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 Friday, June 20, 2014
    By Wendy Glauser | CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)
    TORONTO -- With the prospect of greater pay, fewer bureaucratic headaches and the opportunity to provide better care for patients, the number of American doctors migrating north is rising, according to Canadian recruiters and Canadian Medical Association data.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014
    By Fred Schulte, David Donald, Erin Durkin | The Center for Public Integrity
    PNHP note: This is the first of a series of articles on the Medicare Advantage program published by The Center for Public Integrity this month. Links to other articles in the series are provided at the end.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    The problem of long wait times for veterans seeking care at some (but not all) Veterans Health Administration facilities has been front-page news for the past several weeks, and seems to be resulting in an unusually prompt response from a normally gridlocked Congress. The wait times and the consequent attempts to cover them up seem to have multiple causes.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014
    By Julie Keller Pease, M.D., and Kevin Twine | Portland (Maine) Press Herald
    As physicians and concerned citizens, we offer a more rational and reasoned perspective. The problems within the VA have in fact presented another opportunity for us to shine a light on the many benefits of an improved version of Medicare for all.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2014
    PNHP has physician-spokespeople who are available for comment on these issues to the media. To schedule an interview, contact PNHP communications director Mark Almberg at

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    By Phillip Longman | Washington Monthly
    You probably saw headlines earlier this week like this one from CNN: “Audit: More than 120,000 veterans waiting or never got care.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 11, 2014
    By Wendell Potter | The Center for Public Integrity
    If health insurance companies announce big premium increases on policies for 2015, I hope regulators, lawmakers and the media will look closely at whether they are justified, especially in light of recent disclosures of better-than-expected profits in 2013, rosy outlooks for the rest of this year and soaring CEO compensation.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    By Phillip Longman | Washington Monthly
    On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, announced that he had reached a compromise with John McCain and other Senate Republicans on how to fix whatever it is that needs fixing at the VA. The legislation contains some good ideas, like providing for the hiring of more doctors and nurses where they are needed. But the bill also contains one provision that is a significant concession to Republican enemies of government.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 10, 2014
    By James Besante | Albuquerque Journal
    BCBSNM plays the same games as their for-profit counterparts and the endless pursuit of profits hurts all of us, but especially sick New Mexicans.

  • Posted on Monday, June 9, 2014
    By Phillip Longman | Washington Monthly
    On Tuesday, I offered some background information that called into question the now almost universal assumption that there is a “systemic” problem at VA hospitals with excessive wait times. Yes, VA hospitals in some Sunbelt retirement meccas like Phoenix face serious capacity issues due to the large number of aging vets who have moved to such areas. But in most parts of the country a shrinking population of vets threatens to force the closure of many VA hospitals for lack of patients.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 5, 2014
    By Suzanne Gordon | Beyond Chron (San Francisco)
    As the firestorm about wait times at VA facilities continues, political representatives from both parties insist that waits must be eliminated for veterans seeking care. Now that Republicans have succeeded in forcing the resignation of Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, who resigned last week – the new focus is on seeking partial privatization of the system by allowing veterans to get care from private sector doctors – care that would be paid for by the government program.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    By Ross Forman | Windy City Times (Chicago)
    Quentin Young offers his take on a variety of topics, including people, politics and policies, in his new book: "Everybody In, Nobody Out: Memoirs of a Rebel Without a Pause."

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    By Suzanne Gordon | The Boston Globe
    First it was Social Security, then Medicare and Medicaid, and then the public health care option under Obamacare. Now, in the wake of recent allegations that veterans hospitals put patients on secret wait lists, Republicans are calling for the privatization of the Veterans Health Administration, the nation’s largest public health care system which provides cost-effective and high quality care to 6.2 million veterans.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    The following four letters to the editor represent a sampling of opinion by single-payer advocates across the U.S. on the recently exposed wait-time problems in the Veterans Health Administration. For more on the current VA situation, see PNHP's Articles of Interest and Dr. Don McCanne's Quote of the Day.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 4, 2014
    By Phillip Longman | Washington Monthly
    Last week, when I accepted an invitation to go on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated talk show, his first question to me was, “So how does it feel to be the author of a book about the VA that has been thoroughly discredited?”

  • Posted on Monday, June 2, 2014
    By Arthur J. Sutherland III, M.D. | The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.)
    The sad part of this story is that America spends twice as much per capita on health care as other countries, but gets inadequate results. We are the only developed country in the world not to provide universal coverage, and the World Health Organization ranks the U.S. 37th in overall health status compared to other nations.

  • Posted on Monday, June 2, 2014
    By George Dyck, M.D. | The Wichita Eagle
    As we still hear about confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, I think about how different it is in Canada. I go there to work in the summer and see how much simpler things can be for the person who needs medical care.

  • Posted on Friday, May 30, 2014
    By Mike Dennison | Independent Record (Helena, Mont.)
    The parent firm of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has been sued by a benefits-administration group that says the Chicago-based insurance giant is hoarding excess profits and unduly enriching its executives.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2014
    By Pat Barcas | Fox Valley Labor News
    CHICAGO — Discussion about single payer, universal health care has been ongoing for the last 100 years. Now, Dr. Andrew Coates says the fight is about to come to an impasse — this country needs universal health care to move forward.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2014
    By Andrew D. Coates, M.D.
    KevinMD — Dr. Kevin Pho — the popular physician blogger, suggests that single-payer advocates reevaluate the single-payer idea in light of the scandal now unfolding within the Veterans Health Administration. He calls the scandal “a red flag for those who want a national single-payer system in the United States.”

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2014
    By Scott Goldberg | Chicago Tribune
    Nominally nonprofit health insurers are reaping huge financial gains by employing the same practices as for-profit insurers (claim denials, restrictive networks) and paying for as little actual health care as possible.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2014
    By Joseph Sparks | Sparks Remarks blog
    To say that nobody’s figured out how to do health care economically and efficiently is flat out wrong. When journalists do not discuss single-payer as the solution to the current health care crisis, they perform a disservice to their profession and the public.

  • Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014
    By Geoffrey Cowley | MSNBC
    BURLINGTON, Vermont—Al Gobeille is not your garden-variety health advocate. For the past two decades, he and his wife have hawked fried clams, liquor and ice cream on the Lake Champlain waterfront. He’s a big man with an impish grin and a can-do spirit rooted in an earlier career as a military officer.

  • Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014
    By Judy Dasovich, M.D. | Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader
    Former Mercy President Robert Steele worried that “we’re spending money on health care that does not substantially increase the health of those we’re serving.” Employers tell him that it’s “breaking our bank.” Cox CEO Steve Edwards warns that Missouri hospitals are disadvantaged due to lack of Medicaid expansion.

  • Posted on Friday, May 23, 2014
    By J. David Cox Sr., RN | The Huffington Post
    The public’s outrage over excessive wait times and rigged recordkeeping at Veterans Affairs hospitals is more than justified. As a former VA nurse, I understand all too well that depriving veterans of timely access to care is a disservice to them and their sacrifice to this nation.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014
    By Andrew Coates, M.D.
    Physicians have a special relationship with society. As the profession has evolved, our relationship with society has become profound, but also tangled with business. And what I has happened is almost bewildering to my colleagues many times.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014
    By Robert Weissman | Insurance News Net
    Today’s panel discussion is important because we know that single-payer wins the health care argument on the merits. We know that it wins with the American people, and the more they learn about single-payer, the stronger will be their support.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014
    By Margaret Flowers, MD
    The first step in the work to move to a single payer plan must be to take stock of where we are and where we are headed. We must do what we can to prevent further damage while we organize for the real solution to our healthcare crisis: a national single payer health system.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014
    By Anne Meador | DCMediaGroup
    At a panel hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Capitol Hill today, advocates for single payer healthcare criticized the current system in the U.S. as inefficient, expensive and delivering poor results in comparison to wealthy nations who offer universal health coverage to their citizens.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    By Julie Rovner | Kaiser Health News
    Advocates for a single-payer “Medicare for all” health system are fanning out across Capitol Hill this week, lobbying members of Congress.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    Public Citizen
    WASHINGTON -- There is a solution to the challenge of providing health care coverage to the 50 million Americans who are uninsured, and that solution is a Medicare-for-All, single-payer system, a panel of experts and advocates said today.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    The following is a video of a panel discussion titled “Single Payer: Where do we go from here?” with presentations by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Robert Weissman of Public Citizen, Gerald Friedman of UMass-Amherst, Dr. Margaret Flowers of, Dr. Andrew D. Coates of Physicians for a National Health Program, and Michael Lighty of National Nurses United.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2014
    By Jon Perr | Daily Kos
    With its shameful backlog and secret waiting lists at some of its facilities, the Veterans Health Administration is facing an urgent crisis. But the only reform certain to make things worse would be to privatize the system of 1,700 VA facilities that serve 8.76 million American vets.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    The Morning Consult
    As the health insurance industry increasingly looks to market directly to consumers for new revenue, legacy brand challenges remain. The words “greedy”, “money”, “expensive”, and “profit” dominated voter responses when asked to identify what comes to mind when you think of health insurance companies.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 20, 2014
    By Aaron Carroll, MD | The Week
    In the U.S., we throw around the phrase "socialized medicine" a lot, typically referring to a Medicare-for-all system like Canada's. But when you think about it, a single-payer insurance system leaves the whole medical industry out of the government orbit.

  • Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014
    Labor Beat, May 16, 2014
    This video provides a clear overview of the national health care crisis, the inadequacies of Obamacare, and the argument for an 'everybody in, nobody out' single-payer health program. Andrew D. Coates, M.D., gives a motivating presentation of the basics in this debate, backed up by selected PowerPoint graphics prepared by Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition.

  • Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014
    By Elisabeth Rosenthal | The New York Times
    Though the recent release of Medicare’s physician payments cast a spotlight on the millions of dollars paid to some specialists, there is a startling secret behind America’s health care hierarchy: Physicians, the most highly trained members in the industry’s work force, are on average right in the middle of the compensation pack.

  • Posted on Monday, May 19, 2014
    By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams
    The Obama administration earlier this month quietly handed the insurance industry another loophole in the Affordable Care Act—infuriating advocates for universal coverage who say this shows that an insurance-driven health system is doomed to fail.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2014
    By Adam Gaffney, M.D. | Salon
    Imagine you’re a conservative state politician ideologically opposed to government-provided health insurance for those with low incomes, but you nonetheless recognize the folly in forgoing billions of dollars in federal funds available to states that expand Medicaid simply to prove a Dickensian point (of questionable popularity).

  • Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    Opponents of universal health care often claim that in order to afford it we will have to ration health care. My response to that old shibboleth is that we already pay more than enough to cover everybody, and that we already ration health care, as we must in a world of finite financial and real resources. The real question is not, “Should we ration health care?” but rather, “What’s the fairest way to do it?”

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2014
    By Kip Sullivan, J.D. | Truthdig
    President Obama and the Democratic Party dug themselves into a deep hole by claiming the Affordable Care Act would cut the nation’s health care costs when in fact it will raise them. It’s the gift that will keep on giving to opponents of the law.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2014
    By Robert Langreth | Bloomberg News
    Earl Harford, a retired professor, recently bought a month’s worth of the pills he needs to keep his leukemia at bay. The cost: $7,676, or three times more than when he first began taking the pills in 2001. Over the years, he has paid more than $140,000 from his retirement savings to cover his share of the drug’s price.

  • Posted on Monday, May 12, 2014
    The Ed Show, MSNBC, May 9, 2014
    PNHP co-founder Dr. David Himmelstein appeared on MSNBC's 'The Ed Show' on May 9, 2014 to discuss a study he co-authored that found that more than 7,100 deaths are likely from states' rejection of the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

  • Posted on Friday, May 9, 2014
    By Ida Hellander, M.D. | The New York Times
    Studies show that even patients who need emergency care for a potentially serious problem will go without it if they are in a high-deductible health plan (although this increases their risk of subsequent hospitalization). And therein lies the problem. While cost sharing discourages overuse of medical care, it worsens a greater problem, that of underuse.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 7, 2014
    By Kelly Fay | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
    Lawmakers, patients and health providers are urging the Legislature to pass a bill they say would provide every New Yorker with the basic human right to health care. Advocates rallied outside the Capitol Tuesday demanding the state adopt a single-payer system of health insurance and put "patients before profits."

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 6, 2014
    Chief executive officers at Fortune 500 health insurance companies, who have opposed new regulations under the Affordable Care Act, emerged this month as one of the ACA's greatest beneficiaries. Recently filed financial reports show that average compensation for these top nine health insurance CEOs rose by more than 19 percent in 2013, while several of the nation’s largest insurers more than doubled CEO pay.

  • Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014
    By Ana Malinow, M.D. | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    As Americans gain more experience with the ACA, they will become disappointed when they realize that plans in the marketplace have low actuarial value and high deductibles. Narrow provider networks will prevent Americans from having choices in physicians and hospitals. Those previously satisfied with their employer-sponsored coverage will find they, too, have fewer options at greater cost. This incremental step will put billions in the pockets of insurance companies, entrenching them further in our system.

  • Posted on Monday, May 5, 2014
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. | The Indypendent (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
    It feels truly Orwellian that progressives are applauding the forced purchase of private health insurance — one of the most hated industries in the United States — while the right is opposing a model that originated from their political leaders. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a step farther on the path to total privatization of our health care system, not towards the health care system that most Americans support: single payer Medicare for all.

  • Posted on Friday, May 2, 2014
    By Monika Dutt and Rachel Tutte | Vancouver Sun
    We are just four short months away from an unprecedented legal challenge to Canadian public health care that will put the fundamental Canadian principle of care based on need, not ability to pay, on trial.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2014
    By Wendell Potter | The Center for Public Integrity
    When I returned home after a two-week speaking tour of Canada and began catching up on news about Obamacare, I was angry and upset, and not just at politicians and special interests that benefit from deception-based PR tactics. I was — and still am — mostly angry and upset with myself. And I know I always will be.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 29, 2014
    By Andis Robeznieks | Modern Healthcare
    CHICAGO -- The American College of Physician Executives annual meeting drew a record 830 attendees, including one doctor whose presentation on the merits of a national single-payer system may have been something of a surprise.

  • Posted on Monday, April 28, 2014
    By Adela Talbot | Western (University) News, London, Ont.
    Danielle Martin sure can stand her ground.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014
    By David Markiewicz | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Doctors and hospitals increasingly are asking insured patients to pay more of their bills for elective procedures at the time of the service, rather than collecting a small fee upfront and waiting until later to get the rest of what’s owed.

  • Posted on Monday, April 21, 2014
    By Wendell Potter | The Huffington Post
    VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- During the year leading up to the 2008 presidential primaries, my insurance industry colleagues and I were working hard to influence the debate on health care reform.

  • Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014
    By Rosalind L. Murray | Palm Beach Post
    So much has been said about the Affordable Care Act — both bad and good. Most people, unless you are a professional, will have a difficult time fully understanding your insurance policy. Consumers (and politicians) say that no one should come between them and their doctor. However, unless a consumer pays out of pocket — there has always been someone between them and their doctor: the insurance company.

  • Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | Jacobin
    Last year’s three-ring Congressional shutdown circus — for many little more than a desperate rearguard action by an isolated rightwing fringe to undo the fait accompli of Barack Obama’s health care reform — reinforced with each passing day the gaudy dysfunction of the American political system. But we miss something crucial if we construe the perseverance of Barack Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) as nothing more than the overdue victory of commonsense health care reform over an irrelevant and intransigent right, or, even more, as the glorious culmination of a progressive dream for American universal health care long deferred.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    The United States spends far more on medical care than other wealthy countries, due mostly to higher prices for health care goods and services. There is a reason for this. In U.S. politics, social progress comes at a high price if it threatens business interests.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014
    Univision Chicago, April 12, 2014
    They are a group of doctors and medical students that say they are not content with how health care reform is functioning, and are now calling for a reform of the reform.

  • Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014
    By Adam Gaffney, MD | Salon
    As a single-payer advocate who is also a doctor, I was concerned after the Affordable Care Act was passed that it didn’t do enough to combat rising underinsurance. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund, which used new data to demonstrate that in 2012 some 31.7 million Americans were underinsured (i.e. insured, but still with heavy additional out-of-pocket health care expenses), argued that the burden of underinsurance will likely lessen as the ACA fully unfolds. But is there really reason for such optimism?

  • Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014
    By Adam Gaffney, M.D. | Dissent
    Less than two years after the fall of Nazi Germany, a bankrupt Britain – reeling from the most destructive war in history and living under conditions of stark austerity – elected to create an extraordinary system of universal health care, the National Health Service (NHS). Aneurin Bevan, the Labour Party minister of health who played a crucial role in its creation, famously remarked that the NHS would “last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.” Subsequent developments, it seems, have put his challenge to the test.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2014
    By Bob Herman | Becker's Hospital CFO
    A new report from nonpartisan advocacy group Public Citizen said a publicly funded healthcare system that guarantees universal coverage would not only reduce healthcare costs — it would also be an economic relief for employers and businesses.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2014
    By Neil H. Buchanan | Justia (Mountain View, Calif.)
    To the surprise of many people, and to the great consternation of Republicans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or the dreaded “Obamacare”) failed to fail. Last week, to much fanfare, the Obama Administration announced that the ACA’s enrollment target had been met, which means that the health care law will not collapse from lack of adequate participation.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    By James Besante | Common Dreams
    While much has been made of the 7.1 million people who bought new private health insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act, and the additional millions who newly signed up for Medicaid, two big questions hover over these figures.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    By Sarah Kliff | Vox
    Saskatchewan is a vast prairie province in the middle of Canada. It’s home to hockey great Gordie Howe and the world’s first curling museum. But Canadians know it for another reason: it’s the birthplace of the country’s single-payer health-care system.

  • Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014
    By Molly Worthen | The New York Times
    When most liberals hear the words “third party,” they have nasty flashbacks to Ralph Nader’s spoiler campaign in 2000. The history buffs among them might think of the populist Greenback Party’s feckless protests against the gold standard in the 19th century or the five presidential campaigns of the Socialist Eugene V. Debs — the last of which, in 1920, he ran from prison.

  • Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. |
    I have been an outspoken advocate for a Medicare for all health system. During the health reform process, I did all that I could to push for single payer, including being arrested three times for civil disobedience. I was one of fifty doctors who filed a brief in the Supreme Court which expressed opposition to forcing people to buy private health insurance, a defective product. It pains me to see that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) siphons billions of public dollars to create more bureaucracy and transfers hundreds of billions of public dollars directly to the private insurance industry when I know that those dollars should be paying for the health care that so many in our country desperately need.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 27, 2014
    By Ellen Oxfeld | Rutland (Vt.) Herald
    This week in a Vermont Public Radio interview, Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell backed away from an unwavering commitment to the historic task set out in Act 48 — creating a publicly funded guaranteed health care system for all Vermonters.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    By Max Romano | The Baltimore Sun
    After months of trying to help low-income Marylanders like Mary sign up, I'm more convinced than ever that Obamacare will not reach many of the people who need health insurance the most and that universal public coverage is the only way we can provide real health care for all in Maryland.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2014
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | Truthout
    There are many good reasons to impatiently anticipate the end of one's medical training, which not infrequently lasts upwards of five years following medical school. But counterpoised to the oft-cited benefits -- greater autonomy, reliably increased remuneration, less reliably improved hours, and so forth -- there is also, unfortunately, an almost entirely unrecognized drawback: a largely unavoidable entanglement in the business of health care.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
    In today’s corporatized and increasingly monetized health care environment, the demands for generation of profit often directly conflict with our clinical judgment. The belief that doctors and other healers act as stewards for our patients’ welfare has long earned us a special place in society and the trust of our patients. That position and that trust, so critical to healing, is now threatened.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | The Oregonian
    We are the only country in the world that uses our medical records, along with residence, age, military status, number of co-workers, our employer’s choice of insurance companies, part-time status, income and size of family to determine how much care we will receive and which providers we can see. We then repeat this every time we change residence, age, military status, etc.

  • Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014
    By Matthew Anderson, M.D. | Health Affairs blog
    Sometime in the past five years — it’s hard for me to say exactly when — I suddenly found myself living in a new home. I must admit I am still a bit disoriented by how this happened. But it did. People keep telling me that everything will be OK but I am not entirely sure.

  • Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014
    By Philip Verhoef, MD, PhD and Stephen Kemble, MD |
    Emanuel has reframed the crisis in the U.S. health care system as one of cost instead of the approximately 100 million Americans who lack health insurance or have insurance that does not enable appropriate care, leading to many thousands of deaths per year. We suggest that elimination of this travesty is the most important BHAG for physicians and that the solution is a single-payer system.

  • Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014
    On March 11, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont chaired a Senate subcommittee hearing on what the health care system in the United States can learn from other countries, particularly Canada, Taiwan, Denmark and France.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014
    By Deborah Schumann, M.D.
    WASHINGTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, held a hearing Tuesday to gain insight into the health care systems of four other countries, all of which view health care as a human right and have achieved near-universal coverage and access to care for their citizens.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014
    By Carmen Chai | Global News (Canada)
    TORONTO – Dr. Danielle Martin knows Canadians are proud of the country’s universal health care. She is too.

  • Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014
    By Jackie Farwell | Bangor Daily News
    With March 31 fast approaching as the deadline to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care act, the state’s largest physicians group has released new survey results showing Maine doctors favor a very different kind of health reform.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
    By Michael Hiltzik | The Los Angeles Times
    A U.S. politician's I-don't-need-no-stinkin'-facts approach to health policy ran smack into some of those troublesome facts Tuesday at a Senate hearing on single-payer healthcare, as it's practiced in Canada and several other countries.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
    By Jamie Self | The State (Columbia, S.C.)
    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Protesters calling on lawmakers to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act -- and to stop trying to impede the law in South Carolina -- blocked a driveway into the State House parking garage for the second week in a row.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 11, 2014
    By Mark Karlin | Truthout/Buzzflash
    According to the advocacy organization Public Citizen, a number of experts from single-payer nations recently testified at a Senate sub-committee hearing chaired by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a leading supporter of Medicare for all. The spokespersons from Canada and Denmark offered compelling reasons why the US should move from a private-insurance system to a government administered program (such as, well, Medicare).

  • Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014
    By the editors | Maine Medicine Weekly Update
    A recent survey of Maine Medical Association (MMA) members showed an increase in the percentage of members supporting a single-payer approach to health system reform.

  • Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014
    By Henry J. Waters III | Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune
    Recently a group of physicians sponsored a visit by a University of Massachusetts professor of economics who goes about the country touting the advantages of single-payer health care, using numbers as his forte. Gerald Friedman appeared at the University of Missouri School of Medicine at the behest of the Missouri chapter of the Physicians for a National Health Program.

  • Posted on Monday, March 10, 2014
    By Elisabeth Rosenthal | The New York Times
    When Matt Meyer, who owns a saddle-fitting company in New Hampshire, set up a monthly payment plan after some surgery, he was distressed to notice that the invoices came from a debt collector. “I had no idea this was considered debt,” he said, and wondered: “Are they reporting that” to a credit agency?

  • Posted on Friday, March 7, 2014
    By Andrew D. Coates, M.D., F.A.C.P. | WAMC Northeast Public Radio
    Facing a loved one’s death is overwhelming. Since the chances are very good that all of us will face death, it seems obvious we should be devoting our resources to building a system based upon caring for patients with the kind of dignity they deserve.

  • Posted on Friday, March 7, 2014
    By William Rivers Pitt | Truthout
    Nothing so thoroughly dominated the American political landscape over the last year more than the Republican assault on the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known now as "Obamacare." The GOP's eternal refrain that "Government is the problem" was used as a battering ram against the law, and House Republicans have voted to repeal or denude it exactly fifty times as of today.

  • Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2014
    By Gabriel Edwards and David Mealiea | The New Physician
    In medical school, we are taught that practicing good medicine means first asking a good history. Gathering relevant information guides the review of the patient’s body systems, physical examination, and ultimately the assessment and plan that leads to an effective medical intervention. With experience, the doctor learns to recognize patterns which help guide clinical judgment. We are at the beginning of this process, but some patterns have already begun to emerge.

  • Posted on Tuesday, March 4, 2014
    By David Sims | The Chief-Leader (New York)
    The Affordable Care Act’s changes to the nation’s health-care business mean good and bad things for organized labor, but a Feb. 27 LaborPress event on its impact focused more on pushing for a single-payer system in the state to relieve the increased pressure on unions.

  • Posted on Friday, February 28, 2014
    By Andrew D. Coates, M.D., F.A.C.P. | WAMC Northeast Public Radio
    The Affordable Care Act is reducing the number of uninsured, yet at the end of the day it is not a program of universal access to care. Because the major failings of the U.S. system still persist — avoidable death and bankruptcy, racial and socioeconomic disparities, the perverse incentives of profiteering, burgeoning costs — the urgency for thoroughgoing health reform has returned.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014
    By Sara Foss | The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, N.Y.)
    The other night I attended a debate at The Linda in Albany, WAMC’s performing arts studio, on whether the U.S. should adopt a single-payer health care system.

  • Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014
    By Jawad Husain | The Daily Free Press (Boston University)
    Six years later, most of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been implemented. However, it’s apparent that political pressure from the private insurance industry and the big drug companies has thwarted the goal of the universal health care.

  • Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014
    By Lyndonna Marrast, M.D., and Danny McCormick, M.D., M.P.H. |
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase insurance coverage for the poor, uninsured and minorities, but will it improve access to care and population health? The answer depends critically on whether or not physicians are available to care for the newly insured. Many health policy experts fear there may not be.

  • Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014
    By Samuel L. Dickman | Scholars Strategy Network
    Will this coverage gap for so many low-income Americans have adverse health consequences? To answer this question, my research collaborators and I estimated the number and demographic characteristics of people likely to remain uninsured, and then drew on recent studies to spell out the likely health consequences.

  • Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014
    By Ed Weisbart, M.D. | The Lawton (Okla.) Constitution
    I am a proudly patriotic, fiscally prudent, family physician. For those three reasons, I support a national health insurance program.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014
    By Philip Caper, M.D. | Bangor (Maine) Daily News
    How much tax would you be willing to pay to make sure somebody who can’t afford health care has to grovel to get it?

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014
    By Ben Sisario | The New York Times
    PITTSBURGH — Beer bottles clinked and indie-rock classics played overhead at a gallery opening here on a Friday night recently, as one artist after another chatted with Julie Sokolow, a filmmaker and health care advocate who has documented the Pittsburgh scene in detail.

  • Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014
    By Anya Schiffrin | Reuters
    Every time I sit on hold now with the billing department of my New York doctors and insurance company, I think back to all the things French healthcare got right. The simplicity of that system meant that all our energy could be spent on one thing: caring for my father.

  • Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014
    By Elisabeth Rosenthal | The New York Times
    American physicians, worried about changes in the health care market, are streaming into salaried jobs with hospitals. Though the shift from private practice has been most pronounced in primary care, specialists are following.

  • Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014
    The New York Times
    The heart of the doctor is the soul of medicine. Historically the doctor-patient relationship has earned medicine recognition as a noble profession. Corporatization keeps doctors from practicing that time-honored tradition. It is demoralizing to the profession and unsatisfactory for the patients.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 12, 2014
    By Maggie Fox | NBC News
    Tim Armstrong has had to apologize twice now for his announcement last year saying the company was changing its 401(k) retirement plan policy in part because it had some hefty health care claims, including two babies costing a million dollars each for care.

  • Posted on Wednesday, February 5, 2014
    By Joshua Freeman, M.D. | Medicine and Social Justice blog
    I wrote in a recent blog (“How can a health care system lead not to ruin but to, actually, health?”, December 28, 2013) that our health care system ”…is a parallel to our financial services industry: private enterprise is given a license to make money from everyone, and the government finances it. The only difference is that for financial services, the government steps in to bail them out only after they have already stolen all our money, while in health services the profit margin is built in from the start.” A recent article in the New York Times, “Hospital chain said to scheme to inflate bills”, by Julie Creswell and Reed Abelson (January 24, 2014) takes this a bit farther.