that low-income residents feel secure in California’s safety net for 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.