Articles of Interest Archives

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

  • Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2015
    By Joyce Frieden | MedPage Today
    WASHINGTON -- The lack of greater movement toward universal healthcare coverage -- especially a single-payer system -- in the U.S. can be boiled down to four letters: AFIG, according to Philip Caper, MD.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
    By Sarah Ferris | The Hill
    More than five years after the single-payer system was scrapped from ObamaCare policy debates, just over 50 percent of people say they still support the idea, including one-quarter of Republicans, according to a new poll.

  • Posted on Friday, January 16, 2015
    By Isaiah J. Poole | Campaign for America's Future
    A new study has put a price tag on how much more the United States pays in health care costs because it has chosen not to adopt a single-payer system: $375 billion.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
    By Louis Balizet, M.D. | Health News Colorado
    The beginning of the new year seems a logical time to review the Affordable Care Act and to speculate on its future. In 2014, we saw the start of the exchanges and Medicaid expansion, the end of Vermont’s attempt to expand coverage beyond the ACA, and continued legal challenges aimed at killing the ACA piecemeal. What do all these portend for 2015?

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
    By Dan Mangan | CNBC
    And you thought your bills were out of control.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2015
    By Sarah Kollmorgen | The New Republic
    Last summer, with Obamacare's initial troubles fading from view, The New Republic's Brian Beutler noted that certain problems with the healthcare overhaul won't ever go away because they're inherent to its architecture.

  • Posted on Saturday, January 10, 2015
    By Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., and David U. Himmelstein, M.D.
    Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Dec. 17, 2014, announcement that he would not press forward with Vermont’s Green Mountain Care (GMC) reform arose from political calculus rather than fiscal necessity. GMC had veered away from a true single payer design over the past three years, forfeiting some potential cost savings. Yet even the diluted plan on the table before Shumlin’s announcement would probably have lowered total health spending in Vermont, while covering all of the state’s uninsured.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | Jacobin
    Has the tide of health care justice turned — in the wrong direction? Last month, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced that he could no longer “responsibly support” a funding plan for his long-awaited “single-payer” plan for the state. It wasn’t long before some on the Right claimed a historic victory.

  • Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2015
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D.
    After years of work to elect a favorable governor, pass legislation and implement it, the people of Vermont were recently spurned by Governor Peter Shumlin when he announced that the state would not go ahead with the health law as planned. This turn of events provides an important lens for examining what happened in the advocacy for health reform and what must be done now. The fight for universal healthcare has been going on for a century in the US and it is certainly not over because of Shumlin’s failure.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2015
    By Laura Ungar and Jayne O'Donnell | USA Today
    Physician Praveen Arla is witnessing a reversal of health care fortunes: Poor, long-uninsured patients are getting Medicaid through Obamacare and finally coming to his office for care. But middle-class workers are increasingly staying away.

  • Posted on Wednesday, January 7, 2015
    PNHP note: The following opinion pieces are from three prominent figures in the health reform movement in Vermont.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    By Stan Gold | Sonoma County (Calif.) Gazette
    In the December issue of the Gazette, we pointed out that the U.S. is No. 1 in the world in health care costs (17.3 percent of our GDP), and that the U.S. health insurance industry is a barrier to the delivery of affordable, comprehensive, health care to the American people. We also noted that “Single Payer Health Care,” aka “Expanded, Improved, Medicare for All,” is a tried and tested solution to our health care problems. It has had many decades of successful performance in a large number of the world’s industrialized democracies.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    By Elizabeth R. Rosenthal, M.D. | Times Union (Albany, N.Y.)
    Gov. Peter Shumlin wanted to enact a single-payer system in Vermont, but it soon became clear to him that he could not do it without federal support. The comprehensive federal waivers that would be required, as well as lifting Employee Retirement Income Security Act restrictions, would not be forthcoming from Congress. Therefore the label “single payer” was removed from the legislation and the bill was completely rewritten.

  • Posted on Tuesday, January 6, 2015
    By Claudia Chaufan, M.D. | Labor Notes
    Supporters of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system in the U.S. were puzzled September 27 when Swiss voters rejected a reform proposal by 62 percent.

  • Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014
    By Kay Tillow | Firedoglake
    It’s just a matter of time until Humana, Aetna, Anthem, CIGNA, UnitedHealthcare—all the private health insurers—will no longer exist as health insurance companies.

  • Posted on Monday, December 29, 2014
    By Scott Goldberg | Chicago Sun-Times
    On December 10, medical students at more than 70 schools across the country held “white coat die-ins” in response to the lack of indictments in the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2014
    By Pat Bradley | WAMC Northeast Public Radio
    Last week Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin told Vermonters he would stop his efforts to implement single-payer health care in the state. The decision has upset supporters, but they say it won’t stop efforts at the state or national level to implement single-payer.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014
    By Dave Dvorak, M.D., M.P.H. | Minnesota / ACEP Newsletter
    As emergency physicians, we have chosen to work in a setting that treats all patients, regardless of their ability to pay. We deliver more uncompensated care than any other specialty. Whether you see this as honorable or unfair, it is emblematic of a long broken system.

  • Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014
    By James Binder, M.D. | The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette
    Private insurance companies have conned us once again. It wasn’t long ago that many folks were pleased with a new insurance regulation that required private insurers to cover pre-existing medical conditions. People said it was the moral thing to do. It was also self-protective, since almost all of us will develop a chronic medical condition at some point in our lives.

  • Posted on Friday, December 19, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    When I was a kid, I liked to play a game called “connect the dots” where I connected a series of numbered and apparently unrelated dots to reveal a picture of a person, animal or object. I still enjoy connecting dots, but now I do it with apparently unrelated observations and try and understand the picture they reveal. Here are several dots I have observed lately.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014
    By Sarah Wheaton | Politico
    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin on Wednesday dropped his plan to enact a single-payer health care system in his state — a plan that had won praise from liberals but never really got much past the framework stage.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
    By Irina Ivanova | Crain's New York Business
    The Affordable Care Act has made an unwieldy system of health insurance even more complicated, and should be replaced with a centralized, tax-funded health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2014
    By Hannah Keppler | AMSA On Call blog
    Last Wednesday, thousands of students at more than 70 medical schools across the country staged “white-coat die-ins” to make a statement about racial injustice, including as it manifests itself in our health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, December 15, 2014
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | Troy Media (Calgary, AB, Canada)
    In many countries, bereaved families get condolence cards and flowers. In the U.S., the survivors are also deluged with hospital bills and insurance paperwork.

  • Posted on Friday, December 12, 2014
    By Henry Davis | Buffalo News
    One patient went overseas for an operation to avoid paying high out-of-pocket costs here.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 11, 2014
    By Lilly Workneh | The Huffington Post
    Medical students from more than 70 schools on Wednesday protested racial profiling and police brutality through the social media initiative #WhiteCoats4BlackLives.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    By Christy Duan |
    In the pediatrics playroom, the medical team and I, a medical student, hunkered down in child-sized chairs to review patient progress notes. A television screen nearby diverted my attention. On CNN, video of protesters alternated with Eric Garner’s final moments. The television was mute, but I could hear Garner say, “I can’t breathe …I can’t breathe …” One moment, he is alive. The next, he is dead. The video loops again. One moment, he is alive. The next, he is dead.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014
    By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Chicago Tribune
    Some of the newly insured have joined the ranks of those who can't afford to use their health coverage because their out-of-pocket costs are so high. This is an inevitable problem in a system in which people's total costs -- premiums plus deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and non-covered expenses -- are related poorly if at all to what they have left after paying for food, housing, utilities, transportation and other necessities.

  • Posted on Friday, December 5, 2014
    By Jeanne Lenzer | BMJ
    About one year since the launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchange program, the overwhelming majority of the 48 million people who were uninsured in 2012, remain uninsured — a problem that will persist for the next 10 years, according to government projections. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 37 million people will not have health insurance in 2015 and 31 million will be uninsured in 2024.

  • Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2014
    By Jeoffry B. Gordon, M.D., M.P.H.
    It is now five years since the ACA came into being and one year since it started financing patient care. Thus it is an excellent time to review its inadequacies from a health policy point of view.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2014
    By Lisa Rathke | The Times Argus (Barre & Montpelier, Vt.)
    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Supporters of a plan to make Vermont the first state in the country to enact a single-payer health care system urged Gov. Peter Shumlin and the Legislature on Tuesday to move forward with the overhaul, despite Shumlin’s close call in the November election.

  • Posted on Monday, December 1, 2014
    By Aaron E. Carroll, MD | The New York Times
    The Affordable Care Act, like most health care reform efforts, focuses on people without insurance. That’s fine, because those people do face significant problems obtaining health care in the United States. But underinsurance is a real concern, too, and it’s often ignored.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
    By Michael Lighty | Healthcare-Now
    Below is testimony from Michael Lighty, director of public policy for National Nurses United, to the California Assembly Health Committee regarding Ebola preparedness in a fragmented health care system with cost-barriers to care and declining investment in public health.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
    By Donald M. Berwick, M.D.
    The following is an unofficial transcript of the remarks delivered by Dr. Donald Berwick to the Annual Meeting of Physicians for a National Health Program on Nov. 15, 2014, in New Orleans. Dr. Berwick spoke to the assembly via live video.

  • Posted on Friday, November 21, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    A new Harvard study has found that Americans’ trust in the medical profession has dropped dramatically in recent years and lags behind that in many other wealthy countries. At the same time, doctors are becoming increasingly unhappy with our profession. In his new memoir, “ Doctored,” Dr. Sandeep Jauhar eloquently explains why: More and more doctors are coming to view our profession as just another job.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014
    By Neil H. Buchanan | Verdict,
    The two most recent attempts to reform the American health care system, in the early 1990s and early in this decade, were notable for what the would-be reformers refused even to consider: single-payer health care. Although nearly every major nation in the world uses a version of the single-payer system—and, as I will discuss below, even though the U.S. itself has had great success with a partial single-payer plan—both the Clinton and Obama Administrations ruled out universal single-payer reform even as one of the possible options.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014
    By Steven Reinberg | HealthDay News
    Seniors in America have more chronic health problems and take more medications than seniors in 10 other industrialized countries do, according to a new global survey.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014
    By Joan Brunwasser | OpEdNews
    My guest today is second-year medical student, Brad Zehr. Welcome to OpEdNews, Brad. Something very interesting happened at the AMA (American Medical Association) recently. What can you tell us about it?

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2014
    By Vijay Das | Salon
    Starting tomorrow, November 15, millions of Americans will go online to obtain or re-enroll in health coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) insurance marketplaces. Working families once again will try to pick a health plan that works for them. Yet this year, the task will be particularly difficult.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
    By Adam Schrager | (WISC-TV, Madison, WI)
    MADISON, Wis. - Megan Rothbauer would rather be discussing an impending engagement, her future marriage and eventually, children. However, the 30-year-old Madison resident is instead scouring the Internet looking for solutions to stave off bankruptcy.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014
    By Anne Scheetz, M.D. | Common Dreams
    With the Affordable Care Act’s new enrollment period starting on Nov. 15, and then, for many, the activation of new insurance coverage on Jan. 1, we’ll be witnessing an intense period of “churn.”

  • Posted on Friday, November 7, 2014
    By Morgan True |
    MONTPELIER, Vt. -- For many observers, Rep. Mike Fisher's defeat in the Addison 4 district came as a surprise, and as a rebuke of Vermont's push for single-payer health care.

  • Posted on Friday, November 7, 2014
    By Trudy Lieberman | The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon, Sask.)
    As an American journalist sitting in a Toronto coffee bar, I began to chat with people about their healthcare system.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 6, 2014
    By Stephen B. Kemble, M.D. | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
    Recent studies have documented high administrative burdens for American doctors and hospitals. The average U.S. physician spends a sixth of their time on administrative tasks that are not integral to patient care, and this is worst for psychiatrists, internists, and family practitioners – the very specialties for which we have the worst shortages.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014
    Health Affairs
    The following letters appeared in the November issue of the journal Health Affairs in connection with a feature article in the September issue titled “A Comparison Of Hospital Administrative Costs In Eight Nations: US Costs Exceed All Others By Far,” by David U. Himmelstein, Miraya Jun, Reinhard Busse, Karine Chevreul, Alexander Geissler, Patrick Jeurissen, Sarah Thomson, Marie-Amelie Vinet, and Steffie Woolhandler.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014
    By Katie Wike | Health IT Outcomes
    Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein, who serve as professors of public health at the City University of New York and lecturers in medicine at Harvard Medical School, recently studied data from over 4,700 physicians. According to the International Journal of Health Services, this data came from the most recent 2008 Health Tracking Physician Survey.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 4, 2014
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | Portland (Ore.) Tribune
    What are the saddest parts of the Cover Oregon debacle?

  • Posted on Monday, November 3, 2014
    By Robert A. Milch, M.D. | The Buffalo News
    The News reported Oct. 25 that the national head of BlueCross BlueShield said the United States “spends too much” for health care, stakeholders need to “work” together and reimbursement must shift to one that “rewards best outcomes.”

  • Posted on Monday, November 3, 2014
    By Carol C. Nadelson and Howard Corwin | The New York Times
    The Ebola crisis could be a test case for health care management on a national scale. It may provide an extraordinary opportunity to improve the adequacy of our national health care.

  • Posted on Friday, October 31, 2014
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News
    Is the Affordable Care Act a failure? For some of us, the answer is simple: If you voted for President Obama, it must be a success. If you voted against the president, it must be a failure.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2014
    By Emily Rappleye | Becker's Hospital Review
    EHRs increase time spent on non-patient-related paperwork, a burden that consumes 16.6 percent of the average American physician's working hours, according to a study published last week in the International Journal of Health Services.

  • Posted on Monday, October 27, 2014
    By Daphne C. Thompson | The Harvard Crimson
    Holding signs reading "Healthcare not warfare" and "Insurers deny, people die," more than 100 activists rallied at Boston Common Sunday to promote a single-payer healthcare system and an emergency global health fund.

  • Posted on Friday, October 24, 2014
    By Marie Benz, M.D. |
    Interview with Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Public Health and City University of New York, Lecturer (formerly Professor of Medicine) at Harvard Medical School, Primary Care Physician Practicing in the South Bronx.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2014
    By Dave Dvorak, M.D. | Duluth News Tribune
    "Not sustainable.” That was the way PreferredOne CEO Marcus Merz described the circumstances leading to his insurance company’s decision to withdraw from the MNsure exchange.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
    UT School of Public Health, Oct. 22, 2014
    Robert Zarr, M.D., M.P.H., an alumnus of The University of Texas School of Public Health, was recently appointed president-elect of the organization Physicians for a National Program (PNHP). Zarr earned an M.P.H. at the School of Public Health, which is part of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), and an M.D. at Baylor College of Medicine.

  • Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014
    By Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear | The New York Times
    While high-deductible plans cover most of the costs of severe illnesses and lengthy hospital stays, protecting against catastrophic debt, those plans may compel people to forgo routine care that could prevent bigger, longer-term health issues, according to experts and research.

  • Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014
    By Johnathon Ross, M.D. | The Blade
    This is a political fight as well as a moral one. We must insist that our elected officials understand that our lives are literally at stake, and that we will defend ourselves from their negligence.

  • Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014
    By Amitabh Pal | The Progressive
    Dr. Walter Tsou, past president of the American Public Health Association and the former health commissioner for Philadelphia, says that the Ebola crisis shows the skewed priorities of the U.S. health care system.

  • Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014
    By Josephus Weeks | The Dallas Morning News
    Thomas Eric Duncan was a victim of a broken system. The biggest unanswered question about my uncle’s death is why the hospital would send home a patient with a 103-degree fever and stomach pains who had recently been in Liberia — and he told them he had just returned from Liberia explicitly due to the Ebola threat. Some speculate that this was a failure of the internal communications systems. Others have speculated that antibiotics and Tylenol are the standard protocol for a patient without insurance.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | Common Dreams
    In some countries, bereaved families get condolence cards and flowers. In ours, the survivors are also deluged with hospital bills and insurance paperwork.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 16, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    Elections matter. And when it comes to health care, the upcoming election on Nov. 4 will matter a lot. This seems an appropriate time to take stock of where we stand.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    By RoseAnn DeMoro | The Washington Post
    With reports that a nurse who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan in Dallas has been infected, one thing urgently needs to be made clear: Our hospitals are not prepared to confront the deadly virus.

  • Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
    PNHP note: This Associated Press wire story, dated March 26, 1966, contains the first known published reference to Dr. King's famous quotation regarding injustice in health care, namely, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman."

  • Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014
    By Mandi Woodruff | Yahoo Finance
    When Deanne Overvold’s husband, Lee, started complaining of back pain late last year, she thought the painkillers his doctor prescribed would be the end of it. Five months later, a round of lab tests would reveal that Lee, 60, wasn’t just suffering from a backache — he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a fast-moving bone marrow cancer.

  • Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014
    By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldiver and Jennifer Agiesta | The Associated Press
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- Having health insurance is no panacea for high medical costs. Overall, 1 in 4 privately insured U.S. adults say they don't have much confidence in their ability to pay for a major, unexpected medical expense.

  • Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014
    By Randall White, M.D. | Canadian Healthcare Network (Toronto)
    Obtaining orthopedic services in British Columbia is harder than it needs to be. People sometimes wait for months, but successful programs to expedite access exist, such as the Osteoarthritis Service Integration System, operated by Vancouver Coastal Health. Although the government should create more such programs, such efforts are diverted in the defence of our single-payer, not-for-profit universal healthcare system from a group that hopes to break the “government monopoly” on healthcare funding in Canada.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 8, 2014
    By Olga Khazan | The Atlantic
    After his recent herniated-disk surgery, Peter Drier was ready for the $56,000 hospital charge, the $4,300 anesthesiologist bill, and the $133,000 fee for orthopedist. All were either in-network under his insurance or had been previously negotiated. But as Elisabeth Rosenthal recently explained in her greatNew York Times piece, he wasn't quite prepared for a $117,000 bill from an “assistant surgeon"—an out-of-network doctor that the hospital tacked on at the last minute.

  • Posted on Monday, October 6, 2014
    By the Editorial Board | The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette
    A Republican hospital consultant and university teacher wrote a Sunday Gazette-Mail analysis saying President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of Americans without medical insurance from 18 percent to 13 percent, so far.

  • Posted on Friday, October 3, 2014
    By Laurie Garrett | The Chicago Tribune
    Fear of Ebola has been climbing steadily in the United States since Tuesday's announcement that a Liberian traveler in Dallas, Thomas Eric Duncan, was diagnosed with the disease after having been in Texas for eight days.

  • Posted on Wednesday, October 1, 2014
    Office of Sen. Bernie Sanders
    One year after health insurance markets were opened to the public, Politico asked “some of the country's smartest health-care thinkers” what Obamacare hasn't fixed in the American health care system and what we can do now. Sen. Bernie Sanders shared his idea for a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system:

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2014
    By Jonathan D. Walker, M.D. | The Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
    I was at a restaurant in Boston, sitting next to some high-powered business professionals. I heard words like “hospital network,” “insurance” and “pay structure” coming from their table, so I had to eavesdrop.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
    By Laura Kiesel | MainStreet
    Hospitals in the U.S. spend exorbitant amounts on overhead compared to those of other countries, and that's causing financial ills for the average American patient.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 23, 2014
    “Democracy Now,” Sept. 21, 2014
    The following is an unofficial transcript of an interview that Dr. Oliver Fein, chair of the New York Metro chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Katie Robbins, executive director of the chapter, gave to Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now” at the huge Climate Justice March in New York City on Sept. 21, 2014. The video of this interview begins at the 54-minute mark at this link. Other PNHP activists, including Dr. Steffie Woolhandler and Dr. Steve Auerbach, were also interviewed at the march.

  • Posted on Monday, September 22, 2014
    By Jack Bernard | The Ledger-Inquirer (Columbus, Ga.)
    Ever since Medicare (universal health insurance for old people and the disabled) came out in 1965, congressional efforts to expand it to cover the rest of us have been thwarted.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    A study published in the current issue of Health Affairs found that hospitals in the U.S. spend about twice as much per capita on administration as the seven other countries studied. If spending on administrative costs were reduced to the average level of spending in the other countries, we could reduce by about $150 billion the $750 billion a year we waste in health care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
    By Paul Song, M.D. | Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare
    The Labor Campaign for Single Payer held its largest ever strategy conference August 22-24 in Oakland, CA. Over 300 attendees packed the joint session at the historic ILWU Local 6 Hall, which was co-sponsored by Healthcare-NOW! and One-Payer States. Dr. Paul Song gave the keynote address for the workshop on "One-Payer States." The following are his notes from his talk.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 16, 2014
    By Jim Landers | Dallas Morning News
    WASHINGTON — Americans spend more than $9,000 apiece on health care every year. Ouch, you say. But how does it feel to know that more than $1,000 of that sum goes to administrative costs? Or that Americans spend more than $210 billion a year on the health insurance claims system?

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014
    By Douglas Martin | The New York Times
    Rashi Fein, an influential economist who strove to bring ethical and humanitarian perspectives to the nation’s health care system and helped lay the intellectual groundwork for Medicare in the 1960s, died on Monday in Boston. He was 88.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014
    By Sarah Kliff | Vox
    America spends a lot of money on the paperwork that makes hospitals run— $218 billion per year, to be exact. That works out to 1.43 percent of the entire American economy is spent on hospitals' administrative costs. Of every $100 spent in America, that means $1.43 is going toward the billing specialists and schedulers that make hospitals here work.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    If public policy decisions were driven by good business sense, the United States would long ago have stopped wasting so much of our health care dollar on the preservation of an irrational insurance industry. With millions remaining uninsured despite 17.6 percent of our gross domestic product being devoted to health care, we must restructure our economically unsustainable system.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014
    By William Ulwelling, M.D. | Albuquerque Journal
    How affordable is the American health care system? And are matters getting better or worse? One factor is the cost-effectiveness of our hospitals. A major study published recently in Health Affairs revealed a big problem, and proposed an answer.

  • Posted on Monday, September 15, 2014
    By Dr. Steffie Woolhandler | Modern Healthcare
    When I was a kid in Shreveport, La., my father was chief of radiology at the local hospital. He also ran the hospital and supervised the cafeteria. Today he'd be the COO.

  • Posted on Friday, September 12, 2014
    By Ralph Nader | The Nader Page
    It is remarkable what very profitable drug companies—as they merge into fewer giant multinationals—continue to get away with by way of crony capitalism. Despite frequent exposure of misdeeds, the army of drug company lobbyists in Washington continues to gain political influence and rake in corporate welfare at the expense of taxpayers.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    By Carey Goldberg | WBUR's CommonHealth blog
    Note to politicians: Backing “Medicare for all” is looking less and less like electoral poison. If, deep in your heart, you believe American health care would be better off with a Canadian-style, single-payer system, you might now consider coming out of the closet. (In Democratic primaries in blue states, at least.)

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
    By John Nichols | The Nation
    Don Berwick is making a vital point about the need for progressives to expand the discussion about healthcare reform.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    By Markus Mannheim | The Canberra Times (Australia)
    United States hospitals spend a quarter of their budgets on administration, more than twice as much as some other countries, an international study has found.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 9, 2014
    By F. Douglas Stephenson | Health News Florida
    One reliable indicator of health care quality in any nation is life expectancy. Unfortunately, life expectancy in the United States ranks in the bottom quartile of a list of 229 industrialized nations, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014
    By Helen Adamopoulos | Becker's Hospital Review
    An analysis of eight countries with various types of healthcare systems has found the U.S. has the highest hospital administrative costs, according to a study published in Health Affairs.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014
    By Alan Bavley | The Kansas City Star
    If U.S. hospitals could cut administrative spending to Canadian levels, they’d save more than $150 billion, the researchers estimated.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014
    By Alvin Tran | WBUR CommonHealth blog
    When it comes to hospital administrative costs, a new Health Affairs study finds, our country is No. 1 and we’re way ahead of the curve — unfortunately.

  • Posted on Monday, September 8, 2014
    By David Cay Johnston | Al Jazeera America
    American hospitals spend a huge and growing share of their revenue on overhead, a study published today in Health Affairs shows. Getting those costs down should be a national priority.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2014
    By Tara Siegel Bernard | The New York Times
    Anita Maina was working on an arts and crafts project she found on Pinterest — creating a table out of wood and cork — when she ripped off a fingernail while removing staples from a piece of wood.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2014
    By Sarah Kliff | Vox
    Health care in the United States is expensive. Insanely, outlandishly expensive.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2014
    By Gordon D. Fiedler Jr. | The Salina (Kan.) Journal
    Affordable, accessible health care for all is not a dream but can be a reality, according to David Kingsley, who represents Physicians for a National Health Plan.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2014
    By Bill Briggs | NBC News
    The price to remove a gall bladder or replace a hip has spiked more than 20 percent during the past five years, according to an analysis of data collected for NBC News.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
    By Inge De Becker, M.D. | The Chronicle Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
    As a Canadian physician who now lives south of the 49th parallel, I’m alarmed that Canada’s publicly financed national health-care system is once again under attack

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 26, 2014
    By Jessica Schorr Saxe, M.D. | Vancouver Sun
    The middle-aged woman came to my family medicine practice for a routine visit to check her high blood pressure. It was the highest I’ve ever seen in the office: 280/180. I told her to go to the emergency department for probable admission to the hospital.

  • Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014
    By Thomas Meisenhelder | San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sun
    On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the nation’s most successful medical care program, Medicare. This year marks the 49th anniversary of our commitment to provide good, accessible health care to those over 65. This program has been hugely successful and now covers 98 percent of the country’s senior citizens. Medicare costs rise more slowly than other health care costs and seniors with Medicare are more satisfied with their health care than those with private insurance.

  • Posted on Monday, August 25, 2014
    By C.V. Allen | The Modesto (Calif.) Bee
    The following is part myth (the government doesn’t sell auto insurance) and part reality – an example of how an insurance program can be gamed for private benefit to the detriment of the public – which is very much the issue.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2014
    The following is an unofficial transcript of parts of an interview that Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, gave to Ed “Flash” Ferenc, host of the labor-oriented, Cleveland-based America’s Work Force Radio, on Aug. 15, 2014. In addition to the points he makes below, Dr. Nissen also spoke about pharmaceutical drug safety and other issues.