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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 Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    By Kevin Outterson, Professor of Law and Health Policy at Boston University | The Incidental Economist
    H.202 passed the House 94-49 yesterday and Governor Shumlin promises to sign it. The Vermont law deserves some careful attention, but doesn’t appear to be creating much of a stir in Vermont itself – the lead story in this morning’s Burlington Free Press was flooding on Lake Champlain and the most popular story on the website was UVM students in an annual clothing-optional rite of spring.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011
    By Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist
    Paul Krugman has been on a tear the last few days with a number of posts defending Canada’s Medicare. This was all leading up to his latest column, where he questioned why Medicare should be unsustainable in this country, when it’s sustainable there.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
    By Katharine Mieszkowski | The Bay Citizen (San Francisco)
    More than 100 protesters from community and labor groups rallied outside the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco Thursday morning to call for the end of private health insurance and for "Medicare for all," while members of the America's Health Insurance Plans met at their national convention inside.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011
    By ROBERT MACKEY | The Lede Blog, New York Times
    As if conjured up by a presidential speechwriter to star in an anecdote about America’s dysfunctional health insurance system, James Verone, an unemployed 59-year-old with a bad back, a sore foot and an undiagnosed growth on his chest, limped into a bank in Gastonia, N.C., this month and handed the teller a note, explaining that this was an unarmed robbery, but she’d better turn over $1 and call the cops. That, he figured, would be enough to get himself arrested and sent to prison for a few years, where he could take advantage of the free medical care.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Aldebra Schroll, M.D. | KevinMD.com blog at MedPage Today
    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is in the process of being rolled out, however many questions remain. Will it guarantee universal coverage? Will it stand up to the many court challenges? The private insurance industry will receive an estimated 400 billion in taxpayer money to subsidize the purchase of these plans. Is this the best way to spend our money?

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Douglas Turner | The Buffalo News
    In New York, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, has introduced legislation creating a single-payer plan for all residents of the state. Gottfried is Health Committee chairman. His bill has more than 60 Assembly and Senate co-sponsors. Among them are Democratic Assembly Members Sam Hoyt, Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Mark F. Schroeder, of Buffalo.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Trevor T. Alford | The Legislative Gazette (Albany, N.Y.)
    Looking to follow in the footsteps of Vermont, which passed legislation May 26 leading toward a single-payer health care system in that state, two lawmakers are pushing for the adoption of a public health option in New York.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Henry Chu | Los Angeles Times
    LONDON -- Two years ago, Britons were outraged when U.S. politicians like Sarah Palin, in the debate over healthcare reform, turned this country's National Health Service into a public whipping boy, denouncing it as "evil," "Orwellian" and generally the enemy of everything good and true.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll | The Incidental Economist
    By now most of the blogosphere has weighed in on Joe Lieberman’s idea of increasing Medicare eligibility from age 65 to 67 (see Frakt, Klein, Volsky, Drum, Krugman). Most of the focus has been on how the delayed eligibility will affect overall health costs. Though federal costs may go down, overall costs would not, because most would just be shifted to seniors themselves. Cost isn’t everything, though. There’s something else delay would do: harm health.

  • Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011
    By Jessica Marcy and Shefali S. Kulkarni | Kaiser Health News
    Nurses converged on Washington in their fight against Wall Street this week. Hundreds of nurses from across the country rallied to support broader access to health care and to call for higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

  • Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2011
    By Rick Ungar | Forbes on-line
    The American health care system, as we currently know it, is well into its final days.

  • Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2011
    By Don Soeken | MichaelMoore.com
    Ever wondered who the biggest culprits are, when it comes to defrauding the taxpayers of the United States? The answer to that question may surprise you.

  • Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011
    By Paul Krugman | The New York Times
    Every once in a while a politician comes up with an idea that’s so bad, so wrongheaded, that you’re almost grateful. For really bad ideas can help illustrate the extent to which policy discourse has gone off the rails. And so it was with Senator Joseph Lieberman’s proposal, released last week, to raise the age for Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67.

  • Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011
    By Mary von Euler | The Washington Post
    Our problem is the soaring cost of medical care, as a whole, not Medicare, which is the most frugal part of our non-system. And the only way to control medical costs is via a single-payer system that covers everyone, so the government has leverage to tamp down excessive costs and eliminate waste, including the wasteful costs devoted to private-insurance overhead.

  • Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011
    By Steve Carlson | Superior (Wis.) Telegram
    An overwhelming percentage of the American people favor keeping Medicare just as it is. A sizable percentage would like to see the program expanded to include all Americans, which is probably the best way to preserve the program, extend coverage to everyone, and bring the costs of health care down going forward.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011
    By Kay Tillow | FireDogLake
    When doctors, nurses and others rose in his hearing to insist that single payer be included in the debate, Baucus had them arrested. As more stood up, Baucus could be heard on his open microphone saying, “We need more police.” Yet when Senator Baucus needed a solution to a catastrophic health disaster in Libby, Mont., and surrounding Lincoln County, he turned to the nation’s single-payer health care system, Medicare, to solve the problem.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011
    By 'Fresh Air' at WHYY | NPR
    "The only fair way to do this is where people have a card that gets them in, where that card is accepted widely and broadly by everyone, and [giving people] choice," Dr. David Ansell says. "So you could go anywhere you want, you get the care you want, and choose your own doctors — and that would be some sort of universal plan — Medicare for all, single-payer. We need a system that really gives patients — poor or rich — adequate care."

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PR Watch
    Ever wonder what happens to the premiums you pay for your health insurance? You might be surprised to learn that more and more of the dollars you pay for coverage are being sucked into a kind of black hole. ... If you've been paying attention to what health insurance company CEOs have been saying to Wall Street over the past several months, you will know that they are spending more and more of their firms' cash -- which comes from you, of course -- to "repurchase" their firms' stock. And Wall Street absolutely loves that.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    By Sam Husseini | Washington Stakeout blog
    A question to Rep. Ryan: 'If you’re a fiscal conservative and you want to provide a safety net, why wouldn’t you be for something like a single-payer health care system?'

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    By Charlie Cooper | Baltimore Sun
    The United States wastes about $3,000 per person annually in health care spending — nearly $1 trillion a year. That's bad enough. Even more disturbing is who gets that trillion. The fact is, we cannot understand politics in the U.S. by watching mainstream media or following the arguments of Democrats and Republicans. That's because neither side is honestly addressing the main problem.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011
    By Ezra Klein | Washington Post
    Republicans have a plan that has been tried repeatedly but that has never worked. Democrats have a plan that might work in theory, but it is untested at the scale they’ll need for it to work in practice. And both parties are too scared to talk about the only plan that has worked.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011
    By Andy Coates | Labor Notes
    A year after President Obama signed his health care reform with strong support from the labor movement, advocates of a single-payer system might be tempted to ask, “How’s that working out for you?”

  • Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011
    By Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, M.D. | Open Salon blogs
    In my view, the only solution to the mess “corporatization” has made of the U.S. health care system is to follow the example of other industrialized countries and establish a single, nationally funded health program, like the American Health Security Act of 2011 that Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative McDermott introduced last month.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2011
    By Katherine Hobson | The Wall Street Journal
    The cost of cancer treatment is high and, according to the National Cancer Institute, growing. And at the individual level, the financial burden can be very heavy, even for patients with insurance.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Cara Matthews | The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.)
    Democratic lawmakers in both houses introduced a universal health care bill today, under which publicly sponsored coverage would replace coverage by insurance companies. Instead of premiums, there would be broad-based public financing of health care based on people’s ability to pay. It would be funded through a graduated income tax, and the system wouldn’t have deductibles or co-payments. Delivery of care would remain primarily private.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Emily P. Walker | MedPage Today, June 7, 2011
    Several hundred members of National Nurses United held a rally here on Tuesday to call for a single-payer healthcare system, an end to tax breaks for big corporations, and workers' rights.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Aaron Carroll | Washington Post
    There was a fascinating piece in the NYT yesterday that discussed the apparent shift in politics among physicians. When I was a fellow, back at the turn of the century, a colleague and I conducted a national survey of physicians to determine their level of support for national health insurance. At the time, I was sure physicians would oppose it en masse. Surprisingly, they did not — at least not to the levels that I had thought they might.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Dr. David Knutzen | Letters, Madison.com (Wis.)
    I disagree since the most credible solution to the rising costs of Medicare, and all health care, has been offered repeatedly for many years and certainly during the health care discussions leading up to the health care reform law. It's a single payer system similar to those used by every other industrialized country where health care for all is provided for between 8.5 percent and 11 percent of gross domestic product.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 8, 2011
    By Samuel Metz, M.D. | The Oregonian
    Robin Hood was legendary for stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. Now Rep. Paul Ryan proposes to do the opposite: He will rob poor seniors of their health care dollars and give tax breaks to the rich.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By Tom Duncan, M.D. | The Daily Astorian (Ore.)
    At its May meeting, the Clatsop County Medical Society hosted Dr. Paul Gorman, an internal medicine specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, who spoke about the ongoing health care crisis and the future of American medicine.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By Tristin Adie | The Indypendent (N.Y.)
    On May 26, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin signed into law H. 202, a bill that is intended to set the state on the road to a single-payer health care system. While the legislation puts off the creation of such a system for a number of years, this is an important initial victory for thousands of activists in the state who have been agitating for years for a truly universal system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By the Editors | The Nation
    The day after Democrat Kathy Hochul scored an upset victory in a special election deep in upstate New York’s Republican territory, former President Bill Clinton was getting real chummy with Congressman Paul Ryan, whose plan to privatize Medicare was widely seen as costing the Republicans the race and imperiling as many as a hundred GOP House seats in next year’s Congressional elections. Backstage at an event on national debt at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Clinton told Ryan, “I hope the Democrats don’t use it [the election] as an excuse to do nothing” on Medicare. Clinton may be right — but not in the way he seemed to mean.

  • Posted on Tuesday, June 7, 2011
    By Rob Stone, M.D. | Counterpunch
    The traffic in downtown Indianapolis was moving slower than an insurance company clerk preparing a reimbursement check, backed up for blocks, and if we were one second late the doors to the WellPoint annual shareholders meeting would be sealed, protected by armed guards. We jumped out of the car, leaving it our friend Donna Smith to find a parking spot, and started running up the street, dodging traffic, past the phalanx of police cars and into the Hilton.

  • Posted on Monday, June 6, 2011
    By David E. Drake | Des Moines Register
    As a physician I am regularly faced with patients who have inadequate or no health insurance. A person may call my office to discover that their health "insurance" does not cover mental health or they have such a high deductible they can't afford to see me. In both cases my office may refer the person to a clinic with a sliding scale, to the same place where I might refer someone who had no insurance at all.

  • Posted on Monday, June 6, 2011
    STEVEN B. AUERBACH | Letter to the Editor | The New York Times
    According to your article, “there are no national surveys that track doctors’ political leanings.” There is, however, one statistically valid survey of doctors’ opinion that backs up the idea of a leftward shift. An article in Annals of Internal Medicine in 2008 showed that support for government establishment of a national health insurance system among doctors nationwide had jumped to 59 percent from 49 percent in 2002.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011
    By David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | Room for Debate Blog | New York Times
    Eliminating unneeded overhead would save Medicare nearly $100 billion annually. A thicket of insurance and hospital bureaucrats and profiteers distort medical priorities and drain money from care. The most obvious are private insurers who run Medicare Advantage plans that extract overhead, averaging 15 percent, or $1,000 per senior more than overhead in traditional Medicare.

  • Posted on Thursday, June 2, 2011
    By Casey Seiler | Albany Times Unions
    Dr. Garrett Adams, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, is swinging through the Capital Region meeting with fellow advocates for a single-payer health care system, and doing interviews with Susan Arbetter of “The Capitol Pressroom”

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011
    By David Goodman | Mother Jones
    As Gov. Peter Shumlin took his spot on the granite steps of the Vermont State House, a row of people fanned out behind him wearing bright red t-shirts proclaiming, “Health care is a human right.” The slogan sounded noble, and wildly unrealistic. Until the governor spoke.

  • Posted on Wednesday, June 1, 2011
    By Brandon Glenn | MedCity News
    In Ohio, PNHP’s top official is Dr. Johnathan Ross, a Toledo internist who practices and teaches at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center. Ross, who holds a medical degree from Cornell University and a master’s in health policy from the University of Michigan, is a past president of PNHP, having served a one-year term in 2000. Ross spoke with MedCity News about why he believes a health system based on profit will never provide the high quality and low cost the U.S. needs, what he sees as the major weaknesses of Obama’s health reform, and how his up-close experience with an HMO led him to support single-payer.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | The Huffington Post
    Of the many supporters of a single-payer health care system in the United States, some of the most ardent are small business owners who have struggled to continue offering coverage to their workers.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Ellen Oxfeld | Burlington (Vt.) Free Press
    Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the new health care bill into law Thursday. Many people may wonder how we came to this point. Why is it that Vermont is the first state to pass legislation that acknowledges that health care is a public good, and that the best route toward universal access and cost control is to create a health care system that is publicly funded? There are still many more steps to go be fore we reach this goal.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Thatcher Moats | Rutland (Vt.) Herald
    MONTPELIER — Amid a boisterous crowd of health care activists, lawmakers, lobbyists and administration officials, Gov. Peter Shumlin on Thursday signed into law the health care reform bill the Legislature passed earlier this month.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Zach Howard | Reuters
    Vermont became the first state to lay the groundwork for single-payer health care on Thursday when its governor signed an ambitious bill aimed at establishing universal insurance coverage for all residents.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
    By Mark Dudzic, National Coordinator of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer
    On the surface, it appears to be a no-brainer. Healthcare costs in the U. S. are twice as high as any other industrialized country. Most large corporations still pay a big chunk of their employees’ health care insurance premiums. Some are obligated by union contracts to pay an even larger percentage and to provide coverage for retirees. Many operate profitably in countries with national health care systems where they pay far less towards healthcare costs than they do in the U.S.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2011
    Democracy Now!
    Today Vermont is set to make history by becoming the first state in the nation to offer universal, single-payer healthcare when Gov. Peter Shumlin signs its healthcare reform bill into law. The Vermont plan, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will attempt to stem rising medical care prices and provide universal coverage. We speak with Dr. Deb Richter, president of Vermont Health Care for All. She moved from Buffalo, New York, to Vermont in 1999 to advocate for a universal, single-payer healthcare system in the state. Gov. Shumlin calls her the “backbone” of the grassroots effort that helped persuade the Democratic-led state legislature to pass the bill this spring.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011
    By Rose Aguilar | Opinion, Al Jazeera English
    When Stan Brock started Remote Area Medical (RAM) in 1985, never in his wildest dreams did he think his services would be needed in the United States, the wealthiest country in the world.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011
    By Robert N. Shorin, A.C.S.W., B.C.D. | Newsday
    Regarding "Insurer puts undue pressure on doctors" [Letters, May 19]: I am a clinical social worker, and I can tell you from hard experience that many private insurance companies are only out to make a profit, often at the direct expense of their own customers, and at the indirect expense of the government.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011
    By Ezra Klein | The Washington Post
    Kevin Outterson is an associate professor of health law, bioethics and human rights at Boston University, as well as a blogger at the Incidental Economist. He’s also been following the Vermont health-care reform process in some detail, and is one of fairly few people who has actually read the 141-page single-payer bill that the governor is poised to sign. Earlier this afternoon, he walked me through what he’s learned.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011
    By Thomas P Clairmont, W. Jost Michelsen and Patricia A Locuratolo | Letters, Portsmouth (N.H.) Herald
    There was absolutely no mention, as usual, of a publicly financed but privately delivered approach — also called single-payer or Medicare for All. Dr. David Himmelstein of Physicians for a National Health Program said reducing administrative overhead to Canadian levels would save $400 billion annually, "more than enough to cover our uninsured." This is what most other countries do and they cover all of their citizens at a cost of less than half of the United States.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011
    HERBERT BENGELSDORF | Letters | The New York Times
    How more scathing an indictment could there be of the insurance industry’s commodification of the nation’s health? In a faltering economy, the health insurers have rung up record profits, rewarded shareholders with new dividends and are demanding double-digit premium increases for fear of possible higher costs.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011
    By ABBY GOODNOUGH | The New York Times
    Many people move to Vermont in search of a slower pace; Dr. Deb Richter came in 1999 to work obsessively toward a far-fetched goal.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2011
    By Marlys Harris | CBS Moneywatch: The Consumer Reporter
    Taking leave of life is never good. But when the time comes, most people would like to think that they could come to an end free of pain, without needles stuck in their veins or tubes up their noses, surrounded by their families, preferably at home or in a home-like setting.

  • Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011
    By Rep. John Conyers Jr. | The Bellingham (Wash.) Herald
    Medicare is arguably one of the nation's most successful and cherished public insurance programs. The program covers 47 million elderly and disabled Americans, and helps pay for hospital, physician visits and prescription drugs. It is truly hard to argue with success.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011
    UPI
    End-of-life hospice care is being dominated by investor-owned chains that cherry-pick patients and cut labor costs to maximize profits, U.S. researchers say. Four articles.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011
    By YESENIA AMARO | The Bellingham (Wash.) Herald
    The national debate over health care can be summed up in a bill on the table in Sacramento.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011
    By Daniel Boffey and Toby Helm | The Guardian
    A senior adviser to David Cameron says the NHS could be improved by charging patients and will be transformed into a "state insurance provider, not a state deliverer" of care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011
    By Doug Trapp | Amednews
    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has pledged to sign a bill that paves the way for the state to launch a health system approaching a single-payer model later in the decade and to create a state health insurance exchange within the next several years.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011
    By Roger Collier | Healthcare Finance News
    In just a few days, Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin will sign into law what the media is calling “single payer health care reform.” But is it?

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011
    ARNOLD S. RELMAN | Letters | The New York Times
    Difficult as such reform might be to achieve, there is hope in the fact that we are already spending enough to pay all the costs of a greatly improved system. Our problem is primarily political, and it should not take many more years for the general realization that major reform is not just the best, but the only, way to control costs.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011
    By Dr. Howard Green | Palm Beach Post
    All of the well-publicized political health care programs have one thing in common: They all seek to steer larger portions of Medicare and Medicaid through private insurance corporations. They differ only in their degrees of rationing, with President Obama's plan restricting rationing for profit and Rep. Paul Ryan's mandate allowing the most rationing by the health insurance industry.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011
    By Colin Leys
    As expert commentators have amply shown, the Coalition's plan to privatise the National Health Service (NHS) lacks any basis in evidence – no surprise there. What is less well recognised, and so far amazingly unmentioned in the debate – is that powerful evidence against privatization exists on our own doorstep – namely, the fact that in Scotland and Wales the NHS is working well as a publicly provided and managed system, based on planning and democratic accountability.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011
    By Robert Kiefner | Concord (N.H.) Monitor
    Say a patient comes to see us with poor appetite, low-grade temperature and progressive right lower quadrant pain, classic symptoms of appendicitis. The cure will be a date with a good local surgeon, during which he will bid farewell to his appendix and be home in a day or two to resume the joy of living. If the appendix is not removed, he will suffer a miserable death from rupture of the appendix and peritonitis.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2011
    By Roger Bybee | In These Times
    Despite its $14.2 billion in profits last year untouched by federal income taxes, General Electric is now demanding that its unionized workers accept a new high-deductible “Health Choice” health savings account plan.

  • Posted on Friday, May 13, 2011
    By Mike Hall | AFL-CIO blog
    Last year, when Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it was a “historic milestone on our path toward a more just society,” says AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker. “But we also know that much work is left to be done.”

  • Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2011
    By AVERY JOHNSON | Wall Street Journal
    Major U.S. health insurers, including Aetna Inc., Humana Inc. and WellPoint Inc., are retooling to become more than just health plans, in the wake of the federal health-care overhaul that is changing the rules for the industry's core business.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011
    By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News | McClatchy Newspapers
    In a move that could absolve health insurers of paying more than $95 million in consumer rebates, nine states are pressing for relief from a federal rule limiting insurers' profits and administrative costs.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011
    By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | CommonDreams
    When President Obama kicked off his health reform push, he highlighted our research finding that 2 million Americans suffer medical bankruptcy each year, promising to end this disgrace. Our latest figures warn that his reform won’t stanch the flow of medical debtors.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011
    By BENNETT HALL | Corvallis (Ore.) Gazette-Times
    After years of fighting for single-payer health care, Dr. Paul Hochfeld is trying to change the terms of the debate. These days, he favors the label "publicly funded" instead.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011
    By John Nichols | The Nation
    House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, proposes to undermine the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, with an eye toward enriching the insurance companies that so generously fund his campaigns. The American people are not amused. They have sent a clear signal that they want to maintain Medicare and Medicaid.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Emily P. Walker | MedPage Today
    The Vermont legislature has passed a bill to create a publicly funded health care system that aims to provide coverage to every Vermont resident by 2017.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | Tucson Sentinel
    While several states are suing the federal government to block health care reform and dragging their feet on implementing any part of it, Vermont this week will be taking a giant leap in the other direction—toward universal coverage and greater cost control—when Gov. Peter Shumlin signs legislation putting the state on the path toward a single-payer health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Bernie Sanders | Guardian, May 10, 2011
    The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to its people. Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on health care and, in a wide number of instances, our outcomes are not as good as others that spend far less.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Ethan Parke | Vtdigger.org
    One icy and treacherous day in February 1988, I slithered my way to Montpelier from my farm in the Northeast Kingdom to testify at a hearing about universal health care. The previous year the Legislature had set up a health care board that was charged with coming up with a plan to provide health care to all 62,000 uninsured Vermonters.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Hamilton Davis | Vtdigger.org
    For the second time in 15 years, the state of Vermont is making a concerted effort to rebuild its health care system. The odds were long for the mid-1990s campaign, which failed, and they are equally long now. That is not to say that the drive toward reform initiated by Gov. Peter Shumlin is doomed, only that it is a very long shot.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011
    By Carl Etnier | Vtdigger.org
    Green Mountain Care is set to become law now that the House and Senate have passed the final version of the health care reform bill, which was hammered out in conference committee earlier this week. The House approved the bill Thursday on a 94-49 vote.

  • Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011
    By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
    As soon as 2017, Vermont could become the first state to provide and pay for insurance for most of its residents under a plan passed by the Legislature Thursday. But it must first clear several significant hurdles, including persuading the federal government to allow the state to assume responsibility for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees and finding a way to pay for the program.

  • Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011
    Richard Quint, M.D. | Letters | San Francisco Chronicle
    It should come as no surprise that some physicians are resorting to charging an annual fee in order to make ends meet, as the reimbursements we receive from both public and private insurance programs continue to trend downward while the amount of time spent on paperwork increases.

  • Posted on Monday, May 9, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PR Watch
    I've written frequently in recent weeks about the eye-popping profits the big, publicly-traded health companies have been reporting. Last year -- as the number of Americans without health insurance grew to nearly 51 million -- the five largest for-profit insurers (Aetna, CIGNA, Humana, UnitedHealth and WellPoint) had combined profits of $11.7 billion.

  • Posted on Friday, May 6, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PR Watch
    One of the reasons I wanted to return to journalism after a long career as an insurance company PR man was to keep an eye on the implementation of the new health reform law. Many journalists who covered the reform debate have moved on, and some consider the writing of regulations to implement the legislation boring and of little interest to the public.

  • Posted on Friday, May 6, 2011
    By Robert Lowes | Medscape Today
    In a 94 to 49 vote today, the state House in Vermont sealed the deal on a bill to eventually create a publicly financed universal healthcare system that some supporters dub "single payer."

  • Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2011
    Office of Sen. Mark Leno
    The Senate Health Committee today approved the California Universal Health Care Act, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco). Senate Bill 810 guarantees all Californians comprehensive, universal health care while containing ballooning health care costs and improving the quality of care and delivery of health services statewide. The legislation passed with a 5-3 vote.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2011
    By Johnathon S. Ross, M.D., M.P.H. | Communique: Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County
    Many physicians care about the injustice of a health care system that leaves 50 million of our patients, friends and family uninsured, but it is health care spending that threatens to destabilize the entire U.S. economy. We need to cover the uninsured and control costs. There are 50 million uninsured Americans despite spending $2.6 trillion annually. This is about one-sixth of the entire country uninsured and spending is at 17 percent of our GDP.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011
    By Uwe E. Reinhardt | The Milken Institute Review, 2007
    Many complain that a single payer system will inevitably lead to rationing. Reinhardt explains how health care is rationed in the U.S today and why rationing by ability to pay is the most intolerable form of rationing. "There is solid research showing the price system rations uninsured Americans out of the timely, early-stage primary and secondary care that might have avoided their serious or fatal illnesses."

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011
    By Dave Gram | Forbes
    Vermont Senate negotiators dropped an amendment to bar illegal immigrants from coverage under a new state health care program, delivering a victory Monday evening to human rights activists who had rallied repeatedly at the Statehouse to demand the change.

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011
    By Dave Gram | Greenfield (Ind.) Reporter
    Even now, Dr. Deb Richter is haunted by images of some of the patients she saw at inner-city clinics where she worked in Buffalo, N.Y., during the 1980s.

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011
    Dr. Francis Pasley | Letters | Burlington Free Press
    I am a medical doctor, semi-retired living in Vermont and having a limited practice. Prior to moving to Vermont two and a half years ago I practiced full time, dividing my practice between the Detroit area in Michigan and Windsor, Ontario, an hour drive from Detroit. Thus I have a substantial personal knowledge of medical practice in the USA and Canada.

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011
    ROSE ANN DeMORO | Letters | The New York Times
    The “real choice” would be securing the future of Medicare once and for all by extending it to cover everyone. Through its proven formula of global budgeting and federal bulk-purchasing power, it is the best way to effectively control costs while ensuring that we change our broken health care system from one based on ability to pay to one based on patient need.

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011
    McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
    Congress caved into corporate interests last year to enact a health care policy that will leave millions of Americans without insurance, do nothing to rein in rising costs and put everyone at the mercy of an unfair, for-profit system, a national advocate for a single-payer health system said in Albuquerque.

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PR Watch
    If I had stayed in the insurance industry, my net worth would have spiked between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 4 p.m. Thursday last week -- and I wouldn't even have had to show up for work. I'm betting that just about every executive of a for-profit health insurance company, whose total compensation ultimately depends on the value of their stock options, woke up on Good Friday considerably wealthier than they were 24 hours earlier. Why? Because of the spectacular profits that one of those companies reported Thursday morning.

  • Posted on Friday, April 29, 2011
    The Diane Rehm Show | NPR
    On April 27, Dr. Robert Zarr, national board member and co-chair of the D.C. chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, appeared on NPR's "The Diane Rehm Show" with Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, NPR's Julie Rovner, and the Cato Institute's Michael Cannon

  • Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011
    By Sherif Emil, M.D. | Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
    Health care should not be a liberal or conservative issue, for disease, disability, and death do not recognize political affiliations. As a socially conservative Christian, my personal belief that health care is a fundamental human right, best guaranteed through single-payer universal health coverage, stems from my faith, and not despite it. My faith calls for personal morality, but also for societal morality -- how do we treat the sick among us, the weak among us, the least among us?

  • Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011
    Yes! Magazine
    A question and answer session with Dr. Ida Hellander helps demystify Vermont's new health care bill.

  • Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2011
    Dr. Timothy Shaw | Letters | Capital Times (Madison, Wis.)
    The only correct statement in Gov. Scott Walker’s op-ed column in The New York Times is that Medicaid is obsolete — but not for the reasons he states.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
    By Robert Lowes | Medscape
    Vermont is closer to becoming the first state in the country with something akin to a single-payer healthcare system after today's 21 to 9 vote by the state Senate to approve the plan.

  • Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
    By Margaret Flowers, M.D. | FireDogLake
    Leadership in Washington recognizes the damage our soaring health care spending is doing to our entire economy. Although their rhetoric differs, recent budget proposals from both Republicans and Democrats mistakenly place the blame on Medicare and Medicaid. Cuts to and privatization of these important public insurances will place us on a dangerous path that will leave health care costs soaring and more patients unable to afford necessary care.

  • Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2011
    ELIZABETH R. ROSENTHAL | Letters | The New York Times
    Re “Patients Are Not Consumers” (column, April 22): Bravo to Paul Krugman. As a physician for 44 years, I have seen the sick person seeking medical care transformed from a patient to a consumer and, like Mr. Krugman, I have been sickened by this.

  • Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011
    By Kay Tillow | Other Words
    More than a year after President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, our nation's health care delivery and coverage remain the disgrace of the industrialized world. There are more than 50 million uninsured Americans. Even if the health care overhaul works as planned, 23 million Americans will still lack health insurance in 2019.

  • Posted on Monday, April 25, 2011
    By Wendell Potter | PR Watch
    Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare would accelerate a trend started several years ago by corporate CEOs and their political allies to shift ever-increasing amounts of risk from Big Business and the government to workers and retirees.

  • Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011
    By Glen Ford | Black Agenda Radio
    A new study shows that people in Massachusetts are still going bankrupt in huge numbers because of medical expenses, five years after implementation of a health care plan that is remarkably similar to President Obama’s health package. Like Obama’s bill, the Massachusetts plan compels residents to buy private health insurance. Dr. David Himmelstein is one of the authors of this study.

  • Posted on Friday, April 22, 2011
    By Joe Kimball | MinnPost.com
    The St. Paul City Council passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the Minnesota Health Plan, a proposal that's floating around the Legislature (but not yet close to passing) for single-payer, universal health care in the state.