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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, 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.

  • 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.