Articles of Interest


November 13, 2009

America's Affordable Health Choices Act Implementation Timeline
Prepared by the Committees on Ways & Means, Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor

Healthcare-NOW Statement on HR 3962
On Saturday, November 7, 2009, the House passed H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, to much celebration by the Democratic party. Healthcare-NOW!'s view, however, is that the House bill is a gift to the insurance industry at the further expense of the people of this nation.

November 12, 2009

Lack of health care killed 2,266 US veterans last year: study
Agence France Presse (AFP) News
The number of US veterans who died in 2008 because they lacked health insurance was 14 times higher than the US military death toll in Afghanistan that year, according to a new study.

Simple, Fair, and Affordable
John A. Day, Jr., M.D. | American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
With the election of Barack Obama as our 44th President and the installation of a new United States Congress has come renewed attention to health care reform. Appropriately, there is a sense of urgency regarding the 47 million Americans without health insurance and the millions more underinsured, and to make matters worse, it is inevitable that both numbers will increase due to rising unemployment. In response to this crisis, most health care reform proposals attempt to guarantee at least some health coverage for all Americans. Yet nearly all proposals achieve this aim in large part through the current private insurance system. It is well worth asking: exactly what value does the insurance industry bring to health care in this country? And if it contributes little of consequence, is there another way?

Study: Over 2,200 US Veterans Died in 2008 Due to Lack of Health Insurance
Amy Goodman | Democracy Now
On Veterans Day, a new study estimates four times as many US Army veterans died last year because they lacked health insurance than the total number of US soldiers who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the same period. A research team at Harvard Medical School says 2,266 veterans under the age of 65 died in 2008 because they were uninsured. We speak to the report's co-author, Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, professor of medicine at Harvard University and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

New Evidence of Pharma's Sweetheart Deal
By Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic
Critics have complained that a drug industry got a sweetheart deal when it struck a bargain with the White House and Senate Finance Committee over health care reform. There’s new reason to think those critics were right.

Drug Deal
By Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic
It was September 2008, at a town hall in Virginia, where Obama was offering a preview of how he intended to conduct his presidency. He would change the way Washington works, make it transparent, and, in so doing, deliver what the American public needed--starting with affordable health insurance. But, just a few months later, Obama's team was doing exactly what he said his administration wouldn't do: negotiating behind closed doors. The subject, sure enough, was health reform. The partner was the drug industry. By June, they had a deal.

November 11, 2009

2,266 Veterans Died In 2008 Because They Were Uninsured
By Elyse Siegel | The Huffington Post
According to a study released by the Harvard Medical School, 2,266 veterans under the age of 65 died last year as a result of not having health insurance. Researchers emphasize that "that figure is more than 14 times the number of deaths (155) suffered by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2008, and more than twice as many as have died (911 as of Oct. 31) since the war began in 2001."

Three Frequently Asked Questions about the House Bill HR 3962 and Reform
By Mass-Care

November 10, 2009

Statement by CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro on the House bill on healthcare
Of all the torrent of words that followed House passage of its version of healthcare reform legislation in early November, perhaps the most misleading were those comparing it to enactment of Social Security and Medicare.

Over 2,200 Vets Died for Lack of Health Insurance in 2008
By Viji Sundaram | New America Media
Lack of health insurance claimed the lives of more than 2,266 veterans under the age of 65 last year, says a Harvard Medical School study out today. That number is more than 14 times the number of deaths (155) suffered by U.S. troops in Afghanistan in 2008, and twice as many (911 as of Oct. 31) as have died since the war began in 2003.

November 09, 2009

How Much Lying Will It Take To Break Your Confidence?
By Donna Smith
So, I wake this morning to see that Speaker Pelosi lied again about why she just could not allow a single-payer amendment to survive the legislative effort in the House on healthcare reform.

Squandered a golden opportunity regarding U.S. health care
Dr. Carol A. Paris | Letter to the Editor | South Maryland Newspapers
In the spirit of full disclosure, I support a single-payer national health program. That said, my comments are focused on HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. I agree with Wendell Potter, the former head of public relations for CIGNA, that this legislation could more accurately be titled "The Private Health Insurance Profit Protection and Enhancement Act."

Massa says he can't support health care bill
By Patti Singer | Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat And Chronicle
The day before the much-anticipated vote on health care reform in the House of Representatives, Eric Massa, D-Corning, said that the Affordable Health Care for America Act gives too much to the insurance industry, doesn’t do enough to control costs, and he can’t support it.

CNA/NNOC Statement On The Withdrawal Of The House Single Payer Amendment
Medical News Today
On the eve of what would have been the first national vote on single-payer legislation Rep. Anthony Weiner's single-payer/Medicare for all amendment was withdrawn Friday, November 6.

Is the House Health Care Bill Better than Nothing?
By Marcia Angell, M.D. | The Huffington Post
Well, the House health reform bill -- known to Republicans as the Government Takeover -- finally passed after one of Congress's longer, less enlightening debates. Two stalwarts of the single-payer movement split their votes; John Conyers voted for it; Dennis Kucinich against. Kucinich was right.

November 06, 2009

Another doctor chimes in on the single-payer option
Dr. Ellen Kaczmarek | Letter to the Editor | Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times
A heartfelt public “thank you” to Dr. Michael Rey for his guest commentary, “ER doctor analyzes health reform debate,” (AC-T, Oct. 23). He echoed my sentiments exactly, and as a practicing primary care physician, I strongly second his desire for a universal single-payer health care system.

ER doctor analyzes health reform debate
By Dr. Michael T. Rey | Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times
This country needs radical reform to fix a health care system that currently encourages poor-quality medical care and costs too much. A universal single-payer system would put the focus back on patient care, where it belongs, and reduce costs.

Democrat Gives Up Single-Payer Measure to Back Party Leaders
By David M. Herszenhorn | New York Times | Prescriptions Blog
Representative Anthony D. Weiner, Democrat of New York, a fierce champion in Congress of a single-payer health system that would be fully run by the government, said Friday that he had agreed not to insist on a vote on that issue, in an effort to help Democratic leaders pass their plan.

The reform that's missing
By Rhonda Swan | Palm Beach Post
Perhaps "death panels" weren't such a bad idea. For private health insurance companies. If ever there was a useless entity, it's a business that earns profits for doing nothing.

November 05, 2009

Unhealthy America
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times

November 04, 2009

Lack of health insurance played a role in thousands of child deaths, researchers say
By Shari Roan | Los Angeles Times Blog
An analysis of 23 million hospital records from 37 states shows that a lack of health insurance likely played a role in the deaths of nearly 17,000 U.S. children over a 17-year period.

A doctor's view: escaping the maelstrom
By Samuel Metz | The Oregonian
Our health insurance industry succeeds as well in this century as the tobacco industry did in the last. Witness the congressional "reforms" -- all variants on a theme: Make every citizen buy our insurance. And if our price is too high, make our government buy it for them. All hail this great victory for free enterprise. But what about our health?

November 03, 2009

Health Care Abroad: Taiwan
By Anne Underwood | New York Times | Prescriptions blog
William Hsiao is a professor of economics at the Harvard School of Public Health and co-author of the 2004 book “Getting Health Reform Right.” He served as a health care adviser to the Taiwan government in the 1990s, when officials decided to reform that country’s health care system and to introduce universal coverage. He spoke with Anne Underwood, a freelance writer.

My Kind of Medicine: Real Lives of Practicing Internists: Andy Coates, MD
By Catherine Nessa | American College of Physicians Medical Student Newsletter
On any given weekend during the fall of 2004, Andy Coates was never where you might expect--he wasn’t at home with his children or outside working in the yard. He wasn’t at a restaurant having dinner with his wife or at the ballgame with his buddies. He wasn’t at a party thrown by neighbors or friends, or even on a beach chair on vacation. Instead, Andy Coates spent his weekends at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, NY, with the barest of accommodations: meals were brought in by cooler, his bed was a cot in a room in a recently-closed nursing home across the street from the hospital, and for entertainment, he had his work. For many physicians such an arrangement might be unappealing, but it was perfect for Dr. Coates, who has found satisfaction and fulfillment in unexpected places by taking roads less traveled.

Remember Medicare for All in the healthcare reform debate
By Kay Tillow | The Hill
We are in danger of losing the opportunity to bring Improved Medicare for All, a single payer plan, before the Congress. Last July Congressman Anthony Weiner and six of his colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee attempted to substitute the real public option--HR 676, a single payer plan--for the healthcare reform in the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi assured them that if they withdrew the amendment in committee they would have an opportunity to bring it to the House floor for a debate and vote. Now Pelosi is threatening to keep the Weiner Single Payer Amendment from seeing the light of day.

CBO: Few Americans Would Sign Up For Public Health Insurance Plan
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report
Coverage numbers regarding the Democrats' legislative push "for a government insurance plan to compete with private carriers are finally in: Two percent. That's the estimated share of Americans younger than 65 who'd sign up for the public option plan.

Medical Students Urge Speaker Pelosi To Keep Her Promise
Medical News Today
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) urges Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep her promise and allow a vote on a single payer substitution amendment to the House health care reform bill, to be introduced by Representative Anthony Weiner [D-NY].

October 30, 2009

UPDATE: Groundswell of sit-ins and civil disobedience at insurance company offices to demand real health care reform
From Mobilization for Health Care for All
The Mobilization for Health Care for All continues to see a growing number of doctors participating in these actions. Yesterday Dr. Margaret Flowers, a pediatrician who has testified before Congress on the need for meaningful health care reform, was arrested in Baltimore and joined by Dr. Eric Naumberg, also a physician.

The Doctor Will See You
By Henry S. Kahn, MD
No knock. Needed
Perhaps a chance to talk
With the doctor
Would be nice.

Four Arrested at Baltimore Health Insurance Protest
By SHARMINA MANANDHAR | Southern Maryland Online
Four protesters, including two doctors, were arrested at a "single-payer health care plan" sit-in at the CareFirst insurance company office in Baltimore Thursday.

October 29, 2009

Doctors risking arrest for single-payer health care for all
By Kevin Gosztola | OpEd News
At least three doctors will be risking arrest in civil disobedience actions during Mobilization for Health care for All's third wave of actions this week, which are being held to demand an end to insurance abuse and to demand real health care reform for all.

Sanders to push for single-payer
By DANIEL BARLOW | Times-Argus (Vt.)
U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders will likely make history this year when -- for the first time ever -- he brings a bill creating a national single-payer health care system to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

Health Care Choices and Decisions in the United States and Canada
Joseph S. Ross, MD, MHS; Allan S. Detsky, MD, PhD | JAMA
...Government-sponsored plans like Canada's are frequently publicly portrayed as limiting choice. However, there is clear evidence that for Canada's health care system, less choice in insurance coverage (although guaranteed) has not resulted in less choice of hospitals, physicians, and diagnostic testing and treatments compared with the United States. In fact, there is arguably more choice.

October 27, 2009

OECD Bias in Evaluating U.S. Health Care Reform
By Don R. McCanne | International Journal of Health Services | Volume 39, Number 4 / 2009
Among OECD nations, the United States is an outlier in having the highest per capita health care costs in a system that unnecessarily exposes many individuals to financial hardship, physical suffering, and even death. President Obama and Congress are currently involved in a process to reform the flawed health care system. The OECD has contributed to that process by releasing a paper, "Health Care Reform in the United States," which describes some of the problems that must be addressed, but then provides proposed solutions that omit consideration of a more equitable and efficient universal public insurance program. The same omission is taking place in Washington, DC. By reinforcing proposals that support the private insurance industry, the source of much of [he waste and inequities in health care, the authors of the OECD paper have failed in their responsibility to inform on policies rather than politics.

Meet the New Health Care Reform, Same as the Old Health Care Reform
By Aaron E. Carroll | Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine | The Huffington Post
We’re so close to health care reform! Even Paul Krugman is starting to talk about what comes next. Me? I’ve been thinking about what comes next for a long time. I think this bill will pass. We will get the incremental reforms we were promised. Things will likely get better in the short term. Then, since we didn’t contain costs, we’ll need to enact real reform. Or, things will go right back to the status quo.

Health Reform: Where Obama Went Wrong
by Leonard Rodberg | Tikkun Magazine
President Obama's health reform plan is in trouble. Public support for it is only lukewarm; both Left and Right oppose it. Pundits and editorial writers complain that Obama has turned the issue over to Congress, or that he hasn't explained the plan well enough. He and his staff have been working closely with many members of Congress from the very beginning, and he has described his plan repeatedly and in many forums -- and no one questions that he is a superb communicator. And yet disquiet and confusion persist. What has gone wrong?

Unlikely friends - Donna Smith, American SiCKO and Wendell Potter, former CIGNA executive
Donna Smith, American SiCKO, and Wendell Potter, former CIGNA executive turned whistleblower, at rally in Harrisburg, PA, on October 20, 2009. The rally was organized in support of Pennsylvania’s single-payer healthcare legislation and was co-sponsored by many state and national...

Managing Disease Without Insurance
By Roni Caryn Rabin | New York Times | Prescriptions Blog
Americans without health insurance are less likely to know if they have diabetes or high cholesterol than those with coverage, and they’re less likely to keep their high blood pressure under control than the insured, a new study reports.

Why Isn't 122 Dead Americans Every Day a National Health Emergency?
By Donna Smith |
Why does H1N1 call for a Presidential designation as a national emergency while the preventable deaths of 45,000 Americans every year (122 every day) is not?

Single-payer proponents say state health care system 'broken'
By Kyle Chene | Belmont (Mass.) Citizen-Herald
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a Harvard University professor and advocate with Physicians for a National Health Program, questioned a 97.4 percent health insurance rate in Massachusetts, a figure highly touted by the Patrick administration.

Why the Health Insurance Excise Tax Is a Bad Idea
By Steve Early & Rand Wilson | The Nation
In every other advanced industrial nation, the contentious issue of who pays for medical care was taken off the bargaining table long ago. And no worker would ever lose his or her life defending job-based private health insurance.

October 21, 2009

Doctor panel advocates Medicare-for-all legislation
By Patricia C. McCarter | Huntsville Times
Asked how many people knew someone who had died because they couldn't afford medical care, five of the 70 people at the Health Care is a Human Right physicians panel discussion stood up.

Lack Of Insurance Compounds Chronic Disease Burden
By Joseph Shapiro | NPR
It's dangerous enough to deal with a chronic illness like diabetes or cholesterol. But Americans who don't have health insurance often have these conditions and don't even know it.

October 20, 2009

Chronic illnesses more often undiscovered, undertreated in uninsured
By Elizabeth Cooney | Boston Globe
Uninsured people are also more likely to have undiagnosed and undertreated medical conditions, according to a new study comparing chronic illnesses among Americans with and without health coverage. The results offer possible clues to a recently reported higher death rate among people who lack insurance.

October 19, 2009

A Government Takeover of Health Care, with Higher Costs, and even Worse Care??
By Clyde Winter | Hearts and Minds Blog
All of the grassroots efforts for the substantive, effective health care reform that is so needed by American families, have been attacked -- for months, for years, and for decades -- by insurance corporations, their corporate allies, and now the crass strategists within both major political parties. A health care crisis has thus materialized and been getting worse fast.

October 13, 2009

Crush of cancer, medical bills snares family
By Stephanie Smith | CNN
"I don't think I could bear to listen to those words again. ... 'You have cancer,' " Elder said. "I've said to my husband, if I start to get sick, just set me up with a nice pill cocktail on a beach, because nobody cares. That's the message you hear every day from insurance companies."

Health care: The uncivil rights movement
By Tim Louis Macaluso | City Newspaper
But wild-eyed fights over health care are nothing new in American politics. The struggle for universal coverage has been going on for more than 100 years, says Theodore Brown, a history professor at the University of Rochester. Brown has chronicled the history of health care in the US. He describes it as a long series of charge-and-retreat scuffles between liberals and conservatives that have led us to where we are now - with a costly, broken system.

Is there any way out for Obama on health reform?
By Leonard Rodberg
Progressives worry that, if President Obama's health reform plan (the "Plan") fails to pass, a latter-day right-wing Gingrich movement will take over the Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012. What I have not heard, but what I am increasingly coming to believe, is that if the Plan passes in any of its current forms, things will go just as badly for him. Why is that?

Alabama doctors' Rx: an improved Medicare for All
By Pippa Abston, MD, PhD and Huntsville-area physicians. | Huntsville Times
We are your doctors, and we are frustrated. Frustrated over endless insurance paperwork and denials of coverage. Frustrated that our patients can't choose their own doctors because of insurance restrictions; frustrated when our patients lose their insurance coverage and can't afford medical care.

Corporate Welfare Is Health System Waste
By Joe Jarvis, MD | Deseret News
I first heard the term lemon socialism articulated by Simon Johnson, who is the former Chief Economist at the International Monetary Fund, now at M.I.T.'s Sloan School of Management. He defines lemon socialism as a system wherein financial successes are credited to the private sector, while their failures are transferred to the taxpayers through bailouts. Anyone who has paid attention to our nation’s financial woes recognizes how lemon socialism is a most apt description of the American economy.

Nurses Blast Latest Price Gouging Threat by Insurance Giants, 'Massive Public Bailout Apparently Not Enough'
California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
The nation's largest organization of registered nurses today condemned the latest campaign by the insurance industry, threatening massive increases in premium rates if it does not get its way on the healthcare bills currently before Congress.

Single-payer backers fight odds
By BRIAN NEARING | Times Union
Since being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease six years ago, Stephanie Agurkis has not been able to get health insurance. "I'm paying for treatments myself," said the 29-year-old nursing student and part-time farm stand worker from Ithaca. "And every year that goes by, I am more and more in debt."

October 09, 2009

Seven Arrested at Chicago Cigna Health Insurance Office Calling for End to Denial of Treatment, Real Health Care Reform
Mobilization for Health Care for All
Seven citizens and health care providers who are fed up with the state of our health care and the health care debate were arrest at the downtown offices of Cigna today. The sit-in is part of a national mobilization to end insurance abuse and build support for real reform - Medicare for All, a single-payer plan.

Harris offers wrong fix for health care
By Dr. Taro J. Adachi | Letters | The Baltimore Sun
The 2009 Kaiser Family Foundation's annual survey of health benefits notes that despite these hard economic times and the focus on health insurance costs, the average annual premiums for employer sponsored health insurance are $4,824 for single coverage and $13,375 for family coverage -- a 5 percent increase from last year alone. Workers contributions, annual deductibles and copays all went up.

October 08, 2009

A Death Every 12 Minutes: The Price of Not Having Medicare for All
By John Geyman | The Huffington Post
Americans are dying at a faster rate -- 1 every 12 minutes, 5 an hour, 120 a day, 45,000 a year -- not from war or natural disaster, but from lack of health insurance.

Tales of a Family Doc.....a year later
Bu Aaron Roland, M.D. | DailyKos
About three weeks ago a thirty year old patient whom I had not seen for many years came to my office. He had a large testicular mass, something he ignored until it became painful, not because of youthful imaginations of invulnerability but due to the absence of health insurance.

October 07, 2009

Price Differentials Are Not Evidence of Cost Shifting
by Austin Frakt | The Incidental Economist Blog
A recent Business Week article summarized an argument against a public option that is based on the unfounded claims of cost shifting made by insurers and hospitals.

October 06, 2009

Docs as Props
In the Rose Garden this morning, President Obama met with a group of doctors. From all fifty states. Banned from the meeting were doctors from Physicians for a National Health Program -- representing more than 17,000 docs who support a single payer health care system.

Life, Liberty, Health Care
By Billy Zou | The Dartmouth
For those who have been living outside the U.S. or in a cave, two health care reform bills have been proposed to universalize the American health care system. One, H.R. 3200, proposes a public health insurance plan or "public option," while the other, H.R. 676, would create a single-payer system that would cover all medically essential care.

October 05, 2009

Estimating the number of uninsured Americans by Congressional District using Census Bureau data
Because of more intensive surveys of coverage than ever before, the Census Bureau’s survey data can now be used to calculate the numbers of uninsured in every congressional district. Thanks to Len Rodberg, Ph.D. from the New York chapter of...

Doctor: Care for all is right thing to do
By Patricia C. McCarter | Huntsville Times
Everybody in. Nobody out. With these four words, Huntsville pediatrician Pippa Abston described what she believes is the best health care option for America. She also described it as "Medicare for all," a concept that concerns citizens who don't support the federal government getting bigger.

The lack of universal health care is a mass killer in this country
By Deb Richter | The Progressive Media Project
Nearly 45,000 deaths in the United States each year are attributable to the lack of health insurance, according to a Harvard University study released in September. That astonishing figure, which appears in the American Journal of Public Health, is a big uptick from the Institute of Medicine's finding seven years ago that 18,000 people die each year because they lack insurance and thus have less access to care.

The Single-Payer Alternative
by Ashley Smith | Dissident Voice
The politicians declared one plan for health care reform "off the table" from the beginning: a single-payer system that would cover all Americans and cut out private insurance. But as Dr. Andy Coates explains, it remains the only alternative that can solve the crisis of the health care non-system.

Uninsured people may have a higher risk of death than once thought, study finds
By Doug Trapp | AMNews
The uninsured might be about 40% more likely to die than the privately insured, according to a study published online Sept. 17 in the American Journal of Public Health. In contrast, a 1993 Institute of Medicine study concluded that those without health coverage were 25% more likely to die.

Imagine getting sick, getting bills you can't pay, then being sent to jail
By Janell Ross | The Tennessean
Kenneth Hoagland went to jail for what started as a cold. Hoagland had refinanced his Nashville home to pay off the $25,000 tab for his weeklong diabetes-related stay at Southern Hills Medical Center. The new mortgage left Hoagland out of medical debt but afraid to get sick again.

Single-payer national health care plan backed
By Dann Denny | Herald Times (Bloomington, Ind.)
Dr. Rob Stone, an emergency room physician at Bloomington Hospital and director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, said the U.S. stands alone among industrialized countries in the world. "We are the only country that does not provide health care to all its citizens," he said. "It's a bad situation and it's getting worse."

A Sit-in at Aetna:"Aetna Is the Real Death Panel"
by Private Health Insurance Must Go!
19 citizens and health care providers arrested, launching national mobilization for health care for all.

17 Held in Protest Outside Health Insurer's Offices
By Colin Moynihan | New York Times | City Room Blog
Right-wing and antigovernment activists -- a few of them wielding not only signs but even loaded firearms -- have organized some of the angry protests surrounding the health care debate. But in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday morning, a different sort of health care protest took place, led by left-leaning groups who accused insurers of greed and called for nationwide, single-payer health insurance.

Locals gather at courthouse to discuss single-payer health care
By Sarah Bloom | Indiana Daily Student
The Mad as Hell Doctors, based in Oregon, made their case for a single-payer system at the Bloomington Farmer's Market on Sept. 19. The traveling doctors are making their way to Capitol Hill in an attempt to meet with Congress and President Barack Obama.

September 29, 2009

Why the Current Bills Don't Solve Our Health Care Crisis
By Michael Moore | Huffington Post
Now we know why they've stopped calling this health care reform, and started calling it insurance reform. The current bills advancing in Congress look more like rearranging the deck chairs on the insurance Titanic than actually ending our long health care nightmare.

Sit-in today at Aetna office in New York to demand an end to insurance company abuse
Citizens and health care providers today staged a sit-in at the offices of Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies, in New York City (99 Park Ave @40th. The action is part of a national mobilization to end health insurance abuses such as the denial of coverage for lifesaving treatments, and win support for the only real public option -- Medicare for all, a single payer plan. The action was part of a Mobilization for Health Care for All campaign that includes actions in Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities across the country.

The Single Payer Solution For Health Care Reform
Matthew Hine, M.D., M.P.H. | The Chattanoogan
I'm an advocate of the best of capitalism and a free market for most commodities. However, health care is not in the same category as a bushel of corn or an automobile. A health care delivery system that is designed to maximize profit will never deliver the ultimate objective: affordable, universal access to quality health care.

September 25, 2009

Op-Ed: Medicare for All: Yes We Can
By Holly Sklar | Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune News Service
More Americans die of lack of health insurance than terrorism, homicide, drunk driving and HIV combined. Grandma could be dead from lack of health insurance before she turns 65 and gets Medicare - 80 percent of first-time grandparents are in their 40s and 50s.

Waiting For The Health Reform We Really Need
By Arnold S. Relman, M.D. | Tikkun Magazine
There are two interrelated critical issues in health reform right now: how to extend and improve insurance coverage, and how to control the unsustainable rise in health care expenditures. Virtually all of the current legislative attention is focused on the first issue but, notwithstanding claims to the contrary, none of the proposals now on the table offers any credible solution for the control of rising costs. Without control of health cost inflation, the present system will not be viable much longer.

Wellpoint "really did" write the Baucus health plan
Three articles on the connection between Sen. Max Baucus and Liz Fowler, former executive and current lobbyist for Wellpoint.

Baucus Watch, Part XIV
By Trudy Lieberman | Columbia Journalism Review
Is Senator Baucus becoming more charitable? Last week the Montana senator--who has been, by virtue of his chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee, in the midst of the health care storm for months--finally released the Chairman's Mark of the Senate health care bill. (That's Congress speak for the bill draft that already has the paw prints of the special-interest lobbyists all over it.) Before legislation reaches this stage, the deals have pretty much been cut, though not all of them. Working closely with the myriad lobbying groups that have swarmed all over his Committee, the senator managed to get consensus around some important elements.

September 24, 2009

45,000 American deaths associated with lack of insurance
By Madison Park |
A freelance cameraman's appendix ruptured and by the time he was admitted to surgery, it was too late. A self-employed mother of two is found dead in bed from undiagnosed heart disease. A 26-year-old aspiring fashion designer collapsed in her bathroom after feeling unusually fatigued for days. Paul Hannum's family members say he probably would've gone to the hospital earlier if he had had health insurance.

Fatal statistics
Editorial | Louisville Courier-Journal
Forty-five thousand a year. That's not a salary. That's a statistic. And behind every number in that statistic is the life of a human being that ended because the person was uninsured.

The Health Care Deceit
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS | Counterpunch
The current health care "debate" shows how far gone representative government is in the United States. Members of Congress represent the powerful interest groups that fill their campaign coffers, not the people who vote for them.

September 23, 2009

Doctors walk for health care
By Sean Rose | Courier Journal
A group of Oregon doctors stopped by Louisville and Jeffersonville, Ind., on Tuesday to voice their anger over what they see as a broken health care system.

The N.Y. Times' nasty swipe at Medicare for All
Comment by Ray Bellamy, MD | Prescriptions Blog | New York Times
Congress and America would benefit by a head-to-head comparison by an independent agency such as the CBO or other comparing Single Payer with any other proposal you want to offer. Single Payer would win hands down, as the rest of the developed world has already figured out.

September 22, 2009

NYT Slams Single-Payer
Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting | Action Alert
The New York Times devoted some rare space on September 20 to discussing single-payer (or Medicare-for-all) health reform. The result? A one-sided account of why such a system couldn't work.

An ex-insider speaks out
By Faye Flam | Philadelphia Inquirer
When politicians and pundits speak of "a slippery slope to socialism" and "government takeover of health care," they're using terms straight from the industry PR machine, said Wendell Potter.

Single Payer Activists Build Memorial on National Mall
By Russell Mokhiber |
Single payer activists have set up a memorial on the National Mall for the more than 44,000 Americans who die every year from lack of health insurance.

No Country for Sick Men
By T. R. Reid | NEWSWEEK
"Us Canadians, we're kind of understated by nature," Marcus Davies told me in his soft-spoken way. "We don't go around chanting 'We're No. 1!' But you know, there are two areas where we feel superior to the U.S.: hockey and health care."

September 21, 2009

Most would vote for single-payer
By Independent Record | Helena Independent Record
Last week's Question of the Week, "If there were a national referendum on single-payer health insurance for all, how would you vote? For, or against?" touched a nerve.

Medicare best for patients
Dr. Robert Golden | The Spokesman-Review
In recent health care debates people proclaim they don't want the government standing between them and their physician. Some have adamantly opposed a "single-payer" health plan while demanding, "Don't touch my Medicare." As a physician practicing in Spokane for the past 26 years, I would like to share my experiences.

Better Medicare can allay fears
Appleton Mason, M.D. | Times Union (Albany, NY) | Letter to the Editor
We want a system that is more efficient and cost-effective, and continues to value the doctor-patient relationship. I believe we do not need insurance companies and that some type of single-payer system would be much better. Decisions within this system would have to safeguard the freedom to choose care and the assurance that policy would be made by an autonomous organization within government.

Hundreds rally for single-payer health care
Hundreds of people gathered on the capitol steps Thursday in support of a single payer health care plan.

Creating positive change: The case for single-payer healthcare
by Elizabeth Crane | The Brandeis Hoot
In a point that has gone unacknowledged throughout the current debate, Medicare has endured as one of the most effective components of our health care system. Now, instead of decrying the role of government in health care, Americans should embrace it and expand Medicare to all citizens in an inclusive single-payer system.

September 18, 2009

Lack of Insurance to Blame for Almost 45,000 Deaths: Study
HealthDay News | Atlanta Journal Constitution
If you doubt that lack of health insurance can have deadly consequences, consider these new findings: Americans without health insurance are 40 percent more likely to die than those with private insurance.

Study finds lack of insurance can be lethal
By Elizabeth Cooney | Boston Globe
As medical care has improved for people with health insurance, the consequences of being uninsured have worsened, according to a new study that says the lack of coverage translates into nearly 45,000 deaths each year among working-age Americans.

Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance
By Susan Heavey | Reuters
Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

September 17, 2009

Why we must vote on the public plan
By Rep. Anthony Weiner | Politico
It seems that big legislation isn't complete until it develops a collection of catchphrases. ("Shovel ready," everyone? "Cash for clunkers," perhaps?) The effort to tackle the long list of failings of our health care system and the way we pay for it has been no exception. This time, we are arguing over the so-called public option.

A Real Win for Single-Payer Advocates
By John Nichols | The Nation
Canada did not establish its national health care program with a bold, immediate political move by the federal government. The initial progress came at the provincial level, led by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation's Tommy Douglas when he served from 1941 to 1960 premier of Saskatchewan. The universal, publicly-funded "single-payer" health care system that Douglas and his socialist allies developed in Saskatchewan proved to be so successful and so popular that it was eventually adopted by other provinces and, ultimately, by Canada's federal government.

U.S. Census Bureau data on the medically uninsured simply can't be denied
By Michael Hiltzik | LA Times
Pity the medically uninsured in America. As if they don't already have enough to worry about, now they've become a political football.

AFL-CIO convention unanimously endorses single-payer system
One concrete plan that meets the test of comprehensive, universal health coverage would build on our nation’s successful universal health coverage plan for seniors: Medicare.

Testimony Of Wendell Potter and Dr. Linda Peeno
Testimony Of Wendell Potter
The title of today's hearing serves as an important antidote to some of the rhetoric about who or what stands between a patient and his or her doctor. I know there are many who fear the idea of a government bureaucrat in that space but the alternative has proved much more fearsome. The status quo for most Americans is that health insurance bureaucrats stand between them and their doctors right now, and maximizing profit is the mandate that has simply overtaken this industry. As my fellow panelists know firsthand, the bureaucracy of private health insurance is a labyrinth of deliberately misleading terms of art designed to help companies minimize the coverage provided and maximize profits to appease Wall Street and investors. Or, rather, it is a minefield that leaves every American at great risk of not just going bankrupt over uncovered medical expenses but of losing their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

September 16, 2009

AFL-CIO endorses single payer healthcare
by National Nurses Movement | DailyKos
The campaign for the most comprehensive healthcare reform of all, single payer, won a huge boost Tuesday as the AFL-CIO voted unanimously at its national convention in Pittsburgh to endorse the enactment of single-payer, universal healthcare.

Postcard From Canada: Why I Missed Obama's Speech
by Sara Marshall |
True confessions: I missed the health care speech. While the whole lefty blogosphere was watching and blogging and tweeting, I was sacked out in my attic bedroom high on a mountainside in Vancouver, sleeping off a narcotic haze and the exhausting aftermath of a long night spent in the emergency room at Lions Gate Hospital.

September 15, 2009

Why Obama Needed Single Payer on the Table
I don't doubt that President Obama, a decent man, wants to provide universal health care to all citizens of this country. But his judgment in developing his strategy to reach that goal is profoundly flawed, and ... it may cost him the presidency -- an outcome that would be extremely negative for the country.

September 14, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: UnitedHealth Lobbyist Announces Pelosi Fundraiser As She Begins Backing Off Pub Option
By David Sirota | OpenLeft Blog
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the first time yesterday suggested she may be backing off her support of the public option. According to CNN, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "said they would support any provision that increases competition and accessibility for health insurance - whether or not it is the public option favored by most Democrats." When "asked if inclusion of a public option was a non-negotiable demand - as her previous statements had indicated Pelosi ruled out any non-negotiable positions," according to CNN. This was also corroborated by the Associated Press, and by Pelosi's own words, as quoted in those stories.

Single-payer health reform: the feasible alternative
By Dr. Oliver Fein | The Progressive
President Obama sold single-payer health care short in his speech to Congress. It’s actually the only sensible solution to our health care crisis.

Public Option Fades From Debate Over Health Care
By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times
It was just one line in a campaign manifesto, and it hardly seemed the most significant or contentious. As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama said he would "establish a new public insurance program" alongside private health care plans.

Health Care Reform and 'American Values'
By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D. | New York Times
I spoke to Dr. Brett recently and asked him about the notion of "American values," the assumptions made in the health care debate, and what system, if any, might come close to representing what is American.

Experience argues for "Medicare for All"
By Lara Wright, M.D. | Guest Commentary
I AM a family physician who has firsthand experience about the need for health insurance reform. In 1999, after completing a residency in family practice, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Fortunately, I had use COBRA to continue my health benefits for 18 months. When my diagnosis was made, I still had health insurance, as well as supportive family, friends and colleagues who worked in health care.

'Mad as Hell' caravan tours Montana, touts health care for all
By MIKE DENNISON | The Missoulian
Retired internist Robert Seward, a self-described "Mad as Hell" doctor who wants a publicly funded health system that covers all Americans, told a Helena crowd Thursday that he had a telling conversation with a Canadian citizen a day earlier.

The virtues of single-payer
BY JOHN KAY | News & Observer
Opponents of health-care reform have tried to twist the idea of a single-payer system into some sort of threat to the American way of medicine. They are wrong. As someone who spent half my working life in Canada and half in the United States, I've been covered by two single-payer health systems, one in Canada and now under Medicare. They both work.

It's Simple: Medicare for All
By George S. McGovern | Washington Post
For many years, a handful of American political leaders -- including the late senator Ted Kennedy and now President Obama -- have been trying to gain passage of comprehensive health care for all Americans. As far back as President Harry S. Truman, they have urged Congress to act on this national need. In a presentation before a joint session of Congress last week, Obama offered his view of the best way forward.

A note from Rabbi Michael Lerner
Tikkun Daily
President Obama knows that a single-payer program -- extending Medicare to everyone -- is far more rational than what he has proposed to Congress, but he also believes that eliminating the insurance companies, hospital chains, and other medical profiteers would require a battle beyond his current capacities.

September 11, 2009

Over 70 Labor Organizations Call on AFL-CIO Convention to Endorse HR 676
Kay Tillow | All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
More than seventy labor organizations have submitted resolutions to the AFL-CIO Convention calling for the labor federation to endorse HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

Health reform should start with moral question
Richard A. Damon, MD | The Missoulian | Letter to the editor
Amidst the give and take of the health care reform discussion is an underlying basic moral imperative: Does a wealthy country like the United States have an ethical obligation to provide access to health care to everybody?

Access to medical care a basic human right
Guest column | The Missoulian
The commercial aspects of restructuring the health care industry are receiving much attention. Those of us who have been involved in the actual delivery of medical care believe there is a principle underlying the entire enterprise. Understanding this principle provides perspective that helps to evaluate the business details in reform plans as they emerge in coming weeks.

September 10, 2009

Opinion: Single-payer health care: dead in Washington, but alive in the states
By Michael Corcoran | Opinion | Christian Science Monitor
The inability of a popular president with substantial majorities in Congress to pass a progressive health bill is immensely frustrating to healthcare activists, and to all who gave Obama a mandate for change. But their cause is not lost -- they just need a new strategy.

Iowa reaction to Obama's speech
Des Moines Register
Dr. Jess Fiedorowicz, a University of Iowa psychiatrist: He was not won over. Fiedorowicz favors a single-payer health care system, in which government insurance would cover everyone.

September 09, 2009

Everybody in, nobody out
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle
The disruptions at town meetings in August were not just the work of conservative hecklers and their corporate backers. The wave of anger also revealed that many Americans feel left out during the current recession. It is not just the 50 million people who are left out because they don’t have health insurance, or the tens of millions who are left out because they have inadequate health insurance, or even the many people who have been bankrupted by their medical bills (the most common cause of bankruptcy in the United States).

British Physicians and Patients Respond to Lies about the NHS
Your reported call for "lies" about health care reform to be refuted is essential and requires an urgent response. To that end, may we -- British health professionals and patients - respectfully expose those "lies" which are about our National Health Service, a service which our experience shows to work successfully for the benefit of all in this country.

September 08, 2009

Sick and Wrong
By MATT TAIBBI | Rolling Stone
Let's start with the obvious: America has not only the worst but the dumbest health care system in the developed world. It's become a black leprosy eating away at the American experiment -- a bureaucracy so insipid and mean and illogical that even our darkest criminal minds wouldn't be equal to dreaming it up on purpose.

Giving Single-Payer a Second Look
By Rep. Anthony Weiner | Huffington Post
As President Obama prepares to address the nation about his vision for health care reform, we should not overlook the last, best truly transformative change to our health care system: Medicare. We have been staring so intently at the lessons of 1993 that we may have forgotten the universal rule of successful lawmaking: "keep it simple."

Insured, but Bankrupted Anyway
By Anne Underwood | New York Times Prescriptions blog
Dr. David Himmelstein is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care doctor at the Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts. Dr. Himmelstein is also a founder of Physicians for a National Health Program. In 2005 and 2009, he helped write major studies finding that medical bills were a leading contributor to personal bankruptcies in the United States. He spoke to the freelance writer Anne Underwood.

HMO claims-rejection rates trigger state investigation
By Lisa Girion | Los Angeles Times
California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown is joining state regulators in scrutinizing how HMOs review and pay insurance claims submitted by doctors, hospitals and other medical providers.

September 04, 2009

California's Real Death Panels: Insurers Deny 21% of Claims
From California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
More than one of every five requests for medical claims for insured patients, even when recommended by a patient's physician, are rejected by California's largest private insurers, amounting to very real death panels in practice daily in the nation's biggest state, according to data released today by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

Will safety net hospitals survive health reform?
By Carla K. Johnson | Associated Press | San Jose Mercury News
To all the knotty issues involved in health care overhaul, add one more: The proposals in Congress may threaten the funding and future of the nation's already-struggling safety net hospitals.

Health Care That Works
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times
Health care reform may be defeated this year in part because so many Americans believe the government can't do anything right and fear that a doctor will come to resemble an I.R.S. agent with a scalpel. Yet the part of America's health care system that consumers like best is the government-run part.

Immigrant health plan called unfair
By Kyle Cheney | Dorchester (Mass.) Reporter
As state-subsidized health care for 31,000 legal immigrants lapsed Tuesday, the result of budget cuts imposed by the Legislature, advocates for a single-payer health care system blasted the cuts as "discriminatory" and said a backup plan endorsed Monday by the Patrick administration could leave them worse off than if they relied on a state fund for the uninsured.

September 03, 2009

Don't Be Fooled by the Public Option
By Bill Boyarsky | Truthdig
While the media are transfixed by all the screaming in town halls and on television, the real work of health care reform is being done in secret by congressional staff technocrats, government bureaucrats, health industry lobbyists and sometimes even a member of the Senate or House.

September 02, 2009

"Now Make Me Do It"
By Ralph Nader |
President Obama has never invited to the White House the leading consumer-patient champions in this country who favor full Medicare and free choice of physician and hospital-often called "a single payer" system. Open to the corporate barons who have failed decade after decade to deliver what patients need, the White House door is closed to the likes of Dr. Quentin Young-a founder of the Physicians for a National Health Program and an old Chicago friend of Obama's, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who heads Public Citizen's Health Research Group, Drs. Marcia Angell, Stephanie Woolhandler, and David Himmelstein, who are nationally known and accomplished single payer advocates or Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the fast-growing California Nurses Association.

Focus on justice makes health solution obvious
By Paul DeMarco | Guest Columnist | The State (Columbia, S.C.)
Although many have complained about the tenor of the current health care conversation, this is the way Americans have settled matters since the founding of the republic: Our national debates always have been more like full-throated arguments after a few beers than refined cocktail party dialogue.

The Public Option: Doomed to Fail
David U. Himmelstein, MD, Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, Sidney M. Wolfe, MD, Quentin Young, MD, Marcia Angell, MD | The Nation | Letters
Regarding your editorial "Public Option Now!" (July 20/27): a public option won't fix the mainstream Democrats' flawed healthcare reform proposals. Only a single-payer reform would make universal, first dollar coverage affordable. It would save about $400 billion annually on bureaucracy and rein in costs over the long term through global budgeting and rational health planning.

Mad as hell across the country
Andrea Hektor
A SMALL group of Oregon-based doctors and their supporters is getting ready for a cross-country tour to demand health care reform that will actually work to end the crisis--a government-run single-payer system that would cover everyone and cut out the private insurance industry.

August 31, 2009

Helena Handbag
by Cathy Siegner | Queen City News
When people oppose a single-payer system, I wonder if they have health coverage and whether it's Medicare, VA, or some other government-funded plan; in other words, a single-payer system. A lot of times, they do. So basically, it's okay for all of us to pay for them to have single-payer coverage, but they'll be doggoned if they'll chip in so everybody else can have it, too. In my world, that’s called hypocrisy.

August 28, 2009

Liar, Liar ... Well, Healthcare Pants on Fire
by Donna Smith |
So, we've been told over and over again that under the healthcare reform plans currently defended and pushed by the President and Congress that we can keep what we've got if we like it. No one will take your health insurance bennies away. Not under our employer-based, for-profit system.

Single Payer: A Conversation with David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler
Health Care Cost Monitor
One of the biggest arguments against a public choice option is that it would lead to a single payer system. Many critics frame this as a frightening prospect, a radical intrusion of government into health care. But many doctors and others regard a single payer system as the best way -- perhaps the only way -- to control health care costs well enough to provide coverage for all. Advantages include saving hundreds of billions of dollars and helping to reduce regional inequities in available medical services. David Himmelstein, M.D., and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., cofounders of Physicians for a National Health Program, answered questions about the single payer system and why they think it is superior to a public choice option.

Fiscal Responsibility and Health Care Reform
Robert A. Levine, M.D. | New England Journal of Medicine
All told, then, administrative expenditures, unnecessary care, and fraud probably account for $1 trillion or more in health care spending that does not go toward providing appropriate care. These are the areas in which the proper reform measures could generate savings that could pay for universal coverage.

August 27, 2009

Taking back the health care debate
By Nancy Welch | Vermont Woman
THE MORNING after the November election, I visited my father in a Cleveland rehab hospital. Weak from surgery to reinforce his disintegrating spine, he was nevertheless grinning as I walked in. "We're going to get national health care," he said.

August 26, 2009

Let's get back to what health care reform should be about
by Rose Ann DeMoro | Cleveland Plain Dealer
From the fabricated "death panels" scares to the traumatized seniors urging legislators to keep the government's hands "off my Medicare," it's apparent that the health care debate has lurched off the rails.

Expand Medicare to cover the uninsured.
By Jack Bernard and Dr. Daniel Blumenthal
 | Atlanta Journal Constitution
A Harvard study recently found that, despite the intense disinformation effort by those against change, Americans still view health care as one of their highest public priorities. Insurance premiums are going up four times as fast as workers’ wages, but only 28 percent of Americans rate our existing health care system as good or excellent. Our per capita health care spending is double that of any other developed country, while our health care system ranks 37th in the world, behind Costa Rica.

A simple solution
Jerry Call | Bangor Daily News | Letter to the Editor
America invented Medicare; it is uniquely American. It is a proven, well-liked and efficient system. So why not just expand it so the rest of us can enjoy it?

We need major health reform
By Glen Peterson | My View | The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.)
Why does the U.S. compare so poorly to the rest of the industrial world? Among many reasons, our costs are excessive and a great number of Americans are uninsured or underinsured. These problems can be directly attributed to the practices of private health insurers who uniquely in the U.S. provide our primary means of connecting consumers with providers.

My Brain and the Ontario Health Care System
By Paul E. Barber | Huffington Post
You may have seen the stories about the television ad with first person testimony from a woman who claims she had a brain tumor and was unhappy about her care in the Ontario health care system, part of the ongoing assault on "Obamacare." Five years ago I actually had a brain tumor and dealt with the Ontario health care system. The truth about our system is much different than the misinformation spewing forth over the internet and the airwaves. This is my story.

Trumka Tells Netroots Nation: "My Preference Is Single Payer"
Kay Tillow | All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
In a wide ranging speech to the annual Netroots Nation Convention, Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, said, "My preference, and the feeling of many in the labor movement, is that we should have a single payer health care system." Netroots Nation is the largest annual assembly of progressive bloggers and web journalists.

August 25, 2009

The art of the drug deal
By Helen Redmond
BILLY TAUZIN, a former Republican member of Congress from Louisiana and the current president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), is all about the art of the deal. He's the Donald Trump of brand-name prescription drugs, but unlike "The Donald," "The Billy" goes to the White House and closes deals in private with the president of the United States.

5 Myths About Health Care Around the World
By T.R. Reid | Washington Post
As Americans search for the cure to what ails our health-care system, we've overlooked an invaluable source of ideas and solutions: the rest of the world. All the other industrialized democracies have faced problems like ours, yet they've found ways to cover everybody -- and still spend far less than we do.

A bailout for the U.S. health-care industry
By Rose Ann DeMoro | Ottawa Citizen
The fractured U.S. healthcare debate, replete with wild distortions of Canada's medicare, must seem incomprehensible to many north of our border.

The way is clear: Health insurance must end
BY JOHN HAMMOND | The News & Observer
In the first half of the 20th century, most health insurance was provided to those who could afford it by state-based, nonprofit Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans, which based premiums on a community rating system. The agency took the costs of its enrollees, added a reasonable overhead contribution and divided that by the number of enrollees to calculate the premium. Under this system, the young, healthy enrollees subsidized the cost of the older, more chronically ill enrollees.

Hold the line on healthcare, Mr President
Rose Ann DeMoro | The Times
To other industrialised countries, this fear of government having a role in protecting the health and safety of its citizens must seem especially hard to fathom. Among leading nations, only in the US is healthcare not a fundamental right, but bartered for profit by a maze of corporations.

August 24, 2009

"Mad as Hell Doctors" Embark on Cross Country Care-A-Van to Demand Single-Payer from Congress
Published by PR Web
Frustrated with the health care 'options' coming out of Washington, D.C., six "Mad as Hell" Oregon physicians are taking an unprecedented road trip across America to lobby Congress for a single-payer health care system.

Driving a Stake Through a Bad Health Policy's Heart
By David Moberg | In These Times
In absolute dollar terms, the affluent gain more, but as a percentage of income, lower-income earners receive a greater benefit and thus their tax rate--if benefits were taxed--would be higher. That's the usual definition of tax regressivity.

Healthcare insurers get upper hand
By Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger | LA Times
Lashed by liberals and threatened with more government regulation, the insurance industry nevertheless rallied its lobbying and grass-roots resources so successfully in the early stages of the healthcare overhaul deliberations that it is poised to reap a financial windfall.

Beware health-industrial complex
By Jack Bernard | Ledger-Inquirer (Columbus, Ga.)
Virtually all national polls show that health care reform is in trouble, just as it was under the Clintons. Once again, lobbyists from the health industrial complex have purposefully confused the American public, as they did with the misleading but highly effective "Harry and Louise" ads in the 1990s, and bought off our elected representatives in both parties.

Medicare-for-all option would cover everyone, reduce costs
By DR. THOMAS CLAIRMONT | New Hampshire Union Leader
Speaker Pelosi has pledged to hold a floor debate and vote on single-payer health reform this fall. This vote on an amendment to HR 3200 (the 1,000-plus page bill favored by the House leadership) would substitute the 27-page HR 676 as the new health care policy of the United States.

Where's the Wizard of Oz When We Need Him?
By Carol Miller | Taos Daily News
One problem is that most elected leaders, from the president on down, are cowards when it comes to standing up to the corporations. A few recent examples: bailouts for banks while homeowners still face foreclosure and homelessness; the AIG mega-insurance corporate bailout; and the current and most cruel bailout--protecting large sickness insurance corporations rather than giving us guaranteed access to health care. This is not reform.

August 21, 2009

Joe Scarborough Is Shocked, Yet Awed by Single-Payer Logic
By Leslie Savan | The Nation
Something rather remarkable happened on Tuesday's Morning Joe. Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York pointed out that the health insurance industry has no clothes, and Joe Scarborough, after first trying to spin it some gossamer threads, broke down and said, By God, you're right, this emperor is a naked money-making machine!

August 19, 2009

Physician-patient relationship should be sacrosanct
By Syed Quadri | The News Enterprise
I have watched with interest the debate over health care reform unfold in the columns of your newspaper and the rest of media. The airways and the pages of every newspaper in the country are saturated with several buzzwords. “Rationing,” “socialized medicine,” “federal bureaucracy,” and “government takeover of health care” are the names that appear to be driving the discussion and creating the frame of reference for the “debate.”

August 18, 2009

Opinion: Canadian health system works
By Miriam Schubert | Marin Independent Journal
I have had good care here, but the care in Quebec was better. Everything was done to get me healthy. And here, the out of pocket cost is much higher than the Medicare taxes I was paying in Canada.

August 17, 2009

Canadian health system has a fan in Schweitzer
By MIKE DENNISON | Billings Gazette
As Gov. Brian Schweitzer warmed up the crowd Friday for President Barack Obama, he paid a lengthy compliment to a health care system that leading Democrats, including the president, have declared "off the table" as a reform here: the Canadian single-payer system.

August 13, 2009

Health care for all
By Helen Thomas | San Francisco Chronicle | Politics Blog
In 2003 before he became a U.S. senator from Illinois, Obama actually called himself a single-payer "proponent." But now that he is president, Obama has buckled to Republicans and conservative Blue Dog Democrats in pursuit of consensus. My question is if Congress passes a watered-down version of health care that doesn't truly cover everyone, is the result worth it?

Inside Story on Town Hall Riots: Right-Wing Shock Troops Do Corporate America's Dirty Work
By Adele M. Stan | Alternet
The recent spate of town hall dustups may look like an overnight sensation, but they've been years, even decades, in the making.

Questions for Dr. Marcia Angell
By Anne Underwood | Prescriptions Blog | New York Times
Dr. Marcia Angell is a senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine. A longtime critic of the pharmaceutical industry, she has called for an end to market-driven delivery of health care in the United States. She spoke with freelance writer Anne Underwood.

Healthcare reform: Locum tenens perspective on single payer
By Daniella Grossman | Modern Medicine
Sixteen years after the late Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone proposed the American Health Security Act of 1993, which would have created national health insurance and extended benefits to all Americans, lawmakers are once again considering a single-payer healthcare system.

August 12, 2009

A Raucous Side of the Health Debate
Steven Kahn | Letters | New York Times
Health care isn’t too expensive; insurance is. A single-payer, nonprofit system would lower the cost, allowing insurance for all. The insurance companies, drug companies and the medical-industrial complex are all fighting for their very lives in fear of a better, cheaper option. Do politicians have the guts to stand up to the special interests?

New poll shows Canadians overwhelmingly support public health care
In a last-ditch effort to convince Canadians that their public health care system should be privatized, Canadian Medical Association (CMA) President Robert Ouellet has promised to "pull out all the stops" during the association's annual meeting next week. Trouble is, Ouellet's mission to lead the change to privatization is exactly the opposite of what 86 percent of Canadians want.

August 11, 2009

What About a Single-Payer System?
By Steffie Woolhandler | New York Times | Room for Debate Blog
"The Health Insurers Have Already Won" reads the cover story in Business Week's Aug. 6 issue. That's the short answer to why the public option option is off the table as well as to why the new bill will use an individual mandate to force the uninsured to buy private insurance. Or, more fundamentally, why Congress didn't pursue the single-payer, Medicare-for-all approach used in other developed nations.

Activist Fought for Civil Rights, Health Care
By T. Rees Shapiro | Washington Post
Marilyn Clement, 74, a social activist who helped expand black voting rights under the guidance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s and later was a campaigner for a universal health-care system in the United States, died Aug. 3 in New York. She had multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow.

Single-Payer & Interlocking Directorates
by Kate Murphy | From Extra!
How often are employees allowed to work on projects that might put some of the people they work for out of business? That's the conflict of interest that journalists reporting on the healthcare reform debate are often put in by the boards of media corporations they work for, which frequently include representatives of the insurance industry.

The Health Insurers Have Already Won
By Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein | Cover Story | BusinessWeek
How UnitedHealth and rival carriers, maneuvering behind the scenes in Washington, shaped health-care reform for their own benefit

August 07, 2009

Obama gives powerful drug lobby a seat at healthcare table
By Tom Hamburger | From the Los Angeles Times
As a candidate for president, Barack Obama lambasted drug companies and the influence they wielded in Washington. He even ran a television ad targeting the industry's chief lobbyist, former Louisiana congressman Billy Tauzin, and the role Tauzin played in preventing Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

GOP doesn't dare challenge this government health care
By Eric Zorn | Chicago Tribune
See, Medicare, despite its faults, is an extremely popular and entrenched program. I could find no public opinion polls in the modern era that have even bothered to ask if it should be abolished and grandma and grandpa dumped back into the private health-care insurance market. Similarly, I couldn't find any recent polls in Canada that asked Canadians if they wanted to abandon their national health-care program in favor of an American-style system. A Harris-Decima poll released last month showed 82 percent of Canadians prefer their nation's health-care delivery system to ours.

Health care agency's payroll bloated
By Hillary Chabot and Joe Dwinell | The Boston Herald
The payroll at the agency steering the state’s controversial universal health care effort has swollen to more than four times its original size in just 18 months - with a top-heavy bureaucracy led by dozens of high-paid managers, newly released records show.

Medicare points the way to genuine health care reform
By John Geyman and Deborah Burger | Star-Ledger
Medicare, which turns 44 this week, has taught us many valuable lessons, perhaps none more valuable than this: the more we let private, for-profit insurance companies muscle into our publicly financed health care programs, the worse the outcome for patients, doctors and nurses.

August 05, 2009

Health Debate: Costs and Benefits
Michael M. Rachlis | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
Canada spends 10 percent of gross domestic product on health care, and everyone is covered. The United States spends 16 percent of G.D.P., but tens of millions lack coverage. The cost difference is almost entirely due to higher administrative costs and higher prices, which are directly related to the economics of a multi-payer system.

August 04, 2009

We need a single payer
By Laura McClure | The Daily Star (Oneonta, NY)
People in our area, and across the country, desperately need health-care reform. If the reforms President Obama is urging pass Congress, many uninsured people will get access to some kind of insurance, and that could be a great thing for them. But it's hard to exaggerate what a hash Congress and Obama have made of fixing our famously dysfunctional health-care system.

Why Single Payer Advocacy Matters Now More Than Ever
John Nichols | The Beat, a Nation blog
Americans who want to tip the debate in the most progressive direction should take advantage an opening provided at the last minute during negotiations to get a bill approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And they should do so by advocating even more aggressively for single-payer health care.

August 03, 2009

"American Values" -- A Smoke Screen in the Debate on Health Care Reform
By Allan S. Brett, M.D. | New England Journal of Medicine
Amid all the rhetoric about health care reform, one claim has emerged as a trump card designed to preserve the current patchwork of private and public insurance and to stop discussion of a government-sponsored single-payer system in its tracks: the claim that single-payer health care -- a Canadian-style Medicare-for-all system -- is antithetical to "American values." The idea that American values dictate a particular approach to health care reform is often stated explicitly, and it is implicit in the generalization that "Americans want" a particular system. The underlying premise is that an identifiable set of American values point incontrovertibly to a health care system anchored by the private insurance industry. Remarkably, this premise has received very little scrutiny.

A Canadian doctor diagnoses U.S. healthcare
By Michael M. Rachlis | Los Angeles Times
Universal health insurance is on the American policy agenda for the fifth time since World War II. In the 1960s, the U.S. chose public coverage for only the elderly and the very poor, while Canada opted for a universal program for hospitals and physicians' services. As a policy analyst, I know there are lessons to be learned from studying the effect of different approaches in similar jurisdictions. But, as a Canadian with lots of American friends and relatives, I am saddened that Americans seem incapable of learning them.

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody
by Bruce Dixon, Managing Editor | Black Agenda Report
With the corporate media relentlessly distorting the public discussion around health care reform, it time for some clear, bright lines to help us tell who is doing what to whom, and whether any of it leads to health care for all of us. Here are ten of them.

Obama's Personal Doctor Speaks Against Health Plan
CBS News, Channel 2, Chicago
President Obama's very own doctor thinks his proposed health care reform pushing government-run insurance is "a bad program," according to media reports.

Single payer plan the only solution that will work
By Dorothy Sistrom | Opinion | The Register Guard
Our health care system has failed. Church Women United of Eugene/Springfield has endorsed "single payer" health care for America. We have asked our members to contact our congressional representatives and the president to support House Resolution 676 and Senate Bill 703.

July 31, 2009

Want more choice? Pick single-payer
By Ann Settgast and Elizabeth Frost | Opinion | Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)
The health care reform debate is reaching a feverish pitch. As physicians, we are troubled by the direction the debate has taken. Whether via a public option or a mandate to purchase insurance, the proposals on the table aim to cover more, but not all Americans. They build on the structure of our broken system -- one that ranks as the most costly, fragmented and bureaucratic in the world.

July 30, 2009

Obama's Doctor: President's Vision For Health Care Bound To Fail
By Sam Stein | Huffington Post
The man Barack Obama consulted on medical matters for over two decades said on Tuesday that the president's vision for health care reform is bound for failure.

Obama's longtime doctor says healthcare reform plan falls short
By Mike Dorning | Los Angeles Times
The Chicago doctor who treated President Obama for more than two decades has a prescription for healthcare reform: a British- or Canadian-style single-payer system.

Single-payer system cuts barriers to care
By Beth Cardosi | TheSunNews
I'm a physician in South Carolina. I have firsthand experience regarding our broken, wasteful health care system.

July 29, 2009

House Members Debate Medical Bankruptcy Numbers
The hearing in the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee tackled a subject that often comes up in discussions of the need for health care system changes, and that's how often Americans declare bankruptcy because of heavy medical bills. A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine -- and written by an advocate of single-payer insurance -- found 62 percent of bankruptcies in 2007 tracked back to medical debt in some form.

Discard this health plan
Ray Bellamy | Tallahassee Democrat
The proposal out of Congress does not meet Obama's goals, which I share, of universality (at least 10 million would not be covered), does not meet the affordability goal, and does not meet the guaranteed choice goal, since employees must take the plan offered to them at work.

Media needs to deepen coverage of healthcare reform
By James Rainey | Los Angeles Times
America has a healthcare crisis, yes, and so do broad segments of the media, particularly television news. They have transformed the story of how to fix an overpriced and inadequate care system into an overheated political scrum, with endless chatter about deadlines and combatants and very little about the kind of medical care people get and how it might change.

Single-payer system controls costs
By Phil Lopes | Guest Opinion | Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Empirical evidence clearly shows that the one proposal that will restrain the rate is single-payer. Those who fear that single-payer is new and foreign, and therefore untested, need to be reminded that Medicare is, in essence, a single-payer system. For those who are eligible, Medicare is universal and identical, not means-tested and is administered by the government, which acts as a single-payer through contracts with the private sector to provide hospital and outpatient physician services.

July 28, 2009

Public Option Advocates: Time to Come Home to Single Payer
By Mark Dunlea
As the various public option proposals in Congress for national health care reform become weaker every day, there is still time for its proponents to support what they really believe in: a single payer, Medicare for all type program.

Testimony of Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H., on medical bankruptcy
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. I'm Steffie Woolhandler. I am a primary care doctor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and professor of medicine at Harvard. I am also senior author of two studies on medical causes of bankruptcy, one published in Health Affairs in 2005, and the latest in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine. Both studies were done in collaboration with colleagues at Harvard Law School and Ohio University.

Single-payer system required for real reform
Tucson Citizen | Arizona Voices
True reform must start with a single-payer system. From there, other problems and cost elevators can be tackled one at a time.

Many inconvenient truths on health care
By Dr. Stephen Sokol | Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)
Health care in America is a shambles and will, like a critically ill patient, likely collapse if not properly and promptly attended to.

Diagnosing Proposals for Healthcare Reform
Bill Moyers sits down with Trudy Lieberman, director of the health and medical reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine

July 27, 2009

For-profit insurance: No value added
By JAMES C. MITCHINER | Detroit Free Press
In the health care debate, the one question we should be asking is: What is the marginal value of having private health insurance?

Healthcare and Free Press: Two Human Rights We Lack
By David Swanson | July 23, 2009
Another name for "what's called a single-payer system" would be: healthcare as a human right, not a commodity to be purchased. Many humans have this right. They just aren't Americans.

Fixing A Sick Health Care System
By George E Curry | NNPA Columnist
By switching to a single payer system that covers all medical necessities, it is estimated that savings will amount to more than $350 billion per year.

Who will run health care?
by Bob Balhiser | Queen City News
With Barack Obama as our new president, Americans will never have a better opportunity to take our political system back from the lobbyists who are in control now. An ideal place to start would be with health-care reform. To illustrate just how ripe the opportunity is, ask yourself why the health-insurance lobby is spending $1.4 million every day running scare ads designed to prevent meaningful health-care reform.

Single-payer health care will work
By FLOYD E. McDOWELL SR. | The News Journal (Delaware)
Single-payer health care reform is a no-brainer for informed citizens and credible elected political decision-makers.

Universal healthcare for all: Mandate whose time has come
By Robert Dodge, M.D. | Ventura County Star (Calif.)
July 30 marks the 44th anniversary of Medicare providing healthcare to all over the age of 65. That system has provided a safety net to all of our seniors, irrespective of their ability to pay. As a single-payer system with the lowest administrative costs, it has proved the most cost-efficient for our nation.

July 24, 2009

Why we must vote on the public health care plan
By Rep. Anthony Weiner | Politico
It seems that big legislation isn't complete until it develops a collection of catchphrases. ("Shovel ready," everyone? "Cash for clunkers," perhaps?) The effort to tackle the long list of failings of our health care system and the way we pay for it has been no exception. This time, we are arguing over the so-called public option.

July 23, 2009

More of the Same Is Not Health Care Reform, It's a Placebo
by Leonard Rodberg, PhD
There is little reform, and no serious cost control, in the health care reform plans that President Obama and the Congress are proposing:

July 22, 2009

We can afford a single-payer health plan
LI-HSIA WANG, M.D. & HENRY L. ABRONS, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | San Francisco Chronicle
If congressional leaders are disturbed by the Congressional Budget Office report that their proposed health reform legislation will deepen "the already staggering national debt," they need to ask the question: How would the cost of a single-payer program compare?

Why Obama's Public Option Is Defective, and Why We Need Single-Payer.
By Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | The Progressive
Once Congress finishes mandating that we all buy private health insurance, it can move on to requiring Americans to purchase other defective products. A Ford Pinto in every garage? Lead-painted toys for every child? Melamine-laced chow for every puppy? Private health insurance doesn't work.

An ERISA waiver/state single-payer amendment introduced by Rep. Kucinich passed the Education and Labor committee, 25-19 (7/17/09)

Is NPR Ignoring the Single-Payer Health Care Proposal?
By Alicia C. Shepard | NPR ombudsman
The dilemma is a classic for all news organizations covering government or elections. The news media doesn't cover a proposal or political candidate because the media doesn't think either has a chance of success. But without news coverage, how will either get enough attention to make a difference? In this case, it's the single-payer approach to the current national debate over paying for health care.

Medicare for all
Letter to the Editor | Salt Lake Tribune
Because I am a physician and attorney with many years of experience in both fields, I can say unequivocally that the best way to solve the escalating cost in health care is also the best way to reduce medical errors and nearly eliminate medical malpractice lawsuits. It is also the simplest solution and it pays for itself without resorting to budgetary tricks. The solution I refer to is single-payer Medicare for all, embodied in Rep. John Conyers' bill, HR676.

July 20, 2009

Drug Makers Score Early Wins as Plan Takes Shape
By ALICIA MUNDY and LAURA MECKLER | The Wall Street Journal
The pharmaceuticals industry, which President Barack Obama promised to "take on" during his campaign, is winning most of what it wants in the health-care overhaul.

July 17, 2009

The fake persuaders
By George Monbiot | The Guardia
Persuasion works best when it's invisible. The most effective marketing worms its way into our consciousness, leaving intact the perception that we have reached our opinions and made our choices independently. As old as humankind itself, over the past few years this approach has been refined, with the help of the internet, into a technique called "viral marketing". Last month, the viruses appear to have murdered their host. One of the world's foremost scientific journals was persuaded to do something it had never done before, and retract a paper it had published.

July 16, 2009

Consider single-payer
Daniel Lee | Letter to the editor | Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
People who believe a public option will make health insurance companies and health maintenance organizations more accountable should look at Medicare's Part C Medicare Advantage privatization option. Forbes found insurance companies and HMOs cherry-picking healthy seniors for their plans and lemon-dropping sickly seniors into Medicare Parts A and B.

For-profit industry is killing U.S. system
Stephen Kemble, MD | em>Letter to the Editor | Honolulu Advertiser
President Obama has said he wants health care reform that does three things: reduces costs, ensures free choice of providers for patients and ensures universal access. He also said we need to "build on what works" in health care and, "If you're happy with the insurance you have, you can keep it." However, the only ones who are happy with their health insurance these days are the ones who have not had to use theirs recently.

The Health Crisis: Letters from Patients
From Sen. Bernie Sanders
More that 4,400 people in Vermont and across the nation wrote to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in mid-June describing their experiences with health care in America. Sen. Sanders, an advocate of single payer national health insurance and the lead sponsor of S. 703, has complied some of the letters in a booklet: The Health Care Crisis: Letters from Vermont and America.

Going for the Gold
By Robert G. Evans | Journal of Health Politics
Political conflict over the respective roles of the state and the market in health care has a long history. Current interest in market approaches represents the resurgence of ideas and arguments that have been promoted with varying intensity throughout [the 20th] century.

Health Insurance Whistle-Blower Knows Where the Bodies Are Buried
By Amy Goodman |
Wendell Potter is the health insurance industry's worst nightmare. He's a whistle-blower. Potter, the former chief spokesperson for insurance giant CIGNA, recently testified before Congress, "I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick--all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors."

July 15, 2009

U.S. Health Spending Breaks From the Pack
By Catherine Rampell | Economix Blog | New York Times
Despite the fact that the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not ensure that all its citizens have health care coverage, the United States spends a (much) higher percentage of its gross domestic product on health care than its peers. It also spends (much) more per person on health care than its peers.

Say no to status quo, go for single-payer
By Christopher Stack | Indianapolis Star
Serendipity is a wonderful thing. On June 29, The Star published the "Our View" article by executives and physicians employed by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield titled "Beware pitfalls on road to health-care reform." The same day, The New York Times printed an editorial titled "Insurance company schemes." Those interested in the health-care debate now consuming Congress should read both. The contrast could not be more stunning.

Organization of Women's 2009 Woman of Action
by Mike Hall | AFL-CIO Blog
Donna Smith, a community organizer and legislative representative for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), was recently honored as the National Organization for Women's (NOW's) 2009 Woman of Action.

Your company health plan may ruin you
By Leonard Rodberg | Worthington (Minn.) Daily Globe
Underinsurance -- the failure of insurance plans to protect us from the cost of needed medical care -- is a growing problem for millions of middle- and lower-income Americans. As the national debate over reforming our costly and inefficient health care system heats up, recent studies show that deficiencies in our private insurance system afflict many more than the millions who are uninsured.

Patients are losing patience
Rose Ann DeMoro | The Guardian
With Barack Obama in the White House, large Democratic majorities in Congress, and a relentless focus in Washington on healthcare, this could have been the year the US finally joined the community of nations which guarantee healthcare for all their people.

Medical bankruptcies must factor into debate
By Jeffrey Freedman | The Buffalo News
No conversation about reform of our health care system is complete unless it includes a discussion of how medical costs are driving Americans to bankruptcy court.

Our right to health care, and to real reform
By RICHARD PROPP | Times Union (Albany, NY)
Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, stated in his oath that "I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous." It is well to remember these cautions as we look to the healing of our health care non-system, particularly when studying proposals for a public option, as contrasted with single payer.

July 09, 2009

Health care reform, front and center
By Kathie Durbin | The Columbian
A boisterous audience of more than 100, including a large contingent of seniors, packed a Vancouver hospital auditorium Wednesday to hear U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and a panel of health care providers dissect national health care reform.

ECONOMIC SCENE: The missing piece of the healthcare debate
By David R. Francis | Staff Writer | The Christian Science Monitor
If no one is paying any attention, create a fuss. Maybe that explains why 13 doctors and nurses got arrested last month when they disrupted a Senate hearing. Their protest: The committee wasn't considering a single-payer solution to fix America's healthcare system.

Single-payer reduces waste dramatically
By Jeremy B. Stern |
I am an orthopedic surgeon who has been practicing in this community over the past 16 years and may be familiar to many of your readers. As our Congress debates the future of our health-care system, I am writing to urge my fellow citizens to get involved in the process. The debate in Congress is being framed largely by the insurance companies. This is problematic because of the large sums of money donated by the insurance lobby to the same senators who are crafting the reform.

July 08, 2009

Single payer health care gets nod from UCC assembly
By Jeff Woodard | Worldwide Faith News
Citing both specificity and urgency, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) passed without amendment a resolution titled "Calling for the Support of H.R. 676 -- Single Payer National Health Care Reform to Advance Health Equity for All and to Eliminate Health Disparities" on June 30.

Why Fiscal Conservatives Should Love Medicare-for-All
By CAROL MILLER | CounterPunch
Call me old fashioned, but a true conservative is someone who conserves, dislikes wasting money and is offended by endless corporate bailouts by hard-working taxpayers. A fiscal conservative like me. As a public health professional, I want to see health dollars used to keep people healthy through public health and wellness programs, as well as provide medical care when it’s needed.

July 07, 2009

The hijacking of health reform
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle
Headlines in the Berkshire Eagle recently proclaimed that Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) is cutting the equivalent of 65 full-time jobs, and will lose $3 million this year. This is neither good for employment nor for the health of our population in the Berkshires. The culprits are the cuts to Medicaid and Medicare, the programs that cover 70 percent of the BHS population.

A pay-go option for health-care reform
By John Geyman | The Seattle Times
A single-payer approach to providing health care can cover all Americans and still save money, argues John Geyman, professor emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington. This option, including incentives for money savings, must not be discarded.

Single-payer system could remove burden from employers
By Jack Lohman | Milwaukee Small Business Times
Single-payer is the most cost efficient system for our nation and is the most humane. You get sick, you get care and the caregiver gets paid. Nothing could be simpler. And though Medicare is not perfect it is indeed the least costly system of all with full physician choice, no wait times and no rationing.

July 06, 2009

Single Payer Health Care
By Art Edelstein | Vermont Business Magazine
Dr Deborah Richter, a Cambridge-based family practice physician, is also chair of Vermont Health Care For All, a group advocating for publicly financed universal health care system, also known as single payer.

Britain's National Health Service: Simple, sensible and civilized
By Clancy Sigal | Opinion | Los Angeles Times
For the first couple of years I lived in Britain, I was an illegal immigrant from the United States, visaless with an expired passport and looking over my shoulder all the time. Even so, from the very first day I arrived at Victoria Station in London, suffering from bronchitis, I was accepted in the NHS -- the national health scheme, we called it -- no questions asked and no ID required.

A doctor fights for a single-payer plan
By Elizabeth Strother | The Roanoke Times
Dr. Janice Gable knows a lot of uninsured Americans. They became part of her family back in Konnarock, a village in the Appalachians where the mountains of far Southwest Virginia roll seamlessly into Tennessee and North Carolina. She practiced medicine there for 34 years. Those years made Gable an ardent advocate for health care reform -- and no half-measures, either.

Medical bankruptcy: A South Florida case study
By Bob LaMendola | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Self-employed with no health insurance, Dorothy Carmona began descending into debt in 2004 when she had a stroke. Next, the housing crash ruined her title business. Then last fall she was diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer.

Left out of the discussion
By Gregg Blesch | Modern Healthcare
Lawmakers trying to get sweeping health care legislation passed this summer have made a point - and a show of keeping disparate industry and advocacy groups engaged in the discussions. The only ones with no seat at the large table are those who believe private insurance companies should lose theirs, but supporters of a single-payer health system are still fighting to be heard.

Obama health czar directed firms in trouble
By Fred Schulte | MSNBC
Nancy-Ann DeParle, President Barack Obama's health policy czar, served as a director of corporations that faced scores of federal investigations, whistleblower lawsuits and other regulatory actions, according to government records reviewed by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University.

'Congress doesn't know we've been arrested'
By JAY FRIESS | South Maryland News
Paris and 12 other advocates of a single-payer health care, sometimes known as "Medicare for all," were arrested for disorderly conduct after not being given an official opportunity to speak at the hearing conducted by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Paris and seven fellow members of Physicians for a National Health Program, a nonprofit advocacy organization, resorted to making statements from the audience without being recognized. Five other members of the organization were arrested at a subsequent hearing May 12.

July 02, 2009

Dr. Sidney Wolfe's Testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce at Hearing on Health Insurance
Testimony of Sidney M. Wolfe MD
What if you picked up the morning paper tomorrow and saw the following headline: "50 People Died Yesterday Because they Lacked Health Insurance"? The next day, the same headline--and the next as well. This is the average number of people in the United States who, according to a 2004 report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, die each day--more than 18,000 a year--because they lack health insurance. How should we respond to this unacceptable and embarrassing finding?

Single-payers crashing the gates
By Marcy Winograd | L.A. Progressive
One of the many frustrations for advocates of single-payer health care is the relentless drive to marginalize us, not only by conservatives but also by members of our own party.

Medical debt increasingly cited as factor in bankruptcies
By Doug Trapp | AMNews
Nearly two-thirds of bankruptcies in early 2007 were due in part to medical debt -- an increase of more than 20% since 2001 -- according to a national study of more than 2,000 cases.

Middle class battles illness, medical bills
BY COLLEEN LAMAY | Idaho Statesman
In the movies and in country music, spunky people dying of cancer take exotic vacations, jump out of airplanes, spend quality time with people they love - all the things they never had time to do before their diagnoses. The reality is very different for growing numbers of middle-class families who lack health insurance or have skimpy coverage.

July 01, 2009

Democratic party chairman favors single-payer health care
The Associated Press
The head of the Montana Democratic Party, also a candidate for Congress, is coming out in favor of universal health coverage.

June 30, 2009

Puerto Rican doctors rally at White House, urge Obama to create pilot single-payer system on island
Public Citizen | News release
The Puerto Rico College of Physicians and Surgeons urged President Obama today to create a single-payer pilot program on the island, saying it is the best way to provide universal coverage to all of Puerto Rico's 4 million residents.

June 29, 2009

State cuts its health coverage by $115m
By Kay Lazar | Boston Globe
Overseers of Massachusetts’ trailblazing healthcare program made their first cuts yesterday, trimming $115 million, or 12 percent, from Commonwealth Care, which subsidizes premiums for needy residents and is the centerpiece of the 2006 law.

Let Medicare cover all Americans
Greg M. Silver, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | St. Petersburg Times
We already spend enough to insure everyone right now and it's 2 1/2 times what the average industrialized country spends. To pump additional monies into a system that over the last 50 years has proven itself wasteful, expensive, complicated and which produces poorer health outcomes than other countries is as absurd as it is reckless.

Health care vs. sick care
By Dr. M. Joycelyn Elders | United Methodist News Service
The United States has the best "sick-care" system in the world, but our "health-care" delivery system is lacking. We have the best doctors, the best hospitals, best academic health centers, best nurses, the best drugs, and we are leaders in research. Our problem is that the system is not available to all of our citizens.

June 28, 2009

The Prescription From Obama's Own Doctor
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times
I hope President Obama tunes out the A.M.A. and reaches out instead to somebody to whom he's turned often for medical advice. That's Dr. David Scheiner, a Chicago internist who was Mr. Obama's doctor for more than two decades, until he moved into the White House this year.

June 26, 2009

Universal health care is near at hand
By Richard C. Dillihunt | Guest column | Bangor Daily News
I have been a proponent of universal health care and single payer since retiring from the practice of surgery more than 10 years ago. During this decade I have never waffled on my conviction that our nation should transition to a system in which every citizen has an equal opportunity to obtain their health care from practitioners of their choice.

Oliver Fein, of Physicians for a National Health Program, at St. Kate's: Give single-payer a chance
By Kathlyn Stone | TC Daily Planet
The American Medical Association has come out against President Obama’s “public option” for health care reform, but the AMA doesn’t represent all physicians. Some physicians’ groups support the public option but others think it doesn’t go far enough to fix changes in a badly broken system. Dr. Oliver Fein, president of the progressive Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), found a warm welcome in the Twin Cities last week. Fein was here to present PNHP’s vision for a national single payer health program. PNHP has 16,000 members, including 300 in Minnesota.

June 25, 2009

Obama's Doctor Knocks ObamaCare
By David Whelan | Forbes
Scheiner, 71, was Obama's doctor from 1987 until he entered the White House; he vouched for the then-candidate's "excellent health" in a letter last year. He's still an enthusiastic Obama supporter, but he worries about whether the health care legislation currently making its way through Congress will actually do any good, particularly for doctors like himself who practice general medicine. "I'm not sure he really understands what we face in primary care," Scheiner says.

Paul Starr and Steffie Woolhandler on the public option
The heated debate over the proposal to offer a public plan option is certainly warranted, but the much of the debate misses the point. While most people are arguing over the design of the public option, they are neglecting the fundamental flaws of our multi-payer system.

Will a Public Plan Bring Better Care?
Steffie Woolhandler | Letters | New York Times
A public plan option that competes with private insurers won't fix health care. Competition in health insurance involves a race to the bottom, not the top. Insurers compete by not paying for care: by seeking out the healthy and avoiding the sick; by denying payment and shifting costs onto patients. These bad behaviors confer a decisive competitive advantage; a public plan would either emulate them -- becoming a clone of private insurance -- or go under.

Senate Report Finds Insurers Wrongfully Charged Consumers Billions
By David S. Hilzenrath | Washington Post
Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released today by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee.

June 24, 2009

The Health Care Industry vs. Health Reform
By Wendell Potter | Center for Media and Democracy
I'm the former insurance industry insider now speaking out about how big for-profit insurers have hijacked our health care system and turned it into a giant ATM for Wall Street investors, and how the industry is using its massive wealth and influence to determine what is (and is not) included in the health care reform legislation members of Congress are now writing.

Testimony of Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., to the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee. I'm Steffie Woolhandler. I am a primary care doctor in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard. I also co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program. Our 16,000 physician members support nonprofit, single-payer national health insurance because of overwhelming evidence that lesser reforms -- even with a robust public plan option - will fail.

Testimony of Quentin Young, M.D., to the House Ways and Means Committee
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment on the proposal that has emerged from the three key House committees and to articulate the single-payer alternative. I am national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 16,000 American physicians who support single-payer national health insurance. Our organization represents the views of the majority of U.S. physicians, 59 percent of whom support national health insurance.

June 23, 2009

Medicare 2.0: Doctors group urges health care for all
By Casey Selix |
Dr. Oliver Fein, president of the 16,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program, thinks the civil rights movement of the 21st century will be health care. As health policy reform moves up the domestic agenda of the president and Congress, a single-payer, government-run program appears to be off the table. But Fein, who was in the Twin Cities last week to launch the Hazardous to Your Health! series at St. Catherine University, thinks the single-payer concept is gaining momentum in the United States.

June 22, 2009

Unhealthy numbers
Editorial | Houston Chronicle
The health-care debate now cranking up in Congress is all about the numbers -- dollars and people and, ultimately, better lives for us all. No number is more widely noticed or fretted over than this one: 47 million. That's the number of Americans estimated to be going without health-insurance coverage, whether by choice or by circumstance.

Amnesty International USA calls on Senate to Consider Single Payer proposals -- Healthcare Is A Human Right
Amnesty International, USA
We at Amnesty International believe that policymakers have a historic opportunity to reform a broken health care system. During the presidential debates, Barack Obama took a step in the right direction by affirming that health care should be a right. The legislation now emerging from Washington is, however, a long way from fulfilling that vision.

Say bye to for-profit health insurance
Edwin L. Stickney M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Billings Gazette
The for-profit health insurance industry is the major culprit standing in the way of the American people obtaining for themselves their right to adequate universal health care. This industry employs thousands of people whose task it is to find reasons not to insure people (pre-existing conditions) in the first place, then to find ways not to pay claims of those already insured. Further, thousands of employees in hospitals and doctors' offices spend hours on the telephone attempting to file legitimate claims.

The private health industry's time is up
By Bernie Sanders | Opinion | Christian Science Monitor
To me, the evidence is overwhelming that we must end the private insurance company domination of healthcare in our country and move toward a publicly funded, single-payer, Medicare-for-all approach.

The Policy That Dare Not Speak Its Name
Robert Kuttner | The Huffington Post
The public option is a not-very-good second best--because our leading liberal politicians lack the nerve to embrace the one reform that simultaneously solves the problem of cost, quality, and universal inclusion. The policy that dare not speak its name is of course comprehensive national health insurance, or Medicare-for-All. I try to avoid using the term "single payer," because a technical, policy-wonk phrase not understood by most civilians has become insider shorthand for national health insurance. Let's call the thing by its rightful name. Medicare-for-All is something regular people understand.

The Health Reform We Need & Are Not Getting
By Arnold Relman | The New York Review of Books
President Obama has placed health care reform high on his domestic agenda. He believes that a better health care system is essential for the nation's economic recovery, so health reform "will not wait another year." However, he has made only general proposals for reform, leaving Congress to work out the details of the legislation. The Democratic-led Congress has already passed some limited health legislation and its leaders say that they will put a comprehensive reform bill on the President's desk before the end of this year.

Single-minded on healthcare
The debate in Washington about how to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system has included little from advocates for a single-payer plan. Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a Cambridge Health Alliance internist and Harvard Medical School professor who cofounded Physicians for a National Health Care Program, has been raising her voice for a national plan for more than two decades, contending that the current system based on private insurance - including the Massachusetts model mandating near-universal coverage - does not serve people well, whether they are rich or poor, insured or uninsured. Here is an edited version of an interview last week.

June 19, 2009

Doctors drawing battle lines on health care debate
By Liv Osby | The Greenville News
The 64-year-old man with a family history of colon cancer working two jobs has insurance, but can’t afford the co-pays for tests to analyze his rectal bleeding. So he says he’ll wait a year until he’s eligible for Medicare. Advertisement Dr. Richard Lucarelli says the solution to this dilemma is a single-payer government health plan that covers everyone.

Canadians contrast their health care to U.S.'s
By Barry Brown | Washington Times
For a Canadian facing emergency surgery in the United States, a ride on a privately chartered Lear jet back to Canada is a whole lot cheaper than having the operation in a U.S. hospital.

More 'Skin in the Game' May Give Perverse Result
Thomas Clairmont, M.D. | Letters | Wall Street Journal
You completely discount any administrative savings from a single-payer system.You also ignore the rising number of bankruptcies related to medical care. Every other country covers its citizens, the way it should be here.

End Insurance's Bad Incentives
By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | The New York Times | Room for Debate
There are a variety of bad ways of paying doctors, but no particularly good ones. Fee-for-service health care rewards the overprovision of care; capitation (a set monthly fee per patient) rewards underprovision; and salaries reward just showing up. The minority of physicians (and hospital administrators) who are motivated mostly by money will find a way to game an incentive system rather than do the hard work of providing excellent care.

Wrong Turns on the Road to Health-Care Reform
JERRY M. EARLL | Letter to the Editor | The Washington Post
A private insurance company's mission is to make a profit. Profit is best made by insuring the healthy, screening out the sick and denying health care to anyone unfortunate enough to get sick after enrolling. Managing all this wastes a significant portion of every dollar spent on health care.

Testimony of Margaret Flowers, M.D., to the Senate HELP Committee
By Margaret Flowers, M.D.
Thank you for inviting me to speak to you today from the perspective of a physician and activist. I am a pediatrician with experience both as the director of a hospitalist program and chair of pediatrics at a rural hospital and in community-based private practice. I am currently co-chair of the Maryland chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. PNHP has over 16,000 members nationwide. I also sit on the steering committee of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care/National Single Payer Alliance which represents over 20 million people nationwide. I know that today I am speaking on behalf of the majority of people living in America who desire a national health program.

Private insurance companies push for 'individual mandate'
By Lisa Girion | Los Angeles Times
As momentum gains for reforms, insurers hope to turn it to their advantage by supporting a proposal that everyone buy coverage. It would be a boost for the industry, which has seen enrollment decline.

Medicare system offers model for health reform
By Dr. Charles Katzenberg | Arizona Daily Star
'I just want to practice medicine well." If someone asked me what I would like to see come out of health-care reform, that would be my answer. So how do we get there?

June 17, 2009

Better Planning Needed for Health Expenses
By Philip Moeller | U.S. News and World Report
Health-care costs are the dominant cause of personal bankruptcies, according to a recent study based on detailed 2007 records and extensive interviews with people who filed for bankruptcy that year. The study was released for maximum impact amidst the Congressional debate over health-care reform, and it has been repeatedly cited as proof that the system needs fixing.

Health-Care Polemic
JAMES FLOYD | Letters | The Washington Post
Make no mistake: Single-payer advocates have much to be upset about, given our near-complete exclusion from the congressional debate on health reform. But we are the only health-care reform movement with strong and growing grass-roots support, and we will be heard.

The Truth About Healthcare Reform: What You Don't Know Can Kill You
By Sylvia Hampton | East County Magazine, California
Supporters of real health care reform want a national expansion of the popular Medicare single payer program now covering every American over age 65. But they are being told that it is just not "politically feasible." When one asks "Why?" there is double talk and a run-around. The facts are clear. Oxen will be gored--and the industry and some in Congress are circling the wagons to protect their own self interests. We have some blatant conflicts of interest here that would make an eight-year-old blush: Congress members who have stock holdings in the industry and get large campaign contributions from insurers. Imagine that.

Robert Douglas: Canada is a good model for health care reform
By Robert Douglas | Tallahassee Democrat | My View
My first encounter with the U.S. health care system was in 1979. Thirty years later, it still haunts me and fuels my passion for supporting fundamental reform.

Dr. Farley's Rx -- single-payer -- is the cure
Editorial | Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Dr. Linda Farley, the local physician and nationally recognized advocate for health care reform who died this week, had long championed the replacement of the current for-profit health care system with a single-payer plan. Such a plan would guarantee that all Americans have access to quality care while at the same time cutting costs associated with insurance and health care industry profiteering.

June 16, 2009

A singular solution for healthcare
By Judy Norsigian and Jennifer Potter | The Boston Globe
A single-payer healthcare system would more effectively control costs than any other plan that Congress is considering as it moves toward a reform bill. And by controlling costs, existing resources could be allocated more equitably, especially for the benefit of women.

Australian immigrant's health insurance struggles may send him back
By Alison Knezevich | The Charleston Gazette
Moving boxes are stacked in the living room of Andrew and Rita Watson's Kanawha City apartment. The Australian immigrants are preparing for a trip neither wants to make. "I don't have any insurance, and I'm uninsurable," 65-year-old Andrew Watson said. And that could send him back to Australia.

The AMA Does Not Represent Us
Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Carol Paris | TruthDig
As the American Medical Association begins its annual convention in Chicago, we want to take this opportunity to make it clear to the American public, to the media, and to the president and members of Congress, that the AMA does not represent us. It is a common misconception that this organization speaks on behalf of most American physicians but that is a misconception with very serious consequences at such a critical time in the health care reform debate. So long as the public, the media and our elected officials lump all physicians together as “the AMA,” then we are guilty by association of a failure of our Hippocratic oath to “first, do no harm.”

June 15, 2009

Insurance interests total 1/4 of Baucus' fundraising
By Mike Dennison | The Montana Standard
As Sen. Max Baucus has taken the lead on health-reform legislation in the U.S. Senate, he's also become a leader in something else: Campaign money received from health- and insurance-industry interests.

Are you one big illness away from bankruptcy?
By Dean Calbreath | San Diego Union-Tribune
"The greatest health is wealth," the classical Roman poet Virgil once said. But to keep your health can cost you your wealth. In fact, it can drive you into bankruptcy. A survey this month showed that in 2007, on the eve of the current recession, roughly two-thirds of bankruptcies in the United States involved people who were driven into insolvency because they could not keep up with their medical bills.

June 12, 2009

Single payer: bold, affordable, humane
By Walter Tsou, M.D., M.P.H.
Congressman Andrews and members of the HELP subcommittee, my name is Dr. Walter Tsou. I am a public health physician and former Health Commissioner of Philadelphia. If you believe that every American has the right to quality, affordable health care, then the only affordable means to achieve that goal is through a properly financed, single-payer national health insurance program.

June 09, 2009

Protesters want Baucus to consider single-payer system
By JOHN S. ADAMS | Great Falls Tribune
Protesters in Helena, Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman and Butte gathered at Baucus' local field offices and demanded that Montana's senior senator, and chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, put single-payer back on the table.

Hold out for single payer
By Nick Skala
Today the Congressional Progressive Caucus faces a choice. That choice is whether Members should maintain their unflinching support for single-payer, or to accede to intense political pressure to support the plan currently being developed in Congress under the direction of President Obama: a mandate for Americans to purchase an insurance plan from a massive new regulatory "exchange," with one plan potentially being a "public option."

The Facts About the Health Insurance Industry
by Jeoffry B. Gordon, MD, MPH | DailyKos
Most people are unaware how similar the major health insurers are to our failed Wall Street firms.They are corporate cash cows and have virtually no fiduciary responsibility and few activities for protecting or improving health or the health care system.They will devote their vast resources to prevent any meaningful health reform. They have controlled Congress and the mainstream media. The only cure is vigorous popular support for a single payer, Medicare for All reform.

June 08, 2009

Doctor critical of Baucus promotes single-payer plan
By MIKE DENNISON | Billings Gazette
Maryland psychiatrist Carol Paris is calling herself one of the "Baucus 13" these days - in other words, one of the 13 doctors, nurses and activists arrested last month while protesting before a Washington, D.C., health reform hearing chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.

Concerns about conflict of interests apply to Grassley, too
By JESS FIEDOROWICZ | Des Moines Register
The disclosure and management of conflict of interests is indeed an important concern for those with an ethical and fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of others. Physicians have a responsibility to act in the best interests of their patients. Elected officials have a responsibility to act in the best interests of those they represent. We should be pleased Grassley has brought up this very timely, relevant issue.

June 05, 2009

Q&A with: Single-payer advocate Dr. Thomas Clairmont
By Michael McCord | New Hampshire Business Review
Portsmouth physician Thomas Clairmont -- who has practiced medicine since 1977 and is a vocal member of Physicians for a National Health Program -- considers the current health reform effort a dog-and-pony show.

Regressive and Unaffordable
By Marcia Angell | NY Times
There would be no need for an individual mandate in a single-payer system, since everyone would be covered automatically and it would be paid for through their income and payroll taxes. So asking me, a supporter of a single-payer health system, about mandates is a little like asking someone whether he's stopped beating his wife.

Medical Bills Cause Most Bankruptcies
By Tara Parker-Pope | New York Times blog
Nearly two out of three bankruptcies stem from medical bills, and even people with health insurance face financial disaster if they experience a serious illness, a new study shows.

June 04, 2009

Study Links Medical Costs and Personal Bankruptcy
By Catherine Arnst | BusinessWeek
Medical problems caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, according to a study by Harvard researchers. And in a finding that surprised even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3% who had private coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.

Charity care not answer, doctor says
Mike Penprase | News-Leader (Springfield, MO)
Dr. Judy Dasovich got national attention with her arrest during a recent Senate hearing in Washington, but she was more intent at a Saturday rally on getting attention paid to others.

Study: Most Personal Bankruptcies Caused By Medical Bills, Illness
By DIANE LEVICK | The Hartford Courant
Medical bills or illness contributed to more than 62 percent of personal bankruptcies in 2007, a new study says, showing a nearly 50 percent increase from 2001 and not even reflecting the growing number of people who are losing their jobs and insurance in the recession.

Grass-roots groups must test President mettle on health care reform
By Errol Lewis | New York Daily News
As the White House launches its bid to reform health care, the big questions bedeviling the activist base of the Democratic Party are how and when to nudge President Obama to the left on key issues.

Medical bills play a role in 62% of bankruptcies, study says
By Lisa Girion | Los Angeles Times
Findings by Harvard researchers show that medical-related bankruptcies have increased from 55% in 2001. The report could boost Obama's bid for healthcare reforms.

Life, health insurers invest big in tobacco
Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Major US, Canadian and British life and health insurance companies have billions of dollars invested in tobacco companies, a study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine said.

How Much Do Life Insurers Profit from Tobacco?
By Kathleen Kingsbury | Time Magazine
In an era of corporate wellness programs and socially screened investment funds, some of the world's largest life-insurance companies still own billions of dollars in tobacco-industry stocks, Harvard physicians assert in a new report.

Medical bills underlie 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies: study
By Maggie Fox | Health and Science Editor | Reuters
Medical bills are involved in more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, an increase of 50 percent in just six years, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

June 03, 2009

Baucus soothes single-payer backers
By Carrie Budoff Brown | Politico
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) told leading advocates of a government-financed health care system that he made a mistake by not giving their proposals more consideration in the reform debate, according to participants in a meeting Wednesday.

The Massachusetts Model: Massive Spending On Nonbenefit Costs
by Merton Bernstein | Health Affairs Blog
Plummeting coverage and soaring costs characterize the nation's health insurance crisis. With much coverage for the nonelderly based on employment, job loss contributes to this misfortune. In response, Congress seems headed to emulate the 2006 Massachusetts "reform." That's an unpromising prescription because it seriously increases costs -- just the opposite of what President Barack Obama cogently and correctly asserts that we need.

June 02, 2009

Thousands of Americans turn out to support single-payer healthcare!
Tim Carpenter, National Director | Progressive Democrats of America
Reports from the single-payer events, which took place on May 30 and the days leading up to it, are still rolling in, but we couldn’t wait to share the news with you. Read about the events in Seattle and Tacoma, Ohio, Rochester and Indiana. We’ll be posting more and invite you to send us your story, as well.

Baucus to meet with single-payer health care advocates
By JOHN S. ADAMS | Great Falls Tribune
Baucus, as chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, has made health care reform his top priority this session. However, Baucus has consistently said single-payer--a system in which the federal government acts as the nation's sole health insurance provider--is of the table.

June 01, 2009

Health reform plan is endorsed
By Laura Ungar | Louisville Courier-Journal
Despite resistance from President Barack Obama and some members of Congress, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan said yesterday he'll keep fighting for a publicly financed, privately delivered "single payer" health-care system that covers all Americans.

Baucus Battered By Voters For Health Care Stand
By Ryan Grim | The Huffington Post
Sen. Max Baucus got some not-so friendly advice from his Montana constituents last week as he works to reform the health care system: You're doing it all wrong.

Baucus to Meet with Single Payer Advocates
Guess who's coming to dinner. After months of proclaiming that single payer is off the table, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) has invited five key single payer advocates to meet with him in Washington, D.C. this week.

Conyers promises a fight to get health-care reform bill through Congress
By Tim Louis Macaluso | Rochester (NY) City Newspaper
To the Baby Boomers who packed the Rochester Museum and Science Center's Eisenhart Auditorium last night, Representative John Conyers (D-MI) is something of a folk hero. He has pushed for health-care reform for more than a decade. In his soft-spoken Walt Disney-like voice, he said, "We're at a crossroads in this country," referring to the ailing US health-care system. Meeting President Barack Obama's request for a bill he can sign into law by the end of this year that would reform health care is going to be difficult, he said.

Health care activists lament single-payer snub
Victoria Colliver | San Francisco Chronicle
Frustrated by the exclusion of government-financed medical care from the debate to revamp the nation's troubled health system, advocates of a "single-payer" plan are increasingly turning to demonstrations and civil disobedience as a way to get their message across.

May 29, 2009

150 protest against private health insurers
By Linsen Li | Louisville Courier-Journal
The demonstration, organized by Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare and Physicians for a National Health Program, is part of a national effort to establish a universal health-care plan. "Our purpose is to educate the public and politicians about how the single-payer plan is the best option," said Dr. Ewell Scott, an internist in Morehead, Ky.

May 28, 2009

Groups Urge State and Federal Officials to Make Health Care a Human Right by Adopting a Single Payer Health Care System
Single Payer New York
A hundred single payer universal health care advocates rallied in the rain today at the state Capitol today as part of a national week of action to make healthcare a human right in America.

Single-payer topic dominates health-care listening sessions
By MIKE DENNISON | Billings Gazette
In a packed meeting room today at Anaconda's hospital, state worker and Butte resident Anna Dockter asked U.S. Sen. Max Baucus' chief of staff the question on everyone's mind: Why is national, public health insurance for all not being considered as a reform option?

May 27, 2009

Transcript of Bill Moyers Journal on single payer health care
BILL MOYERS: Welcome to the JOURNAL. Health care reform. It's the talk of the town - if the town is Washington, D.C. But some possible reforms aren't being talked about at all. Not officially, that is.

Unhealthy association for Bayh
Editorial | Indianapolis Star
Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh's vote could prove critical as Congress debates health-care reform later this year. Yet, Bayh has a clear personal interest in the financial stability of one of the key players in that debate -- Indianapolis-based WellPoint, the nation's largest commercial health insurer.

New Report Casts Exclusion of Single Payer Option as a Question of Democracy and Human Rights
The National Economic & Social Rights Initiative | PRESS RELEASE
At a critical moment for health care reform in the United States, The National Economic & Social Rights Initiative has published an in-depth assessment of single payer proposals, finding that a single payer system goes further towards meeting key human rights principles than market-based plans.

Canada's healthcare saved her; Ours won't cover her
By David Lazarus | Los Angeles Times
In November 2007, Maggie Yount was rushed to the emergency room after a drunk driver crashed into her car on a Nova Scotia highway. Yount, a Canadian citizen, spent three months in a Halifax hospital, receiving treatment and rehab that must have cost a small fortune. "I have no idea how much it cost," she said. "It's not something I've ever needed to know." So who paid the bill? "The government of Canada."

Remedy sought for flaws in health care
By EMILY DONOHUE | The Saratogian
While Beverly Alves' husband, Joseph, battled pancreatic cancer in 2006, she battled a medical establishment that she says was ill-equipped to handle the coordination of care her husband needed.

Single-payer mentions draw cheers at Baucus-sponsored health care talk
By MICHAEL MOORE | The Missoulian
When the time came for questions, McArthur stood up and asked a simple question. Looking across a standing-room-only crowd of about 275, he asked how many were happy with their employer-based health insurance. Less than 10 people raised their hands. "The number is bogus," McArthur said. "It's not working for 95 percent of us."

May 26, 2009

Single Payer Advocates Crash Wyden Meeting
Single Payer Action
Advocates of a single payer health care system held a silent protest demonstration at Senator Ron Wyden's town hall meeting in Forest Grove, Oregon on Sunday.

Responding to a national Code Blue
By BRIAN ETTKIN | Times Union (Albany, NY)
In Andrew Coates' first week as a doctoral intern in Cooperstown, he learned a harsh reality that disturbs him to this day: His ability to care for patients is inhibited by their ability to pay for health care.

Held hostage by the health system
By Dr. Marcia Angell | Boston Globe
The Senate Finance Committee's hearings on health reform earlier this month did not include testimony from any advocate for single-payer insurance. Physicians for a National Health Program, which represents 16,000 doctors, asked the committee to invite me to testify, but it chose not to. If I had been invited, this is what I would have said.

May 22, 2009

Reform talk dominates WellPoint meeting
By Daniel Lee | Indianapolis Star
Dr. Rob Stone, a Bloomington physician who heads the advocacy group Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan, called WellPoint and its industry the "biggest barrier" to affordable health care. Stone's group is for a single-payer health plan, such as Medicare for all.

Don't take no for an answer on single-payer
C. Alfred Santillo | Letters to the Editor | Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY)
How many police does it take to silence the voice of the American people? We do not as yet know, but Sen. Max Baucus of Montana wishes to add many more simply to assure that they do not even have to consider the only health care plan that would work well.

Rx and the Single Payer
by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship |
In 2003, a young Illinois state senator named Barack Obama told an AFL-CIO meeting, "I am a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program." There was only one thing standing in the way, Obama said six years ago: "All of you know we might not get there immediately because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate and we have to take back the House."

Health care reform: The simple, humane solution
By Winthrop C. Dillaway | Guest Columnist | Star-Ledger
U.S. citizens and policymakers only need to look north to Canada for an example of a single-payer system -- universal public health insurance, financed by taxes, with a single-payment system managed by the government. It is not socialized medicine, but rather, socialized insurance. The delivery of health care remains mostly independent from the government with private doctors and private, nonprofit (so-call voluntary) hospitals.

Ocean City man arrested at Senate health committee hearing
By MICHAEL MILLER | Press of Atlantic City
A local doctor was arrested Tuesday along with four other people who disrupted a U.S. Senate hearing on health care reform in Washington, D.C.

May 21, 2009

Poems to the Editor
By Don Stechschulte
Health care, Health care is it something you’ve got?
For 45 million Americans, the answer’s, NOT!

Remind Baucus who he works for
Richard Buley | Letters | Missoulian (Mont.)
Baucus just can’t seem to understand that banks and health insurance companies haven’t exactly been working for the public good the last several years. Senators make $162,000 per year to supposedly represent the people of their state. Obviously, that salary isn’t enough for Baucus.

May 20, 2009

Insurance companies want to hide truth
Judith Dasovich | Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader
Government-financed health care is not government-run health care. Private for-profit insurance companies do not want you to understand this. Right now, your health care is run by people who value profits, not patients. Private insurance companies set the fees you can't afford, for care they will deny you when you need it. They decide which doctor you can see and which hospital you can use. You think you're "covered" until you get sick and find out that you are not. This is what happened to President Obama's mother when she was dying.

What Is 'Socialized Medicine'?: A Taxonomy of Health Care Systems
By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times | Economix Blog
With another "national conversation" about health reform upon us -- as it is every decade or so -- we will hear a lot of derisive talk about the evils of "socialized medicine." The term is regularly confused with "social health insurance," which is not at all the same concept. The chart below may be helpful in appreciating the distinction.

Questioned, Obama Says Single Payer Would Be Best
Institute for Public Accuracy | News Release
AP is reporting: "President Barack Obama says if he were building the health care system from scratch, a single-payer system would be the best approach. But he says his goal is to improve the current system." The comments were made in response to the first question at the "town hall" type event in Rio Rancho, N.M. by Linda Allison, a local resident.

In health care reform, even the supporters are divided
by Bob Braun | Columnist | New Jersey Star-Ledger
One of the state's chief supporters of single-payer is Winthrop Dilliway, a faculty member at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and a member of the Physicians for a National Health Program. He called such a system "the most humane, most efficient, and most democratic" way of providing health care. It would not be "socialized medicine," he says, because, unlike the British system, there would be no national health service that actually provides the doctors. The payment would come from the government -- not the service.

Single-payer health care is smart solution for America
Hedda Haning | The Charleston Gazette
Everyone agrees that we should all have health care. Most agree the federal government can fund it because we're desperate. Even the insurance companies agree. The one thing no one discusses is "single payer."

South Thomaston man arrested at Senate session
By Abigail Curtis | Bangor Daily News
A Maine health care activist was arrested, shackled and put in leg irons Tuesday in Washington for disrupting a U.S. Senate Finance Committee round-table discussion on health care reform.

Scare tactics aimed at single-payer health system
By GENE FENDERSON | Guest Opinion | Billings (Mont.) Gazette
Ezra Klein, a prominent health care and political journalist/blogger was recently interviewed by Mike Dennison, a reporter at the Gazette State Bureau. The interview addressed the hearings on health care reform being held by Sens. Max Baucus of Montana and Charles Grassley of Iowa, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee chairman and the ranking member. The most important question in the interview was, "Shouldn't a single-payer or Medicare-for-all system of universal coverage be considered?"

A single-payer plan would take greed out of the health-care business
By Wayne Madsen | Arizona Daily Star
Americans finally are starting to realize what citizens in other advanced democracies took for granted decades ago: Private health insurance is a shopworn relic from a bygone era when few people could afford quality medical care.

Baucus closes door on single-payer in national health care debate
By JOHN S. ADAMS | Great Falls Tribune
Last week lawmakers on the U.S. Senate Finance Committee wrapped up a series of hearings aimed at laying the groundwork for reforming the nation's ailing health care system. That committee will play a crucial role in any health care reform forwarded by Congress, and its chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., could be the most important player of all.

Springfield doctor arrested at D.C. protest
By Kathleen O'Dell | Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader
A Springfield physician was among five health care advocates arrested Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol for disrupting a Senate Finance Committee hearing on health care reform, run by Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana.

Health care reform supporters arrested for protest
By MIKE DENNISON | Helena (Mont.) Independent Record
Physicians, nurses and other advocates of a national, single-payer health system are vocally protesting their exclusion from high-level reform talks at the committee chaired by Sen. Max Baucus - and getting arrested while doing it.

Health: a fight for rights
By Margaret Flowers | Baltimore Sun
Health care must become the civil rights movement of our time. And it is becoming clear that achieving guaranteed health care for every American will require all the tools that helped win earlier civil rights fights.

Universal health care: Private enterprise can't fix our ailing system
By PAUL DeMARCO | Spartanburg (S.C.) Herald-Journal
I wear a coat and tie every day to work. I'm in church each Sunday and am not embarrassed to tell you that Jesus is my Savior. I believe in chivalry; I open doors for women and expect my teenage daughter's dates to come into the house when they visit. So where do I get off backing a single-payer national health plan, a plan where everybody's covered in one big risk pool and health care is publicly financed (but privately delivered)? Shouldn't I be a rugged individualist, telling people that if they want good health insurance they can pay attention in class, go to college and get a good job with full benefits just like I did?

Taming Runaway Health Care Costs
Arnold S. Relman & Marcia Angell | Letters | New York Times
David Leonhardt, in his May 13 column ("Health Care, a Lesson in Pain," Economic Scene), is quite right that "the only way to have a sustainable universal health care system is to control costs." But in analyzing the experts' testimony before the Senate Finance Committee on how to pay for health care, he did not mention a solution that neither the experts nor the committee wants to consider: major reform of the system.

Middle Class Healthcare Reform? Bend Over...
by Donna Smith |
It's coming. You and me and every middle class, working person in this nation is about to start handing over more and more of their hard earned cash to the private insurance industry, courtesy of our own elected members of Congress and our very popular President. Fire up those Treasury Department presses. We're going to be printing and providing money for insurance companies like no bail-out we've seen yet this economic crisis cycle.

Single-payer health insurance is way to go
By Don Terry | Chicago Sun-Times
About 70 percent of the patients who Dr. Claudia Fegan treats at her South Side clinic don't have health insurance -- like the housekeeper whose breasts were purple and rock-hard from cancer. "She was just waiting at home to die,'' Fegan says. "She didn't have insurance. She didn't know what to do. Her daughter finally brought her in.''

Health-care status quo pushing out single-payer advocates in nation's capital
By Amy Goodman | Syndicated columnist | The Seattle Times
As health-care reform is debated in the nation's capital, advocates of a single-payer system are excluded from the Senate Finance Committee hearings being chaired by Democratic Montana Sen. Max Baucus, writes columnist Amy Goodman. Instead, industry bigwigs interested in preserving the current failing health-care system are taking the lead.

Health care's enigma in chief
David Sirota | San Francisco Chronicle
The most stunning and least reported news about President Obama's press conference with health industry executives this week wasn't those executives' willingness to negotiate with a Democrat. It was that Democrat's eagerness to involve those executives in a discussion about health care reform even as they revealed their previous plans to pilfer $2 trillion from Americans.

Health care reform advocates get arrested while protesting
By MIKE DENNISON | Gazette State Bureau
Physicians, nurses and other advocates of a national single-payer health system are protesting their exclusion from high-level reform talks at the committee chaired by Sen. Max Baucus - and getting arrested while doing it.

Protesters in Cranberry pressure Altmire to support single-payer health care
By Diana Nelson Jones | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
About 60 people formed parentheses around the back entrance of the Cranberry Municipal Building, chanting their support for single-payer health care as U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire approached for a town hall meeting yesterday.

May 19, 2009

Put single-payer on the table
Editorial | Times Union (Albany, NY)
Earlier this month, eight courageous doctors, lawyers and other activists interrupted a Senate Finance Committee meeting on health care reform to ask why there wasn't one advocate of a single-payer health care system at the table. Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, had them arrested. Shame on Senator Baucus, and shame on Congress if it continues to stifle debate on one of the biggest issues facing this country.

May 18, 2009

Doctor: Single-payer system would solve health-care woes
By Allison Ryan | News Tribune (LaSalle, Ill.)
Anne Scheetz, a Chicago-area doctor, is dedicated to single-payer health care as the only pragmatic solution for the nation's health care problems. "I've been in practice for more than 25 years and I've watched the health care system collapse around me, and really I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed to be an American physician," Scheetz told a small group at a Wednesday night event sponsored by Illinois Valley Center for Independent Living.

Baucus Healthcare Plan: Arrest Doctors, Nurses
by John Nichols | The Nation
Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, the insurance industry-friendly Democrat who is managing show hearings on healthcare reform, has come up with a novel way to express his commitment to care for the almost 50 million Americans who have no healthcare and roughly equal number who have inadequate care. The senior senator from Montana is ordering the arrest of doctors and nurses.

May 13, 2009

Not Change We Can Believe In
By Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD | KQED
During his election campaign, President Obama said he believed that health care is a right, so I assume that whatever he does, granting this universal right must be a high priority. So to secure this right he has promised to "overhaul" health care. Very well. What may he and his supporters (like Kennedy, Baucus, etc.) have in mind? They have called their approach "uniquely American," and modeled it after Berkeley professor Jacob Hacker's proposal of a "public option" competing with private plans within a "highly regulated health care market." I call them all "hope it works" health care policy.

Can Health Insurers Be Cost-Cutters?
Laura S. Boylan | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
Our nation’s ability to afford decent health care for all our citizens must not depend on voluntary self-regulation of for-profit entities. We need single-payer national health insurance. Let’s circle the wagons around health care, not around private insurance companies and Big Pharma.

May 12, 2009

Single payer system subject of debate at health care roundtable
By RTT Staff Writer | RTTNews
Gerald Shea, Assistant to the President for Governmental affairs of the AFL-CIO, added his support for the single-payer system. "If you're going to do it the right way, I think that single-payer is the way to go," Shea said.

Health Coalition attacks American TV ad in open letter to Barack Obama:
“We are urging President Obama to listen to the overwhelming number of Canadians who value and depend on our public health care, not to Brian Day and his for-profit friends,” said Michael McBane, national coordinator of the Canadian Health Coalition. “Medicare has been good to Canadians since the 1960s when we parted from the American model.”

A Doctor's Letter to Senator Baucus
By ANA M. MALINOW, MD | Counterpunch
The more I listen, the more I hear that all Americans want a health care system that is affordable, accountable, accessible, comprehensive, universal and just - not another Band-Aid that will condemn thousands of us to unnecessary pain, suffering, bankruptcy and death. Listen for yourself, and you will hear Americans clamoring for true health care reform.

May 11, 2009

Max Baucus Should Not Be Deciding Health Care for America
by Kevin Zeese | OpEdNews
Senator Max Baucus and the Senate Finance Committee are too corrupted by corporate health industry profiteers donations to give America the health care policy it needs.

Doctor jailed after health care protest
By KAYLEIGH KULP | The Enterprise
Dr. Carol A. Paris spent Tuesday in jail -- all in the name of health care reform. "I interrupt this so-called public hearing to bring you the following unpaid, political announcement: Put single-payer on the table. My name is Dr. Carol Paris, and I approve this message," Paris said as she was taken out of a congressional public hearing by police for disorderly conduct, as several other protesters with Paris who are part of Physicians for a National Health Program also shouted similar messages.

May 08, 2009

Why we risked arrest for single-payer health care
By Margaret Flowers, M.D.
On May 5, eight health care advocates, including myself and two other physicians, stood up to Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and the Senate Finance Committee during a “public roundtable discussion” with a simple question: Will you allow an advocate for a single-payer national health plan to have a seat at the table? The answer was a loud, “Get more police!” And we were arrested and hauled off to jail.

Most M.D.'s, citizens favor single-payer system
Richard Curtin, M.D. | Guest Opinion | Fort Meyers News-Press
Medicare in this country allows free choice of physician, unless you join a Medicare Advantage plan run by an insurance company and then the plan may limit your choice. I have met no one with Medicare who has chosen to give up Medicare to get their insurance in the private market. Yes, it needs some improvement but is far superior to being without insurance or trying to pay thousands of dollars or not be able to get insurance otherwise.

May 06, 2009

The Only Humane and Affordable Option: Single Payer Health Care
By Marvin Malek Byrne | Times Argus and Rutland Herald
When you try to tell most Americans that the act of providing quality health coverage to everyone in the population can reduce health costs, their skepticism is overwhelming. How could covering people who aren't currently covered, while eliminating deductibles, preexisting condition clauses and other insurance company dodges actually reduce costs?

Call for single payer, universal coverage from Puerto Rico
Eduardo Ibarra MD | President | Puertorican College of Physicians and Surgeons
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Puerto Rico strongly believes that your presidency constitutes an historical call from the people of the United States of America for a better World; not only for us, but for all humanity. Your presidency represents a new level of social justice, a major step in our continuing journey to achieve fundamental Human Rights for all citizens of the United States and, through our leadership, the world.

May 05, 2009

Editorial | Charleston Gazette
President Obama wants to create universal health insurance covering all Americans, a safety net of the sort that already exists in other advanced democracies. President Harry Truman first sought this reform in the 1940s, and other Democrats have pursued it intermittently, but each attempt has been scuttled by big-money interests that enjoy the current for-profit medical system.

Doctors, Single Payer Activists Arrested, Make History at Senate Finance Roundtable
By Donna Smith | California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
It has finally happened right here in the United States. Citizens who believe healthcare is a human right have been arrested and are being processed like criminals through the Southeast District of Columbia police station. Their crime? Asking for single payer healthcare reform -- publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare -- to be discussed during the Congressional hearings on reform.

The Uninsured Are the Symptom, Not the Disease
By Claudia Chaufan, M.D., Ph.D. | KQED Radio Healthy Ideas
I was invited to join the [KQED] health care reform debate by addressing a set of questions falling under the general theme "Covering the Uninsured." The problem is that to answer these questions I have to challenge fundamental assumptions underlying them -- if one asks the wrong question or misunderstands the nature of a problem, the chances of getting the right answer or solving the problem are slim.

A 'public plan option' won't ensure quality care
By QUENTIN D. YOUNG | Politico | Letter to the editor
While Carrie Budoff Brown accurately reflects some of the arguments for single-payer health reform, such as the vast savings in administrative costs our nation stands to reap from national health insurance ("Groups strategize for single-payer plan," April 28), a casual reader might mistakenly get the impression that single-payer advocates are pressing their case merely as a bargaining chip to win a lesser reform -- specifically, the creation of a "public plan option."

May 04, 2009

Himmelstein replies to AARP falsehoods, distortions
By Single Payer Action
We asked Dr. David Himmelstein, a founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, to respond point by point to AARP's propaganda against HR 676 -- the single payer bill in the House.

April 30, 2009

Mass. Model for Health Overhaul 'Not Viable,' Expert Tells Lawmakers
By Alex Wayne | Congressional Quarterly Today
A Massachusetts doctor and health policy expert told Congress on Thursday that he believes his state's 2006 overhaul of its health system -- legislation that may be a model for a national overhaul -- "will fail."

Subcommittee Members Spar Over Cost Control Tactics
By Jane Norman | CQ HealthBeat
Another witness, David U. Himmelstein, a primary care doctor and associate professor of medicine at Harvard University who testified in favor of a single-payer plan like Canada's, retorted: "The problem is actually the private insurer wants not to pay." Himmelstein said lesser reforms, including a widely discussed public option accompanying private plans, could not realize the same kind of savings in administrative costs as a single-payer plan.

AFL-CIO's Health-Care Survey Ignores 'Single Payer' Plan Favored by Unions
By Harry Kelber | Labor's Voice for Change (31)
An AFL-CIO-sponsored on line health care survey of 26,419 respondents, more than half of them union members, reveals a widespread discontent with the cost, benefits and operating procedures of current health insurance plans. The survey, taken between Jan. 14 and March 3, shows that "ninety-four percent of the insured say the health care system needs fundamental change or to be rebuilt."

Fight for single-payer health care
Kay Mueller | Indiana Daily Student
Soon, thousands of IU students will be graduating. Those who were carried on their parents’ health insurance will now be on their own.

April 29, 2009

Congressman predicts single-payer health plan
By John Sammon | The Herald
National health care for all Americans is an idea whose time has come, a visiting lawmaker said Sunday at CSU- Monterey Bay. "It's in our face," Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said. "We can't avoid it. That's why something is going to happen."

Single-payer system and Florida's budget are linked
Ray Bellamy | Tallahassee Democrat | My View
Single payer is the only health care reform proposal that is revenue neutral in our $2.4 trillion national health care cost equation. It achieves universal coverage by saving an estimated $380 billion a year in wasted profit for the insurance industry and counter-productive administrative excess caused by that industry. These savings would go toward covering all of us with comprehensive coverage, free choice of physician and free choice of hospital, just as Medicare would be if it were much better funded.

The Public Option Con
By HELEN REDMOND | Counterpunch
What the public option plan is, no one can exactly say. There are no concrete proposals spelling out what the plan would include, who could join it, how much it would cost, or how it would be funded. But the details don't matter, they advocated for it anyway.

Big health care rally planned Friday
By DANIEL BARLOW | Times Argus
Health care has received little attention in this year's legislative session in Vermont. But residents worried about the future of the system will gather at the Statehouse on Friday for what promises to be a massive rally. Organized by the Vermont Worker's Center and sponsored by more than 100 other organizations and groups in Vermont, Friday's "Health Care is a Human Right" rally will draw attention to two bills that would institute a single-payer health care system in the state.

April 28, 2009

PNHP's Fein Delights Ohio Single-payer Supporters
By Michael Carano | PDA OH State Coordinator
On April 25, 2009, over one hundred and twenty-five Ohio healthcare advocates converged at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in the State's capital for the Sixth Annual Single-Payer Action Network of Ohio conference (SPAN Ohio). SPAN Ohio is a single-payer coalition working to enact "The Health Care For All Ohioans Act" in the Ohio legislature and, should that fail, through a petition initiative to put the single-payer bill on the Ohio ballot.

Paperwork, profits clog health care's efficiencies
By DEAN CALBREATH | San Diego Union Tribune
In testimony on Capitol Hill last week, David Himmelstein, national spokesman for Physicians for a National Health Program, argued that one reason for the high cost of health care in the United States is that American hospitals and clinics spend much more money on administrative services than other countries do, partly because U.S. doctors have to devote such a large portion of their time responding to questions and challenges from insurers.

Only patients should profit
By MARK A. DUNLEA | Albany Times Union
America's pundits used to deride the old Soviet Union for propping up obsolete factories and industries in the name of jobs. We don't hear such criticisms about President Barack Obama and the Democrats' decision to prop up health insurance companies in the debate over universal health care. Yet our system of health insurance is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars annually, tying up the health care system in paperwork, and contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans annually.

April 27, 2009

A proposal for health care reform for the U. S.
By Dr. David L. Brown | Times Beacon Record, Long Island
I admitted a patient today who I previously took care of following a heart attack in July. He was discharged on the appropriate medications, which he took for a month until he lost his job and his health insurance. Without the medications, which he could no longer afford, he suffered another heart attack. Unfortunately he didn't survive this one.

Montanans for Single Payer forms to promote universal coverage
The Clark Fork Chronicle
Campbell said that Montanans for Single-Payer is convinced the only way to assure quality health care for all Montanans and all Americans is to implement a single-payer system that can contain costs, allow individuals to choose their own doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, and integrate wellness programs throughout the nation’s health care. “Currently we have an inefficient, wasteful, and expensive patchwork, not a true health care system,” Campbell said. “Only a single-payer approach can provide a true system for health care delivery.”

Experts Call For Immediate Health Care Reform In Subcommittee Hearing
by RTT Staff Writer "[A] single-payer reform would make universal, comprehensive coverage affordable by diverting hundreds of billions of dollars from bureaucracy to patient care," [Dr. David] Himmelstein said in his testimony today. "Lesser reforms - even those that include a public plan option - cannot realize such savings. While reforms that maintain a major role for private insurers may be politically attractive, they are economically and medically nonsensical."

April 24, 2009

U.S. trails rest of world in health care
By Chris Doherty | Deseret News
Let me begin by stating that I believe that neither the Canadian nor the U.S. health-care system is perfect, and both could be improved. Some Canadians in need of elective procedures are said to have to wait to see a specialist for their medical conditions in Canada. I, personally, had an appointment last week with a specialist here whom I had been waiting 16 weeks to see, because he is one of a small group of providers "approved" by my insurance. Waits can occur on either side of the border.

Doctor assailed for leaving dead man in waiting room
By INGRID PERITZ | Globe and Mail
When man with severe breathing problem fell unconscious at private clinic in Montreal, physician did not try to revive him.

The Missing Witness: Why wasn't Eric Shinseki invited to testify on health care reform?
By Timothy Noah | Slate
Baucus and his staff recently met privately with experts from the VA to learn about these achievements, but he isn't about to put any of these folks in front of a TV camera. The rationale for excluding the VA from the hearing was that because it is run separately from the rest of the health care system, the VA probably won't be affected by any delivery-system reforms Congress enacts. But that's absurd. The hearing was an attempt to seek out models for reform. The VA hospitals represent the most successful large-scale reform in the delivery of health care that this country has seen in decades. But--shhhhh!--let's keep that between you and me. I've probably said too much already.

House Panel Debates Health Reform Cost Control Solutions
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report | Capitol Hill Watch
On Thursday, witnesses at a House Education and Labor Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee hearing discussed strategies to curb rising health care costs while extending health insurance to more U.S. residents, CQ HealthBeat reports. Health care reform approaches discussed at the hearing include a single-payer health care system; a "employee benefit cooperative" system in which small employers, employees and families band together to purchase coverage; a national health insurance exchange; Medicaid expansion; and changes to the current model of employer-based plans to make coverage more affordable.

April 23, 2009

Medicare for All: Now is the Time
by Leonard Rodberg | Portland Observer
President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that he wants "ideas that work." In spite of this, leading Democrats are working hard on plans for health care reform that will fail.

Propaganda And Prejudice Distort The Health Reform Debate
by Merton Bernstein | Health Affairs blog
Medicare-for-all would save hundreds of billions every year. Private insurers expend enormous sums for insurer commissions, advertising, Wall-Street-scale executive compensation, and profits. In contrast, Medicare spends little or nothing on these unnecessary, unproductive activities. Health care providers and private plans struggle with thousands of different billing schedules. As the New York Times reported: "The average provider -- doctors or hospitals -- has between 5 and 100 reimbursement rates for the same procedure. . . . A hospital chain may have 150 rates for the same procedure."

Join the fight for single-payer
MICHAEL KAPLAN, M.D. | Letters | Berkshire Eagle
"The public plan option" now being discussed in Congress would not control costs as only 16 percent of the roughly $400 billion annually achieved by a single payer would be realized and would do nothing to streamline the administrative tasks (and costs) of hospitals, physicians' offices, and nursing homes. They would still contend with multiple payers, and hence still need the complex cost tracking and billing apparatus that drives administrative costs.

WellPoint Makes Three Million Calls
By Jacob Goldstein | WSJ's blog
How would you respond if a computer called you and asked the following question? "Would you be willing to get involved to make your voice heard so that we can improve our nation's health care system?" If the computer was calling you on behalf of WellPoint, the big insurer that runs Blue Cross and Blue Shield programs in 14 states, would your answer be any different?

April 22, 2009

Testimony of David U. Himmelstein, M.D. before the HELP Subcommittee
The following text contains the testimony of Dr. David Himmelstein at a hearing on "Ways to Reduce the Cost of Health Insurance for Employers, Employees and their Families" organized by Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Committee on Education and Labor on April 23 in Washington.

Statement of Uwe E. Reinhardt, Ph.D., James Madison Professor of Political Economy and Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
Testimony Before the House Committee on Ways and Means
Any modern health system, regardless of its structure, must perform the following five major functions:

Single-payer health care plan isn't socialism
Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
I was surprised during a recent conference for care- givers when several professionals, who should have known better, asked me if a "single-payer" health insurance system is "socialized medicine." The quick answer: No.

Healthcare Lifeboats
David U. Himmelstein, MD and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. | The Nation
Massachusetts's 2006 healthcare reform plan, often cited as a model for the nation, is sailing through choppy waters. Governor Deval Patrick is keeping it afloat by throwing away the lifeboats: public hospitals and clinics. Freighted with tax-funded windfalls that brought private insurers and hospitals on board, the reform has proved far more expensive than politicians forecast--costing the state $1.3 billion this fiscal year, according to the state's report to its bondholders.

April 17, 2009

LION AND THE LAMB: How good is your health insurance?
By R.C. Braun, M.D. | Crossville Chronicle
Today there are thousands of private insurance plans available and advertised as giving “choice” to the buyers. I am not infrequently asked for advice in purchasing a plan. But even with my medical background I cannot make sense out of the mishmash of plans. I cannot help but think that the confusion is intentional.

Affordable, functional health care
By Phil Caper and Joe Lendvai | Bangor Daily News
The health care reform bandwagon is rolling in Washington. Committees in both houses of Congress are at work on health care reform, and many politicians are saying "now is the time." But meaningful reform is about a lot more than getting a few more people "covered." It must also be about reining in the out-of-control cost, making sure health care is affordable and accessible to everyone and assuring that the right number and types of health professionals are there to care for the millions who are doing without decent health care.

Briefing on single payer national health insurance, April 1, 2009, Washington, D.C.
On April 1, 2009, a Congressional forum organized by the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare and chaired by Congressman Eric Massa [NY-29], critically examined insurance mechanisms in the private sector. The expert panel included doctor, nurse, patient, researcher, labor, and economic perspectives.

April 16, 2009

Politico lets Gingrich attack public health insurance plan without disclosing financial ties to insurance companies
Politico quoted Newt Gingrich's criticisms of including a public health insurance plan option in a health care reform proposal without noting his financial ties to several major health insurance companies.

Crisis = Opportunity for Single-Payer
By Roger Bybee | Dollars & Sense
To many, a single-payer plan is the obvious way to ensure universal health coverage while containing costs. In addition to the dramatic reduction in administrative costs, single-payer plans offer other opportunities for controlling costs. For instance, they allow government--the "single payer" --to negotiate for lower costs with providers like doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.

April 14, 2009

Focusing on doctor pay misses point
By PAUL DEMARCO | The State, South Carolina
Doctors complaining about Medicaid rates in the current health-care climate are about as tone-deaf as the crew of a sinking ship complaining to the passengers about their low pay. Yes, Medicaid rates are too low and need to be addressed, but Black approaches the problem from the wrong direction. We must put patients first, not doctors.

Indicting the insurance companies and the system that supports them
Compiled by Len Rodberg, Research Director, New York Metro Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program
Count #1: That insurance companies charge such high insurance premiums that millions of Americans cannot afford to purchase any insurance at all, leading to 18,000 deaths every year.

April 13, 2009

A System From Hell
By Kate Michelman | The Nation
It was a crisp and brilliant autumn day last October when the medical and financial crises with which my family had successfully, if barely, coped for seven years became a catastrophe.

Why Has the Press Failed Us In Reporting on Health Care Reform?
Benjamin Day
An Open Letter to Bill Keller, Executive Editor, New York Times, and Clark Hoyt, Public Editor, New York Times

National call-in day on April 15
On April 15th, the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care is launching a nationwide call-in day for single-payer national health care. Our message is clear: "Tax payer dollars should go to people, not profits. Support single-payer national health care now."

April 09, 2009

State lawmakers tout single-payer healthcare system
Associated Press | Sun Journal
Maine lawmakers have passed a resolution calling on President Obama and Congress to establish a single-payer health system that covers everyone.

Post office a reminder of our past successes
Pat LaMarche | Bangor Daily News
You can stand in the town square of Old Sturbridge Village and realize that Benjamin Franklin and his buddies who crafted our Constitution weren't afraid of government delivering services. In fact, they wanted government to do so and used the Constitution to guarantee it. Consequently we now receive -- free of charge -- mail from all over the world; to include utility bills, advertisements, official correspondence and personal messages. But if we prefer to use a private currier to send our correspondence, we do not lose the right to receive our mail for free. Too bad health care in Franklin's time was leeches and bleedings. If health care had saved lives back then, Franklin and the other Founding Fathers would certainly have guaranteed the delivery of health care with the same enthusiasm they showed the mail.

Move to single-payer system is crucial
By Richard C. Dillihunt, M.D. | Bangor Daily News
As America prepares to reform our health care system, I wish to add some convictions reached while practicing surgery for nearly a half-century. Until about 15 years ago, doctors were powerful leaders in the health care system, taking their responsibilities seriously, and the system worked well. Then, dark clouds began to assemble and physicians began to lose their grip.

Physicians support health reform bill
From Staff Reports | Cumberland Times-News
A single-payer health reform bill introduced in the U.S. Senate last week could cover 46 million Americans who lack coverage and improve benefits for others by eliminating co-pays and deductibles.

Insurers shun those taking certain meds
By JOHN DORSCHNER | The Miami Herald
Trying to buy health insurance on your own and have gallstones? You'll automatically be denied coverage. Rheumatoid arthritis? Automatic denial. Severe acne? Probably denied. Do you take metformin, a popular drug for diabetes? Denied. Use the anti-clotting drug Plavix or Seroquel, prescribed for anti-psychotic or sleep problems? Forget about it.

April 07, 2009

Doc organization pushes 'Medicare-for-all' system
By Andis Robeznieks | Modern Healthcare
Sarcastically describing them as "brilliant," Physicians for a National Health Program National Coordinator Quentin Young warned that the legislative proposals currently being considered to improve access to healthcare are "a catastrophe in the making" and would rival the collapse of the financial markets.

Universal health coverage in spotlight at L.A. forum
By Lisa Girion and Noam Levey | Los Angeles Times
Even as President Obama toured Europe his administration pressed its healthcare reform campaign Monday in Los Angeles with a forum co-hosted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who lost his bid in California to make many of the changes now on the table in Washington.

April 06, 2009

Are we safer than Natasha Richardson?
By Laura S. Boylan, M.D. |
In an example of the circus of fear and hyperbole surrounding the health care debate, opponents of government involvement in health care are exploiting Natasha Richardson's tragic death from a skiing accident. The New York Post reports "Canadacare May Have Killed Natasha." The blogosphere has headlines like "Canada's Killer Healthcare."

Something is Rotten at PBS
The producers of the Frontline piece had a point of view -- they wanted to keep the for-profit health insurance companies in the game.

If health insurance companies ran the postal service...
George Harris | Kansas City Star
If medical insurance companies ran postal services, citizens would pay a monthly premium to get mail delivery. The premium would vary by age, sex and region of the country. To enhance competition, multiple health insurance companies would compete for mail delivery business. Some companies would provide service only to citizens in cities with populations over 2 million and would deliver only to comparable cities with populations exceeding 2 million. To conserve costs, subscribers would be permitted to post mail only at selected in-network post offices.

Let Americans speak, and they will demand single payer now
by Claudia Chaufan | Santa Cruz Sentinel
What are we to expect from the last of five White House-sponsored Regional Health Care Forums in Los Angeles on Monday? Moderators will attempt to garner support for a "public option" that will compete with private plans in a "highly regulated health care marketplace."

Why "chocolate or vanilla"? Put Single Payer on the table!
by Claudia Chaufan |
With 100,000 monthly foreclosures, 700,000 jobs lost every month, and the number of uninsured, underinsured, and deaths for lack of health insurance not getting any smaller, if the time for healthcare reform is not now, when then? And private health insurers know this too well, which is why they claim to have become "team players", and to support "change". But the question remains: which change?

April 03, 2009

Health forum hears from uninsured
By Mark Binker | Greensboro News & Record
When she lost her job a decade ago, Kirby Heard joined the N.C. Farm Bureau so she could get health insurance. But when one of her payments arrived late, her coverage was terminated. That, the High Point graphic designer told the Regional White House Forum on Health Care Reform on Tuesday, was when she joined the growing ranks of uninsured

Single payer pushed
By DANIEL BARLOW | Times Argus
When Ariel Zevon opened up her Barre business two years, she wanted to offer good health care to her employees. They signed up for a plan under the state's largest health insurance company. That lasted about a month.

March 31, 2009

Faith groups: health care is a moral right
By Single Payer New York
The Presbyterian Church joined today with local community, labor and medical groups to sponsor a Congressional Town Hall forum in support of a single-payer health care system that would provide health care to all Americans regardless of the economic or employment status. The forum drew about 300 people who jammed the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The way forward on health care reform
By CORNELIUS HOGAN | Rutland Herald
In Vermont subsidizing health care has perhaps helped a very few people, but it is fiscally unsustainable in an environment where the cost of health care is rising at two to three times inflation. Nor will "disease management," although good public policy, have an impact on controlling health care cost within our lifetime.

March 30, 2009

Focus health care money on care
Richard Propp, M.D. | Albany Times Union | Letter to the Editor
Single-payer guaranteed health care for all, as in HR676, with an overhead of 4 percent, deserves equal consideration in all hearings and negotiations. Let there be honest comparisons with subsidized incremental private health insurance proposals, with their overheads of 15 to 25 percent and uncontrolled premium increases, totaling 100 percent in the last decade.

March 27, 2009

Change we can believe in: Americans need single payer now
by Claudia Chaufan |
As president Obama recently acknowledged, the need to reform health care is no longer an issue. Indeed, on March 5th the White House convened a Health Care Summit, that so far have been followed by Regional Forums in Michigan on March 12, in Vermont on March 17, in Iowa on March 23rd, and upcoming ones in North Carolina on March 31st and in our state, in Los Angeles on April 6th.

Congressmen will talk about health reform
By Cathleen F. Crowley | Albany Times Union
As the nation grapples with improving the health care system and making it more affordable, a contingent of people believe the answer is a single-payer system. But advocates worry that their idea is being sidelined.

March 25, 2009

N.H. house backs single-payer health plan
New Hampshire Business Review
The New Hampshire House went on record in favor of a single-payer national health-care system Tuesday, in a last minute, 192-150 roll call vote.

Health care for all, but how?
By John McVey | The Journal (WV)
Dr. Margaret Flowers of Maryland Physicians for a National Health Program and Richard McVay of Penn Action were the panelists for the forum, which was sponsored by Eastern Panhandle Single-Payer Action Network and the Shepherd University Health Center.

March 24, 2009

Merkley backs single-payer system
By Rachel Beck | Corvallis Gazette-Times
Fielding questions, [Sen. Merkley] said, "I will support a single-payer plan if we can get it to the floor."

Protests at White House healthcare hearing in Iowa
By Kay Henderson | Reuters
Dr. Jess Fiedorowicz, a psychiatrist at the University of Iowa Hospitals who was with the protest group, told the meeting a majority of Americans support a "single payer" or government-run national health insurance program. "Can we put it on the table for discussion?" Fiedorowicz asked Nancy-Ann De Parle, director of the White House Office on Health Reform.

Residents learn about health care options
By Katelyn Farago | Daily Record
Borough residents Geoff and Laurie Thomas are currently facing a reality many unemployed and self-employed Americans share. They are paying for their own health insurance.

March 20, 2009

It was wrong to link forum access to cash
Editorial | Des Moines Register
It's no secret wealthy and powerful special interests dominate health-care discussions in this country. But the [Iowa] governor's office essentially extended an invitation for them to do so - and to send their logo for a little extra publicity. Iowa Health System, the state's largest hospital system, told the Register it had paid the state $5,000 to be a sponsor.

Why the media blackout on single payer?
Linda A. Haynes | Birmingham News | Letter to the Editor
It's amazing that single-payer insurance (national health insurance) is barely covered in the media right now. With President Barack Obama's focus on both health care and the economic crisis, you'd think information about the most cost-efficient way to design our health care system would be front and center. Add the fact 60 percent of all Americans and 59 percent of physicians favor national health insurance, and you might have to wonder whether private insurance and drug companies are now running the media. We already know they run Congress.

Numbers work for single-payer care
By Paul Heise | Lebanon Daily News
No harm would come to the medical care of the American people by ending the role of the insurance companies. Most of that payroll cost, and other administrative costs, are employed largely in shuffling claims and determining how to deny benefits, tasks that would disappear under a single-payer system. Virtually everything that the medical insurance carriers do constitutes a make-work project.

March 19, 2009

Time to think big on health care
Editorial | Brattleboro Reformer
No, nibbling around the edges won't deal with the threat that more and more Americans face -- that they will go broke or die because they haven't got health insurance. And the one plan that can solve this problem, some model of a single-payer system -- where the government collects taxes to finance national health insurance that covers every citizen and pays the bills for medical care -- is not being seriously discussed by anyone in the Obama administration.

March 18, 2009

Single-payer health care system touted
By Nancy Remsen | Burlington Free Press
Dr. John Walsh, a neuroscience researcher from Worcester, Mass., stood Tuesday with 150 other sign-carrying supporters of government-financed health care outside the building where 400 invited guests would attend a regional health care reform forum sponsored by the Obama White House. Walsh passed out yellow fliers that denounced President Barack Obama for failing to live up to promises to consider a Canadian-style health insurance system. "Single payer is the choice in the polls," Walsh declared.

The real health care lessons from Europe
By Irfan Dhalla and Chris Mackie | Ottawa Citizen
If our goal is merely to convince Canadians that privatization can improve health care, selectively citing some European examples is a pretty good strategy. But if we truly want to bring the lessons of European health care to Canada, we should realize that privatization has never been the European prescription.

March 16, 2009

Health care now rationed by ability to pay
By Bill Roy | Topeka Capital-Journal
Some claim universal medical care would open the floodgates of use and cost of medical care, and the government would soon be in the business of overtly rationing care. That's pretty frightening unless we look objectively at how we are now rationing medical care, and how badly our results compare with nations with universal coverage.

Fair-Weather Reformers
James Floyd | Washington Post | Letter to the Editor
The pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies have offered early support for President Obama's effort to reform health care. Judging by the measures discussed, they have little reason to oppose it.

How to Pay Less for More Health Care
Leonard Rodberg | New York Times | Letters
The Congressional Budget Office has shown that a mandate to purchase insurance will not lead to universal coverage. It has shown, as well, that neither information technology nor chronic disease management nor comparative effectiveness analysis -- all of which the administrationis counting on -- will significantly curb costs. Only a unified public plan, based on our successful experience with Medicare, can truly address the problems of the health care system.

Forum to highlight Vt. health successes
By Nancy Remsen | Burlington Free Press
For 90 minutes Tuesday afternoon, 400 people will vie for time to share an idea or concern they have about health care during the second of five regional health reform forums sponsored by the Obama White House.

March 13, 2009

Single-payer is the cure
By John Nichols | Capital Times
Health care reform is a vital and engaging concern for tens of millions of Americans. But you would not have known it from Thursday's White House Forum on Health Reform, which was so narrowly focused and uninspiring that it almost made Hillary Clinton's bumbling efforts of the 1990s look good.

VT: Single-payer advocates plan to protest health care forum
By DANIEL BARLOW | Rutland Herald
Vermont doctors and other medical professionals who support a single-payer health care system plan to protest next week's Burlington health care reform forum organized by President Barack Obama's administration.

Attendees at White House forum voice health care reform ideas
By Jay Greene | Crain's Detroit Business
Dr. Jim Mitchiner, an emergency physician from Clawson who supports a single-payer system, said health care insurance should not be linked to a job that can be lost or taken away. "I see people every day who have lost their job and have no insurance. It makes no sense. You lose a job and they don't take away your life or auto insurance policy," Mitchiner said. "I have lost complete faith in the private insurance industry."

March 12, 2009

The health care summit
By RICHARD DAVIS | Brattleboro Reformer
Opponents are preparing the next round of Harry and Louise ads. They will raise the specter of socialized medicine and the evils of government run health care. Their argument will fail this time not only because it isn't true, but also because people are hurting so much that they understand what changes need to be made.

Health care: crisis or opportunity?
Joy Slagowski | Daily News-Sun
A health-care expert said Tuesday night there is one way to receive comprehensive medical treatment: Go to jail.

State must act to control costs of top-heavy health-care system
By Dr. Bruce Bender | Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Massachusetts should find ways to reduce the administrative costs of providing health care. Rather than pay an average of 34 to 38 cents of each health-care dollar, we should work to match the same percentage as Canada, 17 cents. This could save $9 billion annually, which could either help prevent the need to cut health-care programs or could be shifted to help our towns, schools, universities, parks, roads, and bridges.

Bill Clinton on Health Care Reform
Dr. Sanjay Gupta and former Pres. Bill Clinton | CNN, Larry King Live The good thing about single payer is the administrative costs are quite low. We probably waste $200 billion a year between the insurance administrative costs, the doctors and other health care providers' administrative costs and employers' administrative costs in health care that we would not waste if we had any other country's system.

March 11, 2009

Put Single-Payer on the Table
By Amy Goodman | TruthDig
President Barack Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table. Single-payer is the system that removes private insurance companies from the picture; the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private. People still get their choice of what doctor to go to and what hospital to use. Single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery. Single-payer solutions, however, get almost no space in the debate.

March 10, 2009

Nurse's insurance nightmare makes her a single-payer advocate
By Michael Vitez | Philadelphia Inquirer
Marilyn Cawthon has been a nurse for 30 years. "All my life I provided health care to people," she said recently. "I thought when I needed it, it would be there and wouldn't drive me broke or crazy." It nearly did both.

As Obama Hosts Summit on Healthcare, Marginalized Advocates Ask Why Single-Payer is Ignored
Democracy Now
President Obama hosted a White House summit Thursday on reforming healthcare. While President Obama said every idea must be considered, the idea of creating a single-payer national health insurance program appears to have already been rejected. We speak to Harper's senior editor Luke Mitchell, author of the article "Sick in the Head: Why America Won't Get the Health-Care System It Needs."

An ailing economy needs national health insurance
By Lance Dickie | Seattle Times editorial columnist
Get ready for the coming conversation on a national health-insurance plan. As a crashing economy pushes millions out of their jobs and homes, continuing to link access to medical care to employment is hazardous to the nation's physical and economic health.

Grim Prognosis For Massachusetts Reform
Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., M.P.H. & David U. Himmelstein, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Health Affairs
In the end, Massachusetts' 2006 reform may be remembered as a short-lived expansion of publicly-subsidized coverage that served as political cover for the permanent destruction of institutions that have provided care and advocacy for New England's poor for decades.

State of Change: Talking About Health Reform, But Not About A Cure
By John Nichols | The Nation
Health care reform is a vital and engaging concern for America--and for Americans. But you would not know it from Thursday's White House Forum on Health Reform, which was so narrowly focused and uninspiring that it almost made Hillary Clinton's bumbling efforts of the 1990s look good.

The Health-Care Crisis Hits Home
By Karen Tumulty | Time Magazine
When you've been strong and fit your whole life, it can be easy to discount your body's first whispers of sickness as merely the side effects of daily living. Looking back over the past three years, my older brother Patrick now understands the meaning of his increasingly frequent bouts of fatigue, his fluctuating appetite and the fact that his blood pressure had crept up to 150/90. But Pat had always put off going to the doctor until he had to. Having bought health insurance that carried a $2,500 deductible, he knew he would have to pay for a checkup himself. That is no small consideration for someone who makes $9 an hour, as my brother did in his job as an administrative assistant for a lighting firm in San Antonio.

March 09, 2009

Portsmouth doctor: Obama hears my views on health care reform
By Michael Mccord | Portsmouth Herald
Though he didn't attend President Barack Obama's health care forum in Washington on Thursday, Dr. Thomas Clairmont felt that he was heard -- after fearing the health care reform proposal he supports would not be part of the discussion.

March 05, 2009

Single-payer isn't socialism
B. Jason MacLurg, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
As a long-time Seattle physician, I was pleased that the P-I supports health care reform toward a single-payer system (Opinion, Wednesday). Most Americans now fully understand that our health care delivery system is too expensive, too complex, too fragmented and overwhelmingly frustrating. Although some still believe that America has the best health care in the world, the truth is that our reimbursement system is killing us.

March 03, 2009

Obama to Single Payer Advocates: Drop Dead
Corporate Crime Reporter
President Obama’s White House made crystal clear this week: a Canadian-style, Medicare-for-all, single payer health insurance system is off the table.

Not All Invited to Obama's Health Reform Forum
Published by Swing State Blog
One group is being left out of the White House's health reform forum Thursday: supporters of single payer health care.

Action Alert: Call The White House: Let Single Payer In
On Thursday, March 5, 2009, the White House will host a summit on how to reform the healthcare system. The 120 invited guests include lobbyists for various interest groups including the private-for-profit insurance industry (AHIP), some members of Congress including Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus who has already ruled single payer "off the table," and various others concerned with healthcare. No single payer advocates have been invited to attend.

Sen. Baucus: We Need Accurate Numbers not "Creative" Figuring
Kay Tillow | All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), who ruled single payer "off the table" before he even started considering healthcare reform, is now trying to pressure the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to judge the Baucus health plan financially sound.

March 02, 2009

National Health Care Act worthy of public support
By BETH SIRR | Helena Independent Record
Sick of health insurance costs? Then pay attention. Some in Congress want to perpetuate the power of insurance corporations over our health care and what we pay to get it. There is an alternative. The U.S. National Health Care Act: Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, HR 676 could be implemented within 13 months (like Medicare was) and unlike the Wall Street bailout, would be funded by eliminating waste while providing a real hand up for every American family and business -- except the insurance industry.

Massachusetts healthcare reform is failing us
By Susanne L. King | Boston Globe
Massachusetts has been lauded for its healthcare reform, but the program is a failure. Created solely to achieve universal insurance coverage, the plan does not even begin to address the other essential components of a successful healthcare system.

Letter to Obama: Health care access a national scandal
By ANA M. MALINOW, MD | Houston Chronicle
The more I listen, the more I hear that all Americans want a health care system that is affordable, accountable, accessible, comprehensive, universal and just -- not another Band-Aid that will condemn thousands of us to unnecessary pain, suffering, bankruptcy and death. Listen for yourself, and you will hear Americans clamoring for true health care reform.

Millions losing jobs will mean many without health care
By James E. Dalen | Arizona Republic
Due to the recession, more than 2 million Americans lost their jobs in 2008 and millions more are expected to lose their jobs in 2009. The consequences of increasing unemployment will be much more serious in the United States than in other western countries. Our country is unique in that most of its citizens, at least 175 million, have employment-based health insurance. In most cases, loss of job means loss of health insurance.

Single payer only route to Obama's grand vision on healthcare reform
by Chuck Idelson | California Nurses Association blog
Hours after President Obama's speech to Congress in which he laid down a marker for achieving "comprehensive" healthcare reform, and getting it done this year, top administration aides have outlined the goals of what they want to achieve.

February 27, 2009

Behind Closed Doors, Repeating Mistakes from the Past on Health Care Reform
James Floyd, M.D. | Huffington Post
Last week, the New York Times reported that Senator Ted Kennedy has been holding secret meetings with lobbyists to reach "consensus" on a proposal for national health care reform. Included in the list of participants were America's Health Insurance Plans, the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America -- some of the same players who defeated the Clinton health care reform effort 15 years ago. Notably absent was Physicians for a National Health Program, the California Nurses Association, Healthcare-Now, and other advocacy groups that oppose the private insurance industry and support the creation of a national single-payer program.

Subsidizing COBRA Is Not Enough--We Need Single Payer
Andrew Coates MD
To keep family coverage under COBRA, with the subsidy, it will cost people who are laid off, on average, almost one-third of every unemployment check. This money will go to a health insurance company, instead of food, housing and school expenses for the family.

President Obama Must Include Single-Payer Advocates In National Health Care Debate
Statement of Sidney Wolfe, M.D. and James Floyd, M.D.
Under a single-payer system, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers are paid from a single fund administered by the government. The system would eliminate the wasteful spending and high administrative costs of private insurance, saving almost $400 billion annually. This savings is enough to provide every American with the same high-quality care, including those who currently have insurance but still cannot afford medications and treatment.

Health Care Reform: Learning from the International Experience -- A Case for Single Payer
by Claudia Chaufan | Social Medicine Portal
So President Obama gets it: he has recognized that the time to reform health care is now, and he is right. After touring the country during his campaign, he must be aware that thousands of Americans are going bankrupt, every year, because they cannot afford their medical bills, even when they have insurance, and are employed and middle class. He surely is also aware that thousands die of perfectly preventable illnesses because they lack health insurance. And that all of these things are unheard of, at least in developed economies.

February 26, 2009

Joseph Stiglitz on Single Payer
I think I've reluctantly come to the view that [single payer is] the only alternative. You know, we've tried a lot of other things. And we've been--you know, I was in the Clinton administration, and we debated a lot of alternatives, and I've watched things as they've emerged and, you know, evolved over the last twelve, sixteen years, and I think there's a growing consensus that the private market exclusion is not going to work.

Tell Baucus single-payer is best
by Bob Balhiser | Queen City News, Montana
Now that Tom Daschle is out of contention for HHS secretary, Sen. Baucus seems to think he has an inside track and is teaming up with Sen. Kennedy to push through his plan for health care reform. I cannot imagine a worse outcome.

Insurers, drug makers poised to profit from Obama health plan
By Timothy P. Carney | DC Examiner | Beltway Confidential blog
Although President Barack Obama promised that he would freeze out the lobbyists in order to finally reform our broken health-care system, his nascent push to overhaul the industry already shows signs of becoming a lobbying feeding frenzy, with health insurers, drug makers and employers all poised to benefit from government's expanded role.

February 24, 2009

Seattle City Council Endorses National Single-Payer Health Program
PNHP Western Washington
By unanimous vote, the Seattle City Council today passed a Resolution sponsored by Councilmember Nick Licata, to ask the Washington State Congressional delegation to support two single-payer bills that would create a national health program. Congressman Jim McDermott has introduced HR 1200, the American Health Security Act, and Congressman John Conyers HR 676, the United States National Health Care Act.

Renew Auto Industry? Start With Real Health Reform
by John Nichols | The Nation blog
Even though U.S. autoworkers have accepted pay cuts and efficiency schemes that mean they make less than autoworkers in many other countries, the enormous expense imposed by this country's for-profit health care system places an extreme burden on firms that manufacture vehicles in the U.S. How extreme? It is estimated that health care costs add as much as $1,400 to the cost of a car made in an American plant.

February 23, 2009

Time for Universal Care
By Pat LaMarche | Bangor Daily News
It's because this year, as he has for many years, Michigan Rep. John Conyers has introduced HR 676, which already has garnered nearly 50 co-sponsors -- a bill that restructures our health care system much like the rest of the civilized world and guarantees health care for all Americans. And it's because poll after poll, like the October 2008 ABC News poll, shows that two-thirds of Americans support changing our current system to a universal system.

Health Insurance Is Not Synonymous With Health Care
Rachel Nardin, M.D. In April 2006, Massachusetts enacted a health care reform law with the stated goal of providing near-universal coverage of the Massachusetts population. Nearly three years into the reform, we know a lot about what has worked and what hasn't. Examining this data critically is vitally important as the Obama administration considers elements of Massachusetts' plan as a model for national health care reform.

Massachusetts' 2006 Health Insurance Law Not A Good Model for National Health Care System Reform, Physicians Say
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report
Modeling the U.S. health care system after Massachusetts' health insurance law would leave many residents without affordable health coverage, according to analysis by three Harvard Medical School physicians and a letter signed by 500 state physicians sent to Sen. Edward Kennedy.

America's Economic Future Requires Health Care Reform
Dr. Margaret Flowers | Maryland Commons
We are told reforming health care is impossible in tough economic times. However, it is not only possible, it is necessary for economic recovery.

Members of Congress Offer Prescription for General Motors' Competitive Disadvantage
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and two other Members of Congress today sent a letter to the CEO of General Motors, Mr. Richard Wagoner, Jr., to propose a different kind of auto industry rescue plan that eliminates the competitive disadvantage of inflated health care costs.

Health care bills suffer conspiracy of silence
Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
Too often journalism ignores or belittles reports or proposals as outside the mainstream and bound to fail, thus assuring they will remain outside the mainstream and fail. That, I believe, is what has been happening to proposals by three Democratic members of the House of Representatives to provide health care for all Americans through a system like Medicare, rather than depending, as now, on many private insurance companies.

February 20, 2009

Insurance industry is intimidating lawmakers
Dr. John Benziger | Kennebec Journal / Morning Sentinel
Under pressure from the insurance industry, Obama's health-care reform is poised to completely exclude a single-payer "improved Medicare for all" option. Such a program would save enough money to provide comprehensive benefits for all Americans.

What Obama can learn from us
David Olive | Business Columnist | Toronto Star
"Canada's health-care system is cheaper than America's by far (accounting for 9.7 per cent of GDP, versus 15.2 per cent here)," [Fareed ] Zakaria writes, "and yet does better on all major indexes."

Former journalist crusading for affordable health care
BY PAT FERRIER | Fort Collins Coloradoan
T.R. Reid is uncharacteristically angry. He's angry the richest country in the world cannot provide efficient, affordable health care to all its residents. He's angry the World Health Organization ranks the U.S. 37th for the cost, quality and coverage of its health-care system.

Single payer would improve health care for everyone
By Madeline Zevon | Lower Hudson Journal News
What is single payer? It refers to the administration of health-care funds by one payer, rather than by the current multiple insurance companies. This payer would be the federal government. Think of single payer as enhanced and improved Medicare for all. The League of Women Voters of Westchester, New York state and the U.S. League all advocate for single-payer health care.

February 19, 2009

Seattle City Council endorses single payer health
Strange Bedfellows blog | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Single payer seemed like a futile cause during the Bush Administration, which put forward ideals for the partial privatization of Medicare. Now, with a Democrat back in the White House -- and a promise of action on health care - McDermott, and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., have introduced versions of a single payer plan in the new Congress.

Doctors criticize Massachusetts health law
By Lisa Wangsness | Boston Globe
A trio of Boston doctors says the 2006 Massachusetts healthcare law is a poor model for a national system because it leaves too many people without affordable care.

February 18, 2009

State single-payer bill passes its second test in Senate
BY KIP SULLIVAN | Southside Pride, Minneapolis
SF 118, the Minnesota Health Act, which would guarantee health insurance for all Minnesotans under a program called the Minnesota Health Plan, passed out of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee by a party-line vote of 7 to 3 on Feb. 10. The lopsided vote was a sign of the growing support for the single-payer approach. This is the first year since 1991, the year single-payer legislation was first introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, that a single-payer bill has cleared two committees in the Senate. The bill has never been heard in the House. It will get its first hearing in the House on Feb. 25.

Single payer: mainstream and 'shovel ready'
Laura S. Boylan, MD | The following letter was sent to the editor of The New Yorker on Jan. 22.
Most Americans, including most physicians, supported national health insurance even before the recent economic collapse, polls show. Endorsers of the single payer bill H.R. 676 (Expanded and Improved Medicare for All) include 93 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, 450 union organizations in 45 states, and countless others representing a wide range of constituencies. This is not a fringe movement.

February 11, 2009

Et Tu, Atul?: Test-Case for a Single-Payer Hypothesis
by Russell Mokhiber |
A politician says -- I support health care for all. That is a politician you should support, right? Wrong. A politician says -- I support universal health care. That is a politician you should support, right? Wrong. Universal health care. Health care for all. More often than not, these are code words for -- keep the private insurance companies in the game.

More Than a Band-Aid for Health Care Reform, Single-Payer is the Solution
By James Floyd, M.D. | Huffington Post
As the global economic crisis deepens, our broken health care system continues to neglect an increasing number of uninsured Americans, which will top 50 million this year. Tens of millions more who have health insurance still cannot afford the care they need. The resulting illness from inadequate health coverage will lead to missed days of work and lost jobs, making it harder for us to recover from the recession.

No Day is an Ordinary Day
by doctoraaron | DailyKos
Saturday was a short day in the office. I came in to handle some paperwork and to see a few patients whom I couldn't manage to work in over the course of a busy week. It was an ordinary day with a typical, ordinary selection of patients....which is to say, that almost every one came with a story which cried out about how we desperately need change in our health care system.

February 10, 2009

A Sworn Foe of Single-Payer
Why Sanjay Gupta is the Wrong Man for the Top US Health Job.

February 09, 2009

What now for health reform?
By Mike Dennison | Helena Independent Record
With last week's political demise of Tom Daschle, the man expected to shepherd serious health care reform through the minefield of Congress, has reform been dealt a deadly blow? Not according to Montana's senior U.S. senator, Max Baucus, who said in no uncertain terms last week that he remains committed to enacting "comprehensive health care reform" this year.

'Medicare-for-all' cure for health woes
By DANIEL P. WIRT, M.D. | Houston Chronicle
Americans are increasingly afraid that they can't afford to get sick, and with good reason. About half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses, and 76 percent of these individuals had health insurance when they got sick or injured. Those of us with insurance are paying a greater share of the premium and more deductibles and co-pays as well. Thus, not only do we have 46 million Americans without health insurance, but at least an equal number who are seriously underinsured.

February 05, 2009

New Report Highlights Health Care System's Financial Squeeze on Cancer Patients
Kaiser Family Foundation | News Release
Cancer patients can face severe challenges in paying for life-saving care -- running up large debts, filing for personal bankruptcy and even delaying or forgoing potentially life-saving treatment -- even when they have private health insurance, according to a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

Medicare 'Rip-Off' Hits Elderly as Obama Maps Changes
By Avram Goldstein | Bloomberg News
Just as President Barack Obama prepares to overhaul the U.S. medical system, providers of U.S.- backed health plans for the elderly are raising prices.

February 04, 2009

Now Is The Time For Universal Health Care
By Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, PhD, MPH | Renal and Urology News | Commentary
It is unfortunate that the 35-year-old Medicare [End-Stage Renal Disease] program remains our nation's only universal health coverage not dependent on age, albeit limited to ESRD. The program has worked well, and its success should provide the impetus for replacing our present fractured health-care financing system with one that provides universal coverage for all U.S. residents regardless of age.

February 03, 2009

Small Payroll, but Big Woes on Insurance
By KEVIN SACK | The New York Times
Determined not to lay off any of her tight-knit band of workers, Ms. Allen is now agonizing over an equally unappealing option: whether to terminate the health benefits she provides for her employees and herself.

February 02, 2009

Let's Expand Medicare
William Thar, MD | New York Times | Letter to the editor
The best way to save a lot of money and provide universal coverage is to expand Medicare to everyone. The system, widely supported by more than 60 percent of Americans, has the lowest overhead in American health care and works for more than 40 million elderly people.

January 30, 2009

Review: Do Not Resuscitate
Reviewed by Theresa Welsh
In this highly researched and well-written book, Dr. John Geyman lays out in clear language the repeated failure of the private health insurance industry to bring affordable and comprehensive coverage to the American people. He demonstrates with a wealth of facts and figures how the inexorable and continuous rise of health care costs have meant insurance companies must work hard at excluding anyone who might require expensive treatment, reduce coverage for everyone and constantly raise premium rates.

Cognitive Dissonance: The Healthcare Reform Battle's State of Mind
by Donna Smith
It seems everyone in the healthcare reform movement is hitching up his or her britches and feeling mighty proud of the prospects for action under President Obama and the adoring Democrats in his Congressional arsenal. Even some prominent Republicans are inching ever closer to supporting change to the broken health system. But I'm feeling significant dissonance between the words spoken and the policy offered to move forward.

Single Payer Moment
By David Swanson
While a Democratic polling firm has just found, as pollsters always do, dramatic public support for public health coverage, Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill appear divided, as they have always been, over whether to take a comprehensive approach to health care.

From the Front Lines: Single-Payer System Is the Sole Solution
Public Citizen
Public Citizen has joined the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care because a single-payer national health insurance program is the only viable solution to our health care crisis.

January 29, 2009

Philadelphia City Council Votes to Support Single-Payer Healthcare
Today, groups representing doctors, nurses, healthcare advocates and labor unions are applauding the Philadelphia City Council for voting in favor of single-payer healthcare. The resolution, sponsored by Councilman Greenlee and Councilwoman Tasco, makes Philadelphia the 28th city and 46th local government to pass a resolution in favor of HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act, sponsored by John Conyers (D-Ill). The resolution also calls for the enactment of the two single-payer state bills, SB 300 and HB 1660.

How the U.S. measures up to Canada's health care system
World Focus
As part of Worldfocus’ Health of Nations signature series, correspondent Edie Magnus conducted this half-hour interview with Uwe Reinhardt on January 20, 2009, the day of President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

House Democratic Leader Declares National Health Care Legislation "Off The Table" This Year
Bruce Dixon, Managing Editor | Black Agenda Report
It is estimated that 18,000 premature deaths occur in the US each year because of lack of medical coverage. Fifty or sixty million Americans have no health coverage at all, and another hundred fifty million are grossly underinsured. Democrats were able to pass SCHIP with a smaller majority under the Bush administration. They did not run on promises of "incremental reform". They ran promising to deliver national, comprehensive, universal health care. Clyburn himself is a co-sponsor of the single payer bill. So why are the expectations of House Democrats and the White House, with a popular wind at their backs, so unconscionably low now?

An International Perspective on Health Care Reform
by John R. Battista, M.D. | Prepared for Grand Rounds, Department of Medicine, Stamford Hospital, Stamford, CT
The United States is the only industrialized country without universal health insurance. The United States consistently ranks in the lower third of industrialized nations in terms of the two universally accepted measures of health care system efficacy: infant mortality and life expectancy. In addition, because the United States spends about twice as much per capita on health care than other industrialized countries it ranks at the very bottom of the industrialized world in terms of health care efficiency, that is efficacy per dollar spent.

Liberal Groups Seek Single-Payer Health Care Bill
A coalition of liberal advocacy groups and labor unions is trying to breathe new life into the idea of a European-style "single-payer" health system in the United States, a concept thought discredited after the collapse of President Bill Clinton's attempt at overhauling the health care system.

January 27, 2009

Single-payer health bill has healthier prospects than ever
By Andy Birkey | The Minnesota Independent
Sen. Linda Berglin chairs the powerful Health and Human Services Budget Division in the Minnesota Senate and has long advocated a managed-care approach to rising health care costs. Although a staunch progressive on health care policy (she helped create and protect MinnesotaCare, the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents), she has typically demonstrated lukewarm interest in a single-payer system. But this year, Berglin has signed on as a coauthor of the Minnesota Health Act, the bill that would create the Minnesota Health Plan. The Act (HF 135, SF 118) would take health insurance out of the private sector and put it under the control of a state board to cover all Minnesotans.

BBC Show on U.S. Health Care Unavailable in USA
John Tepper Marlin | Huffington Post
My sister Brigid Marlin lives in the UK and a few days ago was watching a BBC program on health care in the United States. Brigid is not a public affairs junkie so I was interested when she sent me an email reporting that the program was a shocking portrayal of the high cost and low coverage of U.S. medical care. This itself is not news but there are two things about the show that are worth an alert: (1) The BBC's effectiveness in describing the problems with U.S. health care, and (2) The fact that Americans can't watch it.

January 26, 2009

Conyers To Introduce Universal Healthcare Bill Today
Ryan Grim | The Huffington Post
John Conyers plans to introduce his universal healthcare legislation today, a Conyers aide tells the Huffington Post. The bill - known last session as H.R. 676 - is a favorite of healthcare reformers who back a single-payer system.

Who Does Senator Baucus Listen To
Unions for Single Payer Health Care
Montana Senator Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said that in writing his new healthcare legislation “everything is on the table” except single payer. One wonders if Senator Baucus has been reading his home state newspapers or just listening to the lobbyists for the private insurance industry.

Tell Sen. Baucus single-payer should be on the table
By GENE FENDERSON | Great Falls Tribune
We don't really have a "system." What we have is a confused maze of coverage types and providers -- Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, SCHIP, military, veterans administration, Indian Health Service, federal employee coverage, health savings accounts, community health centers, private insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, medical coverage in auto insurance and more. Unfortunately, the Baucus plan simply adds even more layers of confusion to this hodgepodge, which is already driving costs up and up for all Americans. We can do better. We must do better. That is why a single-payer system must be on the table.

Health care forum looks at single-pay insurance
By Robert Wolfington III | Marshall (Minn.) Independent
Dr. Ann Settgast, co-chairwoman of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for A National Health Program, said a single-pay insurance program would provide care for all U.S. citizens, while at the same time save money compared to the current multi-payer system.

January 23, 2009

For healthcare, single-payer system is best
By Dr. Stephen Kemble | Honolulu Advertiser
Economic analysis has repeatedly shown that administrative overhead is far greater for competing private health plans than for a publicly financed single-payer system. Administrative costs are about 31 percent of the healthcare dollar in the U.S., 15 percent in countries with single-payer plans.

January 22, 2009

Health care system needs help
JACK BERNARD | Atlanta Journal Constitution | Letter to the Editor
Given the upcoming stimulus package, it is the perfect time to do something about our irrational health care system. What better way to stimulate the economy than to spend funds on those in need of medical services vs. more bridges to nowhere.

Which Way to Universal Healthcare?
By Ezra Klein | In These Times
The reason healthcare in this country costs so much more than in any other country is because we’re the only country that treats healthcare as a commodity.

January 20, 2009

HR 676: "Still the One"
by Tim Foley | Blog
The top vote getter among health care ideas in's Ideas for Change competition was "Free Single-Payer Health Care for All." This no doubt is cause for joy for many of you who frequent this page.

Update benefits and assure care for the jobless
By MERTON C. BERNSTEIN | Kansas City Star
Growing unemployment threatens workers, their families and the economy. Losing work income degrades family purchasing power and business income. Task one: Improve cash benefits to bolster both. And the unemployed and their families need assured health care. Being out of work increases the chance of illness and injury while decreasing the ability to cope with it.

Let's hope Obama doesn't blow it
By HELEN THOMAS | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
There is a lot on the incoming president's plate-- to put it mildly. Health care reform is one thing. With the economy in the tank and 47 million people without insurance, Obama should take a bold step and support a single-payer plan a la Social Security. It makes sense-- and better still-- it works.

Tackling Union Opposition to Single-Payer
By MISCHA GAUS | Labor Notes
Labor activists from 31 states gathered in St. Louis last weekend, solidifying their strategies to push "Medicare for all"--and to oppose the half-hearted health care plans circulating in Washington.

New Albany City Council relays confidence in universal health care
By DANIEL SUDDEATH | The Evening News and Tribune (IN)
The most expensive health care in the world provides only run-of-the-mill results. That’s how Dr. Rob Stone, an emergency room doctor in Bloomington and director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, described America’s health care system during a New Albany City Council workshop Thursday.

Is Universal Coverage enough?
by Ann Settgast, MD | Twin Cities Daily Planet
The upcoming change in administration has brought optimism and hope to the American public. Now is the time to demand meaningful healthcare reform rather than a replay of past failures. As a physician, I know that offering a placebo in place of known effective treatment is unethical. Hence, while I applaud the good intentions of Senator Tom Daschle, the Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) coalition, and others, I advise against their proposals to extend a system that is fundamentally flawed. In these times of economic uncertainty and crisis, single payer is the only fiscally responsible option for reform…and it is the only solution that will actually work.

January 15, 2009

Cancer Care, Simplified
By Louis Balizet, M.D.
"Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it." So said Will Rogers about the weather, but he may as well have been referring to our health care system -- roundly decried, but still intact. Finally, however, on both state and national levels, well designed plans have emerged to replace our current wasteful chaotic system with the only workable alternative -- a single-payer, tax-financed system that eliminates private health insurance, provides universal coverage, and introduces adult supervision (centralized planning). Like the majority of American physicians, I feel that "medicare for all" is long overdue.

January 14, 2009

Health care tops agenda
By Laura Ungar | Louisville Courier-Journal
Louisvillians had a strong message for President-elect Barack Obama yesterday: The nation's health-care system needs either massive reforms or a complete overhaul.

January 13, 2009

Health for All Inaugural Ball Brings Renowned Speakers and Entertainment to Election's Key Issue
PNHP President Dr. Oliver Fein will be speaking at the "Health for All Inaugural Ball"

Health insurer accused of overcharging millions
By Melissa Dahl, Jeff Rossen and Robert Powell |
One of the nation’s largest health insurers has agreed to pay $50 million dollars in a settlement announced today after being accused of overcharging millions of Americans for health care.

January 12, 2009

Universal health care local group's preference
ROBERT CROWE | Palm Beach Post | Letter to the Editor
Recently, my wife and I attended one of the meetings requested by Barack Obama to create a document advising the Obama team on health-care action to be taken by the new administration. About a dozen of us met at the Scottish Rites center in Lake Worth, a meeting which had been organized by a retired physician.

How to Push Obama
By John Nichols | The Progressive
Perhaps most impressive are the moves made by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, Physicians for a National Health Program, and Progressive Democrats of America to ensure that the option of single-payer is not forgotten as Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi establish their domestic policy priorities. To that end, sixty activists from these and allied groups met one week after Election Day at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington with Michigan Congressman John Conyers, an early Obama backer and the chief House proponent of real reform, to forge a Single-Payer Healthcare Alliance and plot specific strategies for influencing the new Administration and Congress.

January 09, 2009

New film indicts U.S. health care system
By PNHP staff
Dr. Paul Hochfeld, an emergency medicine physician in Corvallis, Ore., has produced and directed a new 47-minute film titled "Health, Money and Fear." The DVD features interviews with over a dozen physicians, administrators, civic leaders and health policy experts on the problems of today's U.S. health care "non-system" and the prospects for its reform.

January 08, 2009

Conyers: Obama should not nominate Sanjay Gupta
By Sam Stein | Huffington Post
Rep. John Conyers has written a letter to Democratic colleagues urging them to join him in publicly opposing the nomination of Dr. Sanjay Gupta for Surgeon General.

January 07, 2009

Memo to Obama: Seize the Moment for National Health Insurance
By John Geyman, MD | Tikkun magazine
Together with a sizable majority of Americans, I am again hopeful for the future of our country. My special concern, however, is for our failing health care system and how it is pricing health care beyond the reach of ordinary Americans. Our system has come to the point where none of the many incremental reforms will work. The business model of insurance has failed, and we need to rebuild the system on a social insurance model.

January 05, 2009

A genuine cure for our health care woes
By Johnathon S. Ross | Toledo Blade
With new leadership in place, America can end a national disgrace. Forty-six million of our friends, family and neighbors have no health care coverage at all. The Institute of Medicine estimates that over 18,000 Americans die each year from lack of health insurance alone. Tens of millions more risk bankruptcy because they have bare-bones insurance. Our troubled economy will only worsen this sad situation.

Replace for-profit insurance with Medicare for all
Robert Stone | The Journal Gazette
Private health insurance, with its rising premiums, co-pays, deductibles, exclusions and so on, is becoming increasingly unaffordable for individuals, families and businesses. The private model of financing care is no longer sustainable; it is dying. It is more like a dinosaur stumbling toward a tar pit than a mighty gorilla.

America's health-care famine is slowly killing us
By Clark Newhall | Editorial columnist | The Salt Lake Tribune
We don't have a health-care problem. We don't have a health-care crisis. What we have is a health-care famine.

National Health Insurance Act would be a good start
DR. WILLIAM R. ELSEA | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Letters
Most people don’t realize that all could be covered for what we’re now spending if we adopted a Medicare-for-All system, and that private administrative costs are about 10 times Medicare’s administrative costs. Many studies show superior health care results in countries with national care.

Single-payer health system preserves choice
Linda Mulka, MD | Summit Daily News (Frisco, CO)
I am a board-certified family physician unable to actively practice because of effects of bilateral breast cancer radiation on my immune system. When dealing with Los Alamos National Lab’s self-insured United Healthcare administered program, I was evaded throughout the appeal process until arbitration to pay for services that Medicare would have covered to determine the appropriate treatment for my breast cancer. These tests incidentally saved over $30,000 for my treatment while allowing me to avoid cytotoxic chemotherapy. Considering what happened to me as a physician in their system, I can only imagine what would have happened to a non-physician.

There's No Place Like Home for The Holidays, Until There is No Home
by Donna Smith |
One of the most heart-breaking losses we've felt in recent years as we tried in vain to cling to some semblance of middle class reality as health crises crushed us is the loss of holidays, the loss of traditions, the loss of intimacy and the loss of respect from our own children who see no home to come to - and no reason to interrupt more exciting holiday pursuits when we can no longer play host to any sort of Smith family soiree with the same sort of meaning.

December 22, 2008

Prospects rising for better health care delivery
By Bill Roy | Topeka Capital-Journal
In my most fertile imagination, about March 1, President Obama and new secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle, would call the governors to whatever site they choose and tell them they have a plan to turn health care administration and delivery over to them, along with adequate funds to implement the best system they possibly can.

All I Want For Christmas Is Less Charity: Cure the Plight of Care
By ROSE ANN DeMORO | The Tampa Tribune
The most heartbreaking e-mail alerts that crossed my computer screen this holiday season arrived from an active, progressive union that has set up a fund for medical benefits for widows and orphans of their former members. Reliance on charity rather than a public safety net symbolizes what has become a perversely unique American solution to social problems, especially in the Bush administration era.

Our plea: No more Natalines
By Hilda Sarkisyan | Los Angeles Daily News
One year ago, my beautiful daughter Nataline lost her long struggle with leukemia. Our insurance company, Cigna Healthcare, closed the door on us. Now we need to make sure that other families can have the security that our daughter didn't.

Real Health Care
Aaron M. Roland | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
The problem with President-elect Barack Obama's supposed emphasis on the costs of health care is that his proposals fail to deal with the biggest source of wasteful expenditures, our dependence upon private health insurance.

Seize opportunity to fix health care system
by Bob Balhiser | Queen City News, Helena, Montana
Like the old saying, "Too many cooks spoil the broth", it can likewise be said that too many fingers in the till ruin a health care system. Dr. Putsch has recently done an excellent job of outlining just how much of our health care dollar is spent on administrative costs by citing studies that peg the range between 31 to 38 cents. I think everyone can agree that either amount is out of line and serves to explain why our health care costs have grown exponentially.

Atlanta physicians on curing faulty system
Letters to the Editor | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Let’s put the dollars that would otherwise be spent paying administrators back into the health care system and enact a single-payer system.

December 19, 2008

Is anybody listening? Californians Speak Out for a Single Payer Plan
by Joel Moskowitz | IndyBay
In 2007, CaliforniaSpeaks, a statewide initiative led by government and major health foundations, invited 3,500 Californians to discuss their views on health care reform. To the surprise of the organizers, an overwhelming majority expressed its support for single payer (which was explicitly written out of the “discussion guidelines”). Yet somehow, the final report managed to ignore the will of the people. Today, as Americans throughout the country head to house parties to discuss health care reform, invited by Tom Daschle, future Secretary of Health and Human Services, and armed by similarly constraining "discussion guidelines", the experience of Californians is worth remembering.

U.S. Health Care Costs, Part V: Can Americans Afford Medicare?
By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
The percentage of the American population age 65 or over is 12.4 now and is projected to rise to about 21 by 2050. Only 7 percent of China’s population is 65 or over now, but that figure will shoot up rapidly to over 22 percent by 2050. And in a number of other industrialized countries — notably in Japan, Germany, Italy and Sweden — the elderly already represent close to 20 percent of the population, a level the United States will not reach until about 2040. Yet the world has not come to an end in these older countries.

Opinion: Creating a Single-Payer Plan is Best Solution to Health Care Crisis
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | News Digest
The rising numbers of unemployed and uninsured mean that "affordable health care has never been more urgently needed," and "at this critical juncture, a single-payer plan is the only medically, morally and fiscally responsible path to take," writes Oliver Fein, M.D., associate dean and professor of clinical medicine and public health at Weill Cornell Medical College and president of Physicians for a National Health Program, in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution guest commentary.

December 18, 2008

Only in our failed health care system
CHARLES I. WOHL, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle | Letters
The extensive layoffs at KB Toys, as described in the Dec. 13 Eagle, will cause far more misery for KB employees than the loss of their jobs alone. The laid-off workers also lost their medical insurance on the day their jobs ended. Many unemployed KB workers will not receive subsidized health insurance through Commonwealth Care, the Massachusetts health plan, because their incomes before the layoffs exceeded 300 per cent of the poverty level, making them ineligible for subsidized coverage. They must buy health insurance or they face fines; and if they require medical care while uninsured, they face bankruptcy.

December 17, 2008

Time to fight for new health system
By Dr. William Davidson Jr. | Lebanon Daily News (PA)
Unfortunately, only 70 cents of every dollar paid into the system actually returns to us in the form of health care. Thirty cents out of every dollar goes to administer a very dysfunctional system that has become a profit center for special interests that do not have the best interests of our people at heart.

December 16, 2008

The Politics of Healthcare Reforms in US Presidential Elections
Vicente Navarro, MD, PhD | Harvard Health Policy Review
I appreciate the invitation from the Harvard Health Policy Review to discuss the relationship between national health care systems and the policy process. One cannot analyze this relationship without analyzing the political context in which it occurs, and since the U.S. is now in the midst of a very important political process -- the presidential primaries of 2008 -- it may be of special interest to readers of the Review to focus on the impact of the political process on the health care reform proposals put forward by the presidential candidates in this and past elections.

Letter to American College of Surgeons on single payer: enact Medicare for all
Sherif Emil, MD, CM, FACS | Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons
Americans, the public, and their physicians have a major decision ahead. Will health care continue to be treated as a commodity bought and sold according to means or as a service sought and delivered according to need? American surgeons should continue to lead the world in innovation and creativity, but they should also apply the results of their resourcefulness to any patient in need, in an atmosphere of evidence-based care, patient freedom to choose their doctor, and resource optimization, free from micromanagement and bureaucratic hassles. I don't believe this can be achieved through expanding or amending our current nonsystem.

December 15, 2008

Who's A Health Care "Moderate"?
by Paul Bass | New Haven Independent
She said she didn't know a lot about the health care plan Harry S. Truman pushed at the time. It was a universal health care plan. Government-run. Business interests like General Motors killed it by arguing that Americans don't trust government to run health care. They argued that private interests do it better -- private insurers, and private companies that offer the insurance plans to employees. Six decades later, companies like GM are struggling to stave off bankruptcy in part because of out-of-control health care costs.

Single-payer insurance puts more money into health care
By Robert W. Putsch | Helena Independent Record | Your Turn
Montanans spent $4.9 billion on health care in 2003. If these authors are right, then Montanans paid over $1,600 in administrative costs for every man, woman and child in the state, including the uninsured. That means that only 69 cents of every dollar spent went to health care needs. Remember, administrative costs are passed on to patients, bill by bill, paycheck deduction by paycheck deduction, and even at the pharmacy!

Special Message to the Congress Recommending a Comprehensive Health Program
By HARRY S. TRUMAN | November 19, 1945
Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. The time has arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and that protection.

Health insurance proposal: Medicare for all
By Saul Friedman | Newsday | Gray Matters
Here's a question for Medicare beneficiaries and those who will soon become eligible: Why should you care about the estimated 47 million American men, women and children who have too little or no health coverage?

There is a cure available for our health care woes
By DR. OLIVER FEIN | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Opponents of single payer often admit it's the best, most efficient and equitable way to provide quality care, but say it's not politically feasible and is therefore off the table in this round of the debate. How so? A solid majority of physicians, 59 percent, and an even higher percentage of the public, 62 percent or more, support national health insurance, recent surveys show. Single payer should be front and center.

December 12, 2008

Everyone has a right to health care
By Marc Yacht M.D. | St. Petersburg Times | Guest Columnist
A simple legislative solution such as the Medicare for all goes nowhere as Americans suffer the consequences of a failing health care system affecting those with and without insurance. Onerous oversight and other cost cutting measures, driven mainly by insurers, have demoralized physicians, hospitals and other providers.

Why Does U.S. Health Care Cost So Much? (Part IV: A Primer on Medicare)
By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
Medicare, the federal health-insurance program for America’s elderly, plays a major and highly controversial role in our health-care system. To many Americans it is a blessing. Others view it as a source of all that’s wrong with American health care. I propose to explore these views in this and the next two posts to this blog.

Obama and Daschle should opt for single-payer
By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Progressive
Barack Obama needs to make good on his campaign pledge to reform health care. It is not enough to throw the issue off to former Senator Tom Daschle, Obama’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services.

December 11, 2008

Americans Support Single payer. Why Doesn't Celinda Lake?
By Kip Sullivan
Data derived from polls have long found strong support for "Medicare for All" or single payer national health insurance. For example, a recent AP/Yahoo poll found that 65 percent of Americans agree that the U.S. should "adopt a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayer". But so do other kinds of data, including data from citizen juries, focus groups, and even a national series of government-sponsored town hall meetings that were carefully designed to solicit support for anything but single payer. So, how come Democratic pollster Celinda Lake now claims Americans won't support single payer, and instead favor a plan that is a variant of managed competition? Because her latest research was brazenly biased. Kip Sullivan explains how and why.

Olson promotes fixing broken health care system
By Jean Ruzicka | Park Rapids Enterprise
When the Legislature convenes Tuesday, Jan. 6, health care reform will be on the docket and Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, will be advocating restructuring the current “business commodity.”

December 10, 2008

Single-payer health system could save billions
Peter Mott | Rochester Democrat And Chronicle | Guest essayist
How could covering more people decrease total expenditures? The difference is in "administrative costs." Private insurance companies have such costs totaling 15 percent to 30 percent. Medicaid is at 5 percent and Medicare at 1 to 2 percent. "Administrative costs" include advertising and shareholders' profits, as well as the billing and collecting costs of hospitals, doctors' offices, labs and X-ray facilities. These become a nightmare as patients change among a variety of insurers, or when they lose insurance by changing or losing their jobs.

Talking Points: Why the mandate plans won't work, and why single-payer "Medicare for All" is what we need
By Len Rodberg, PhD

December 09, 2008

Can single payer revive our ailing emergency departments?
Andrew D. Coates, MD, Albany Medical Center | Empire State Emergency Physicians Interim Communique (EPIC)
The fact that 47 million Americans had no health insurance during all of 2006, and that tens of millions more have inadequate insurance and/or shorter periods without coverage, weighs especially heavily upon the [emergency department]. Non-urgent care in the emergency room has boomed, yet this is not the root cause of crowding in the ED. Instead, bottlenecks caused by the intense needs of a few patients result in ED crowding -- even one critically ill patient waiting for an ICU bed can trigger a cascade leading to a significant back-up for all patients, for hours, even days.

Local man spearheads statewide health-care movement
By Shlomit Auciello | The Herald Gazette
H.R. 676 would establish the U.S. National Health Insurance program to provide all residents of the United States and U.S. territories with free health care that includes all medically necessary care, such as primary care and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, and mental health services.

Firms see writing on the wall
Dr. Rachel Nardin | Boston Globe | Letter to the Editor
It's remarkable that an insurance industry group's website features an interview with a woman who says, "It's time for the government to step in." The American public increasingly realizes that we need real healthcare reform. We need national health insurance, which would cover everyone without deductibles or copays, be financed through payroll and income taxes, and give everyone free choice of doctor and hospital. The private insurance industry knows this would put them out of business, and they are determined to make sure it doesn't happen.

December 08, 2008

Coverage mandate will fail as a health-care reform plan
By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Philadelphia Inquirer
It's time for Congress to stop getting carried away with financial bailouts for big industries, especially when it comes to some of the most-profitable and least-responsible companies: the health-insurance giants.

Why Does U.S. Health Care Cost So Much? (Part III: An Aging Population Isn't the Reason)
By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
Research around the world has shown that the process of the aging of the population by itself adds only a very small part -- usually about half a percentage point -- to the annual growth in per-capita health spending in industrialized societies, which tends to range between 5 and 8 percent, depending on the country and the period in question. The bulk of annual spending growth can be explained by overall population growth (about 1.1 percent per year), increases in the prices of health care goods and services, and the availability of ever more new, often high-cost medical products and treatments used by all age groups.

HMS Sees Inequity in Organ Donations
By DANIELLE J. KOLIN | The Crimson
Americans who lack health insurance are about 20 times more likely to donate a liver or kidney than to receive one, according to a new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School.

December 05, 2008

Health Reform via Guaranteed Choice
By Roger Bybee | Z Magazine
With employers flitting from one plan to another, sometimes on an annual basis, the notion of consistent, continuous health coverage has all but disappeared. "The average length of time a patient stays in any given private health insurance plan has dropped to less than two years," notes Rose Anne DeMoro, director of the California Nurses Association. "Health insurance on a continual basis is practically non-existent in the private insurance market," observes McCanne. In countless situations, "the insured individual was not granted the option of 'keeping the insurance you have'," McCanne notes.

December 04, 2008

Unemployed and uninsured
By Marie Cocco | Denver Post
Here is a number easily understood by even the math-phobic: Every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate leads to another 1.1 million Americans becoming uninsured -- and causes still another million more children and adults to become eligible for state health insurance programs.

Doctors oppose US health plan
By Rebecca Knight in Boston | Financial Times
The Massachusetts healthcare programme widely seen as a test case for universal health coverage in the US faces mounting opposition from doctors who say the reform is failing.

Insurance industry positions itself for the fight ahead
By CHRIS FRATES | Politico
With President-elect Barack Obama showing no signs of backing off his pledge to push health care reform early in his administration, jockeying is intensifying among interest groups to position themselves for the fight ahead.

December 02, 2008

It's Time for a Real Debate on National Health Insurance
by Jeff Cohen and Norman Solomon
In a single-payer system, private insurance companies are basically removed from health care. Instead, the government pays all health care providers, and controls fees and costs. As in Canada, consumers would choose their own doctors-but almost never receive a hospital or doctor bill. Insurance deductibles and co-payments are also eliminated.

December 01, 2008

The time is now: Reform health care
Editorial | Des Moines Register
A single system could reduce administrative expenses associated with facilitating thousands of different private health-insurance plans in this country. It could increase leverage for negotiating lower prices. It could facilitate the expansion of electronic medical records, which would streamline paperwork and help prevent costly medical errors. It would boost the country's economy in the long run.

Why is single-payer health reform not viable?
By MIKE DENNISON | Reporter's notebook | Billings Gazette
When it comes to health care reform in America, there is a relatively simple solution that will cover everyone's basic health care, control costs and save businesses, most people and the country a lot of money.

Why Does Celinda Lake Oppose Single Payer?
By All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care--HR 676
Self-described as "one of the Democratic Party's leading political strategists," Celinda Lake has claimed that single-payer reform lacks meaningful popular support. Lake's research, done for the Herndon Alliance, has consistently supported reform based upon private health insurance. She and the Herndon Alliance are largely responsible for the notion that a single payer Medicare-for-all healthcare system is 'not politically feasible.'

Use opportunity to reform health care
By Elizabeth Frost, MD | Pioneer Press | Letter to the Editor
As a family practice doctor who works with the uninsured in St. Paul, I have recently become involved in health care reform. I believe single-payer national health insurance is the only way to provide quality affordable care for all.

Single-payer is path to universal coverage
By Dr. Taro Adachi | Baltimore Sun | Letter to the Editor
Leaders of America's Health Insurance Plans have suggested that, in exchange for agreeing to accept all customers regardless of health conditions, they want a federal requirement that everyone buy coverage. But we have already seen such plans consistently fail on a state level.

November 26, 2008

Yes: Government-financed, privately delivered care would work
By AMY F. ISAACS | Great Falls Tribune
It's no longer news that at least 47 million Americans lack health insurance, and an additional 50 million are "under-insured" -- meaning whatever ails you is excluded. But we seldom hear that private health insurance wastes $350 billion every year, enough to pay for high-quality comprehensive health care for everyone.

Building a New Wall: The Fundamental Right to Healthcare
By Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. | The Huffington Post
Because our current economic crisis is forcing us to think outside the box, one topic worthy of renewed discussion is health care. What if the Constitution said: "All citizens shall enjoy the right to health care of equal high quality and the Congress shall have the power to implement this article by appropriate legislation?"

Editorial | Charleston Gazette
America's for-profit medical system is the world's most expensive. For people with good insurance, it provides high-quality care. But 45 million "working poor" Americans - and many among the 1.2 million who lost their jobs so far this year - have no coverage. They must seek charity care or do without. That's shameful.

November 25, 2008

America's Looming Health Care Disaster
By DAN CHILDS | ABC News Medical Unit
"Unfortunately, the COBRA legislation guarantees laid-off workers the right to continue coverage at their own expense, but does not make that coverage affordable," said Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

November 24, 2008

Yikes!!! I'm a Slave to Socialized Medicine
by: Steve Weissman | t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Growing up in Florida in the 1940s, I saw many of the doctors my family knew fighting against Harry Truman's effort to enact what they called "Socialized Medicine." Their immediate target was Sen. Claude Pepper, a New Deal Democrat who supported universal health care. Our doctor friends dubbed him "Red Pepper" and helped defeat him in the elections of 1950. Yet, for all this early "fight for freedom," I now find myself in France enjoying single-payer, socialized medicine, which I would heartily recommend to all Americans.

November 21, 2008

Why Does U.S. Health Care Cost So Much? (Part II: Indefensible Administrative Costs)
By Uwe E. Reinhardt | New York Times
More and more Americans are being priced out of health care as we know it. The question is how long American health policy makers, and particularly the leaders of our private health insurance, can justify this enormous and costly administrative burden to the American people and to the harried providers of health care.

A letter to our new president
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle
Dear President-elect Obama: As you prepare to begin your presidency during a period of severe recession, you will be searching to make financially sound decisions for our country. You have promised to reform the health care system, and only one solution will enable you to create an effective system and save money: a single-payer national health program.

Officials advocate for single payer health care
By Scott Merzbach | Amherst Bulletin
If a new presidential administration in Washington, D.C., could do one thing to help Amherst's budget problems, it might be to solve the issue of rising health care costs for municipal employees, according to town officials.

November 19, 2008

A Senator's Health Plan
Rose Ann DeMoro | National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association
Millions of Americans have found out the hard way that access to coverage is not the same as access to care. A better, more cost-effective approach would be to simply expand Medicare to cover everyone, the only real way to assure guaranteed health care for all.

November 18, 2008

Senator urges reform to 'hodge-podge' health care system
By DIANE COCHRAN | The Billings Gazette Staff
Everything should be on the table as lawmakers consider ways to improve health care, Baucus said.

Uninsured Give but Rarely Receive Organs for Transplant
Posted by Vanessa Fuhrmans | Wall Street Journal Blog
Call it the ultimate inequity in health care. A team of Harvard researchers finds that people without health insurance are about 20 times more likely to donate a liver or kidney than to receive one.

November 17, 2008

Health plan more of same
By Bob Balhiser | Independent Record
The Baucus health care reform plan looks like the hodge-podge system we now have, just more of it! To top it all off, he “didn’t have a price tag for the plan.” Amazing!

Learn all you can about health care alternatives
By DAVID ROSS STEVENS | Louisville Courier-Journal
By now it is almost a cliche to say that America's health care system is broken. In response, many politicians who are calling for "reform" and "universal health coverage" are not, in fact, clarifying the situation because they include in their new plans the very elements that have busted the system. So the political battle in the first days of 2009 will be over "token reform" or a bold, truly universal type of health insurance.

'Medicare Advantage' a misnomer
Jonathan D. Walker | The Journal Gazette
America has a split personality when it comes to health care. There is recognition that the government has to provide care for the people, but there is a conflicting sense that private industry has to be involved because it can somehow be more efficient. Medicare Advantage is the upshot of this thinking -- but the result has been a lot of taxpayer dollars wasted on windfall payouts to private insurance companies.

Sen. Grassley knows a good story when he sees it
By Gilbert Cranberg | Nieman Watchdog | Commentary
AARP, which purports to be the seniors' friend, has a lot of explaining to do to Iowa's Senator Charles Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. In a scorching letter to AARP, Grassley implies that the organization is more interested in profiting from seniors than in serving them.

Single-payer system is the way to go
Ray Bellamy | Tallahassee Democrat
Millions of families are struggling with economic hardship. Health-care costs are weighing on more Americans, contributing to about a million bankruptcies a year, and are a major factor in many home foreclosures.

Single-payer health care
Dr. William Klepack | Ithaca Journal
In the U.S., where private health insurance companies dominate the payment system, of every dollar, 31 cents goes to administrative expenses and 69 cents to actual health care. In Canada, where there is a single-payer national health insurance program, administration accounts for 16.7 percent of health expenditures, with 83.3 percent of spending going to the care of patients.

November 12, 2008

Why County Administrators Should Advocate for Single-Payer Health Care
Paul Clay Sorum, MD
The politicians must be convinced, as they are writing a health reform bill, that the model should be HR 676, not the current Obama plan. County administrators have great credibility as professional public servants who are familiar with all the concrete problems caused by our current health care system. It is time for them not only to persuade their own county legislators to pass resolutions in support of HR 676, but more importantly to persuade the politicians in Washington to have the courage and foresight to institute truly universal coverage through a single-payer health care system.

Senator Takes Initiative on Health Care
By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times
Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.

Why We Would Benefit
By Don McCanne, MD | California Family Physician
An efficient health care financing system should ensure that everyone receives the health care they need without facing undue financial hardship. Because of the millions of uninsured and the rapid expansion of inadequate underinsurance products, the burden of medical debt has become commonplace for all too many Americans.

Buoyed by election, U.S. doctor group calls for single-payer system
By Mike Shields | Kansas Health Institute
More than 15,000 U.S. physicians, including some in Kansas, are calling on President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress to enact a single-payer, national health insurance plan.

November 10, 2008

How Universal Health Care Changes Everything
By Sara Robinson | Campaign for America's Future
With one fell stroke, giving Americans universal access to health care will undermine some of the deepest and most persistent myths of the conservative worldview.

AS I SEE IT: Health-care system needs more primary-care physicians
By Josh Freeman, MD | Kansas City Star
National discussions about which system of universal health coverage -- and yes, we need a system of universal health coverage -- will be the best to adopt often miss the point. The goal is not simply to "cover everyone," but to provide universal access to high-quality, cost-effective care.

Unhealthy Solutions: Private Insurance, High Costs and the Denial of Care
An Interview with Steffie Woolhandler | Multinational Monitor
Steffie Woolhandler is a co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, a not-for-profit organization for physicians, medical students and other healthcare professionals who advocate a national health insurance program. She is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University and co-director of the Harvard Medical School General Internal Medicine Fellowship program. Woolhandler is a co-author of Bleeding the Patient Dry: The Consequences of Corporate Healthcare (2001).

November 05, 2008

Single Payer Ballot Question Passes by Landslide in 10 Districts
In an election that has brought out the highest voter turnout in Massachusetts probably since 1928, local ballot initiatives supporting single payer and opposing individual mandates passed by landslide margins in all ten legislative districts where they appeared. With almost all precincts tallied, roughly 73 percent of 181,000 voters in the ten districts voted YES to the following:

November 04, 2008

It is time for Medicare for all
By Ahmed Kutty | Kearney Hub
With an economic meltdown under way and a new president and a new Congress about to be in charge of our country, time is now for Americans to demand a publicly funded health care financing system of universal, comprehensive and equitable coverage against illness.

November 03, 2008

Universal health insurance now
Editorial | The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) Americans will survive a protracted economic downturn if they have to forgo luxuries like daily lattes at Starbucks or new flat-screen TVs. But many will not make it if they continue to skimp on health care, as a story in last Friday’s Gazette indicated they’ve been doing. Stories like that -- another one appeared on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times -- make the best argument yet for the government to provide universal health insurance. Left to their own devices and dwindling resources, too many Americans can’t or won’t buy it themselves.

Where is bailout for U.S. health-care system?
Rose Ann DeMoro | Palm Beach Post | Letters to the Editor
If we can take ownership of our banks, why not a similar approach for our imploding health-care system? In homes across America, our health-care system is dying a quiet death. The millions who endure their pain away from the spotlight of Wall Street deserve sweeping systemic solutions as well.

Medical costs still burden many despite insurance
By Kay Lazar | Boston Globe
"Many of the [insurance] policies out there have such huge copayments and deductibles that people can't afford care," said Dr. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care doctor at Cambridge Health Alliance.

Who Has the Better Health Plan?
Richard L. Stivelman | The New York Times | Letters to the Editor
No proposal for the delivery of health care in the United States will make a difference unless somewhere in the debate single payer (Medicare for all) figures in.

October 20, 2008

Local surgeon tells audience at Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce: Health reform is crucial
By Bob Caylor | The News-Sentinel
Even a few years ago, a Fort Wayne physician laying out an impassioned argument for national health insurance - at the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, no less - might have seemed like an elaborate put-on. Dr. Jonathan Walker, a retinal surgeon, wasn't kidding anyone. In his own highly specialized practice, he sees a toll in people with disabilities and avoidable catastrophic expenses, and he knows that it's only a minuscule fraction of the human suffering and economic damage caused by tens of millions of Americans lacking health insurance.

Health insurance for a bad economy
By Phil Kadner | Southtown Star
I suggested to someone the other day that now would be a good time for the government to launch a national health insurance program. "That would be socialism!" the person exclaimed. Our government plans to spend hundreds of billions bailing out Wall Street, including $250 billion for ownership in private banking institutions.

Massachusetts needs universal health care
By Pat Berger | West Roxbury Transcript
Voters in parts of West Roxbury, Roslindale and Brookline (Michael Rush’s district) will have the opportunity to vote on a non-binding ballot question on Election Day -- Nov. 4. The ballot question was initiated by Mass-Care, the organization that sponsors the campaign for single-payer health care reform in Massachusetts.

October 10, 2008

Candidates Disagree On Primary Flaws Of Health Care Financing
By Don McCanne, M.D., PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow | Huffington Post
John McCain and Barack Obama both recognize that there are serious problems with our health care system, and that the voters want something done about it. They would both use public policies to modify the private health insurance market to accomplish their goals. Although it would seem that their goals are similar, the specifics are quite different because they have started from very dissimilar perceptions of the primary flaws in health care financing.

October 09, 2008

Vetting McCain's Health Plan
By Jane Bryant Quinn | Newsweek
If you think that "The Market" -- whatever market -- always works for the best, you'll love John McCain's version of health insurance reform. It uses the tax code to shove you toward individual policies (more "choice!") and away from comprehensive, employer supported plans. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center puts the cost of his proposed subsidies at $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

October 08, 2008

How Do You Think Your Healthcare is Trading?
By Donna Smith | California Nurses Association
If you think the companies that collect your health insurance premiums and pay your health care claims have been insulated from the economic crisis, think again. And if you think the health insurance industry that is suffering right alongside the financial services industry isn’t going to need a bail-out too, think yet again. Only the bail-out we will give the health insurance industry will be much more insidious and potentially far more dangerous to us all.

PBS Frontline Interview with T.R.Reid
T.R. Reid is a veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, a commentator for National Public Radio and the author of nine books, including three in Japanese. He is currently working on his 10th book, titled "We're Number 37!," in which he compares America's health care system to others around the world. It is scheduled to be published by Penguin Press in early 2009.

Health care proposals of the candidates
by Harry S. Jacob, MD | HemOnc Today
The Presidential candidates have provided markedly different health care proposals, neither of which seem likely to solve many serious ongoing problems facing our sick fellow citizens.

October 07, 2008

In Pennsylvania, churches back single payer
By Morton Mintz | Nieman Watchdog | Commentary
Are there good questions that reporters could ask of religious leaders in their communities about the morality of a system that leaves 46 million Americans without health insurance, millions more with inadequate coverage, and, because of the economic crisis, guarantees big increases in these numbers? Are there also good questions about that same system that reporters could put to businessmen in their communities? Indeed there are, as I learned at a health care conference at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., on Sept. 18.

October 02, 2008

Private Health Insurance at Work: Hassling Cystic Fibrosis Patients
Cory Heidelberger | Madville Times, South Dakota
Deron Arnold pays Blue Cross Blue Shield for his health coverage. Yesterday he got a letter from the Blue Cross Blue Shield saying that as of October 28, the company will no longer cover expenses at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis, where Deron plans to have his transplant. As of August 23, Blue Cross Blue Shield will stop covering physician expense at that hospital.

October 01, 2008

MS Patient Falls Into American Insurance Gap
By Joanne Silberner | National Public Radio
So the scorecard comes to this. Linda Oatley of Buckland, England, had several months' delay in getting coverage for a new treatment. She also has to pay a small fee for weekly physical therapy. Overall, she's happy with the National Health Service. And the scorecard for Jeff Rubin? A year and a half of cutting drug dosages, a repossessed house and bankruptcy. A few years ago, he wouldn't have supported a British-style system, with its slower drug approvals and limited ability to pick your own doctors.

September 30, 2008

America Needs A New New Deal
[W]e need reconstruction, not only of America's physical infrastructure, but also of its society. Today close to 50 million Americans lack health insurance. About 40% of the nation's adult population is facing medical debts, or having difficulty paying medical bills. A universal health-care system would help American families, while cutting the nation's long-term health-care costs. And a large-scale federal investment in renewable energy and public-works projects would build the foundation for a strong 21st century economy.

Thinking big on health
Editorial | Bangor Daily News
A doctors’ organization, Physicians for a National Health Program, has been pressing for single-payer national health insurance. It points out that the United States now spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, while Americans lag in life expectancy and infant mortality rates and 47 million lack health coverage. It argues that 31 percent of the nation’s health care cost now goes into the private insurance bureaucracy and paper-work and that a single-payer plan would save more than $350 billion a year.

September 29, 2008

A healthy perspective
By Julie Mason | The Ottawa Citizen
It's hard for Canadians to imagine the choices Americans must make to ensure health care. Can I take this more interesting job or will I lose coverage? Will I be able to send the kids to camp if my premiums go up? What if my illness isn't coverage later? What if I get sick while I'm waiting to get insurance? It's just as hard for Americans to get it that ordinary Canadians like our health care system.

September 16, 2008

McCain's Radical Agenda
By BOB HERBERT | New York Times
Talk about a shock to the system. Has anyone bothered to notice the radical changes that John McCain and Sarah Palin are planning for the nation's health insurance system? These are changes that will set in motion nothing less than the dismantling of the employer-based coverage that protects most American families.

September 15, 2008

How Many Are Underinsured? Trends Among U.S. Adults, 2003 and 2007
Cathy Schoen, M.S., Sara R. Collins, Ph.D., Jennifer L. Kriss, Michelle M. Doty, Ph.D. | Health Affairs The number of underinsured U.S. adults--that is, people who have health coverage that does not adequately protect them from high medical expenses--has risen dramatically, a Commonwealth Fund study finds. As of 2007, there were an estimated 25 million underinsured adults in the United States, up 60 percent from 2003.

No on Prop. 101: It's a false pitch that blocks reform
By Phil Lopes and George Pauk | Tucson Citizen
When Arizona voters cast their ballots this November, one of the questions they face is whether to vote yes or no on Proposition 101, the misnamed Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act. They should definitely vote no.

Look before you leap into McCain's idea of health coverage
By James C. Mitchiner | Other Voices | The Ann Arbor News
Let us suppose, however, that a worker could find and purchase a policy for only $5,000 per year. What would it look like? My guess is that it would have either multiple coverage restrictions (non-coverage for pre-existing conditions, a prolonged waiting period before insurance became effective) or significant financial limitations (high deductibles or co-pays, puny lifetime maximums), which defeat the purpose of having insurance in the first place. Clearly, private insurers cannot make a profit by selling comprehensive insurance at premiums the average individual can afford.

September 12, 2008

Senator Kuehl's Open Letter to the Governor on SB 840
Sheila James Kuehl | Senator, 23rd District
I am writing to respectfully urge your signature on SB 840 because this legislation will bring a modern universal health care system to California, make health care predictably more affordable for California employers and families, and provide every Californian with a complete choice of their individual doctors and hospitals.

September 10, 2008

In Texas, the health care crisis is only getting worse
By DR. ANA MALINOW | Houston Chronicle
Texans had little to cheer about in the recent report by the U.S. Census Bureau that the number of Americans without health insurance dipped slightly in 2007. Instead of the 47 million uninsured in 2006, last year our nation had "only" 45.7 million who lacked health insurance, a drop of a half percentage point from 2006 (from 15.8 percent of the population to 15.3 percent). Most of the dip was due to an expansion of government programs like Medicaid, especially among children.

Expand Medicare
Dr. William Clark | Times Record | Letter to the Editor
Medicare for everyone costs less because administration at every level is cheaper. It's cheaper because insurers don't profit from your illness and because we would not pay chief executive officers seven-figure incomes. And we could finally get a handle on rising costs by planning and budgeting.

A Market for Compassion: Single-Payer Health Insurance
by Prajwal Ciryam | From The Medscape Journal of Medicine | Webcast Video Commentaries
A single-payer system will harness the market's strengths while addressing its limitations. The private health insurance market is inefficient, bloated by advertising, duplicated bureaucracies, dividends, and executive compensation. What's worse, insurance policies are so complex and individuals' future needs so unpredictable that consumers cannot make the informed selections that induce competition between insurers.

September 09, 2008

Single-payer health reform
Albany Catholic Blog
Saturday, September 13th, in Albany, we will launch Single Payer New York, a grassroots coalition of organizations and individuals to work together in New York state for single-payer health reform, both state and federal. An amazing diversity of single-payer advocates have responded with plans to attend.

September 08, 2008

Medicare-for-All: Why We Should Say Yes, Not "Yes But"
by Merton Bernstein and Theodore Marmor | Health Affairs Blog
Sometimes even Medicare-for-All admirers succumb to the "yes but" syndrome, as in "yes, but Medicare-for-All is politically impractical." For example, after praising Medicare-for-All, The Health Care Mess concluded that "political reality compels us to ask whether there are not other ways" (besides Medicare-for-All) and answered that question "yes." Princeton economist Paul Krugman, who had extolled Medicare-for-All in 2006, put a foot in the "yes but" camp in 2007. He welcomed the Edwards, Massachusetts, and Schwarzenegger plans to compel individuals to select from among insurance plans, thereby forgoing Medicare-for-All's economies. The Edwards and Obama plans required a Medicare-like plan as one option. Krugman argued that such a plan's lower cost will eventually crowd out more expensive private plans. This overlooks private insurance's history of cutting prices to gain market share, later returning to double-digit boosts.

The Massachusetts Way?
Leonard Rodberg | New York Times | Letters
The cost of health care in Massachusetts is continuing to rise faster than the cost of living -- by 10 percent in just the past year. It will quickly outstrip government subsidies and the willingness of employers to provide decent coverage for their employees. Leaning on government subsidies that can’t be sustained, and requiring people to buy insurance they can’t afford, is not a solution. Only a real change in the way we pay for health care can truly address our long-term problems.

Doctors support single-payer plan
HOWARD A. GREEN, M.D. | Palm Beach Post Letters to the Editor
The lower overhead costs of the most efficient Medicare insurance plan, which already treats more than 40 million people, would provide substantial cost savings to all Americans and businesses while maintaining quality private physician practices and hospitals. A majority of physicians in this country can't be wrong in their support of a single-payer national health insurance plan such as HR 676.

September 05, 2008

An interview with PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow Dr. Don McCanne on McCain and Obama's health care proposals.
Dr. McCanne served as PNHP President in 2003-2004 and writes a daily health policy "quote of the day" for single payer advocates.

September 04, 2008

America Un-Covered
by Cheryl SooHoo | Ward Rounds
"America already has singlepayer national health insurance. It's called 'Medicare,'" [Dr. Quentin Young] explains. "Medicare is the most successful program in the country, outshining any of the private sector insurance companies with their high administrative costs. Thirty-one percent of all health care dollars now go to absorbing the administrative costs of the big carriers. Medicare has an administrative cost of 3 percent. When you are dealing with a system where every percentage point is 21 billion dollars, the costs are fairly significant."

A feasible health care plan
By ALWIN STEINMANN | Albany Times Union
A number of medical professional societies, have called for health care reforms to provide universal coverage including the possibility of a single-payer system. An article published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that the majority of polled physicians (59 percent) supported the notion of a single-payer system. Given that 15 percent of our population lacks health insurance, and our overall expenditures on health care is in excess of $2.1 trillion, a single-payer system is no longer a fringe idea to be thought of as a dream. It's instead a realistic solution to a health care system that rewards excessive care and administrative infrastructure while ignoring the real needs of its patients and providers.

September 03, 2008

Single-payer health care would benefit all
By JAMES J. BARBA | Albany Times Union
Multiple payers have multiple rules for authorizing services, billing and the supply of requested data on the care actually delivered. A single set of rules, which everyone in the provider community follows, will eliminate most of this costly bureaucratic expense.

September 02, 2008

Pennsylvania Healthcare Conference
Progressives for Pennsylvania Presents:
Single-Payer Guaranteed Healthcare For All: A Mainstream Solution!
Thursday, September 18, 2008, 7-9 PM

Calif. Nurses Laud Passage of Single-Payer, SB 840, Seen as National Model for Guaranteed Healthcare for All
California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today hailed the California Legislature's passage of a single-payer, expanded Medicare for all, style bill that would guarantee quality health care for all Californians -- and called it a model for the national healthcare reform debate that is sure to emerge in 2009.

For-profit health insurance has outlived its usefulness
By Oliver Fein | The Philadelphia Inquirer
The plight of the uninsured and uninsurable shows how the for-profit, private health insurance model of financing health care has outlived its usefulness. Originally conceived as a nonprofit enterprise (e.g. Blue Cross), the industry is now bent on maximizing profits by screening out the sick and minimizing claim payments.

Make U.S. healthier and wealthier
James V. Bertolone | Guest essayist | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
This coming Labor Day, working people from coast to coast will be working for candidates who are ready to turn around our health care system, turn around our economy, turn around the decline of the middle class and turn around America.

August 27, 2008

How Long?
Remarks by Dr. Claudia Fegan at Reception at the DNC in Denver, Tuesday, August 26, 2008 for co-sponsors of HR 676
There are 45.7million uninsured people in the United States. There are probably some 50 million people who are underinsured, meaning even though they have health insurance they cannot afford the care they need. While it is true we saw a slight decrease in the number of uninsured last year, this was due to a massive expansion of public programs. Were it not for the fact that 2.7million more people were covered by public programs last year; Medicaid, SCHIP and Medicare we actually would have seen an increase in the number of uninsured. It is so clear that a public national health insurance program is no longer the best option to cover all Americans, it is the only option. The private insurance industry is never going to get us to universal coverage.

Health Care: It's time to rock
Seattle Post-IntelligencerEditorial Board
The Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the number of people lacking health insurance dropped by more than 1 million in 2007 to nearly 46 million people. This is a headline that looks great until you see that what's declining is private insurance coverage and what's increasing is the number of people eligible for government programs such as Medicaid.

August 26, 2008

Doctor's Orders: Health Coverage for Everyone
by Daina Saib | YES! Magazine
You wouldn't know it from the candidates' debates or reports on the major television networks, but a majority of Americans favor a government-run health insurance system similar to Canada's. Those lining up to support single-payer health care include medical professionals, business people, and many Republicans. Dr. Rocky White has been all of those things.

August 15, 2008

Doctor says U.S. needs universal health care
By STEVE DOYLE | Huntsville Times
Dr. Wally Retan knows the odds aren't great that Congress will pass a universal health care bill anytime soon. But the chairman of Alabama's "Health Care for Everyone" chapter still dreams of a time when all Americans have comprehensive, low-cost health insurance provided by the federal government.

August 12, 2008

Only national insurance can fix broken system
Dr. John Benziger | Letter to the Editor | Kennebec (Maine) Journal
Some claim that uninsured Americans can get the care they need in emergency rooms. But ERs may provide too little, too late for the millions of uninsured with chronic conditions. They need regular medical monitoring and medications to control their illnesses and a whole array of services they cannot afford. Our profit-driven health care system leaves tens of millions vulnerable. Only single-payer national health insurance can fix this broken system and save thousands of lives each year.

August 08, 2008

Vital signs for national health insurance
By Lance Dickie | Editorial Columnist | Seattle Times
Searing headlines about local job cuts sharpen interest in universal health-insurance coverage. The topic grabs the attention of those vulnerable families and voters broadly defined as the middle class, the engine of change. Increasingly, the focus is on national single-payer health insurance. Acceptance of the concept is growing, especially among a key constituency: doctors.

August 07, 2008

The Polling Is Quite Clear
The American Public Supports Guaranteed Healthcare on the "Medicare for All" or "Single-Payer" Model.
Click here to download the flyer from California Nurses Association / National Nurses Organizing Committee

August 06, 2008

'Single Payer New York' to be founded on Sept. 13
Albany Catholic
On Saturday, Sept. 13, single payer advocates from across New York will meet here to form a new statewide organization. Our aim: to build an unbeatable movement for a single payer public system that would fully fund comprehensive health care, including prescription drugs, for all. We invite all single-payer supporters to join us!

Uninsured Americans Carry Large Chronic Disease Burden
By John Gever | MedPage Today
Nearly one-third of uninsured Americans under age 65 reported having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, or some other chronic condition, researchers said.

August 05, 2008

Recovering Rush seeks care for all
By Azam Ahmed | Chicago Tribune
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) declared himself cancer-free on Monday at the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine at the University of Chicago and challenged Barack Obama and John McCain to push for national health care for all Americans.

Stephanie Woolhandler shares her views on universal healthcare
Harvard Medical Labcast
Stephanie Woolhandler, an associate professor of medicine at the HMS-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, investigates disparities and inequalities in healthcare and medicine. In recent years, she has published studies on the relative cost and effectiveness of the Canadian healthcare system. In published editorials and on Capitol Hill, Dr. Woolhandler has argued for full-scale reform of the current system here in the U.S. Last year, she uncovered insurance shortfalls for American military veterans, and her most recent research found unexpected disparities in the way free prescription drug samples are distributed.

Many U.S. adults with chronic illness are uninsured
By Anne Harding | Reuters
"Primary care doctors know that people who don't have access to health care due to health insurance suffer," Wilper, who is now with the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, told Reuters Health. "We wanted to study that issue and bring public attention to it."

One-Third of Uninsured Are Chronically Ill
By Amanda Gardner | HealthDay Reporter
One out of every three working-age, uninsured Americans suffers from a chronic illness and isn't getting the medical care they need, a new report shows. Although the study didn't specifically look at the health consequences of lack of insurance and lack of access to medical care, it's reasonable to assume that these factors would lead to various medical complications, said the authors of a study published in the Aug. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Millions With Chronic Disease Get Little to No Treatment
By REED ABELSON | New York Times
Millions of Americans with chronic disease like diabetes or high blood pressure are not getting adequate treatment because they are among the nation's growing ranks of uninsured. That is the central finding of a new study to be published Tuesday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Keep Medicare as a family
By RICHARD PROPP | Albany Times Union
Dear Medicare: Happy birthday! Since I first met you on July 31, 1965, I have been smitten with your looks, your fairness, your support of the elderly without regard to social or economic status, skin color, ethnicity, intellectual IQ, emotional IQ, address, clubs, choice of transportation, hobbies, reading list, or favorite restaurant. You took care of our grandparents, our parents, and now you are taking care of us!

August 04, 2008

Seniors have a special interest in single-payer health care
By William Klepack | The Ithaca Journal
In early July, Congress passed a bill to prevent a scheduled cut in Medicare payments to doctors. Although I am pleased with the outcome of this vote, there are several reasons that senior citizens should be concerned about the political maneuvering affecting their care that surrounded this bill and be very interested in single-payer health care.

August 01, 2008

What About Single Payer?
By Drs. Edward P. Ehlinger and Susanne L. King | MetroDoctors
An increasing number of health care professionals and policy makers are claiming that a single-payer system is the only rational approach that can actually contain costs, achieve universal coverage, and maintain or improve quality. They argue that only a single-payer approach can address the economic pressure on businesses and the rising costs of health care for individuals and still be able to expand coverage to everyone. However, these statements are guaranteed to bring forth a series of questions about single payer. Here are responses to some of the questions that are frequently raised.

Make original Medicare the foundation for health care reform
By JOHN GEYMAN and MALINDA MARKOWITZ | Guest Columnist | Seattle Post Intelligencer
Medicare today covers about 43 million American seniors and the disabled, paying about one-half of their health care expenses. Amidst an increasingly unaffordable health care market, Medicare recipients have a solid rock of coverage. The program is administered with an overhead of about 3 percent, less than one-fifth the overhead of competing private programs, while offering defined benefits with free choice of physician and hospital.

July 31, 2008

Can't Get No Health Care Satisfaction
by Pat LaMarche | Bangor Daily News
A Fox News anchor said Saturday that if Mick Jagger was from the United States he'd finally qualify for Medicare. She's kidding -- right? The anchor made a pretty lame attempt at highlighting the rock star's advancing age. She did, however, do a good job of pointing out how backward the U.S. health care system is.

Julius Richmond, surgeon general under Carter, dies
By Bryan Marquard | Globe Staff
In a career that ranged from serving as a flight surgeon in the Army Air Corps during World War II to serving as surgeon general from 1977 to 1981, Dr. Richmond left few areas of medicine untouched.

They Know What's in Your Medicine Cabinet
by Chad Terhune | Business Week
That prescription you just picked up at the drugstore could hurt your chances of getting health insurance. An untold number of people have been rejected for medical coverage for a reason they never could have guessed: Insurance companies are using huge, commercially available prescription databases to screen out applicants based on their drug purchases.

July 29, 2008

Unions Back Plan that Could Kill Off Real Health Care Reform
By Kip Sullivan | Labor Notes
If Barack Obama wins the fall election, he will be under more pressure to establish universal health insurance than any president in U.S. history. This will be due not only to public disgust with the current health care system, but to the hard work of organizations dedicated to universal health insurance. But the most powerful of these groups, including the AFL-CIO and Service Employees (the major Change to Win health care union) are promoting a solution that won't fix the problem.

Uninsured left in the lurch
By LOUIS LLOVIO | Richmond Times-Dispatch
They have come by the thousands. They walk through the gates of the fairgrounds, give their most personal information to complete strangers and are ushered off for a battery of tests and procedures. An expected 3,000-plus residents of Southwest Virginia and neighboring states are here through today for one reason -- to get basic medical care they couldn't otherwise afford.

Happy Birthday Medicare
By Judy Deutsch | Guest Columnist | Sudbury Town Crier
July 30th will be Medicare’s 43rd birthday. And many people across our nation will be celebrating the event by letting their Congressional representatives know that they want to be included, too. They’ll do so be sending a birthday cake and/or card to their representatives saying, " Happy Birthday Medicare: Now It’s time for Medicare for all" or "Support HR 676."

July 28, 2008

Ethics panel may back universal coverage, ponders access as a "moral imperative"
By Kevin B. O'Reilly | AMNews staff
Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, argued that the single-payer model prevails around the world in countries that provide better access to care at lower cost than the U.S. system. "I think single payer is the only morally acceptable reform choice, because it's the only effective one on the table," said Dr. Woolhandler, a primary care doctor who co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program in 1986. "If we're concerned about the 18,000 deaths a year due to uninsurance, then we are morally obligated to go with a plan that has been shown to work."

July 25, 2008

Obama's Health Plan, Dissected
Rachel Nardin | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
Barack Obama proposes to make health care affordable for all Americans with an injection of cash from the repeal of the Bush tax cuts and with savings realized from electronic health information technology and programs to improve disease prevention and chronic disease management. While better record-keeping and prevention and management programs would improve the quality of our medical system, there is little data that they would actually save money. They certainly would not do so for many years.

Let's make a health care system that aids people, not insurance companies
Dr. Daniel D. Bennett | Austin American-Statesman
If you did not already believe that our current health care financing system is rigged to benefit insurance companies over patients, then President Bush's recent veto of legislation to halt Medicare cuts to physicians should have changed your mind.

July 23, 2008

A Response to HCAN: Flawed Data, Failed Strategy
A collection of five responses to "Health Care for American Now" (HCAN) is below by authors Kip Sullivan, Ph.D., Dr. Quentin Young, Dr. Oliver Fein, PNHP co-founders Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler, and Nicholas Skala.

Health-care matchup finds Ohio falls short
By David Knox | Beacon Journal staff writer
To explore how Ohio compares to the nation and the world, the Beacon Journal looked 60 miles across Lake Erie to the Canadian province of Ontario. How does Ohio measure up to its neighbor?

Testimony of Joe Bak, Ph.D. before the House Judiciary Committee
My name is Dr. Joseph Bak. I am a clinical psychologist in private practice for 25 years and therefore, also the owner of a small business. In addition, I have been actively involved in advocating for universal healthcare since the early 1990s. Most importantly, I am a consumer of healthcare services. It is from five different perspectives, that of psychologist, small business owner, taxpayer, healthcare reform advocate and patient that I strongly support the enactment of H.R. 676. I believe it is the only solution that can comprehensively and cost-effectively address what is wrong with our fatally flawed healthcare system; a system that long ago became too sick to cure.

Mayors join those lined up behind national health care
By Steve Porter | Northern Colorado Business Report
Another major group recently endorsed a federal bill that would expand the nation's Medicare system to include everyone in America in a universal health-care plan. The U.S. Mayors Conference, meeting in Miami in late June, voted for a resolution in support of HR676, also known as the United States National Health Insurance Act.

Expand successful Medicare program to all
Edith Kenna | Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
July 30 is the 43rd anniversary of the passage of Medicare. Medicare began because no one except the government was willing to cover the oldest and sickest of us. Medicare now covers 34 million Americans. Consumer ratings of Medicare remain higher than that of private insurance companies. Medicare itself remains a model of effectiveness and efficiency, publicly funded and privately delivered, operating with administrative cost between 3 percent and 5 percent. If you don’t believe that Medicare is a success, try asking those covered by Medicare, friends, parents or grandparents if they want to give it up and go back to private insurance.

July 17, 2008

Presidential foes both fall short on reforming health
By Malinda Markowitz | Lansing State Journal
If you're wondering why health care has been such a central issue of the presidential campaign this year, meet Karyn McCartney of Mason. In February, Karyn, then nine months pregnant, and her husband were hit by another car "from the passenger side where I was sitting," wrote Karyn recently to the National Nurses Organizing Committee.

Expanding healthcare, cutting costs
By Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) | The Hill
When you consider that Americans pay about twice as much or more per capita for healthcare costs and that a third of the healthcare dollar goes to administrative activities you become aware that our system is really about insurance care more than healthcare. It is a racket benefiting a few insurance companies at the expense of the health of the American people, particularly our children.

Insurance industry forming activist army
By: Chris Frates | Politico
Ahead of the approaching health care reform storm, the insurance industry is building an ark: a nationwide education campaign aimed at raising an activist army at least 100,000 strong.

Why Not the Best? Results from the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008
Authors: The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System
Prepared for the Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System, the National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, 2008, updates the 2006 Scorecard, the first comprehensive means of measuring and monitoring health care outcomes, quality, access, efficiency, and equity in the United States. The 2008 Scorecard, which presents trends for each dimension of health system performance and for individual indicators, confirms that the U.S. health system continues to fall far short of what is attainable, especially given the resources invested.

July 16, 2008

Confronting the cost of health care
By Amy Kotlarz | Catholic Courier
An estimated 18,000 people in the United States die unnecessarily each year because they have no health insurance, according to the nonprofit Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Robin Salerno is trying her best to not become one of them. But Salerno has adrenal cancer, no insurance and few options.

Dr. Steffie Woolhandler on the Presidential Candidates & Single-Payer in the 2008 Elections
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for National Health Program (PNHP), a group of over 15,000 physicians nationwide who support a single-payer health care system, spoke on June 26 in Chicago at the PNHP offices. She spoke about the presidential candidates' health plans and single-payer in the 2008 elections. She is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and an internist at Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. The transcript below was prepared by Elizabeth Lalasz of Chicago; it was subsequently edited by Dr. Woolhandler.

The Untold Health Care Story: How They Crippled Medicare
By Lillian B. Rubin | Dissent Magazine
Until recently, my husband and I had been seeing one of those “Oh-I’m-so-glad-he’s-my-doctor” physicians for two decades. Then one day the mail brought the announcement that the office was closing its doors and that the four doctors who had been in the practice were either retiring or leaving San Francisco. They enclosed a list of doctors who, they said, had indicated they had room in their practices. So started my search for a new primary-care physician.

Response to Health Care for America Now Campaign
NY Metro Chapter, Physicians for a National Health Program
The American health care system is in deep trouble. Everyone recognizes that it needs substantial reform. For too many Americans, health care is simply unaffordable. As each year passes, millions more are added to the rolls of the uninsured and underinsured. Physicians for a National Health Program believes that only a real structural change, to a publicly-financed single payer program, can effectively address its many problems.

July 15, 2008

National Health Insurance: Could It Work in the US?
James E. Dalen, MD, MPH and Joseph S. Alpert, MD | The American Journal of Medicine
The US health care system, which depends on private, for-profit health insurance, is not working. It is time for national health insurance!

July 14, 2008

Americans down on the U.S. health-care system
By Kristen Gerencher | MarketWatch
"What Americans are upset about is the unbelievable hassle of having to select health insurance, maybe not getting it ... losing insurance when they lose their job," Reinhardt said. "The American citizen is massively insecure." Doctors and nurses routinely hear demoralizing news that U.S. medicine is inferior "when the real problem is the way we finance health care and the hassle of claiming insurance," he said.

Health care as a right is hard sell, except outside U.S.
By Wendi C. Thomas | Memphis Commercial Appeal
What is it like to be sick outside of the United States? Well, if you are among the 47 million uninsured or 25 million underinsured in America, health care in capitalist democracies such as Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Great Britain or Taiwan is decidedly better than the broken system we have here.

A system 'in the process of collapse'
By Jeoffry B. Gordon | The San Diego Union-Tribune
Daily I see patients without health insurance who have avoided care, omitted pharmaceuticals they could not afford, or had to use emergency rooms at times of true need and incurred extraordinarily huge charges. Every two or three months I see a patient literally at death's door due to illness previously unexamined due to financial fears.

July 08, 2008

"Show Me the Money": Labor and the Bottom Line of National Health Insurance
By Marie Gottschalk | Dissent Magazine
A WELL-KNOWN political scientist once declared that the definition of the alternatives is the supreme instrument of power. The simple question--single-payer or not--conceals major differences over whether to frame the health care issue primarily as an economic question or a moral one. Economic considerations are critical to propelling the cause of universal health care. But advocates of universal health care should not cast the economic competitiveness of U.S. business as the central economic issue at stake in the debate over health care reform.

Three Approaches to Health Care Reform
By Len Rodberg, PhD
What's Wrong with Approaches that Include Private Insurance?

July 07, 2008

But What Have They Done Lately?
Marcia Angell, M.D. | Wall Street Journal | Letter
Far from doing scientific innovation, the large drug companies license or otherwise acquire discoveries from universities or small biotech companies, then develop them for commercial production and sponsor the clinical research necessary for FDA approval. That's expensive, but hardly creative in the scientific sense

What About Single Payer?
In discussions of health care reform, consensus is rapidly developing around the urgent need for universal health care coverage in the United States. There is also an almost universal understanding that this coverage is not feasible without cost containment. Given the facts that over 47 million people in the U.S. are uninsured and an even greater number are underinsured and that the percentage of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) going to health care is over 16 percent, it's not surprising that the issues of access and cost have become priority issues in our country.

July 02, 2008

Unitarian Universalists Endorse Single-Payer Health Care
by Larry Stauber
At their annual General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Unitarian Universalist (UU) delegates passed a resolution endorsing single payer universal health care.

The Doctors' Revolt
Roger Bybee | The American Prospect
Doctors have historically been the watchdogs of the U.S. medical system, with the American Medical Association scaring New Dealers into dropping national health coverage from the Social Security Act and then the AMA shredding Harry Truman's reform efforts in the late 1940s. But a new poll and other significant indicators suggest that doctors are turning against the health-insurance firms that increasingly dominate American health care.

June 30, 2008

Study: Most Doctors Favor National Insurance
By Parker Duncan | Southern California Physician
For advocates of true healthcare reform, spring is in full bloom. April brought two important surveys and a high-profile investigative television report, all of which were supportive of national health insurance such as a "single-payer" system. California health professional students continue to add even more voices to the chorus. Will the California Medical Association join in?

Presbyterian Church USA votes to support single payer healthcare
Last week there was a major victory at the Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly where many hundreds of commissioners from across the country met in San Jose to discuss and set church policy on a broad range of faith and justice issues. They voted 377 to 250 with 12 abstentions to support publicly financed privately delivered single payer health care.

June 27, 2008

The battle to save Medicare
Saul Friedman | Newsday
Reader Jack Wajda, 69, of Orlando, a retired AT&T executive and financial planner, identifies the single greatest problem with the American health-care system as well as anyone. He writes: "To allow private for-profit insurance companies to decide whether and what type of care we receive is incomprehensible to me."

June 26, 2008

International Health Systems for Single Payer Advocates
By Dr. Ida Hellander | PNHP Executive Director
Health care systems in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries primarily reflect three types of programs.

June 25, 2008

Single Payer "American Style"
By Robert Zarr MD, MPH, FAAP | American Academy of Pediatrics | Letters
Let's not forget that we still have 9 million children without health insurance. These 9 million children forego necessary care, and suffer unnecessarily because of it. There is no doubt that the average Canadian child has better access to primary care than his/her American counterpart. The Canadian pediatrician, with lower office overhead, either specialist or primary care, is reimbursed with fewer hassles and more timely than his/her American counterpart.

Fein Calls For Taking Profit Out Of Health
by Melinda Tuhus | New Haven Independent
This man wants to get rid of co-pays and deductibles for health insurance, which he calls "remarkably crude ways of controlling demand." He has a better idea -- health insurance for all in a system that allows private coverage with public funding.

June 24, 2008

Media Miss Bigger Picture in Healthcare Debate
By Roger Bybee | Fair & Accuracy in Reporting
In the 2008 Democratic primary campaign between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, each is offering a slightly different variant of individual mandate-based healthcare plans relying on the private insurance industry. Media coverage has magnified the slight variations while almost entirely ignoring the big picture: Both health plans are based on a model that has consistently failed to get off the ground in numerous states.

Dixon, U.S. Conference of Mayors push single-payer health coverage
by Sue Schultz Staff | Baltimore Business Journal
"By taking this action, the mayors have put, in the boldest way, single-payer national health insurance on top of the domestic agenda, squarely in the middle of the legislative and presidential election," said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program.

June 23, 2008

Stories That Go Nowhere Because They're Ignored
By Saul Friedman | Nieman Watchdog blog
This indifference and the resulting ignorance of the public, are haunting another issue–the prospect of single-payer, universal health care such as “Medicare for All.” Such a system is now supported by 56 percent of Americans, according to the Associated Press, and, for the first time, by 59 percent of the nation’s physicians. But you would not know that there is such a widely supported proposal awaiting congressional action, if you were reading the mainstream press accounts of a day-long health care forum staged by the Senate Finance Committee at the Library of Congress on June 16.

A Presbyterian Minister Blogs for Single Payer
by David Bos | Louisville Letter
But, to me, Its still a mystery why we have 100,000,000 who are either uninsured or underinsured with the numbers and heart-rending stories growing day by day and millions of others with insurance who are just a serious illness away from backruptcy with apparently no political voice. Just think, polls show that over 60%, perhaps 70%, of the people want a Single Payer plan. The most recent polls show that a majority of doctors favor Single Payer. There are 90+ co-sponsors of Single Payer Bill HR 676 in the House of Representatives. Labor union locals are endorsing Single Payer at a rate of several a week. How can it be that these numbers represent no real decision-making power or influence in the political realm?

The Experience of Exclusion: What Do We Do With People Like You?
By Donna Smith | Phoenix, Arizona
For those of you who have seen Michael Moore's movie, SiCKO, you know that my husband and I lost our home in South Dakota after suffering through years of healthcare related financial trauma and finding no way to hang on. We are filmed moving into our daughter's small storage room or computer room or spare office or whatever you'd like to term it. And you see our youngest son confronting us about our situation. He asks us: "What Do We Do With People Like You?"

Single payer system is path to universal care
By Bill Roy | Topeka Capital-Journal
[P]ressure is building. Some day shifting public opinion and looming personal, business, state and federal bankruptcies will make elected officials consider a single payer-universal care system, which, in one form or another, has been adopted by every other industrial democracy, many of which have healthier populations that live longer. All spend substantially less.

June 20, 2008

Taiwan: Surprising Lessons From a Small Island
By John Reichard | CQ HealthBeat Editor In the middle of May, two Taiwanese officials, Hou Sheng-Mou and Michael S. Chen, came to Washington facing a tough assignment: promote single payer health care in a city where it's widely regarded as a non-starter in the debate over revamping the U.S. system.

25 Million Americans Are 'Underinsured'
By Steven Reinberg | HealthDay
The number of American adults who had inadequate health insurance to cover their medical expenses rose 60 percent from 2003 to 2007, from 16 million to more than 25 million people.

June 19, 2008

Health Care: Go Canadian
by James Clancy, National Union of Public & General Employees | Business Week
I find Top 10 lists are a useful way to quickly distill large and complicated issues down to the bare essentials. So here are my Top 10 reasons the U.S. should adopt Canada’s single-payer health-care system.

Paying More, Getting Less
By Joel A. Harrison | Dollars and Sense magazine | May/June 2008 issue
Americans may well underestimate the degree to which they subsidize the current U.S. health care system out of their own pockets. And almost no one recognizes that even people without health insurance pay substantial sums into the system today. Not only is the money [going to health insurers] lost to health care, but it pays for a system that often makes it more difficult and complicated to receive the care we've already paid for.

Health Care, the Massachusetts Way
Alan Meyers | The New York Times | Letters
As a Massachusetts primary care physician, I dearly wish that your optimism for our state’s health care plan were well placed. My fear, however, is that any plan that does not eliminate the colossal waste of multiple competing private health insurers is doomed to failure.

A Cure for Our System
Harvey Fernbach, MD | Letters to the Editor | The Washington Post
While I welcome the heightened attention of policymakers, including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, to our failing health-care system, I was struck by how few real "prescriptions for change" emerged from the Senate Finance Committee’s health reform "summit" Monday.

State Assembly points the way forward on health care
Andrew D. Coates, MD | Poughkeepsie Journal
Our critics smile at us and say that national health insurance a great idea, but they add a wink, for they believe the insurance companies are simply too rich and too powerful. The not-so-subtle message: give up and prepare for compromise with the private insurance industry. Enter the New York State Assembly, not known as a den of starry-eyed idealists, with an overwhelming vote of support for single-payer health reform.

June 09, 2008

Nurses know that single-payer universal care is best solution
Nurses hear the pleas of patients and their families every day to fix what ails the U.S. health-care system. But in the din of the upcoming November election, it can be very difficult to hear the pleas made by the American people for genuine solutions for the pain endured by so many patients and families. Registered nurses, however, are still listening, and working to press all the candidates to take heed.

June 06, 2008

Physicians' Rx for an ailing healthcare system: an interview with Claudia Fegan.
Multinational Monitor Friday, October 1 2004 Claudia Fegan is president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which advocates a universal, comprehensive Single-Payer National Health Program. PNHP has more than 10,000 members and chapters across the United States. Fegan...

Obama's health care lite
By Froma Harrop | Syndicated Columnist | The Seattle Times
A remarkable thing just happened in the people's party. Democrats have chosen a candidate, in the year 2008, who does not have a plan for universal health coverage. Barack Obama caresses the words "universal coverage" almost hourly, but his proposal offers nothing of the kind.

June 05, 2008

National Demonstrations Against Insurance Company Denials and Rejections of Patients
On June 19th, 2008, the American Health Insurance Plans (the trade group of the thousands of insurance company executives) will have their annual meeting in San Francisco. June 19th is also the national day of celebration of the emancipation from slavery for millions of Americans. Healthcare-NOW will be combining activities on both.

June 04, 2008

Dr. Paul Farmer Challenges Profit-Driven Medical System While Bringing Healthcare to Poor Communities Worldwide
Democracy Now | National Public Radio
DR. PAUL FARMER:[T]o get into the hospital, the uninsured--47 million people, maybe 50--they have to pass through an emergency room, waste time, and things happen to them there that probably shouldn’t, because they’re primary healthcare problems, they’re in an emergency room. And then again, on top of that 47 million, probably just as many Americans are poorly insured and can be thrown into destitution by serious illness. So, you know, there’s 100 million Americans who are in--are not--they don’t have health security. They don’t know that a devastating illness could not wipe out their savings or make them lose their home. They may know that. I hope they do.

June 02, 2008

Empty promises on health care
By Marie Cocco | Indy Star
Neither presumptive Republican nominee John McCain nor Democrat Barack Obama, the likely nominee of his party, has pledged to cover all of the 47 million uninsured Americans who are falling through the cracks of a system that already is at a breaking point. Neither has proposed a health-insurance plan that would make health care more fair and equitable by putting everyone in a pool in which risks are shared among those who are healthy (but might one day get sick) and those who are not. This is how insurance -- whether it be government insurance, such as Social Security, or private insurance, such as the policies we buy for automobiles -- works. With everyone in the same system, everyone shares the burden of paying as well as the benefit of coverage when it is needed.

May 29, 2008

Insurers don't like to 'share'
Dr. Susanne King | Berkshire Eagle, MA
Under pressure from Wall Street for disappointing earnings during the first quarter of 2008, CEOs from the two largest health insurance plans, United Health Group and Wellpoint, told investors last week that they would "continue to protect their (profit) margins" and "not sacrifice profitability for membership" i.e., they aren't going to hold down premium increases to keep members on their rolls.

May 27, 2008

Health care for veterans should be a priority
By Jonathan Walker | Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
If you spend much time reading the news in Fort Wayne, you would get the impression that “Veterans Don’t Deserve Health Care” reflects how we feel about our veterans. For instance, there have been numerous reports about veterans trying to maintain the inpatient services at the Fort Wayne VA Medical Center so that they don’t have to drive to Indianapolis to obtain care. And veterans are not the only ones having trouble with health care. The family members of active-duty soldiers are given an insurance plan that is so bad that it can be hard to find a doctor. I have a patient who is married to a soldier in Iraq, and she has to drive from LaGrange to Huntington to see the only primary care doctor who will accept patients on the plan.

Viewpoints: The Health Care Debate - Dr. David Himmelstein
David Himmelstein, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a universal, single-payer national health program, and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, talks with the Foundation's Jackie Judd about how a single payer model will lead to universal coverage, the obstacles to achieving it and the implications of such a plan on health care providers and the insurance market.

America already has several models for health-care reform
By Christine B. Helfrich | The Salt Lake Tribune
The Tribune sought to reassure us that these plans would not be a single-payer, government-financed plan but would "force insurance companies to compete on price, benefits and quality." Let's be clear, universal coverage, as discussed by the current presidential candidates and the Bennett/Wyden plan, does not mean equal coverage.

May 22, 2008

CBO Questions Savings From Digital Health-Care Records
By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS | The Wall Street Journal
Official congressional analysts dealt a blow to the prospects for broad legislation to boost information technology in the health system by taking a skeptical view of the savings that would likely result.

May 20, 2008

Doctors Without Borders: Why you can't trust medical journals anymore.
By Shannon Brownlee | Washington Monthly
Should research scientists who have financial stakes in the products they are writing about be forced to disclose those ties? To which the average person might reasonably respond, of course they should. But the more pertinent question is why scientists with financial stakes in the outcome of scientific studies are allowed anywhere near those studies, much less reviewing them in elite journals.

May 12, 2008

Is Your Kid Covered?
by Ben Elgin and Jessica Silver-Greenberg | BusinessWeek
In fall 2006, Ralph Giunta Sr. decided to buy his son Ralph Jr. a practical birthday gift: health insurance. The father, who owns a small financial-services company that lacks an insurance plan, phoned Palm Beach Community College, where his son was on the dean's list. The Lake Worth (Fla.) school recommended a policy provided by MEGA Life and Health Insurance, whose student business was acquired in late 2006 by giant UnitedHealthcare. Giunta wrote a check for $1,044 for one year. "They assured me he was well covered," he says.

Advocates asking for health coverage for all New Yorkers
By MARIA BRANDECKER | Legislative Gazette Staff Writer
Supporters of a single-payer health care system held a rally outside the Capitol in Albany last Tuesday urging state and federal leaders to ensure all Americans get coverage.

A New Health Care Plan...Physicians for national health program finds willing ears in Ithaca
By Karen Gadiel | Ithaca Times
A group of area physicians, frustrated by the limitations of providing health care to all who need it, recently formed a regional chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, or PNHP. "We think the time has come," said Dr. John Paul Mead, doctor of internal medicine.

Let's share cost of health insurance
Jerry Frankel | Los Angeles Times | Business Letters
Except for the healthy and the wealthy, the rest of us -- not just employers -- are being pinched, if not strangled, by rising healthcare costs.

May 09, 2008

Rising insurance costs may force MDs to quit
By Saul Friedman | Gray Matters |
I know, everyone has a doctor story, including me. But most of today's doctors are besieged, working under great pressure from insurance companies and the corporations that own or finance their practices. They are trying to keep up with the latest devices, drugs and developments in their fields, and dealing with sick patients who can't afford all the medical care they should get.

Single-Payer Healthcare: a Reality for California?
By Julie Illi Laird | Synapse, UCSF Student Paper
As a nurse, I have seen countless examples of the devastating outcomes that result when people do not have access to care due to lack of insurance. Just last week, I visited a 35-year-old cancer patient to help her manage oxygen treatments at home. She had beaten breast cancer at age 25. However, she was a restaurant worker and did not have health insurance; consequently, once she started working again, she no longer qualified for MediCal and could no longer see a doctor to be screened for recurrence. Sadly, when the cancer did come back it was not detected until she went to the ER one night when she could no longer breathe.

May 08, 2008

Video: Who will fix America's broken health care system?
The Real News Network
[Right wing] author Regina Herzlinger and PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow Don McCanne each take a look at how effective the proposals will be in increasing quality of health care and the number of insured.

Pariah Diplomacy
by JOEL ALBERS | Southside Pride
Proposed solutions to the health care crisis have reached a crossroads, with essentially two paths that Minnesota and the U.S. can follow. One path views health care as a market commodity, in which health care is for sale. Patients are also consumers who must shop around, compare prices and quality of care, and buy insurance. That is if you can afford it. If you cannot, you are uninsured. And therein lies the crisis.

May 07, 2008

Pushing the Single-Payer Solution
By Amy Goodman | Alternet
As the media coverage of the Democratic presidential race continues to focus on lapel pins and pastors, America is ailing. As I travel around the country, I find people are angry and motivated. Like Dr. Rocky White, a physician from a conservative, evangelical background who practices in rural Alamosa, Colo. A tall, gray-haired Westerner in black jeans, a crisp white shirt and a bolo tie, Dr. White is a leading advocate for single-payer health care. He wasn't always.

May 05, 2008

Canadian health care is better for the consumer
By Anita Watkins | Guest Column | The Ithaca Journal
As a dual United States and Canadian citizen who has experienced health care in both countries, I'd like to add some perspective to warnings against government health care modeled after the Canadian system.

May 02, 2008

Our Health Care System at the Crossroads: Single Payer or Market Reform?
By David U. Himmelstein, MD, and Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH | The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Almost all agree that our health care system is dysfunctional. Forty-five million Americans have no health insurance, resulting in more than 18,000 unnecessary deaths annually according to the Institute of Medicine. Tens of millions more have inadequate coverage. Health care costs will reach $7498 per capita this year, 50% higher than in any other nation, and continue to grow rapidly. Market pressures threaten medicine's best traditions. And bureaucracy overwhelms both doctors and patients. Opinion on solutions is more divided.

May 01, 2008

National health insurance best way to ensure care for all Americans
The need for meaningful health care reform remains one of the hottest topics in the public as we approach our national election. An important new study, in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine, reveals a growing consensus among practicing physicians that our broken health care system would be best fixed by legislation establishing national health insurance (NHI).

Missing: Single-Payer in Pennsylvania
By Trudy Lieberman | Columbia Journalism Review
The Pennsylvania primary may be over, but one of the campaign's hottest and most fiercely contested issues--whether the state on its own can reform health care and cover some portion of the uninsured--is not.

April 30, 2008

The Folly of McCain-Care
By Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic
A big problem with [McCain's] scheme, as critics like me pointed out, was that it wouldn't do much for people who were already sick. Insurance companies generally won't offer coverage directly to people with "pre-existing conditions," since they represent such bad financial risks. (It turns out people with medical problems need medical care!) So buying insurance on their own really isn't an option.

April 29, 2008

Side-by-Side Comparison of the Candidates' Positions on Health Care
Kaiser Family Foundation
This side-by-side comparison of the candidates' positions on health care was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation with the assistance of Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. and is based on information appearing on the candidates' websites as supplemented by information from candidate speeches, the campaign debates and news reports.

April 28, 2008

Politicians limited in health debate
Dr. Bill Davidson Jr. | North Annville | Lebanon Daily News
With health care the leading domestic issue facing our country today, one would have expected the leading presidential candidates to have presented the nation with serious, viable solutions. Unfortunately, none has been willing to look at this issue without the lens of party ideology or special-interest politics, and as a result the American people are unlikely to see any relief from soaring health-care costs, a million annual bankruptcies, 47 million uninsured and less-than-anticipated medical-quality outcomes.

The French Health Care System
by Jean-Francois Briere
The French health care system was rated the best in the world by the World Health Organization in 2001. The American health care system ranked 37th. In 2004, France spent 10.5% of its gross domestic product on health while the U.S. spent 15.4%. Again, in 2004, the last year for which figures are available, the per capita total expenditure on health in U.S. dollars was $3,464 in France but $6,096 in the U.S. Analyzing the French system might provide some ideas for a solution to the current health care crisis in America. We need to start with an understanding of how the French system works.

Doctors agree: We need single-payer health care
By LEONARD A. ZWELLING and ANA MALINOW | Houston Chronicle
We have all heard it before. The health care system in the United States is broken. We have all heard it, but when is someone going to do something about it?

April 25, 2008

U.S. must look for a health care system to cover everyone
By Robert Stone, M.D. | Bloomington Herald Times | Guest column
Nationally, the week of April 27 to May 3 is Cover the Uninsured Week. Locally, many of the 883 GE employees and their families are getting closer every day to becoming uninsured. Since World War II, access to health care in this country has been based on employer-sponsored insurance, but the percentage of workers covered by their employers peaked in 2001 at 65 percent and has been dropping ever since. The projections are that in a very few years less than half of Indiana workers will have coverage through their work.

Providing health care for all shouldn't make insurers rich
By Milton Fisk and Kay Mueller | Herald-Times | Guest column
Government subsidies and outsourcing may be good for business without always being good for the public. Medicare outsources the administration of its prescription drug program, Medicare D, to private insurers. Medicare Advantage -- Medicare C -- subsidizes managed care insurance plans for seniors choosing them. Several current presidential aspirants -- Clinton and Obama -- would subsidize the purchase of insurance for the low-income uninsured. Each of these plans offers private insurers protection against a less wasteful plan, one that does without private insurers.

April 24, 2008

Health Reform You Shouldn't Believe In
Marcia Angell | The American Prospect
For all their promise of change, Democrats are remarkably timid about changing the health-care system. The system now costs twice as much per person as those of other advanced countries and delivers worse average outcomes. It prices tens of millions of people out of health coverage altogether and limits care for countless others. Yet leading Democrats are clinging to this system, proposing to cover more people but not changing the system itself except at the margins.

April 21, 2008

An Evangelical from a Conservative Background, Dr. Rocky White is Not Your Typical Advocate for Single-Payer Healthcare
Democracy Now | NPR
While there are differences between the healthcare plans offered by Democratic presidential opponents Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, neither of them is proposing a single-payer system of national healthcare. That's despite the endorsement of precisely such a plan last December by the American College of Physicians, the largest medical specialty organization. We speak with Dr. Rocky White, a passionate, if unusual, advocate for a single-payer health insurance program. He describes himself as an evangelical from a conservative background and is on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Health Care for All Colorado.

Public Utilities and Health Care
Greater Louisville Medical Society | President's eVoice
In this political season I cringe every time a pundit makes reference to health care reform proposals as "socialized medicine." Do you fear "socialized gas and electric?" Although there are strong advocates for a single-party payer system, none of the major presidential candidates or political parties advocates this solution. However, any physician who has experienced the changes in health care delivery systems over the past generation has to have serious doubts about free-market solutions to the problem.

April 15, 2008

Statement of Stephen Finan, Associate Director of Policy, American Cancer Society
Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Ways and Means
I would like to share a story of a cancer patient who was insured and struggled financially because of the high cost-sharing for covered benefits. Martha, a 63 year-old retired woman, was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer in November 2007. For her cancer treatment, Martha had surgery followed by radiation. Martha is now post-treatment, but still needs periodic follow-up visits to her oncologist to monitor for recurrence. Martha has a health insurance policy, but the policy is inadequate for her needs. For example, the insurance paid $1,000 of a $10,000 hospital bill for her surgery. Martha said she is $28,000 in medical debt due to her cancer diagnosis, and the hospital is threatening her with a collection agency. Martha lives in a state that has a medically underwritten individual insurance market, so it is unlikely she would be offered another policy. Martha beat her cancer, but now she is struggling with keeping her head above water financially.

Health Plan Payments to Lobbyists Soared in 2007, Could Grow More in 2008
By Steve Davis | Managing Editor | AIS's Health Business Daily
Health insurers collectively paid more money to lobbyists in 2007 than they did a year earlier, according to disclosure forms made available last month by the U.S. Senate's public records office.

April 14, 2008

Co-Payments Soar for Drugs With High Prices
By GINA KOLATA | The New York Times
With the new pricing system, insurers abandoned the traditional arrangement that has patients pay a fixed amount, like $10, $20 or $30 for a prescription, no matter what the drug's actual cost. Instead, they are charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, usually 20 to 33 percent, which can amount to thousands of dollars a month. The system means that the burden of expensive health care can now affect insured people, too.

April 11, 2008

Health Care Horror Stories
Paul Krugman | The New York Times
Not long ago, a young Ohio woman named Trina Bachtel, who was having health problems while pregnant, tried to get help at a local clinic. Unfortunately, she had previously sought care at the same clinic while uninsured and had a large unpaid balance. The clinic wouldn't see her again unless she paid $100 per visit -- which she didn't have. Eventually, she sought care at a hospital 30 miles away. By then, however, it was too late. Both she and the baby died.

Health Care System Profiles
Author(s): Karsten Vrangbaek, Isabelle Durand-Zaleski, Reinhard Busse, Niek Klazinga, and Anders Anell | Commonwealth Fund
The work of the Commonwealth Fund's international program highlights the valuable lessons the U.S. can learn from the health care systems in other industrialized countries. These country profiles provide overviews of the health care systems of several countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the U.K. Each profile includes descriptions of how each country organizes, finances, and delivers health services and highlights quality, efficiency, and cost-controlling policy initiatives and reforms

Health Policy Placebos
The Democratic contenders proffer a superficially plausible reform model that has a long record of failure. Their proposals trace back to Nixon's 1971 employer mandate scheme, concocted to woo moderate Republicans away from Ted Kennedy's single-payer plan. Like mandate reforms subsequently passed (and failed) in Massachusetts (1988), Oregon (1989) and Washington (1993), Clinton's and Obama's plans would couple subsidies for the poor with a requirement that large employers foot part of the bill for employee coverage.

Medical students rally for health care
By Jesse Muhammad | Houston - Rallying for affordable health care for all, hundreds of medical students from around the country recently gathered at Houston City Hall in conjunction with the American Medical Student Association’s (AMSA) 58th Annual Convention.

April 07, 2008

National health care rising in popularity
By JOHNATHON ROSS | Toledo Blade | Op-Ed
This past week, researchers at Indiana University published an important new study that reveals a growing consensus among medical professionals on a path forward. Reflecting a shift in thinking over the past five years among U.S. physicians, a solid majority of doctors, 59 percent, now support national health insurance.

An unheard majority for national health insurance
By Jess Fiedorowicz and Dennis Fiedorowicz | Guest Opinion | Iowa City Press-Citizen
The adjective "broken" has so frequently been used to describe our healthcare system as to become a cliché. Recently an important new study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that reveals a growing consensus among medical professionals on a path forward. A solid majority of doctors, now 59 percent, support national health insurance.

Local doctor not alone in favoring national health insurance
By JOHN BULGER | Idaho Statesman
Pocatello physician Bill Woodhouse delivers a grim prognosis on the state of health care in America. “We’re dealing with a catastrophe of the first order,” Woodhouse said. Woodhouse is not alone in his opinion. A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine reported that a solid majority -- 59 percent -- of U.S. physicians support national health insurance.

April 04, 2008

Health care for all
Brattleboro Reformer | Editorial
Regarding health care, in a recent survey of 26,000 American workers conducted by the AFL-CIO, nearly three-quarters of the people interviewed said they feared losing their health insurance if they changed jobs. Ninety-five percent said they were unhappy with the cost of health care and 64 percent said they were unhappy with the quality of the care they received.

April 02, 2008

National health care? Even doctors want it
Editorial | Des Moines Register
Among the most powerful special interests on health care: insurance companies and physician groups. Both have opposed national health insurance that would provide coverage to all Americans similar to the way Medicare covers seniors. Well, the times they are a changin'.

Editorial: National health care? Even doctors want it
Editorial | Des Moines Register
Among the most powerful special interests on health care: insurance companies and physician groups. Both have opposed national health insurance that would provide coverage to all Americans similar to the way Medicare covers seniors. Well, the times they are a changin'.

Health care changes sought
By CATHLEEN F. CROWLEY | Albany Times Union
A majority of doctors now think the federal government should pay for health care, according to a study in Tuesday's Annals of Internal Medicine. Doctors and student doctors at Albany Medical College held a news conference on Tuesday to draw attention to the study and show support for a single-payer system.

April 01, 2008

Physician Opinion Tips in Favor of National Health Insurance
By Charles Bankhead | MedPage Today
A majority of U.S. physicians support national health insurance, according to findings from a nationwide survey.
Listen to Study Co-Author Dr. Aaron Carroll

Dr. Quentin Young, a Chicago legend, to retire
Phil Kadner | Southtown Star
Young, who is giving up his medical practice, will devote all of his energies to reforming health care. "I tell people that I will refuse to die until there is national health care," he laughed.

National health plan support up
By JULIE M. McKINNON | Toledo Blade
A 10 percent spike in the percentage of doctors supporting national insurance - to 59 percent last year from 49 percent five years earlier - shows more are ready for a system overhaul, said Toledo physician Dr. Johnathon Ross, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program. "What this means is the usual block of anti-reform is breaking up," he said. "These doctors are looking in the eyes of sick [uninsured] patients every day."

Doctor pulls for health-care cure
By TIM WILKIN | Albany Times Union
Dr. Richard Propp, formerly of Albany Medical College and active in Albany civic affairs, chairs the Capital District Alliance for Universal Health Care Inc. The group advocates on behalf of adopting a universal health care system in New York and a national single-payer system in the United States.

Health insurers are the issue
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle, MA
Is it time for your annual health insurance renewal? Have you noticed that your premium has gone up, while the coverage you receive is less than the coverage you had last year? Have you noticed that you are paying more, but getting less; that before you can even use your insurance, you have to pay a sizable deductible; and that if you visit your doctor or buy medication, your co-payment has increased?

Majority of U.S. Doctors Back National Insurance Plan
HealthDay News |
"Across the board, more physicians feel that our fragmented and for-profit insurance system is obstructing good patient care, and a majority now support national insurance as the remedy," Ackermann said in a prepared statement.

Most Docs Favor National Health Insurance
by Catherine Arnst | BusinessWeek | News Analysis
Most U.S. doctors now support the idea of national health insurance, a shift from a half-decade ago, when less than half favored a national system, a new survey has found. According to a study published in the Mar. 31 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, 59% of the nation's physicians support federal legislation to establish national health insurance, often referred to as a single-payer system. These plans usually involve a single, federally administered fund that guarantees health-care coverage for everyone, much like Medicare currently does for seniors, and eliminates or substantially lessens the role of private insurers. In a similar survey five years ago, only 49% favored it.

Doctors support universal health care: survey
More than half of U.S. doctors now favor switching to a national health care plan and fewer than a third oppose the idea, according to a survey published on Monday.

March 24, 2008

Universal Insurance Could Lift New Mexico
By Winthrop Quigley | Journal Staff Writer | Albuquerque Journal
Testifying before the Health Coverage for New Mexicans Committee, a team of consultants said a state-funded single-payer system would be the least expensive way to cover all of the state's 400,000 uninsured residents.

Why Not Health Care?
by Jeff Crosby | AFL-CIO Weblog
We fight and fight, but health care costs are killing us. And you can't bargain your way out of this mess. Understandably, getting the labor movement on the same page on a specific plan to fix health care is no easy task. I can't even get all the local unions in my labor council to support the same person for school committee!

March 19, 2008

Private health insurance and access to health care in the European Union
By Sarah Thomson and Elias Mossialos | Euro Observer
Private or voluntary health insurance (VHI) does not play a significant role in many health systems in the European Union (EU), either in terms of funding or as a means of gaining access to health care.

March 18, 2008

Universal health care or universal nightmare?
by Claudia Chaufan | IndyBay Media
When compared to health care systems of other wealthy economies, the American one comes out as the most expensive, the most unfair, and the worst in relevant health indices. While in other countries most health care costs are financed by individuals contributing to a system that guarantees everybody some amount of medical care, in the United States most individuals purchase a commodity in a market, a liability insurance policy (White 1995). This article explains key differences between the two systems, each based on two types of insurance, and the implications of choosing either type for achieving universal coverage.

Debate: Is Health Care a Right?
Justice Talking | National Public Radio
Host Margot Adler speaks with professors Russell Roberts and Dr. Quentin Young about whether or not Americans have a right to health care.

March 17, 2008

Doctor to prescribe cure for health care ills
By BENNETT HALL | Gazette-Times reporter
After more than 30 years of practicing medicine, Dr. Don McCanne has devoted himself to prescribing a cure for the nation’s ailing health care system: national health insurance.

March 14, 2008

Yes, We Can! Can We?
By VINCENT NAVARRO | Counterpunch
A major problem--if not the major problem--for many people living in the U.S. is the difficulty of accessing and paying for medical care when they are sick. For this reason, candidates in the presidential primaries of 2008--the Democrats more often than the Republicans--have been recounting stories about the health-related tragedies they have encountered in meetings with ordinary people around the country (an exercise conducted in the U.S. every four years, at presidential election time).

March 12, 2008

Some 241 thousand Dutch have no medical insurance
Mnistry of Health Welfare and Sport, The Netherlands
On 1 May 2006, some 241 thousand people in the Netherlands were not insured for the costs of medical care. This 1.5 percent of the Dutch population.

March 11, 2008

Single payer supporters advance their plan
By MARIA BRANDECKER | Legislative Gazette Staff Writer Citing the recent Democratic upset victory in a special Senate election and the theme of change that is central to the candidacies of the same party’s presidential primary candidates, at least one supporter of a single payer health care system sees now as an opportune time to advocate for health care reform in New York.

March 07, 2008

Opinions of New Hampshire Doctors Contrast with Presidential Candidate Plans for Healthcare Reform
The survey found that 81% of responding physicians agree healthcare should be “available to all citizens as part of the social contract, a right similar to basic education, police and fire protection”, with 94% of primary care doctors endorsing this view. Two thirds of New Hampshire doctors, including 81% of primary care clinicians, indicated they “would favor a simplified payor system in which public funds, collected through taxes, were used to pay directly for services to meet the basic healthcare needs of all citizens”. Only one third of physicians indicated support for an employer-based system or agreed that “the free market system is the best way to create a high quality, equitable, affordable and accessible healthcare system”.

February 28, 2008

"Why Not Single Payer?" Parts 1-4
Miles Mogulescu | The Huffington Post
Faster than you can say the word "Sicko" and turn around 3 times, the Democrats' promise of health care for all has gone from "Universal Medicare For All" to "Individual Insurance Mandate". In Monday's New York Times, Paul Krugman defends that reversal in an article entitled "Why Not Single Payer?"

What's wrong with individual health insurance mandates?
by Claudia Chaufan | San Francisco Bay Area Indymedia
Individual health insurance mandates have lately been hailed as the solution to the health care crisis in America. Mandates to purchase health insurance have been included in legislative proposals at the state level -- for instance, by Gov. Schwarzenegger and Speaker Nunez, in their "Health Care Security and Cost Reduction Act", or at the federal level, by Hillary Clinton in her "American Health Choice Plan". Can mandates achieve universal access to health care and control rising costs of medical care? This article explains why they can't.

'Socialized medicine' loses much of its stigma
By Susan Brink | Staff Writer | Los Angeles Times
The term "socialized medicine" may be losing its boogeyman status, according to a survey of voting-age adults. Long uttered in warnings against any sort of government involvement in healthcare, today the term has largely lost its scare power.

February 26, 2008

Bush's privatization agenda for Medicare
By LAURA S. BOYLAN | Sacramento Bee
The Bush administration is eating away at the heart of Medicare. The first assault was the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. And the second assault is the budget that President Bush just submitted to Congress.

Mythbusting Canadian Healthcare, Part II: Debunking the Free Marketeers
By Sara Robinson |
In the previous post, I looked at ten of the most common myths that get bandied about whenever Americans drag Canada into their ongoing discussions about healthcare. In this follow-up, I'd like to address a few of the larger assumptions that Americans make about health care that are contradicted by the Canadian example; and in the process offer some more general thinking (and perhaps talking) points that may be useful in the debates ahead.

February 20, 2008

Myths and Memes About Single-Payer Health Iinsurance in the United States: A Rebutal to Conservative Claims
By John P. Geyman | International Journal of Health Services
Recent years have seen the rapid growth of private think tanks within the neoconservative movement that conduct “policy research” biased to their own agenda. This article provides an evidence-based rebuttal to a 2002 report by one such think tank, the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), which was intended to discredit 20 alleged myths about single-payer national health insurance as a policy option for the United States.

A Single-Payer Health System
John Steen | The New York Times | Letter to the Editor
To be sustainable over the long term, a plan requires structural change in how health care is financed and delivered, and states simply don’t have the power to do this. Nothing less than a single-payer public system administered nationally will do so.

February 15, 2008

Asking about single-payer for Massachusetts
By Dr. Susanne King | Berkshire Eagle
I often talk with people about health care reform, advocating for single-payer health care as the only answer to problems that include 47 million uninsured people in the United States, and an even greater number of underinsured; the economic pressure on businesses; and the rising costs of health care for our country, states, towns and individuals. Here are the questions people most frequently ask.

State plan could work in Kansas
IRA STAMM | Letters to the Editor | The Capital-Journal (Kansas)
The plan is a single-payer plan and involves the state becoming the insurance company for all Kansans. It is a given that many Kansans, including myself, have reservations about turning something as important as health care over to the government. At the same time, government protects our citizens and fights our wars. It builds our highways and provides subsidies to farmers to ensure a steady supply of food. Why should health care be singled out as the one area where government shouldn't be a partner?

February 13, 2008

10 Myths About Canadian Health Care, Busted
By Sara Robinson |
2008 is shaping up to be the election year that we finally get to have the Great American Healthcare Debate again. Harry and Louise are back with a vengeance. Conservatives are rumbling around the talk show circuit bellowing about the socialist threat to the (literal) American body politic. And, as usual, Canada is once again getting dragged into the fracas, shoved around by both sides as either an exemplar or a warning -- and, along the way, getting coated with the obfuscating dust of so many willful misconceptions that the actual facts about How Canada Does It are completely lost in the melee.

February 12, 2008

Doctors balk at request for data
By Lisa Girion | Los Angeles Times
The state's largest for-profit health insurer is asking California physicians to look for conditions it can use to cancel their new patients' medical coverage. Blue Cross of California is sending physicians copies of health insurance applications filled out by new patients, along with a letter advising them that the company has a right to drop members who fail to disclose "material medical history," including "pre-existing pregnancies."

Wyden's "Healthy Americans Act" is Wrong Model for Health Reform
Personal communication, Dr. Walter Tsou
The bipartisan authors of the Healthy Americans Act, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bob Bennett (R-UT) were in Philadelphia today for a two hour session to explain their bill. Their purpose was to build public support for their bill with the goal of having most of the disagreements worked out by the time a new president takes office in January 2009. The bill depends on the "mandate" model of private insurance. The potential problems with this approach have been extensively written about by PNHP.

February 11, 2008

Medical industry plans to rate payment history
By Jason Roberson | The Dallas Morning News
Mortgage lenders aren't the only ones showing more interest in your credit score these days -- the health industry is creating its own score to judge your ability to pay.

Universal health care: Advocate discusses Pennsylvania single-payer plan
By CHRIS KELLY | The Evening Sun
Imagine a world without worrying if a doctor could see you - or if you could pay the bill. A world where all Pennsylvanians can afford health care. That's the world discussed Wednesday night by Chuck Pennachio at Gettysburg Area Democracy for America's meeting.

Universal health care: U.S. could outdo Canadians
By Elizabeth Kurczynski and Allen Chauvenet | West Virginia Gazette
As physicians who treat children with blood diseases and cancer at Women and Children's Hospital, we frequently see families with either inadequate insurance coverage or no coverage at all. These are almost always working families with one or both parents who have a steady job. These families are part of the 47 million Americans and the 322,000 in West Virginia with no health insurance coverage. Even families with "good" coverage are paying more per year with much higher co-payments and deductibles, since the cost of health insurance for a family is now over $12,000 per year.

AMA's Conflicted President
By Adam Doster | In These Times
"At best … the AMA is advocating a completely unproven method of achieving their ends and ignoring things that we know will work," says Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.

Hey, candidates: selling insurance no health plan
By Rose DeMoro | Guest Column | Waco Tribune
With the presidential contest closing in on Texas, voters may well wonder how to distinguish among the various candidates on health care, which -- at least on the Democratic side -- has been one of the hottest issues of debate.

Veterans are growing segment of the uninsured in America
By Dr. Rob Stone | Bloomington Herald Times
A newly published study from Harvard in the American Journal of Public Health (Himmelstein, Woolhandler, et al, December issue) adds a new sad story to the picture -- another bunch of losers -- American veterans. Almost 2 million of the uninsured are veterans, along with almost 4 million of their family members, so that one in every eight uninsured is a veteran or member of a veteran's household.

Prescription for change
By Daniel Lee | The Indianapolis Star
Dr. Rob Stone, an emergency room physician at Bloomington Hospital, has emerged as one of Indiana's most outspoken advocates for making insurance accessible to all. He is co-founder and director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, which contends that the current system is too profit-driven, too inefficient, and leaves too many people without affordable access to health care.

Estimated cost of state's health plan raises alarm
LEONARD RODBERG | Letters to the Editor | Boston Globe
At least 18 studies conducted since 1991, including two that examined single-payer plans for Massachusetts in 1998, have found that a single-payer plan could provide comprehensive coverage for everyone while costing less than is now being spent. Savings in insurance overhead and hospital and physician office billing costs would more than offset the cost of providing access to care for those who now don't have it.

February 08, 2008

Thankfully, there's an alternative to the AMA
By John Warner | Op-Ed | West Virginia Gazette
I HAVE written very critically of the American Medical Association, nor am I finished with my criticism. But I will report to you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Not all physicians are enamored with the senior medical association. Today there is a younger organization, the Physicians for a National Health Program, comprising 14,000 physicians who support a plan for universal health care in America. It's about time.

February 07, 2008

Market-Based Failure -- A Second Opinion on U.S. Health Care Costs
By Robert Kuttner | The New England Journal of Medicine
Changing demographics and medical technology pose a cost challenge for every nation's system, but ours is the outlier. The extreme failure of the United States to contain medical costs results primarily from our unique, pervasive commercialization. The dominance of for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies, a new wave of investor-owned specialty hospitals, and profit-maximizing behavior even by nonprofit players raise costs and distort resource allocation.

Would Clinton sign a single-payer bill?
Posted by Marcella Bombardieri | Political Reporter | Boston
In New Haven on Monday, a fourth-year Yale medical student named Liza Goldman approached us excitedly to report on a conversation she had with the New York Senator on the rope line. According to Goldman, she told Clinton, “I’m sure you know that single-payer would save billions of dollars and thousands of lives.” Clinton, Goldman says, responded in agreement but said, “It’s not politically feasible.” So Goldman offered her a hypothetical: “Would you sign it if it came across your desk?” “She said yes, and shook my hand,” Goldman said.

What Government Does Better: Health Care
Howard A. Green, MD, FACP, FAAD, FACMS | Palm Beach County Medical Society
Medicare, the government health insurance for the elderly uses only 1-2% of your dollar to achieve rates of morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death) among their patients which are identical to those of the private health insurance corporations. However, private insurance corporate bureaucracies inefficiently siphon $350 billion per year, or 20-25% of your hard earned dollars away from doctors, hospitals and patient care into the pockets of their executives, administrative employees, shareholders and politicians. The recent stock option fraud perpetrated by the CEO of United Health Care demonstrates the negligent disdain the private insurance corporations have for physicians, hospitals, health care workers and patients.

February 05, 2008

ABX1 1 favored insurers over health for all Californians
Leland Y. Yee | San Francisco Chronicle
I joined California nurses, school employees, senior groups and a number of labor unions last week in opposing the governor's flawed health-care bill, Assembly Bill X1 1. While the bill was touted as a fix to our broken health-care system, after extensive study by the Senate Health Committee and the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, it is now clear that this proposal was bad for consumers and unfairly favored insurance companies.

GHI/HIP change could hurt health care
By RICHARD PROPP | Albany Times Union
When a health insurance company seeks for-profit status, it appears it has made a decision to fundamentally change how it operates to acquire a large infusion of cash. This fundamental change will logically result in a shift from a consumer-satisfaction priority to a shareholder-satisfaction focus.

January 30, 2008

Health Care In South Africa: Medical Error
by David Adler | The New Republic
Conservative lawmakers and many business leaders are touting health savings accounts as the silver bullet to fix America's dysfunctional health care system. But, while widespread use of health savings accounts is untested here, there is a country with a decade's worth of experience with similar consumer-driven health plans: South Africa.

January 29, 2008

Ten Lessons for the Candidates from the California Healthcare Fiasco
Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
Before the leading Democratic candidates come to California for the upcoming super Tuesday primary February 5 and spend a lot of time talking about their health plans, they might want to cast a look at the demise of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's much ballyhooed healthcare bill.

RNs Praise Courageous Vote by Senate Committee On Badly Flawed Healthcare Bill
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today offered praise to the Senate Health Committee for resisting enormous pressure to pass a badly flawed healthcare bill and pledged to work with legislators, community groups, and labor for genuine healthcare reform that avoids the serious shortcomings of AB x 1.

January 28, 2008

U.S. should have Medicare for all ages
By Robert Gumbiner | Press-Telegram
There is a somewhat illogical argument being made against expanding Medicare to include all citizens and taxpayers in the U.S., which is that Social Security and Medicare are going to go broke. This argument makes no sense. For one thing, if this were true, how could the federal government keep borrowing from Social Security and Medicare? The fact is, Medicare has the money and the federal government doesn't.

Opinions of New Hampshire Physicians Contrast with Presidential Candidate Plans for Healthcare Reform
New Hampshire Medical Society
The survey found that 81% of responding physicians agree healthcare should be "available to all citizens as part of the social contract, a right similar to basic education, police and fire protection," with 94% of primary care physicians endorsing this view. Two thirds of New Hampshire physicians, including 81% of primary care clinicians, indicated they "would favor a simplified payor system in which public funds, collected through taxes, were used to pay directly for services to meet the basic healthcare needs of all citizens."

January 25, 2008

Report cards won't improve health care
By KIP SULLlIVAN | Minneapolis StarTribune
If you liked the school report cards required by President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, you're just going to love the doctor and hospital report cards that will almost certainly be recommended by the two state health care commissions -- the Health Care Access Commission and the grandly named Minnesota Health Care Transformation Task Force -- due to report in the next few weeks.

January 24, 2008

Cost of health initiative up $400m
By Alice Dembner | The Boston Globe
Spending on the [Massachusetts'] landmark health insurance initiative would rise by more than $400 million next year, representing one of the largest increases in the $28.2 billion state budget the governor proposed yesterday.

Medical Research Increased Throughout Decade of PharmaCare Reference Pricing
Media Release | The University of British Columbia
Ten years after BC PharmaCare implemented spending limits for equivalent prescription drugs -- a policy known as reference pricing -- investments in British Columbia medical research are as strong as ever and continue to increase, according to a UBC study.

Miracle Worker?
By Peter Freyne | 7 Days - Vermont's Independent Voice | Inside Track
Surprise, surprise! Rep. Topper McFaun's health-care-reform bill -- the one the powers-that-be said was absolutely, positively not coming off the committee-room wall -- is going to get two days in the spotlight next week, after all! H.304, the Vermont Hospital Security Plan, would guarantee hospital coverage for all Vermonters while cutting $60 million in annual spending. Pretty radical stuff, eh?

January 23, 2008

National Medicare is the answer, not the bogeyman
H. DAVID PRENSKY | Letter to the Editor | Palm Beach Post
The U.S. National Health Insurance Act, if enacted, would eliminate the excessive drainage of money that has nothing to do with providing care. The huge sums now going to the sales forces, advertising budgets, lobbying campaigns, shareholder dividends, and huge executive salaries and bonuses would be saved. These expenditures are the root cause of the present attempt to reduce the fees Medicare pays doctors.

Emergency Room Delays
Editorial | New York Times
The nation’s failure to provide health insurance for all Americans seems to be harming even many of those who do have good health coverage. That is one very plausible interpretation of a disturbing increase in waiting times at emergency rooms that are often clogged with uninsured patients seeking routine charity care.

January 22, 2008

Don't believe claims of America's health-care superiority
By Craig Axford | The Salt Lake Tribune
America will never solve its health-care problem so long as we insist on arguing our crisis is inferior to the crisis everywhere else and therefore our system is superior to everyone else's. One is not being unpatriotic when pointing out other nations have managed to do some things better.

January 15, 2008

Schwarzenegger-Nunez Health Proposal for California Flawed
ABX1 1 contains an individual mandate with subsidies available to a very limited group of individuals. Employees who are offered health care, no matter how minimal or unaffordable, are denied all subsidies and access to the pool.

January 14, 2008

ABX1 1: Universal health insurance without health care
by Claudia Chaufan |
The "Health Care Security and Cost Reduction Act", also known as ABX1 1, and described by New York Times reporter Kevin Sack as a "bipartisan blueprint" conceived by Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Assembly speaker Fabian Nunez to bring "near-universal coverage to the country's most populous state", will neither provide health care security nor reduce costs of medical care. This article explains why.

Countering arguments by pharmaceutical industry
JOEL A. HARRISON | San Diego Union-Tribune | Letters to the editor
As the old saying goes, a lie told often enough becomes the truth. In this case, that it cost $1 billion to develop new drugs. Over the past 20 to 30 years, the pharmaceutical industry has averaged net profits three times that of other Fortune 500 companies. It spends more on marketing and lobbying than on research, often including marketing research in its calculations.

A health care system for all, that works for all
Thomas Clairmont, M.D. & Pamela Clairmont, R.N. | Portsmouth Herald
No one likes the current system with 47 million uninsured, an equal number under-insured, 50 percent of bankruptcies related to medical debt and heartbreaking story after story in the newspapers about local citizen's problems with the health care system. So how about evidence-based governance? All you have to do is look at the systems in Canada, Britain, France and other nations to see that it is possible to devise a health care program that covers everyone the same way, without any middlemen, and where there is never any worry about being able to afford a doctor's visit or an operation.

January 10, 2008

150 rally for health care bill
By Daniel Barlow | The Barre Montpelier Times Argus
Doctors, nurses and other health professionals led a rally of more than 150 people at the Statehouse on Wednesday in support of a once under-the-radar bill that would create a "single-payer" system for covering hospital care in Vermont.

January 09, 2008

Canadian health care better and cheaper than U.S., says research
Joanne Laucius | CanWest News Service | Ottawa Citizen
Canada's health care system offers "excellent value for the money" says a British researcher who has studied preventable deaths in 19 industrialized nations.

Financial Burden of Health Care, 2001-2004
Jessica S. Banthin, Ph.D., Peter Cunningham, Ph.D., Didem M. Bernard, Ph.D. | Health Affairs
Rising health care costs, combined with slowed economic growth, have created greater financial burdens for U.S. families in recent years--and raised the likelihood that they will face problems paying bills, accumulate medical debt, and even forgo needed medical care.

Single-payer system is best option
By Tom Linnell, EdD | The Coloradoan
I am starting to see why all of us - liberals, conservatives and independents - might really like single-payer health insurance.

January 08, 2008

US has worst record of death from treatable disease
By Nicholas Timmins | Financial Times
More US patients die from diseases that could be treated by timely intervention than in any other leading industrialised country, a study by top health academics showed yesterday.

U.S. Has Most Preventable Deaths Among 19 Nations
Ellen Nolte, Ph.D., and C. Martin McKee, M.D., D.Sc. | Health Affairs
In a Commonwealth Fund-supported study comparing preventable deaths in 19 industrialized countries, researchers found that the United States placed last. While the other nations improved dramatically between the two study periods--1997–98 and 2002–03--the U.S. improved only slightly on the measure.

Add Insurance Industry to the Iowa Loss Column
Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
As the scorecard in Iowa is tallied, add insurance companies to the loser camp along with the disgraceful, rhetorical sham that forcing individuals to buy insurance is universal healthcare.

January 07, 2008

To Our Health, in the New Year
J. Wesley Boyd | New York Times | LETTERS
Why can't the leading Democratic candidates muster the courage to propose real health reform that will save lives, time and money -- and in addition that would be the most equitable of all options -- instead of rehashing proposals that have never resulted in universal coverage and haven't done anything to rein in the costs of health care? We have single-payer armed services, fire prevention and road maintenance. Aren't we long overdue for single-payer universal health care?

Missing the Boat on Health Care?
John P. Geyman, MD | Tikkun
As we face the 2008 presidential campaigns, the stakes have never been higher for health care reform. Health care is pricing itself beyond the reach of lower-income and middle-class Americans with no cost containment yet on the horizon. Seniors with Medicare are paying much more out-of-pocket for their medical care now than when Medicare was enacted in 1965.

Advocates push new hospital care funding
By DANIEL BARLOW | Vermont Press Bureau
While legislative leaders talk about a slow expansion of Catamount Health and Gov. James Douglas eyes reforms to stem jumps in insurance premiums, a wide-reaching proposal for the health care crisis is gaining steam among advocates.

January 03, 2008

Free drug samples go to wealthy, insured
By Kim Dixon | Reuters
Insured and wealthy Americans were more likely than the poor to get billions of dollars in free drug samples distributed by pharmaceutical companies to win patient and doctor loyalty, a study released on Wednesday showed.

Evaluation of Colorado Blue Ribbon Commission for Health Care Reform Final Recommendations
by Michele Swenson | Board Member, Health Care for All Colorado
Five proposals were selected to be evaluated by the Lewin Group, including an additional proposal written by a subcommittee of the Commission. The Colorado Health Services Single Payer Proposal is the only reform proposal that demonstrated any savings for the state -- $1.4 billion -- and also the only one capable of providing comprehensive health care for all. The Colorado Commission chose to base most of its recommendations on its own (5th) Proposal.

CIGNA Capitulates to Patient Revolt
In a stunning turn around, insurance giant CIGNA has capitulated to community demands, and protests that the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee helped to generate, and agreed to a critically needed liver transplant for Nataline Sarkisyan, a 17-year-old girl in the intensive care unit at UCLA Medical Center.

Medicare For All via H.R. 676
Stephen Crockett
It is obvious that none of the major Presidential candidates of either the Democratic or Republican Parties are supporting the right approach to providing universal healthcare. Frankly, all the Republican candidates are going to be major obstacles to achieving this national goal. While the top Democratic candidates (Clinton, Edwards and Obama) do support the concept, they are all offering Band-Aid approaches for a life-threatening economic and health crisis in America.

Cancer is hitting uninsured harder
Associated Press | The Boston Globe
Uninsured cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die within five years as those with private coverage, according to the first national study of its kind and one that sheds light on troubling healthcare obstacles.

Editorial: Honesty in health care
By Bangor Daily News Staff
Polls show that health care is a major issue -- rivaled only by the Iraq war -- in the current presidential campaign. Complaints about the present system include the mounting cost, the many left out, poor service and too much paperwork. Yet all the major candidates of both parties advocate only makeshift modifications of a system widely viewed as broken.

January 02, 2008

New Hampshire Presidential Primary Televised Health Care Forum
The NH Medical Society announces, along with other NH civic organizations, a televised Forum on the timely topic of where the Presidential Candidates stand on changing US health care, on Thursday, January 3, 2008 at the MCAM Studio from 3:30-5:30 PM at 540 N. Commercial Street, Manchester New Hampshire.

December 24, 2007

A Christmas wish: Health care for all
By Bob Williams | The Record Searchlight
For too many Americans, loss of a job means loss of health care coverage. This has come home today among laid-off workers in the building trades as housing construction tanks. Too many Americans have no health care coverage even though they have a job. Other Americans, with health coverage, find themselves directed to emergency room care when their attack of chest pain occurs on the weekend.

December 21, 2007

Private health insurance offers us sickly benefits
By JIM McMEANS | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Op-Ed
More than any other factor, private health insurance coverage is the reason why the United States has a dysfunctional health care system in which over 45 million Americans lack coverage and approximately another 40 million have unreliable coverage. Americans who have unreliable coverage are sometimes called the underinsured. A better description is Americans who have private health insurance.

December 20, 2007

California's Christmas Gift to the Big Insurers
By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
In a present gift wrapped by the California Assembly with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Santa, Assembly members passed a bill mislabeled as healthcare reform that will guarantee not health care but millions of new customers for the insurance industry, with California taxpayers paying the bill.

December 17, 2007

Internist society sees single-payer as option
By Doug Trapp | American Medical News
The American College of Physicians has endorsed the concept of a single-payer health care system for the first time.

A public health system defeated at the hands of ideology
By Susan F. Wood | The Boston Globe
To ensure the health of our families we need strong, consistent leaders who value the integrity of science, make decisions on the best available information, and support prevention. Without that leadership, we will not succeed in promoting the health of all Americans. We shouldn't have to wait for a change in presidential leadership.

Giving Back
By Nelson Bradshaw | Catskill Mountain Foundation
The Oneonta Free Clinic will make a valiant effort meet the medical needs of these people. But small, private clinics are not the real answer to the nation's mounting health care crisis, according to Doctor Friedell. "A free clinic is just a band-aid," says the physician. "It's a way of getting care to people in a hurry. My personal belief is that we need a single-payer health insurance system in this country. A simple name for the program might be Medicare for Everybody.

December 15, 2007

I Am Not a Health Reform
IN 1971, President Nixon sought to forestall single-payer national health insurance by proposing an alternative. He wanted to combine a mandate, which would require that employers cover their workers, with a Medicaid-like program for poor families, which all Americans would be able to join by paying sliding-scale premiums based on their income. Nixon's plan, though never passed, refuses to stay dead. Now Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all propose Nixon-like reforms. Their plans resemble measures that were passed and then failed in several states over the past two decades.

December 13, 2007

ERs in crisis, but writer knows well of solution
ROBERT P. STEVENS | Palm Beach Post | Letters
A single-payer system would provide the opportunity of a "medical home" (Health Affairs/Commonwealth Fund 2007) for everyone, thus reducing non-emergency traffic in ERs. It also would, and equally important, pay every doctor promptly for services rendered. These two solutions, and many others, have persuaded the American College of Physicians (124,000 physicians) to endorse single-payer along with 86 members of Congress (HR 676).

Single-payer plan helps all
Richard Iammarino, M.D. | The Charleston Gazette
In medical care, most charges are not related to cost. This is an important point. There have been many attempts to tie charges to cost. As health-care bills go up, it is clear that these are not working. It is in this area that a single-payer plan makes sense and will save money. A single-payer plan is the most effective way to help charges relate rationally to cost. The reason is the ability to be effective in negotiations.

December 12, 2007

Health Care Reform
Jeremiah Schuur | The New York Times | Letter
Mr. Krugman has devoted many columns to extolling the benefits of a single-payer system, so I am not sure why he is repeating politicians’ talking points about minor differences rather than asking why the three leading Democrats aren’t supporting the best reform policy.

Obama's views on single payer national health insurance
(excerpted from USA Today, Dec. 11, 2007)
(In 1996) Obama said he would support a single-payer health plan for Illinois "in principal" [sic], "although such a program will probably have to be instituted at a federal level; the long-term objective would be a universal care system that does not differentiate between the unemployed, the disabled, and so on." The campaign says Obama has consistently supported single payer health care in principle.

December 11, 2007

Health Care System's Future Splits Views in U.S.
Angus Reid Global Monitor | Polls & Research
42 per cent of respondents would prefer a plan that replaces the current health care system with a "single-payer" program where all health care costs are paid by the government, while 41 per cent would choose a plan that maintains the current system where most health care costs are paid by individuals or employers.

Experts pick apart Bill Clinton's medical bankruptcy comment
Jennifer Jacobs | Des Moines Register Staff Writer
Himmelstein, reached by phone Monday at Harvard, said the study is accurate. The Northwestern academics misrepresented and manipulated the data, he said. “President Clinton is correct,” Himmelstein said. “But he’s wrong in saying his wife’s plan would do something about it.”

December 10, 2007

Two Independent Studies Arrive at Same Conclusion: Illegal Immigrants are Wrongly Accused of Taxing U.S. Healthcare System
Posted by Marisa Treviño
As the presidential debate deepens, or gets more desperate, it won't be surprising to hear more and more candidates who are scared of the immigration issue spouting off just plain WRONG information.

Can anyone (any viable candidate, that is) say 'single-payer?'
By BRAD WARTHEN | Editorial Page Editor | The State
Last week, I got a press release from a labor union that complained "that no Republican candidate has a plan to ensure all Americans have access to health care." That's true. But the union, which represents blue- and pink-collar workers in health care, was missing the fact that the leading Democrats are little better.

Already sold out
By Daniel Gallington | The Washington Times
So far, almost all the Republicans have been able to say is that the Democrats propose faceless socialized medicine, a la Canada, the Britain and Europe -- and that it's way too expensive and will require massive tax increases. However, the Democrats aren't proposing that -- they are proposing almost everyone be required to buy private health insurance (Hillary Clinton) and/or that people who can't afford it, especially children, would get private health insurance free or at low cost (Barack Obama).

Professionals call for Medicare-style health plan
By Russ Britt | MarketWatch
While health-care reform may play second fiddle to the war in Iraq among voters this election season, it appears that the domestic issue is taking on new life thanks to medical-industry professionals.

December 07, 2007

New CDC Report: The Nail in the Coffin for Health Care Myths
Niko Karvounis | Health Beat Blog
On Monday the CDC released a landmark, and in many ways devastating, report on health care in the U.S. The report contains a wealth of data that, while not surprising to some, should help silence the dwindling few who insist that America's health care system is doing just fine. As a public service, I thought it'd be helpful to list some of the myths that the report demolishes (with some help from other sources as needed).

December 06, 2007

Curbing Medicare Advantage Overpayments Would Strengthen Medicare
Center on Budget and Public Policies
The government pays Medicare Advantage plans roughly $1,000 more per beneficiary per year than it would cost to cover the same person through traditional Medicare. Even though private plans were brought into Medicare to lower costs, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Congressional Budget Office have found that they are paid 12 percent more, on average, than it would cost traditional Medicare to cover the same beneficiaries.

Socialized Medicine Belittled on Campaign Trail
by Julie Rovner | NPR Morning Edition
"The term socialized medicine, technically, to most health policy analysts, actually doesn't mean anything at all," says Jonathan Oberlander, a professor of health policy at the University of North Carolina. Oberlander says the phrase actually dates back to the American Medical Association's fights against national health insurance in the early decades of the 1900s.

Insurance access must improve
By Mary Ann Garnar | OP-ED | Special to The Courier-Journal
A realistic and honest assessment of the proposals leads to the inevitable conclusion that the best solution for the greatest number is what is called universal, single-payer health insurance. That is, health insurance for all residents of the United States, largely funded with a tax based on income, and benefits paid out by the federal government. (A bill now in Congress, HR 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act, if passed, would establish just such a plan.)

Silencing nurses endangers patients' care
KAY TILLOW | Louisville Courier-Journal | Readers' forum
We cannot solve the nursing "shortage" in Louisville without solving the conditions that force good nurses from the bedside and from their chosen profession. Many can't sleep after their 12-hour shifts for thinking about what almost happened and what could happen. The lack of organized nurse power to change these conditions and win truly professional standards of care and benefits has stifled health care progress in Louisville.

December 05, 2007

Insurers doom reform effort
RICHARD M. BERLIN, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle | Letters
As long as we have a system that includes insurance companies, money will continued to be channeled into executive salaries and other administrative expenses that do nothing to improve anyone's health.

The Presidential Candidates on Health Care
Farhana Hossain | The New York Times
The leading Democrats are competing among themselves over who has the better plan to control costs and approach universal coverage. The Republicans, for the most part, are promising to expand coverage without increasing the role of the federal government, and reduce cost through tax incentives. Most of the candidates have not presented a detailed outline of their health care plans, but here is what they have said so far.

Democrats get infusion of campaign money from health care
By JASON ROBERSON | The Dallas Morning News
Sheila Krumholz, executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics, says the Democratic surge shouldn't come as a surprise -- a similar donation migration (in reverse) was seen in many industries from 1994 through 1996, when the Republicans took control of Congress. "When power changes hands in Congress, the money follows the power."

December 04, 2007

Health care: Make it affordable, available to all
The Des Moines Register's Editorial
Having taxpayers help pay your health-insurance bills is a great deal if you can get it. Those vying to lead the country have gotten it. But some of them don't think all Americans should have it. Republicans in particular denounce "government-run" health care while offering ideas of questionable value, such as medical-malpractice reform. A 2004 report by the Congressional Budget Office found that malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of health-care spending.

Single-payer healthcare is the one way
By Michael Kaplan | Boston Globe
Piece-meal reform such as the new law will not work. Both employers and the public support the concept of single-payer healthcare. Big business is starting to realize that a single payer system will be the only affordable way to cover everyone. When will our politicians understand that their political futures will depend on supporting this kind of comprehensive reform?

Doctors endorse single-payer
By Stacey Burling | Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia-based American College of Physicians - the nation's second-largest physician group - endorsed a single-payer health-care system yesterday.

December 03, 2007

A Grateful Patient Reports: PNHP doctors on the health reform front
By Donna Smith | American SiCKO and HealthCare-Now Road Show team
It hasn't been an easy year. But as 2007 draws to a close, I can count among my political allies and new friends some of folks I would never have guessed would have given me the time of day outside of an exam or procedure room. We truly are blessed in this nation to have thousands of doctors who care enough about the practice of medicine and the delivery of health care to support real reform and to do so publicly.

November 30, 2007

'Sicko' viewers
By Bonnie Washuk | Lewiston Sun Journal
With insurance companies, hospitals, doctors and drug makers focused on profits instead of patients, health care has become unaffordable, not just to those without insurance but to those with it, said people who crowded into a labor union hall Tuesday night.

Fact Check: Democrats and Insurance
By BETH FOUHY | Associated Press
Health policy experts generally agree that the only way to achieve truly universal coverage is to enact a "single payer" health care system that is run by the government.

November 28, 2007

Just Off Insular Senate Floor, Life of the Uninsured Intrudes
By ROBERT PEAR | The New York Times
When senators debate health care, they usually speak in abstract terms about soaring health costs and the plight of the uninsured. But just 20 feet from the Senate chamber is a young man who knows those problems all too well from personal experience. The man, Sergio A. Olaya, runs the Capitol elevators on which the senators ride. Whenever the Senate is in session, he is on duty. Mr. Olaya, 21, is struggling with $255,000 of medical bills incurred by his mother before she died in April from an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Study finds immigrants' use of healthcare system lower than expected
By Mary Engel | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Illegal immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are 50% less likely than U.S.-born Latinos to use hospital emergency rooms in California, according to a study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

SiCKO Cure Road Show Rolls into New Orleans, Joins Voices Calling for Charity Hospital Reopening
By Donna Smith | Progressive Democrats of America, Colorado member
The road show has the mission of bringing the message of HR676, single-payer universal health care (The National Health Insurance Act), to the people of the area, and the issues of homelessness and lack of public facilities serving the poor and uninsured often go hand-in-hand with a lack of access to health care and other issues surrounding poverty.

Dr. Bret McFarlin to Question Candidates During Heartland Presidential Forum in Des Moines Iowa on Saturday, December 1, 2007
Dr. McFarlin is Director of Internal Medicine at Broadlawns Medical Center, Polk County’s safety net hospital, a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, and an advocate for universal healthcare reform.

Our health care dollars at work
By Susanne L. King | Berkshire Eagle
For all you boomers who are looking retirement in the eye, cast your gaze on a recent Boston Globe article entitled "Blue Cross gave chairman $16.4 million in retirement pay." William C. Van Faasen, 58, collected those benefits in 2006, even though he didn't leave the company. He merely stepped down as chief executive of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, but retained his position as chairman, receiving nearly $3 million in salary and bonuses the same year he collected retirement benefits. This astonishing gift went to the chairman of a non-profit organization that does not pay income taxes to a state that is trying to provide universal health insurance to its citizens.

November 26, 2007

A Word about SCHIP
by Andrew D. Coates | Monthly Review
Thus, this SCHIP expansion, even if enacted, would still fall short of meeting all the unmet needs as private health insurance fails ever more children than before. So one step forward, one step back.

Promote Universal Single-Payer Health Care
The California Democratic Party | Resolution Number ANA07.15
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the CDP strongly supports the drafting and passage of legislation that creates and enacts a single-payer health care program which provides comprehensive, secure, high quality, efficient and sustainable access to health care for all Californians.

Giuliani and Health Care
Uwe E. Reinhardt | The New York Times | Letter to the Editor
If Mr. Giuliani despises socialized medicine, as he now contends, perhaps he would abolish the V.A. health system if he were elected president. American veterans should challenge him to come clean on the issue.

Former Brooklin, Maine Couple Applaud Canadian System
by Tom Walsh | The Ellsworth American
Now living near Digby, Paul and Gretchen Volenik are enjoying all that rural Nova Scotia has to offer, including tax-funded medical care.

Advocacy Group for Single-Payer
Mark Gruenberg, Editor | Press Associates
As the debate over the future of national health care heats up--at least among the Democratic presidential hopefuls--an advocacy group for single-payer government-run health care has published a leading medical scholar's point-by-point criticism of the health care plans offered by the top three Democrats.

Looking for a Bright Side
By Peter Freyne | Seven Days: Vermont's Independent Voice
Richter doesn't mince words. And she's part of a growing body of medical doctors across the country who also want America to join the rest of the civilized world with regard to health care. They have an increasingly active national organization called Physicians for a National Health Program ( These docs share the "radical" notion with docs in France, Britain, Spain and Canada that "health care is a human right."

November 20, 2007

Health care north of the border
By Marshall Helmberger and Tom Klein
The merits of the Canadian style of health care have been the subject of intense debate in the U.S. for months, sparked in part by Michael Moore’s recent documentary film, “Sicko”, which highlighted Canada’s system among others. Free market advocates have shot back, pointing to studies that show growing dissatisfaction among Canadians over long wait times for some types of medical care.

November 15, 2007

Best health coverage is single-payer
BY ERIC COOK | Kalamazoo Gazette
Dr. James C. Mitchiner said single-payer health insurance can greatly reduce health care costs by removing the profits and broadening the risk pool. Mitchiner is an emergency-room physician at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and president-elect of the Washtenaw County Medical Society.

November 14, 2007

Myth buster
Indira Dammu | Indiana Daily Student
Contrary to Republican claims, however, no Democratic presidential candidate has advocated a "free" universal health care system. Sen. John Edward’s health care plan, the most promising within the field, calls for a small tax increase and repeal of Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy. Sixty percent of Americans support such a tax increase if it means universal access to health care.

November 13, 2007

Universal health care would be a boon to the free market
Robyn Blumner | Salt Lake Tribune
Americans were taken in by health insurance industry foils Harry and Louise the first time Clinton offered this country decent health care reform, but they won't be fooled again. If Giuliani wants to make this election a referendum on America's health care system, he's going to flame out faster than a hospital can dump an uninsured patient.

Other countries do it; so can we
Harriette Seiler | Modern Healthcare
Despite having good doctors and good hospitals, U.S. healthcare outcomes do not compare very favorably with those of other industrialized nations.

November 12, 2007

Health Care Special Issue: Creative Destruction
Jonathan Cohn | The New Republic
If you've listened to Rudy Giuliani or any of the other Republican presidential candidates lately, then you've probably heard them claim that creating universal health care would necessarily lead to inferior treatments, particularly for deadly diseases like cancer. But that just isn't so. While the United States is a world leader in cancer care, other countries, such as France, Sweden, and Switzerland, boast overall survival rates that are nearly comparable. For some variants--such as cervical cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and two common forms of leukemia--the U.S. survival rate, although good, lags behind at least some other countries.

Health Care Excuses
By PAUL KRUGMAN | The New York Times | Op-Ed Columnist
You might think that these facts would make the case for major reform of America's health care system -- reform that would involve, among other things, learning from other countries' experience -- irrefutable. Instead, however, apologists for the status quo offer a barrage of excuses for our system's miserable performance. So I thought it would be useful to offer a catalog of the most commonly heard apologies for American health care, and the reasons they won't wash.

Healthcare for vets - and all others
Rachel Nardin | The Boston Globe
The VA is a rare success story in our healthcare system. The system offers more equitable and higher quality care than the average care in the private sector, and has become a medical leader in research, primary care, and computerization. Studies in the Annals of Internal Medicine and elsewhere have shown that compared with patients in HMOs, a higher percentage of patients at VA facilities have adequate control of high blood pressure and diabetes, and receive appropriate medications after a heart attack. So it's not the quality of care that veterans receive that's the problem; rather, it's their restricted access to care.

Getting the Facts Right: Why Hillarycare Failed
By Vicente Navarro | Professor of Health and Public Policy | The Johns Hopkins University
In his article "The Hillarycare Mythology" (The American Prospect, October 2007, pp. 12-18), Paul Starr, a senior health policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and a leading figure in Hillary Rodham Clinton's White House task force on health care reform, analyzes the origins, development, and final outcome of the Clinton administration's health care reform -- referred to by Republicans as "Hillarycare."

November 08, 2007

Access to health care a question of justice
Jay Bhatt | Letters to the Editor | The Baltimore Sun
As a medical student, I see the impact our broken health care system has on individuals and communities every day. Figures from the Institute of Medicine show that the lack of health insurance causes about 18,000 unnecessary deaths every year in this country.

Is covering the state's uninsured worth $1.1 billion?
Steve Pomerance | The Daily Camera
The single-payer approach provides savings from eliminating unnecessary costs that will help to cover the increased level of basic care that currently is simply not provided, so the final societal bill may not increase dramatically, and may even be reduced.

November 07, 2007

Why Not Single Payer? Part 2. What's Wrong With The Clinton / Obama / Edwards Health Care Plans
Miles Mogulescu | The Huffington Post
In Part 1 of this multi-part Huffpost series on the health care debate, I criticized the leading Democratic candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards -- for surrendering, without firing a shot, to the insurance and drug companies by opposing universal single payer health care. In this second installment, I elaborate on the difference between universal single payer health care and the Clinton/Obama/Edwards universal insurance mandate plans and argue that universal mandates are bad social policy.

Worsening the Odds
Bob Herbert | New York Times
It would be great if there were something unusual about this story: A person without health insurance gets sick. The person holds off on going to the doctor because there's no way to pay the bill. The person is denied the full range of treatment because of the absence of insurance. The person dies.

Nurses Across Nation Host SiCKO House Parties to Urge Guaranteed Healthcare as DVD Released
Registered Nurse Response Network | Press Release
Michael Moore's healthcare "horror" film SiCKO will continue its unique impact on American society and politics with its Nov. 6 DVD release, which will be commemorated with more than 125 nurse-led house parties around the nation, the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN) reports today.

The United States needs a 'single-payer health care system
James Clancy addresses Physicians for a National Health Program in Washington
Speaking to an American group called Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), Clancy said only a small minority of people in Canada favour private health care solutions such as private insurance, user fees, medical savings accounts and parallel for-profit care. "The vast majority of Canadians have repeatedly said No to these proposals, because the principles on which these proposals rest cannot be reconciled with the values at the heart of our medicare," Clancy said.

November 06, 2007

Why a Single-payer Health Care System Would Be Good for Counties
by Paul Clay Sorum, MD; Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Albany Medical College | The Journal of County Administration
Private insurers add enormous costs to our already skyrocketing medical expenditures. These include both insurers’ administrative costs--the salaries of their highly-paid executives and armies of employees, their marketing expenses, and (in the case of for-profit insurers) their profits--and the billing related costs imposed on providers. In California, billing and insurance-related functions for insurers and providers represent 20-22 percent of privately insured spending in California acute care settings.

Single solution
By TIM JOSEPH | Times Union
As an elected county leader, I find that a tremendous amount of my time, and my county's budget, is devoted to one or another aspect of health care for some segment of our citizens. Nearly all of that time is devoted not to delivering health care, but to sorting out who will pay for it. A big advantage of a single-payer system, compared with our current patchwork, is that it resolves this issue once and for all, and thus offers substantial savings in administrative costs.

Speaker's conclusions on health care wrong
DR. H. DAVID PRENSKY | Letter to the Editor | Palm Beach Daily News
As it is now, costs are rising so outrageously that the 47 million without insurance have nightmares, worried over being hit with a serious medical condition. Too many of them find reality nightmarish when they actually are hit. In the words of Dr. Marcia Angell, for years editor in chief of the New England Journal and now a Harvard Medical School professor, "We can no longer afford not to have single-payer universal health care.

With market-based health care, too many lose out
Greg Silver, M.D. | Letters to the Editor | St. Petersburg Times
If "market-based" health care is so wonderful, how did it lead us to the miserable state of health care in this country today? Our leaders seem to have forgotten the fundamental truth of market systems: There are always "winners" at the expense of "losers." Will we, as a nation, continue to accept our fellow citizens as health care losers in order for health insurance companies to be the big winners?

Getting the Facts Right: Why Hillarycare Failed
By Vicente Navarro | Professor of Health and Public Policy | The Johns Hopkins University
Whereas Jackson had called for a single-payer program similar to that in Canada, Clinton chose the opposite pole of the political spectrum: managed care competition. Managed care competition basically meant the insurance companies exercised full control over health care providers, with doctors working in group practices called Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).

Giuliani's Prostate Cancer Figure Is Disputed
By JULIE BOSMAN | The New York Times
But the Commonwealth Fund said yesterday that Dr. Gratzer had misused its research by calculating a five-year survival rate based on data on prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States and Britain. "Five-year survival rates cannot be calculated from incidence and mortality rates, as any good epidemiologist knows," the group said in a statement.

October 30, 2007

Humana Shares Fall as UBS Challenges 2008 Forecast
By Avram Goldstein | Bloomberg News
Justin Lake, an analyst at UBS Securities in New York, downgraded Humana to "sell'' from "neutral,'' saying the company's 2008 enrollment forecast of at least 200,000 added Medicare customers is optimistic, and that the profitable government payments can't last. Members of the U.S. Congress and consumer groups said the amount of profit was excessive. "We continue to see this operating environment as temporary, and now that strong earnings/guidance are behind us, investor focus is likely to shift to potentially unsettling items,'' including efforts by presidential candidates and members of Congress to trim Medicare payments, Lake said in a note to clients today.

Almost 2 Million U.S. Vets Lack Health Insurance
By Steven Reinberg | Health Day
Almost 2 million veterans are without health insurance, along with 3.8 million members of their households, a new study finds. Among the 1.8 million uninsured veterans, 12.7 percent are under 65. In addition, the number of uninsured veterans has increased by 290,000 between 2000 and 2004, according to the report in the Oct. 30 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Health care money pits
Janet K. Seeley, M.D., Ph.D | The Coloradoan
The single-payer proposal for Colorado health care reform solves the problem of multiple risk pools and reduces administrative costs by setting up a publicly financed trust fund. Yes, public financing means state health care taxes, but they are more than offset by the savings in current state and federal taxes for public programs, insurance premiums, high copays, deductibles and many out-of-pocket health expenses. For most of us, that would be less expensive than what we spend today.

Unhappy doctors, unhappy patients
Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle
Physicians in Massachusetts are not alone in their dissatisfaction with the current health care system. More and more doctors across the country are joining Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which advocates for single-payer health care, funded and administered by the government. PNHP membership has increased to more than 14,000 members, and is growing rapidly. Single-payer health care is not socialized medicine; physician practices and hospitals would still be private, and patients would have their choice of providers. Single-payer health care is about the administration of our health care funds, not the delivery of health care.

October 29, 2007

Say yes to national health care
By Michael Hochman and David Himmelstein | Baltimore Sun
Michael Moore's film Sicko gave a big boost to the movement for single-payer national health insurance this year. But even those turned off by Mr. Moore's less-than-subtle style will find many reasons to support a single-payer system. As the number of uninsured and underinsured Americans continues to rise and medical costs spiral out of control, these reasons are increasingly compelling.

Partnership with government can provide health care for all
By JIM McDERMOTT | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
If anyone tells you that you can't trust government, ask them who they trust to protect America from terrorist threats, protect consumers from unsafe products in the marketplace, protect airline travelers by ensuring we have safe skies.

October 25, 2007

Competing health insurance plans equally flawed
By Malinda Markowitz | San Jose Mercury News
Sadly, the main beneficiaries of a rushed "compromise" will be the same insurance companies that created the present crisis. They would harvest millions of new customers, with the government using its power and the public purse to further an insurance industry that will continue to be able to profiteer and deny care.

October 24, 2007

Big N.Y. Union, Gore Back Government Run Single-Payer Health Care
Press Associates, Inc. (PAI)
A big New York state union, the 58,000-member Public Employees Federation, has joined the growing group that backs government-run single-payer health care. And former Vice President Al Gore does, too.

October 23, 2007

Single Payer Health Care works in Italy
by Mikael Rudolph |
Single Payer Health Care works. Italy got it in place virtually seamlessly about 45 years after their dance with the fascism that Mussolini himself defined as "Corporatism".

The Long, Dark Night
By BOB HERBERT | Op-Ed Columnist | The New York Times
Mrs. Brodrick learned last May that she had cancer of the duodenum, and it had already spread to her liver and pancreas. Not only is the prognosis grim, but the medical expenses will soon leave the couple destitute. Mrs. Brodrick has no health insurance.

October 22, 2007

National Nurses Movement Lauds Al Gore For Leadership on Single-Payer Healthcare
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee thanks Al Gore for his forceful new words in support of the kind of universal, non-profit, single-payer healthcare that this country desperately needs--and that is succeeding in nearly every other industrialized democracy.

Why the United States lacks full health care
By Peter Phillips and Bridget Thornton |
If industrialized countries around the world offer health care as a basic right, why is it not happening in the US? Private insurance companies are motivated to make as much money as possible and do so by systematically delaying, diminishing, and denying payment for promised services, and blaming individuals for their own misfortune.

October 19, 2007

Universal Health Care Foundation Newsletter
"Un seguro médico, para todos, de por vida. One health insurance, for all, for life. That is our goal." So declared Jaime Torres, a podiatrist and hospital administrator in New York City. "Latinos in the U.S. are three times as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to lack health insurance," explained Dr. Torres. "We must close the gap so that affordable and accessible health care is available to all living in the U.S."

Health care is a right
By Bryce Benson | Chico News Review
"We can no longer afford the waste and inefficiency, the high overhead and outrageous executive salaries of the private insurance industry," McCanne said. "Only reforms that end our reliance on defective private coverage and assure guaranteed coverage for all will work."

SCHIP Vote Not Bipartisan: Relative Risk Republicans Hate Children
by DrSteveB | DailyKos
In this case, the cohort is the House of Representatives. The Relative Risk (RR) is the risk of an event (developing a disease; voting against SCHIP) relative to exposure (being a Repuglican). Relative risk is a ratio of the probability of the event occurring in the exposed group versus the control (non-exposed) group, or in this case the probability of the voting against SCHIP for Repuglicans compared to Democrats.

Don't Think of a Sick Child
Senior fellows at the Rockridge Institute, including cognitive linguistGeorge Lakoff, author of the best-selling "Don't Think of an Elephant," have joined together to examine the hidden truths in our raging national debate over health care. And to bring their new report, "The Logic of the Health Care Debate" to life, the Rockridge Institute has produced a video spot that dramatizes the way in which our current health care system is based on excluding nearly half of the American family -- concluding with the provocative question: "Which one of your children would you leave unprotected?"

October 17, 2007

The Ill Winds of Free Trade
by Ellen R. Shaffer and Joe Brenner | Common Dreams
The corporate winners who now drive the global economy have unmoored themselves from the social contract, no longer relying on secure employment and rising standards of living to bolster consumer spending. The safety net to tide us over in troubled times has been abandoned. Weakened public institutions have also damaged health and the availability of health care.

From Kaisercare to Hillarycare
Los Angeles Times Editorial
If you happen to have been a reader of The Times in 1918, you'd probably be terrified to see the German-pedigreed Arnold Schwarzenegger linked to anything having to do with healthcare reform. Of course, times change, and so has the paper's editorial stance on healthcare reform. In 1918 -- the earliest year in which The Times addressed healthcare reform -- any semblance of government insurance on the state or national level prompted warnings of creeping toward that hideous German autocracy our boys were fighting in Europe during World War I.

Markets and Medical Care: The United States, 1993-2005
By Joseph White | The Milbank Quarterly | Volume 85, Number 3, 2007
Many studies arguing for or against markets to finance medical care investigate "market-oriented" measures such as cost sharing. This article looks at the experience in the American medical marketplace over more than a decade, showing how markets function as institutions in which participants who are self-seeking, but not perfectly rational, exercise power over other participants in the market.

Kaiser Family Foundation Side-by-Side Comparisons of Presidential Candidates' Plans
The summaries were created by Foundation staff and consultants, and do not include critical information about whether the plans would actually achieve the stated goals, such as expanding access or controlling costs. For critical commentary on the candidates' health plans, see Dr. Don McCanne's Health Policy Quote of the Day.

Become a health-care voter
Walter Tsou, MD, MPH | October 2007 | Clinical Advisor | Commentary
John was 50 years old. He had hypertension, diabetes, and a third and equally insidious condition--no health insurance. Although John had found sporadic medical care in emergency departments and "sliding-scale" clinics over the years, decades of spotty management had irreversibly damaged his kidneys and placed him on the list for hemodialysis. The good news is that dialysis--the only procedure categorically paid for by Medicare--allowed him, finally, to qualify for health insurance.

October 16, 2007

Blame private firms for health-provider losses
Bob Jewett | Letter to the Editor | Des Moines Register
In May of this year, the AMA reported that a survey of its members found that half the patients with Medicare Advantage HMOs and PPOs were denied services typically covered by traditional Medicare. The same survey also reported that 51 percent of its doctors received lower payments from Medicare Advantage plans than from traditional Medicare.

Brief Response from Dr. Robert McMurtry, Canadian orthopedic surgeon and former Dean of a medical school, to the internet hoax "letter from a Canadian friend"
By Dr. Robert McMurtry
The fake letter is so patently ridiculous and written from an right wing American view that it should be exposed. My response in brief is that single payer works.

Politicians ignore U.S. health fiasco
Diane Francis | Financial Post
American health care is an oxymoron and the system represents our major trading partner's biggest competitive disadvantage going forward. And yet it is the 800-pound gorilla in the room that's ignored during these presidential-election primaries and runoffs. Nobody touches the fact that this is a huge business and economic issue, besides a socio-political one.

October 15, 2007

How Many Connector Staff Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb?
by David Himmelstein, MD | Posted by CommonHealth | WBUR 90.9
The Connector merely serves as a glorified insurance broker, signing people up for coverage with plans like Blue Cross and Harvard Pilgrim. So on top of the 4% to 5% cut of every premium dollar that the Connector takes, Blue Cross and Harvard Pilgrim take their 15%. (I can't tell you what Tufts' share is -- their annual report for 2006 left out the figures -- though it does let slip that its net worth rose by $96 million even as enrollment fell).

Private insurance system is the problem
Roger Bybee | Letter to the Editor | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Journal Sentinel editorial contended that a single-payer system -- like those in Canada, Taiwan and France -- is not "politically doable." Yet BusinessWeek’s May 17, 2005, poll showed "67% of all Americans think it’s a good idea to guarantee health care for all U.S. citizens, as Canada and Britain do, with just 27% dissenting."

Support for single-payer system
BY KEVIN DUGGAN | The Coloradoan
"Private, for-profit health insurance served its purpose in the early part of the 20th century, but it is obsolete for the 21st century," said Dr. Kathy Waller, of Fort Collins.

Physician makes case for single-payer health care
By Larry Mitchell | The Enterprise Record
Trying to fix the present system the way the leading Democratic presidential candidates and Gov. Schwarzenegger propose doing, makes no sense, said McCanne, a senior health policy fellow for Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization advocating the single-payer system.

Ideology and kids' health
Editorial | The Berkshire Eagle
President Bush's veto of legislation providing an overdue expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) is the latest of many examples of the foolishness that can result when ideology is allowed to trump all else, including logic and fairness. Mr. Bush, who worries about creeping socialism as if was still 1957, is beyond hope, but if enough congressional Republicans can set aside the ideology that helped put them in the minority and do what is right, his veto could still be overridden later this month.

October 10, 2007

Nurses are tired of seeing patients left behind
By PHYLLIS BROWN | Napa Valley Register
Single-payer healthcare, as would be established by HR 676 in Congress and SB 840 in California, is the only effective, genuine cure for our current healthcare nightmare. It is the only health reform that is universal, that assures uniform, comprehensive benefits for all, that guarantees patients' choice of doctor or medical facility, and that ends the routine, callous denial of care by insurance companies. It's also the only reform that restores health security for American families by bringing an end to ever-rising insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays and rising drug and hospital charges.

October 09, 2007

Medicare Audits Show Problems in Private Plans
By ROBERT PEAR | The New York Times
Tens of thousands of Medicare recipients have been victims of deceptive sales tactics and had claims improperly denied by private insurers that run the system's huge new drug benefit program and offer other private insurance options encouraged by the Bush administration, a review of scores of federal audits has found.

Medicare for All seems to be embraced by all
Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
There is something in the air besides autumn. I've been waiting for readers to take me to task for the Gray Matters of Aug. 4, in which I suggested that all of us - young and old - needed a single-payer universal health plan, Medicare for All, even if it meant raising some taxes.

Nation's healthcare crisis gets personal
By David Lazarus | Los Angeles Times
I write a lot about healthcare reform. Now it's personal. I was diagnosed this past week with diabetes. As of Friday, I was injecting myself with insulin, something I'll be doing four or five times a day, every day, for the rest of my life. Without the injections, I'll likely die.

October 05, 2007

Audience at health care forum backs single-payer proposal
By David Montero | Rocky Mountain News
There may be five proposals being considered to reform health care in Colorado, but only one seemed to satisfy most of the 150 gathered at the Millennium Hotel on Thursday night. That proposal was the so- called single-payer system.

October 04, 2007

What Sicko doesn't tell you...
Allyson Pollock | The Guardian
The film is very much made for a US audience. Moore does not go into the huge changes that are taking place in European healthcare - and the new, privatising project going on here. It might surprise many British people who see the film to know that, for example, the British government has for years been in contact with Kaiser Permanente, one of the big US healthcare corporations, and is actively trying to remodel the NHS along American lines. All the reforms carried out by the government over the past few years have been aimed at that.

October 03, 2007

Two letters on single payer in Newsday
Leonard Rodberg | Newsday | Letters to the Editor
These plans offer consumers only a "choice" of health plan, something that few if any consumers care about. What they don't offer is the choice consumers want: the ability to choose their doctors and their hospitals. Instead, the private insurers on whom these plans depend increasingly limit just such choices.

October 01, 2007

Oprah Winfrey Talks To Michael Moore About Sicko And Health Care Insurance Industry
Submitted by Dan Wilson | Best Syndication
Michael Moore visited Oprah Winfrey on Thursday to talk about the health insurance industry. His movie Sicko has stirred a debate, and even Oprah admitted that it opened her eyes to the issue. The movie is a warning to the vast majority of Americans who believe they are protected because they have health insurance. The movie does not concern the 50 million without coverage.

Single-payer health plan best for taxpayers
By Kathy Waller | The Coloradoan
Let's repeat that for emphasis. The single-payer plan will provide coverage for everyone and save more than a billion dollars for Colorado taxpayers. The other plans cost millions of dollars and still leave hundreds of thousands of people uninsured.

Survey Report: Time May Be Right for a Single-Payer Health Care System
By Marianne Mattera | Managing Editor | MedPage Today
Presidential candidates might consider proposing a health care reform package that relies on a single-payer system, if results of a MedPage Today poll reflect the country's mood.

September 28, 2007

Time for universal care
The Kansas City Star ran a series of articles, editorials, and op-eds on single payer and other health care reform proposals this summer -- here are two pro-single payer letters from their readership.

The Socialists Are Coming! The Socialists Are Coming!
By PHILIP M. BOFFEY | The New York Times
Rudy Giuliani has used the "s-word" to denounce legislation that would enlarge a children's health insurance program and to besmirch Hillary Clinton's health plan. Mitt Romney has added a xenophobic twist, calling the Clinton plan "European-style socialized medicine," while ignoring its similarities to a much-touted health care reform he championed as governor of Massachusetts. Other conservative critics have wielded the "s-word" to deplore efforts to expand government health care programs or regulation over the private health care markets.

September 27, 2007

Democratic Hopefuls Urged to Scrap Private Insurers
The doctor and nurse groups aired TV commercials yesterday challenging the health plans of the Democratic frontrunners, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois. The ads ran only in New England and the Washington area during MSNBC's broadcast of a Democratic candidates' debate at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

About single-payer insurance
by Michele Swenson | Colorado Springs Independent
The Colorado Health Services single-payer proposal is the only one of four recently evaluated by the Lewin Group (asked by the state to develop and analyze health-care expansion proposals) projected to save substantial money and insure everyone. Single-payer saves money by eliminating wasteful administrative costs of multiple insurers, and permitting negotiation of bulk rates for pharmaceutical and durable medical goods. Estimated overall net savings is $1.4 billion.

Mandatory insurance isn't reform
By Jamie Court | The Los Angeles Times
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez claim they are close to a deal on healthcare reform that will require every Californian to prove they have a private health insurance policy -- but does not cap how much insurers can charge for it. Hillary Clinton's health plan, released last week, would require all Americans to have health insurance, also with no cap on premiums.

September 26, 2007

End the shame of our health-care crisis
Quentin D. Young, MD and Don McCanne, MD | Chicago Tribune | Letter to the Editor
Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton presents us with yet another health-reform proposal based on the fatal strategy of keeping private insurance companies in the driver’s seat. Her proposal won’t cover the 47 million uninsured, or even guarantee that people who have coverage today will have it when they fall ill and are unable to work.

September 25, 2007

Care under Conyers' bill vastly superior to status quo
H. DAVID PRENSKY | The Palm Beach Post | Letter to the Editor
Eliminating more than 1,000 insurance companies with their staffs of clerical workers, advertising and lobbying expenses, dividends to shareholders and large CEO compensation would save the system $400 billion. That is enough to cover every person in the United States. It doesn't call for adopting a system based on Sweden's but on simply expanding our own functioning Medicare. That system, initiated for those 65 and older 42 years ago, would now cover all.

Health Coverage in the Balance
Don McCanne, M.D. | The New York Times | Letters to the Editor
As long as we continue to build on our current fragmented system of financing health care through a multitude of private plans and public programs, we will never get a handle on rising health care costs. The administrative efficiencies of a single national health insurance program would free up enough funds to pay for care for the uninsured and under-insured. But reducing administrative waste alone is not enough.

September 24, 2007

State health reform a charade
Under the whip of California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez and Senate President Don Perata, with the active prodding of some labor and interest groups desperate to settle for any health care legislation no matter how bad it is, the California Legislature last week passed a fundamentally flawed bill that just might set back real reform for years.

The press needs to tell us more about Canada's single-payer health-care system
By Morton Mintz | Nieman Watchdog | COMMENTARY
Substantial mainstream reporting on single-payer health insurance should have been triggered--or so one might think--by a succession of studies over the years that establish that Canada's health-care system saves or improves large numbers of lives while not wasting money on administrative expenses and fat executive-pay packages. Almost without fail, Canada gets higher ratings than the U.S.

Single-Payer, or Medicare for All, Only Way To Go
by Alison Landes | Palm Beach Post
Under HR 676, all medically necessary services are covered - primary care, inpatient care, outpatient care, emergency care, prescription drugs, durable medical equipment, long-term care, mental-health services, dentistry, eye care, chiropractic and substance-abuse treatment. Patients get to choose their physicians, providers, hospitals, clinics and practices with no co-pays or deductibles, and private health insurers are prohibited from selling coverage duplicating these benefits.

The Battle Over Health Care
New York Times | Editorial
One of the enduring frustrations of presidential elections is that candidates and their parties sound like Tweedledum and Tweedledee on many issues. In 2008, when it comes to health care, which is emerging as a defining domestic issue, voters will find stark differences in philosophy and commitment between Democrats and Republicans.

September 21, 2007

Major health care proposals ignore the 'Big Leak,' says health insurance expert
Contacts: Merton Bernstein Founding Member, National Academy of Social Insurance Coles Professor of Law Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis 508-896-8383 By Jessica Martin Washington University in St. Louis News & Information Sept. 18, 2007 — “Universal health...

We Have Seen the Enemy -- And Surrendered
By Barbara Ehrenreich | The Huffington Post
Bow your heads and raise the white flags. After facing down the Third Reich, the Japanese Empire, the U.S.S.R., Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, the United States has met an enemy it dares not confront -- the American private health insurance industry.

September 20, 2007

Our Health-Care System Needs Intensive Care
J. David Gaines, M.D., FACP | Wall Street Journal | Letter to the Editor
The only solution is to eliminate the HMOs and go to a single-payer system that does not have to be administered by the government. The savings would increase reimbursements to health-care providers (and, it is hoped, stem the annual loss of primary care physicians) so that there would be greater access to care for more patients with fewer hassles.

September 19, 2007

Medicare a Better Proposal than Mayo Clinic's
Merton C. Bernstein | New York Times | Letters to the Editor
Our sole hope for funding is to make better use of over $2 trillion already being spent by business and governments. Medicare-for-all would save literally hundreds of billions of dollars on nonbenefit charges by simplifying the processing of billions of billings for insurers and health care providers.

Hillary Learned the Wrong Lesson from 1994 Health Care Fiasco
By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
The pundits might have it right on this one. Hillary Clinton did learn a lesson from her 1994 fiasco on healthcare reform. Unfortunately for most of us who don't have an Inc. after our name or a private jet to cart us around, it was the wrong lesson.

What's wrong with nationalized health care?
By Annette Fuentes | USA Today
The face-off between the president and Congress over whether to expand coverage for children highlights a larger issue: It’s about time that the nation has an honest discussion about health care reform.

Open Letter to ABC's John Stossel ... from Julie Pierce, American SiCKO
I just read your Wall Street Journal article written on Sept. 13, 2007, titled "Sick Sob Stories." You begin by talking about Tracy's role in 'SiCKO,' and claim the bone marrow transplant denied by our insurer would not have saved him. You also accuse me of "sneering" over our situation.

September 18, 2007

Clinton's Prescription for Another Heath Care Reform Failure
by John Nichols | The Nation
The former first lady, who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in the 1990s by responding to the demand for a sane and humane system to deliver affordable medical care to all Americans with a plan to drown the ailing in a bureaucracy designed to augment the profits of the nation's largest insurance companies, is back with an equally heavy-handed and unappealing "reform" proposal.

September 17, 2007

A Nunez-Schwarzenegger Compromise or Single Payer for California?
Don McCanne, M.D. | California Progress Report
In a classic example of political irony, Democrats are abandoning their preferred option, single payer reform, in order to reach a compromise with the Republicans and the private insurance industry. They have crafted a model that they believe does not repeat the mistake of the Massachusetts reform program. California Democrats proudly proclaim that they will not require individuals who cannot afford private insurance to be covered by a program that is being inappropriately characterized as universal.

Health reform failure
By Steffie Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein | The Boston Globe
IN 1966 - just before Medicare and Medicaid were launched - 47 million Americans were uninsured. By 1975, the United States had reached an all time low of 21 million without coverage. Now, according to the Census Bureau's latest figures, we're back where we started, with 47 million uninsured in 2006 - up 2.2 million since 2005. But this time, most of the uninsured are neither poor nor elderly.

September 14, 2007

Canada's health care system and the sustainability paradox
By Irfan Dhalla, MD | CMAJ | July 3, 2007; 177 (1). doi:10.1503/cmaj.061064. In this article, I will argue that Canada faces a sustainability paradox: despite ever-increasing expenditures, both in absolute dollars and as a percentage of the national income, increases in overall spending on health care in Canada are sustainable for the foreseeable future.

Sanders' bill would initiate pilot health plan in five states
By Louis Porter | Rutland Herald
U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., has introduced a bill that would give five states money to try out programs providing for universal health care coverage -- an experiment he hopes will show that so-called single-payer government insurance is "the cost-effective and moral thing to do."

September 12, 2007

Militants in tennis shoes
By Timm Herdt | Ventura County Star
The California Nurses Association opposes any healthcare reform that falls short of blowing up the private insurance-based system and replacing it with a Medicare-style system in which everyone would be insured by the government. It's not this union's style to play nice or to compromise. Whether it's organizing, negotiating, advocating for patients' rights or fighting for political change, the CNA engages in what it calls "intelligent, focused, strategic militancy."

Immigrants and Health Care -- At the Intersection of Two Broken Systems
By Susan Okie, M.D. | New England Journal of Medicine | Perspective | Volume 357:525-529
For recent immigrants -- especially the estimated 12 million who are here illegally -- seeking health care often involves daunting encounters with a fragmented, bewildering, and hostile system. The reason most immigrants come here is to work and earn money; on average, they are younger and healthier than native-born Americans, and they tend to avoid going to the doctor. Many work for employers who don't offer health insurance, and they can't afford insurance premiums or medical care. They face language and cultural barriers, and many illegal immigrants fear that visiting a hospital or clinic may draw the attention of immigration officials.

September 11, 2007

Audit Cites Overpaid Medicare Insurers
By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times
Private insurance companies participating in Medicare have been allowed to keep tens of millions of dollars that should have gone to consumers, and the Bush administration did not properly audit the companies or try to recover money paid in error, Congressional investigators say in a new report.

Worker-friendly candidates needed in November
Mike Carroll | Mansfield News Journal
After a wonderful Labor Day weekend I got to wondering what would happen if all workers would demand something be done about the health care crisis we face in this country. How long would it take for our elected leaders to fix this problem if faced with the possibility of losing their positions?

September 10, 2007

The Health Care America Wants
New York Times |
Six Letters to the editor

David Brooks (“The New Social Contract,” column, Sept. 7) dismisses a single-payer health insurance system on the grounds that Americans “will not likely embrace a system that forces them to defer to the central government when it comes to making fundamental health care choices.” Yet the federal government’s Medicare program has strong political support.

Medicare-for-all would keep everyone covered
Aaron E. Carroll, M.D. | The Indianapolis Star
One year ago, when the U.S. Census Bureau released its figures on Americans lacking health insurance in 2005, I wrote a piece here describing the sad state of the health care system in America. Recently, the 2006 numbers were released, and things have only gotten worse.

September 07, 2007

Guest Commentary: Get rid of the for-profits
By Rep. Dennis Kucinich | Modern Healthcare
The real problem, I submit, is that healthcare in the U.S. is delivered by a system that is controlled and directed by for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies whose financial prosperity depends on providing as little healthcare as possible. We can no longer treat healthcare as a marketplace commodity for sale to those who can afford it. We must recognize that the U.S. stands alone among major industrialized nations in its failure to ensure adequate healthcare for its citizens is the problem.

Taking care of our own: Health care in Spain has Lessons for the U.S.
By Pius Kamau | The Denver Post
We watched the running of the bulls in Pamplona from the safety of a balcony off a physician's office. A crashing crowd of thousands and half a dozen bulls ran down the narrow street below us. Then we saw a bull make an about-turn and attack several people, among them Lawrence and Michael Lenahan, brothers from Philadelphia. One suffered a deep wound to his buttocks; the other a less serious leg wound. Both required hospitalization. I visited the ultra-modern University Hospital where the Lenahans were taken, a facility where heart and kidney transplants are routinely performed. I believe their care was as good as that offered in many American trauma centers.

September 06, 2007

Machinists’ Union (IAM) Ninth International to Endorse HR 676
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is the ninth international union to endorse HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). The union represents 720,000 active and retired members.

Nuñez's unhealthy bill
By Deborah Burger | Los Angeles Times
In alliance with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Democratic leaders of the state Legislature, led by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez are rushing to enact a substandard health reform plan that will not reduce the health insecurity of California families.

Garamendi Stumps for Single-Payer Health Care System
Lt. Gov. John Garamendi (D) is touring California to gather support for a state-run, single-payer health care system, the Fresno Bee reports.

September 05, 2007

Innovative Health Care Solutions
Excerpt from
Dr. Ana Malinow | President, Physicians for a National Health Care Program
We already outspend every industrialized country by almost twice as much per person, but our outcomes are nowhere near twice as good as everybody else's. The problem with the way our system is funded is that 30% off the top automatically goes to administration and profit.

Unions to make health care centerpiece of 2008 election
By Mark Gruenberg | Workday Minnesota
Labor unions will make achievement of affordable, universal health care the centerpiece of the 2008 election drive, elevating the issue to the top of the national domestic agenda, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney announced.

September 04, 2007

Private Finance Initiative Costs British NHS Billions
George Monbiot | The Guardian
There is one set of costs the hospital cannot cut: the money it must pay every year to the private financiers. In September 1997 the government declared that these payments would be legally guaranteed: beds, doctors, nurses and managers could be sacrificed, but not the annual donation to the Fat Cats Protection League. The great free market experiment looks more like a corporate welfare scheme.

Guest Opinion: U.S. needs to wake up and provide universal health care
Ray Clasen | The News Press | Fort Myers, Florida
Forget the hodgepodge of ideas that have been floated in different states on this issue; the only solution to this problem that makes sense is a single-payer universal health system administered by the federal government, a sort of Medicare for everyone. The argument that the government cannot be trusted to efficiently administer such a plan is ludicrous. The government already effectively runs Social Security and Medicare. Other large governments, for example Canada and Great Britain, administer universal health care programs, and do so quite efficiently.

On Life Support
By Arian Campo-Flores |
It's a familiar story: America's emergency rooms are in crisis. But it's far worse than you think. How does the ER prepare for a terrorist attack when its medics can barely cope with the routine flow of mayhem on a Saturday night? A worried doctor traveled to Washington to sound the alarms

August 31, 2007

The dark side of healthcare reform
By Benjamin Day | The Boston Globe
There is little evidence that eroding safety net programs actually helps improve participation in the labor market or the healthcare market. This does, however, succeed in punishing the poor, throwing low-income communities back on their own resources, and increasing the stigma upon safety net recipients. In the case of the new [Massachusetts] health law, this is a particularly meaningless and insulting exercise, as the law itself provides stiff financial penalties for any who are deemed able to afford health insurance but fail to enroll in a public or a private plan.

August 30, 2007

Canadian care costs less, insures all citizens and could help cut U.S. poverty, crime rates
By David Karwacki | The Salt Lake Tribune
For more than 40 years Canada's Medicare has improved the quality of life for tens of millions of people, liberated them from the threat of unaffordable medical bills and made it easier for them to pursue their own definition of happiness.

Poll shows more Californians favoring single-payer health care
Tom Chorneau | San Francisco Chronicle | Sacramento Bureau
As voter dissatisfaction with the state's health care system grows, increasing interest is emerging in moving to a state-run, single-payer program, according to a Field Poll released today.

August 29, 2007

'Profit equation': Health-care plan should not be financially motivated
Terry Gossard | The Charleston Gazette
The pursuit of profit has always been the principal motivating driver that sustains the American economy. Few would argue this because it strives to provide an economic lifestyle essential to America’s work force, small businesses and large corporations and the overall viability of local, state and federal government. However, the delivery of basic health care to all Americans should be removed from the "profit equation" at least as we relate it to the corporate bottom line.

Kucinich is right on healthcare
By Derrick Z. Jackson | Boston Globe Columnist
With poll numbers at 1 or 2 percent, the Ohio congressman is the nudge kicking at the knees of the Democratic Party to offer more than incremental change. He deserves more attention than he gets. On healthcare, he says what Americans believe, even as his rivals rake in contributions from the industry.

August 27, 2007

AMA plan won't cure coverage gap
By David Lazarus | LA Times Staff Writer
"It's a flawed plan because it's the most expensive way that we could extend health coverage to everyone," said Don McCanne, a senior health policy fellow with Physicians for a National Health Program, a group of 14,000 doctors who advocate a government-run insurance system similar to programs found in all other industrialized democracies.

August 24, 2007

We can't afford to not have national health care
By Kenneth Brummel-Smith | Tallahassee Democrat
Michael Moore's recent documentary, "Sicko," has increased the heat on the discussion of health care. It's high time Americans and their representatives took a hard look. If we did a physical on our health care system, we'd have to say it is not doing too well. And the prognosis is grim.

August 22, 2007

Single-payer coverage already works in U.S.
BY JAMES C. MITCHINER | The Ann Arbor News
The one approach we haven't tried - because of fear, complacency, politics, apathy, or all of the above - is to wring out the inefficiencies in financing, while maintaining our basic fee-for-service delivery model. This is the basic premise behind single-payer national health insurance.

August 21, 2007

Remember Universal Health Care?
By Kevin Friedl | National Journal Group Inc.
A new ad campaign running in Iowa seeks to put universal health care back in the spotlight and into the speeches of the three leading Democratic contenders. The National Nurses Organizing Committee, a group representing some 45,000 nurses nationwide, and Physicians for a National Health Program launched the series of minute-long ads last week in a buy that included two airings during the Democratic debate in Des Moines on Sunday.

August 20, 2007

Misguided proposals for two-tier health care
By Danielle Martin | The Toronto Star
It's as if the CMA were embarrassed about this aspect of its policy and decided not to highlight it in public statements and surveys. And embarrassed it should be. There is a compelling body of evidence against parallel private insurance in the Canadian context. There is also an inherent conflict of interest for physicians working in dual practice since, as the public would understandably perceive, these physicians could have an interest in promoting longer wait times in the public system to increase use of the more lucrative private system.

Need for more doctors part of solution
By Robert Gumbiner | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Michael Moore's film, Sicko, begins to expose the problem -- the lack of available health care insurance in the U.S. -- but does he go far enough? The number of people in the U.S. who lack health insurance is part of the problem. This number includes people who have no health insurance, people who are under insured and people who may be covered but don't have access to health care because of the lack of available health care providers or providers who refuse to cooperate with government plans such as Medicare or Medicaid.

Single-payer healthcare advocate Johnathon Ross M.D., M.P.H. takes a local look at the national HMO crisis
by Johnathon S. Ross, M.D. | Toledo City Paper
Every day in the St. V's clinic, I see a near miss. Every week I see a wounding. Every month or so I see a death due to a sickness care non-system that leaves 50,000 Lucas County citizens, more than a million Ohioans, more than 45 million Americans uninsured, and all of us unsure if healthcare will be there for us if we need it.

World's Best Medical Care?
Editorial | New York Times
Many Americans are under the delusion that we have “the best health care system in the world,” as President Bush sees it, or provide the “best medical care in the world,” as Rudolph Giuliani declared last week. That may be true at many top medical centers. But the disturbing truth is that this country lags well behind other advanced nations in delivering timely and effective care.

Single-pay system would slash costs
In 2004, General Motors announced that liabilities for employee health care topped $60 billion. In November 2005, GM laid off 30,000 employees. In January 2006, Ford cut 25,000 jobs. In February, Chrysler announced that it faces $21.1 billion in future retiree health-care liabilities. The majority of the obligation is not funded.

In search of vision on health care
Editorial | Des Moines Register
What's needed: a president with the vision and passion to reform this country's health-care system the way Johnson and Congress eventually did. It's up to Iowans - who are in the unique position of being visited by droves of presidential candidates - to demand that kind of vision and passion from our visitors.

Insurance doesn't make you feel secure
By Rose Ann DeMoro | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
News that some doctors in South Florida will now be charging patients annual "administrative fees" like credit card companies or banks is a sober reminder of how out of control our increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system has become, and in need of genuine, comprehensive reform.

Canada's public health care system holds answers to surgery wait times
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the BC Health Coalition. | Press Release
Why Wait? Public Solutions to Cure Surgical Waitlists looks at groundbreaking projects in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario that have significantly reduced wait times for procedures such as hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and others.

August 17, 2007

10 Questions: More About Health Care Katie Couric
One thing we found interesting: when we asked the two men our first question -- to name the one thing they'd change about the health care system -- they both began with the exact same words: The financing. And then they diverged.

August 16, 2007

Doctors, Nurses Challenge Edwards to Endorse Real Reform
For Immediate Release August 16, 2007 Contacts: PNHP- Todd Main, 312-782-6006 CNA/NNOC- Charles Idelson, 415-559-8991 Iowa Ads Call for Leadership on Guaranteed Health Care for AllPhysicians for a National Health Program and the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today...

August 15, 2007

Open doors to medical care to all; adopt single-payer system in U.S.
Dr. Laurence Jacobs | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle | Guest essayist
The movie Sicko has stimulated discussion of health care costs and access in the United States. Our patchwork nonsystem of competing health care insurances, with its profit motive driving denial of care and of physician choice, is clearly failing. It needs to be replaced by a more rational and humane method of assuring universal coverage and care for all our citizens.

August 12, 2007

Health-care system: Single payer is the way to go
By Hedda Haning | The Charleston Gazette
Co-payments and deductibles raise consumers' out-of-pocket costs substantially higher. Claims are denied. Many insured do not get the care they need, and the uninsured are totally out in the cold, but often invisible to the community.

August 08, 2007

Consumer Reports Health Care Survey
Consumer Reports | Summary of Key Findings
Our principal finding is that the underinsured represent a large segment of the American population between the ages of 18 to 64: 29% of all persons with health plans, and 24% of the population as a whole. Although the travails of the uninsured have been widely-documented, our observation is that the uninsured represent only one segment of those lacking adequate health insurance. When we add together the uninsured (16%) with the underinsured (24%), we find two-fifths of a nation burdened by health care jitters.

See SICKO! And Learn about Private Health Insurance
by Paul Sorum, MD | Daily Gazette
You should see Michael Moore's SICKO. You will both laugh and cry. You will feel disgusted both with our health care system and with Moore. It is, in Moore's typical style, outrageous, one-sided, and contrived. But its fundamental message--that the private health insurance industry is dangerous to our health--will resonate loudly with patients and physicians.

August 07, 2007

Single-payer care deserves debate
Drew Richardson | The News Leader | Columnist
Although many plans on the table boast of universal health care, some merely have all citizens having some form of mandated health insurance. Only one piece of currently proposed federal legislation advocates universal and unrestricted access to health care. There is a big difference between having health insurance and having universal access to health care. The latter is what is referred to as a single-payer health care system and is essentially what Canada, Great Britain, France and Cuba (depicted in Moore's film) have.

More Than a Prayer for Single Payer
Roger Bybee | The American Prospect
The American Prospect talks to the co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program about why a single-payer system remains not only the most desirable reform goal in the United States, but an achievable one.

August 06, 2007

Health Council of Canada Releases Report on Wait Times and Guarantees
“Clearly there has been progress, and we can see many areas where jurisdictions are doing more and reporting in more accessible ways to citizens,” said Dr. Jeanne Besner, Chair, Health Council of Canada. “Reporting wait time information to citizens on the Internet has been no small task. These information systems have considerable potential to improve patients’ experiences with waits for care.”

A strike for better healthcare
By Stephen J. Bergman | The Boston Globe
SOON AFTER HMO/managed care came to Massachusetts in the late '80s, I got a call from a patient I had admitted to the 28-day alcohol unit at the hospital. He said that he was being discharged after three days because that was all that the HMO would now pay for alcoholism. He said the HMO representative told him to go out and get drunk again and they would readmit him.

Medicare for all would help America
Judy Dasovich, M.D | The Springfield News-Leader | Ozarks Opinions
Here is the typical scenario: People get sick, then they can't work so they lose their jobs and their medical insurance. They have a hard time paying their bills. Under these circumstances, $30 per visit for only the basics becomes prohibitive. These are the patients who come to us after finding that the Jordan Valley safety net is full of large holes. They may not have money but they're still sick.

H.R. 676 would tax rich, give health care to all
Saul Friedman | Gray Matters | Newsday
In addition, while surveying the possibilities for universal health coverage, most of the press and even the authoritative Kaiser Family Foundation's new health care Web site, have failed to mention the only legislative proposal, endorsed by Kucinich and Moore, for a single-payer universal health plan: H.R. 676, the National Health Insurance Act, or "the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act."

August 03, 2007

Company endorses single-payer health care in new pact
Members of UAW local unions and regions across the country are working hard to win health care for all -- from passing resolutions and working with local coalitions to win statewide single-payer systems to getting state legislatures to endorse a proposed congressional bill that would extend Medicare coverage to all Americans.

'Sicko' economics, round 2
David Felix, economist | Bangor Daily News
This charge prompted me, an economist, to see the documentary. My conclusion? Moore is far less guilty of flawed economics and disregard of relevant facts than is Goodman. Moore is also straightforward about his values and ideology, whereas Goodman masks his as scientific economics. This impels me to defend my profession by exposing the falsity of his claims, and some of the salient facts that he ignores.

Testimony by Dr. Johnathon S Ross, Past President of Physicians for a National Health Program in Support of HR 676
My name is Johnathon Ross. I am an internist. I practice and teach internal medicine at St Vincent Mercy Medical Center and have done so for the past 27 years. I am the medical director for the outpatient adult clinic which serves a center city population that includes a substantial number of poor and uninsured individuals. Every day I see a near miss. Every week I see a wounding. Every month or so I see a death due to our sickness care non-system that leaves 50,000 Lucas County citizens, over a million Ohioans and over 45 million Americans uninsured.

August 02, 2007

The case against private insurance
Naomi Lakritz | Calgary Herald
It is patently obvious they are standing up for their bank accounts, not their patients. That they are so eager to place patients at the mercy of insurance companies, whose subterfuges for skipping out on claims are well-documented in the U.S., shows their patients' best interests are the last priority.

August 01, 2007

Canada fights privatization
By Prof. Gordon Guyatt | The Globe and Mail
Investing in not-for-profit provision has a major advantage. For-profit providers need to earn a return -- typically 15 to 20% - for their investors. Non-profits can devote that money to patient care. That explains the findings from systematic studies comparing for-profit versus non-profit hospital and dialysis care in the U.S. Higher death rates from cutting corners in for-profit hospitals and dialysis facilities, higher charges to third-party payers in for-profit hospitals.

July 27, 2007

Prescription mining raises millions for doctors' group
By Robert Restuccia and Lydia Vaias | San Francisco Chronicle
Drug companies care about what your doctor prescribes just as much as you do - and they're paying big money to find out. They are paying so much, in fact, that even though the vast majority of physicians disapprove of the sale of their personal prescribing data for marketing purposes, the American Medical Association persists in selling detailed physician information to the pharmaceutical industry. This data must be used for legitimate public health research - not brand promotion.

July 24, 2007

Private card, huge deductible? No way
HENRY S. KAHN | Letter to the Editor | Atlanta Journal Constitution
Don't be fooled by all the politicians claiming to support "universal" health care. If you read the fine print, most of their proposals dictate that everyone should buy a private health care card. What good is your card if it commits you to a $5,000 deductible and 50 percent co-pay before you receive any of your (limited) benefits?

July 23, 2007

Groups pushing Medicare reform will weaken system
Sau Friedman | Newsday
Beware the front groups that claim they would help save Medicare or promote health care reform. More than likely they're saving or promoting themselves - at the expense of Medicare and your health.

Health care should be a right
By Kathryn Bourgoin | Bangor Daily News
Our country has had publicly funded education since 1643, when the first public school was started in Dedham, Massachusetts. Most people think education is a basic right, so why isn’t healthcare?

Yes, We Can All Be Insured
By Jane Bryant Quinn | Newsweek
Prepare to be terrorized, shocked, scared out of your wits. No, not by jihadists or dementors (you do read "Harry Potter," right?), but by the evil threat of ... universal health insurance! The more the presidential candidates talk it up, the wilder the warnings against it. Cover everyone? Wreck America? Do you know what care would cost?

Nurses, doctors simpatico with 'Sicko'
By LEO Weekly
The red that progressive doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals are seeing over the roughly 47 million uninsured Americans probably looks a lot like the blood-colored, "Sicko"-branded scrubs they wore Friday morning as they shouted, "I get sick!" in unison outside Baxter Avenue Theatres.

July 20, 2007

Will single-payer buzz from "SiCKO" last?
By Doug Trapp | AMNews staff
Michael Moore's latest film, "SiCKO," has energized single-payer supporters and drawn attention to their cause. But what, if any, long-term effect the movie will have on the national debate on universal health care system reform is up for debate.

Review of Michael Moore's New Film,"SiCKO"
By USW International President Leo W. Gerard
Michael Moore, the activist author and filmmaker, has given every union member in the United States a great tool of advocacy for our health care agenda with his new movie, "SiCKO."

July 18, 2007

Six Ways to Fix America's Health Care System
Fran Korten | Publisher, YES! Magazine
Michael Moore's new movie Sicko hit me hard. I found heartbreaking the unnecessary suffering our heath care system causes so many Americans. But I also felt this powerful film could change public opinion about U.S. health care the way An Inconvenient Truth changed the public view on global warming.

July 17, 2007

Linking campaign financing to what's wrong with the health care system
By Jack E. Lohman | COMMENTARY
Health care is looming as a major issue in the 2008 elections, but a root cause of soaring health care costs is being ignored both by the public and the press, at least until now. I’m referring to a very conflicted system of political campaign financing.

Upgrading To National Health Insurance (Medicare 2.0)
by Leonard Rodberg & Don McCanne
Private health insurance was an idea that worked during part of the last century; it will not succeed through the 21st Century. With jobs increasingly service-based and short-term, the large employment-based risk pools that made this insurance system possible no longer exist. Medical care has become more effective and more essential to the ordinary person, but also more costly and capital-intensive. The multiple private insurance carriers that emerged during the last century can no longer provide a sound basis for financing our modern health care system.

The Waiting Game
By PAUL KRUGMAN | New York Times
The opponents of universal health care appear to have run out of honest arguments.

July 16, 2007

SEIU United Healthcare Workers West "Strongly" Supports HR 676
Oakland, California. The 140,000 member United Healthcare Workers West, an affiliate of SEIU, has endorsed HR 676, legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) which would implement a single payer healthcare system in the U.S. In a letter to Conyers’...

Prescription for reform
By Judith Graham | Tribune staff reporter
In 1980, Dr. Arnold Relman penned a famous article in the New England Journal of Medicine warning of the rise of a new, powerful "medical-industrial complex" in the U.S. The commercialization of medicine, he argued, was not in patients' or society's best interest and undercut the ethics of the profession. A longtime editor of the New England Journal and professor at Harvard Medical School, Relman tackles the issue again in his new book, "A Second Opinion," published by PublicAffairs.

'SiCKO' Exposes Broken System
By Susanne L. King | Berkshire Eagle
The people around me cried as we watched a middle-aged couple move into a small room in their daughter's house after declaring medical bankruptcy. The husband had survived three heart attacks and his wife had developed cancer. Even though both had been gainfully employed and had insurance, they went bankrupt in their retirement years because of "cost-sharing," the term insurance companies use for sticking patients with high deductibles and co-payments.

Grieve for the U.S. health system
BY MARTIN GROSS | Miami Herald
Denial is normal when faced with the sad state of American healthcare. Who wants to hear that roughly one in six of us are uninsured and can't get access to care? Who cares that we have the 37th-best medical system in the world? Who needs to know that 18,000 American citizens may be dying each year because this country's system is not comprehensive or universal? This data came from the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine? Well, who are they to judge?

July 13, 2007

Universal health care pushed
By Britney Tabor | The Courier-Journal
Dr. Garrett Adams, a member of the physicians' group and former chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Kosair Children's Hospital who presented yesterday's speakers, said he felt it was his moral obligation to be a part of this campaign. "Once you understand this, you can't turn your back on it," Adams said.

Rescue plan
By ANDREW D. COATES | NY Times Union
But mainstream politicians recoil from the suggestion that private health insurance has no legitimate role in society, though they repeat the word 'universal' as if in a delirium. Recent state legislation, with the exception of California's single-payer bill, has aimed to rescue private health insurance from a crisis of its own making (instead of the people hurt by the crisis.)

I Treat the Patients Michael Moore Forgot
By Thomas L. Fisher | Washington Post
I sympathize with those who are unhappy about the quality of their insured care, but I'm more worried about those with no insurance at all. The bigger problem is that we all want the finest of health care, and as a result, many of us -- largely black and brown -- are left with nothing.

July 10, 2007

Health Care Terror
By PAUL KRUGMAN | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times
What outrages people who see "Sicko" is the sheer cruelty and injustice of the American health care system -- sick people who can't pay their hospital bills literally dumped on the sidewalk, a child who dies because an emergency room that isn't a participant in her mother's health plan won't treat her, hard-working Americans driven into humiliating poverty by medical bills.

On Health Care Reform
Deborah Burger | SF Chronicle
What country endures such long waits for medical care that even one of its top insurers has admitted that care is "not timely" and people "initially diagnosed with cancer are waiting over a month, which is intolerable?" If you guessed Canada, guess again. The answer is the United States.

Canadian and U.S. Health Services -- Let's Compare the Two
Danielle Martin | Board Chair | Canadian Doctors for Medicare
The introduction of private insurance or private-for-profit health care for medically necessary services is not the answer to challenges in the Canadian health-care system. In a systematic review of 38 studies published in Open Medicine in May, 17 leading Canadian and U.S. researchers confirmed the Canadian system leads to health outcomes as good, or better, than the U.S. private system, at less than 50% of the cost.

July 09, 2007

BlueCross Secret Memo Re: 'Sicko' ... "You would have to be dead to be unaffected by Moore's movie..."
[The following memo was written by Barclay Fitzpatrick, VP of Corporate Communications for Capital BlueCross]
You would have to be dead to be unaffected by Moore's movie, he is an effective storyteller.

July 05, 2007

Waiting Times for Care? Try Looking at the U.S.
Waiting times in U.S. hospitals and clinics are becoming so lengthy that even one of the nation's biggest insurers, Aetna, has admitted to its investors that the U.S. healthcare system is "not timely" and patients diagnosed with cancer wait "over a month" for needed medical care, said two leading organizations of doctors and nurses today.

June 28, 2007

Statement of Dr. Robert McMurtry of Ontario, Canada to Rep. John Conyers, Chair, Judiciary Committee, US House of Representatives, June 20, 2007
Testimony of Dr. Robert McMurtry of Ontario, Canada Prepared for Rep. John Conyers, Chair, Judiciary Committee, US House of Representatives I am a grand-father of four, an orthopedic surgeon, former Dean of Medicine and former Assistant Deputy Minister of Health...

June 27, 2007

Health care film exposes sore issue
By Daniel Lee and John Russell | The Indianapolis Star
"For our point of view, the timing is terrific," said Dr. Christopher Stack, a retired Indianapolis surgeon who co-founded Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, a group that advocates for government-run health care. "It will get people talking."

June 26, 2007

Good Movie, Now Where's the Movement?
But Michael Moore is no Paris Hilton from any dimension you wish to choose. He is a heavyweight reformer, pitching his film toward full Medicare for everyone. This also means displacing the health insurance industry the way Medicare partially did in the mid-Sixties for the elderly.

June 21, 2007

Study Finds 1.8 Million Veterans Are Uninsured
By Christopher Lee | Washington Post Staff Writer
The ranks of uninsured veterans have increased by 290,000 since 2000, said Stephanie J. Woolhandler, the Harvard Medical School professor who presented her findings yesterday before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

June 18, 2007

Nurses, Doctors Announce "Scrubs for SiCKO" Campaign in Conjunction with Debut of Michael Moore's Film to Spark Genuine Healthcare Debate
For Immediate Release June 18, 2007 Contact: Chuck Idleson 415-559-8991 Lisa Cohen 310-395-2544 David Schildmeir 781-249-0430 Unprecedented National Coalition Will Work to Recruit Caregivers in “SiCKO Scrubs” to Attend Each Film Premiere TheaterNurses and Doctors Begin Bus Tour Today to...

Michael Moore refocuses healthcare debate
By David R. Francis | Columnist | The Christian Science Monitor
Advocates of a single-payer national healthcare system welcome Moore's movie. With millions of viewers likely to see the film, it's "unquestionably" helpful, says a spokesman for Physicians for a National Health Program. PNHP, with a membership of 14,000 physicians, has been campaigning for a national system for 20 years.

Healthcare providers to attend "SiCKO" premiere, speak out for a national health insurance plan
Healthcare providers to attend "SiCKO" premiere, speak out for a national health insurance plan New York, N.Y. -- June 15, 2007 -- Registered nurses, doctors, and other healthcare providers will be out in force Monday evening, June 18, when Michael Moore’s new film, SiCKO, premieres in New York City at the Ziegfeld Theatre.

America Comes Up Short
By PAUL KRUGMAN | New York Times
A broader explanation would be that contemporary America is a society that, in a variety of ways, doesn't take very good care of its children. Recently, Unicef issued a report comparing a number of measures of child well-being in 21 rich countries, including health and safety, family and peer relationships and such things as whether children eat fruit and are physically active. The report put the Netherlands at the top; sure enough, the Dutch are now the world's tallest people, almost 3 inches taller, on average, than non-Hispanic American whites. The U.S. ended up in 20th place, below Poland, Portugal and Hungary, but ahead of Britain.

June 14, 2007

Michael Moore's Latest Target: An 'Immoral' Health Care System
Moore hopes that people who see "Sicko" will realize that the current health care system needs an overhaul and will start a "political movement" of change, but he also said that fixing the health care system isn't strictly a political issue.

June 13, 2007

Moore lobbies Sacramento for healing
Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer | San Francisco Chronicle
As Michael Moore stood on the west steps of the Capitol on Tuesday and led 1,000 activists in chanting "It's time for them to go" -- health insurance companies, that is -- he looked less like a Hollywood director promoting his new takedown of the health care industry and more like the frontman of a national political campaign.

National health insurance makes sense for work force
By Roger Ray | Springfield News-Leader
In the mid 1970s, the then-largest insurance company in the world, Prudential, added auto and homeowners insurance to its product offerings. The reason given for this move was, are you ready?.... because there was about to be a national health program in the United States that would end the need for health insurance! Prudential wanted to give its agents another product to sell to make up for what they would lose in commissions on health insurance. However, the Carter administration failed to overcome the objections of health care providers and insurance companies and abandoned health care reform.

June 12, 2007

Health care is the focus
By Mark Fischenich | The Free Press
Uninsured people are often the focus of debates about America's troubled health care system, but even those with insurance are struggling with issues of cost and access.

June 11, 2007

Really fixing U.S. health care
By PAUL DEMARCO - Guest columnist | The State
Imagine you were involved in a discussion about U.S. public schools when someone said: "Socialized education is ruining this country. Tuition should be provided by businesses to their employees or by the government to the very poor. Otherwise, you make your own way." That sounds quite strange. America is committed to a nationwide system of taxpayer-supported public schools. Only the staunchest libertarian would question that commitment. But substitute the word "medicine" for "education" in the quotation and change "tuition" to "health insurance" and you have an accurate description of the state of health care in our country.

Single payer health care: the right diagnosis for us
We already know that selfish interests from the insurance and hospital industries are going to wage all-out war against any reform. So we might as well design a program to create the best possible health system, and let the defenders of the shameful status quo take their best shot.

Let voters reform health care
By David Lazarus | San Francisco Chronicle
So I say this: Let the people decide. If our lawmakers can't or won't recognize the urgent need for universal coverage, then it's time to repackage SB840 as a ballot initiative and put it to a vote by those most directly impacted by our obscenely dysfunctional health care system -- us.

U.S. care of citizens is 'Sicko'
By ROSE ANN DEMORO, CNA/NNOCC Executive Director | LA Daily News
MICHAEL Moore's riveting new film provides a valuable lesson that we can solve the health care crisis without dumping more resources into a too-often heartless, private, insurance-based system. Lack of insurance is not the trouble in America. The insurance industry itself is the problem.

Director's Sicko shows folly of U.S. hostility to health care for all
Thomas Walkom | The Star
But Moore is not making a film for Canadians or the Brits or the French. He doesn't delve into Canada's debate over two-tier medicine. He ignores British controversies about public-private partnerships in health and pays absolutely no attention to French complaints that upfront user charges subvert that country's medicare system. He doesn't care about any of this. Nor should he. Moore is making a film for Americans. And what he is telling his compatriots is very simple and very true: that America's refusal to embrace some kind of universal health care system makes absolutely no sense.

June 05, 2007

Fact-checking the Democratic Candidates on Health Care
infoZine Staff | Kansas City infoZine
National coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, Quentin Young, M.D. said yesterday: "It was ironic to hear Clinton talk about standing up to the the insurance companies. She'd tried to work them into her plan, which is a large part of why it failed. The biggest insurance companies actually backed her plan for a time while the smaller ones opposed it.

Teamsters, United Auto Workers, Call for Single Payer
By Sheena Harrison | Crain's Detroit Business
United Auto Workers International President Ron Gettelfinger and James Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, both advocated creating a universal, single-payer health care system in separate speeches at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference.

May 31, 2007

Michael Moore to Testify at Landmark Sacramento Legislative Briefing on "Sicko" June 12
CNA/NNOC Hosts Big Rally, Premiere for RNs, Doctors, Patient AdvocatesFor Immediate Release May 30, 2007 Contact: Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246, 415-559-8991 (cell), Shum Preston, 510-273-2276 Film maker Michael Moore will testify at a landmark Sacramento legislative briefing on his stunning new...

Sen. Obama, Please No More Deck Chairs on the Insurance Industry Titanic
By Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
The first misconception in the health care debate is the portrait of all of us as "consumers" of health care. Sen. Barack Obama's healthcare plan, announced today, is yet the latest to perpetuate the present misguided system that sacrifices all of us to this concept.

May 30, 2007

Obama's and Edward's Unhealthy Health Plans
by PNHP Executive Director Dr. Ida Hellander with PNHP National Coordinator Dr. Quentin Young
Obama's health plan, announced yesterday, is essentially the same as the Edwards' health plan, continuing reliance on the employer-based system of private health coverage that has failed America and brought the health system to the point of crisis.

May 29, 2007

Health reformers to piggyback on 'Sicko'
Victoria Colliver | Chronicle Staff Writer
Michael Moore couldn't have scheduled the release of his movie "Sicko" -- an indictment of the U.S. health care system -- at a more opportune time. The film, which opens in theaters in the United States on June 29, arrives as many states, including California, have introduced health care reform proposals. In polls, health care routinely ranks among the public's top domestic concerns. Health care reform is also expected to be an important theme in the presidential campaign for 2008.

Without Cost Control, Universal Coverage Will Fail
by David U. Himmelstein, M.D. | WBUR 90.0
Every year, costs rise far faster than inflation, making health insurance less affordable for individuals, and tempting employers to stop offering coverage altogether. For city and town governments in the [Massachusetts] Commonwealth, health spending for public workers' benefits rose 85% between 2001 and 2006, eating up most new tax revenues. And state government spending for Medicaid and other state health programs continues to skyrocket.

May 24, 2007

On Health Care, a Can-Do Attitude
Quentin D. Young, M.D. | New York Times | Letter to the Editor
Of course, it is pleasant to receive the recognition from Nicholas D. Kristof: “So bravo to the Physicians for a National Health Program,” which favors a single-payer system. Let me return the accolade by informing him that Massachusetts’ recent legislation, which he found promising, is certainly not “feasible” and is already dysfunctional. This is important because a bevy of states are responding to private health insurance pressures with Massachusetts-like panaceas.

May 22, 2007

By Andrew O'Hehir |
Michael Moore's scathing, important look at the U.S. healthcare system has plenty to rile the far right -- and a lot more to enrage the larger American public.

Oh yes, he's got an agenda
Agnès Poirier | The Guardian
[Michael Moore] has issues with the way of the world and wants to set records straight. His goal is simply to put universal healthcare back at the centre of the American debate. And while Moore's main objective is to reach his fellow Americans, his film should also make Europeans ponder on the system they too often take for granted.

Young, Ill and Uninsured
Fourteen-year-old Devante Johnson deserved better. He was a sweet kid, an honor student and athlete who should be enjoying music and sports and skylarking with his friends at school. Instead he’s buried in Houston’s Paradise North Cemetery. Devante died of kidney cancer in March. His mother, Tamika Scott, believes he would still be alive if bureaucrats in Texas hadn’t fouled up so badly that his health coverage was allowed to lapse and his cancer treatment had to be interrupted.

We're Number Two: Canada Has as Good or Better Health Care than the U.S.
By Christopher Mims | Scientific American
The study's authors highlight the fact that per capita spending on health care is 89 percent higher in the U.S. than in Canada. "One thing that people generally know is that the administration costs are much higher in the U.S.," Groome notes. Indeed, one study by Woolhandler published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2003 found that 31 percent of spending on health care in the U.S. went to administrative costs, whereas Canada spent only 17 percent on the same functions.

Insurance Blob Wastes One-Third of Care Dollars
Deborah Burger, R.N. | President, California Nurses Association
Wall Street Journal | Letter to the Editor

The simple fact is we could learn a thing or two about health care from Canada, France, Taiwan and every other developed nation in the world. They all manage to provide better health care at about half the cost. The difference? They don't have a bloated insurance bureaucracy wasting one-third of care dollars and propelling medical inflation.

May 21, 2007

A Short American Life
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF | New York Times | Op-Ed Columnist
The U.S. now spends far more on medical care (more than $7,000 per person) than other nations, yet our infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and longevity are among the worst in the industrialized world. If we had as good a child mortality rate as France, Germany and Italy, we would save 12,000 children a year.

May 18, 2007

For Michael Moore, Controversy Is Marketing
By MERISSA MARR | The Wall Street Journal
Filmmaker Michael Moore says on his Web site that his new documentary, "SiCKO," "will expose the health-care industry's greed and control over America's political processes."

Bangor, ME — The Executive Board of the Maine State AFL-CIO has endorsed HR 676, single payer health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Maine is the 18th state AFL-CIO to endorse HR 676. The Executive Board’s resolution,...

May 17, 2007

Moore in The E.R.
By Jeffrey Kluger | Time Magazine
Michael Moore: This film does cut across party lines. Everybody gets sick; everybody has had a problem with insurance or the prescription drugs they’re supposed to be taking or an elderly parent who needs care. On the surface, it does seem that the only people who are going to be upset are the executives of insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

May 16, 2007

Health care plan veto won't stop lawmaker
Tom Chorneau | San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bureau
The debate over health care reform in California has focused on proposals from the governor and legislative leaders aimed at expanding private insurance coverage to more residents. But there's another idea -- one with the support of legions of enthusiastic voters and a majority of the Legislature: Replace private insurance with a system managed by the state, the so-called single-payer system.

The Future of Healthcare in California
by State Senator Leland Yee
The single biggest issue that the State Legislature will address in 2007 is California’s healthcare system. The most significant problems with our current healthcare system are the exorbitant cost and the operational inefficiency. These factors work to exclude many average working people from having access to essential care. Without affordable healthcare, families are forced to depend on emergency rooms for basic health care and struggle with exorbitant bills, while our entire economy suffers. This has created a growing crisis for patients, healthcare providers, and taxpayers alike.

May 15, 2007

Illinois Needs a Single-Payer Public Insurance Plan
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has proposed to raise taxes which Illinoisans would then pay to insurance companies - but private insurers are the problem, not the solution. Hence, the governor’s plan is long on costs to consumer, taxpayers and businesses, and is short on remedies. To simultaneously expand coverage while controlling costs for individuals and businesses, the only effective solution is a single-payer public insurance program.

May 14, 2007

on “The Role of Health Care Reform in the Elimination of Health Care Disparities.”FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 14, 2007 Contact: Joanne Landy, MPH Executive Director, PNHP-NY Metro NEW YORK, NY - The New York Metro Chapter of Physicians for a...

May 11, 2007

The market's the problem with health care
Marketplace | NPR
Some Fortune 500 CEOs this week announced a coalition to push for health care reform. But commentator Jamie Court says what they're really seeking is a government bailout of insurers and drug companies.

May 09, 2007

National health care would solve problem
Kevin Collins | Normal, Ill | The Pantagraph | Letter to the Editor
Access to comprehensive health care is a human right. Pursuits of corporate profit and personal fortune have no place in care-giving and create enormous waste. The United States already spends enough to provide comprehensive health care to all Americans with no increase in total costs.

May 08, 2007

Democrats Escalate Attack on Single Payer
The Corporate Democratic Party is into snuff politics. The target this month--single payer, Medicare for all. The motive--protect the corporate health insurance industry.

HEALTH CARE GAPS: Single payer is not socialized medicine
By DR. ANNE COURTRIGHT | The Pueblo Chieftan, Colorado
We spend twice as much as any other advanced country on health care yet we rank 37th in the world on health outcomes. Catastrophic medical bills bring on bankruptcy while insurance companies spend 30 percent or their money on administration, marketing and profit. Medicare For All would mean we all contribute and we all get necessary health care. Doctors remain independent and hospital remain private and non-profit.

HISTORIC Rally for Single-Payer Healthcare
Nurses, School Employees, Teachers, Firefighters and Patients Demand SB 840 and Genuine Healthcare ReformSen. Sheila Kuehl Addresses CrowdFor Immediate Release May 7, 2007 Contact: Shum Preston, 510-273-2276 or Chuck Idelson, 510-273-2246 A broad-based coalition of some 2,000 healthcare activists will...

May 07, 2007

Working to fix the health-care crisis
By W.J. Coggins | The Tuscaloosa News
The steadily rising costs of health care is a worldwide problem. In the other industrial nations where costs are rationally managed, the total burden on the economy is half as much as ours because they have a single-payer system either managed by the government or smaller governmental units. The overall quality of care in these countries, measured by life expectancy, infant mortality rates, patient satisfaction and other parameters, is better than ours.

Prescription for health care
By Kristen Hannum | Rocky Mountain News
Dr. Rocky White of Alamosa was seeing a growing number of patients who were without adequate insurance. The conservative rancher and physician knew many people weren't coming in at all for the preventive care that would keep them healthy. After studying the problem, White decided "Everybody in, nobody out," was the answer to the U.S. health-care crisis. Universal health care, via single-payer financing, brings quality care for far less money per capita in other industrialized countries. Why not here?

May 02, 2007

Single-payer system would give us the world's best care
By DR. JOHN DALEY | Union Leader | Commentary
As a family physician on the front lines of medicine I daily see the difficulties patients face due to lack of insurance or under-insurance. Generally these patients ration their own care, disappearing for a year or two when they lose their job and insurance, only to return with sky-high blood pressures or out- of-control diabetes, effectively taking years off their lives.

May 01, 2007

Eliminating private health insurance our only good option
Rod Blagojevich wants to be remembered as Illinois' "health care governor," and his focus on our state's millions of uninsured and underinsured is commendable. Unfortunately, he has come up with the wrong prescription. Blagojevich would hike taxes to pay insurance companies for meager benefits. But eliminating private insurers altogether would save enough to provide health care for all Illinoisans for no more than we're spending now.

Lack of insurance puts too many at risk
By Dr. Richard G. Younge | The Journal News
How could the health-care system change to improve care? For a start, we could make the treatment and preventive services of modern health care available to everyone. A national health insurance program that replaced our current system based on private insurers would improve access to care for the 47 million uninsured people in the United States.

April 26, 2007

CostRx: Kucinich's not-for-profit plan
By LAURA GILCREST | UPI Health Business Editor
Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, a Democratic presidential contender, tells United Press International about his plan for national healthcare reform, which is centered on covering all Americans by taking the profit factor out of the equation.

Presidential hopefuls skip best plan for health care
By MILES WEINBURGER | Des Moines Register
We have in America outstanding health-care facilities, excellent doctors and world-class research. What we lack is the universal health-care coverage present in all other industrial nations that provides assurance that health care will be available to us when we need it. Many of you reading this may say, "I've got good insurance that my employer provides." Let's hope your insurer stays in business and that you never have to change jobs or go into business for yourself.

April 25, 2007

Controversial Michael Moore Flick "Sicko" Will Compare U.S. Health Care with Cuba's
By Don Hazen | AlterNet
To state that controversy and Michael Moore go hand and hand is to utter the obvious, and Moore's latest film Sicko will clearly be no exception. Sicko, which will be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival in May, is a comic broadside against the state of American health care, including the mental health system. The film targets drug companies and the HMOS in the richest country in the world -- where the most money is spent on health care, but where the U.S. ranks 21st in life expectancy among the 30 most developed nations, obviously in part due to the fact that 47 million people are without health insurance.

The Health of Nations
By Ezra Klein | The American Prospect Here's how Canada, France, Britain, Germany, and our own Veterans Health Administration manage to cover everybody at less cost and with better care than we do.

April 24, 2007

Un seguro médico, para todos, de por vida
Jaime Torres | El Diario
En toda la nación el tema de la crisis en nuestro sistema de salud está candente y la gente está demando a los políticos que la resuelvan. Hay 47 millones de personas sin cobertura médica -- 14 millones son hispanos -- y más de 50 millones con seguros inadecuados. El Instituto de Medicina reportó que cada año 18,000 personas mueren por falta de cobertura médica.

Incremental Health Reform: Whose Life Doesn't Count?
by Rose Ann DeMoro | The Huffington Post
Listening to the purveyors of conventional wisdom, you might think only an incremental approach on healthcare reform is possible. The most comprehensive reform, HR 676 in Congress, (and its state versions, such as SB 840 in California), providing guaranteed healthcare as an expanded and improved Medicare for all, is not politically feasible. So, the pundits insist, settle for what we can get.

Health care: The best won't be the easiest
Saul Friedman | Newsday
As we've discussed, "Medicare for All" may seem the simplest and most logical path to universal health care. But the nation's conservative traditions and the entrenched multizillion-dollar for-profit health care establishment will be formidable obstacles on that path.

The Plot Against Medicare
By PAUL KRUGMAN | Op-Ed Columnist | The New York Times The plot against Social Security failed: President Bush's attempt to privatize the system crashed and burned when the public realized what he was up to. But the plot against Medicare is faring better: the stealth privatization embedded in the Medicare Modernization Act, which Congress literally passed in the dead of night back in 2003, is proceeding apace.

Evansville native to address need for national health plan
By Tom Raithel | Evansville Courier & Press
An Evansville native who is now a physician campaigning for a national single-payer universal health plan will bring his message home May 3 in a speech at Central Library's Browning Events Room. Dr. Rob Stone, an emergency room doctor in Bloomington, Ind., is a leader in Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan, an Indiana affiliate of Physicians for a National Health Plan.

An Analysis of the Literature on Disease Management Programs
Some states, like Vermont, are considering expanding access to care with savings from "disease management." Unfortunately, the CBO found that there is no evidence that disease management saves money. After taking into account the cost of running the program (often subcontracted to a drug company spin-off) disease management may actually raise costs, as it did in the Florida Medicaid program.

California Senate Health Committee Passes Universal Healthcare Act
California’s 2007 healthcare debate moved in to high gear today as the state Senate Health Committee approved two key bills to guarantee healthcare for all Californians before hundreds of people in a packed chamber that filled two rooms. SB 840, Sen. Sheila Kuehl’s Universal Healthcare Act, and its companion financing bill, SB 1014, passed by 6-4 votes Wednesday night following an impassioned call by Kuehl earlier during the committee hearing for action on the state’s healthcare crisis. There were also statements of support by representatives of dozens of community organizations.

April 17, 2007

AARP Says It Will Become Major Medicare Insurer While Remaining a Consumer Lobby
By ROBERT PEAR | The New York Times
When the new coverage becomes available next year, AARP will be the largest provider of private insurance to Medicare recipients. In addition to the new H.M.O., AARP will continue providing prescription drug coverage and policies to supplement Medicare, known as Medigap coverage.

April 16, 2007

What's the One Thing Big Business and the Left Have in Common?
Oliver Fein, M.D. and Leonard Rodberg | Letter to the Editor | New York Times Magazine
Is this what our country has come to? Leading C.E.O.’s, despairing of their ability to limit rising health-care costs and unwilling to bear these costs themselves any longer, will now back legislation that would place every individual and family at the mercy of private insurance companies like UnitedHealth, Wellpoint and the other insurance giants. Do they think John and Jane Doe can achieve what Safeway and General Motors cannot, namely, affordable health care for all of us?

April 13, 2007

PNHP'er Honored by National Association of Social Workers
William Whitaker, a professor of social work at Boise State University, has been named Idaho’s Social Worker of the Year by the Idaho chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. William Whitaker, Ph.D. Whitaker came to Boise State in...

April 12, 2007

Union Disunity
By Matt Smith | SF Weekly
Note from PNHP: The AFL-CIO endorsed a Medicare for All approach to health reform in March, 2007, but some splinter unions, most prominently SEIU, have kept silent on single payer and instead had high profile press conferences with groups like the pro-market National Business Roundtable. This article sheds some light on SEIU president Andy Stern's corporate alliances and the internal battle at SEIU that will determine the fate of hundreds of thousands of health care workers - and impact the future of health care reform in the US.

April 10, 2007

Testimony of the Washington State Ad Hoc Coalition on the Citizens Health Care Working Group/Letter to Congressman Stark
We are individuals and members of several different Washington State organizations that are committed to the creation of a high quality American health care system that is affordable and accessible to all. We came together over a year ago as an Ad Hoc Coalition in support of the Citizens Health Care Working Group (CHCWG) and its public hearing held in Seattle in February 2006. We submitted a critique and recommendations for improvement of the Interim Report last summer. We now testify before the Senate Finance Committee about the CHCWG report "Health Care That Works for All Americans", and make further comments about implementation of reform of the American health care system.

Group pushing for universal health care forms Birmingham chapter
DAVE PARKS | The Birmingham News | News staff writer
A newly reinvigorated chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program - an organization that has been pushing since the 1980s for universal health care - has formed in the Birmingham area.

National system would fix health care crisis
Michael Ozer | Special to the San Antonio Express-News
At this point, none of the major contenders has made bold proposals that would threaten the dominant role the private insurers have in our system. Most would create mandates for employers to purchase health insurance for their employees and provide tax credits for those too rich to qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program. Unfortunately, such approaches won't adequately address the problem. Decent coverage would increasingly become more unaffordable for more and more Americans as medical costs continue to rise.

April 05, 2007

Locals want an 'audacity of action'
By Deborah McDermott | Portsmouth Herald
Clif Horrigan wanted answers. The Portsmouth resident came to hear Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for her children, all of whom have faced unemployment, all of whom have been without health insurance. She wants a single-payer, "prenatal to death" health care system, and she said that she was a tough customer before Obama even strode in the room at Seacoast Media Group on Tuesday . "I haven't heard what he stands for. I need details," she said.

April 04, 2007

Death by no insurance?
By Lindsey Tanner | Associated Press
Dr. Perry Klaassen lived to tell about his frightening ordeal with colon cancer. His patient did not. Same age, same state, same disease. Striking similarities, Klaassen thought when Shirley Searcy came to his clinic in Oklahoma City. It was July 2002, a year after his own diagnosis. But there was one huge difference: Klaassen had health insurance, Searcy did not.

April 03, 2007

Health care front, center
By Shir Haberman | Portsmouth Herald
The two approaches are:
Build on the employer-based system with a provision for a government-sponsored program that would act as a safety net for those who could not get insurance through their employers.
Develop a single-payer approach, funded publicly, but delivered privately.

April 02, 2007

Insurance may not be enough
By Dr. Susanne King | Berkshire Eagle
IT IS now common knowledge that 47 million people are uninsured in the United States, an increase of 5 million during the time President Bush has been in office. This health care issue is already a focus for the upcoming national election, as well as the impetus for health care reform in individual states. Massachusetts is currently implementing legislation to reduce the number of uninsured in our state, and to mandate universal health care coverage.

Medicare for all would be a healthy move
By Saul Friedman | Newsday
How can we preserve what's best in the nation's current system and move as smoothly as possible to medicine that's publicly financed? One popular answer, which we reported on nearly 10 years ago, came from Dr. Marcia Angell, in the New England Journal of Medicine, which she edited. We called it "Medicare For All." Now a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School, she repeated her suggestion recently in the Boston Globe.

In support of a single-payer system
Ann Troy, M.D., FAAP | San Rafael, Calif. | AAP News
In his State of the Union address, President Bush acknowledged that we have a health care crisis in the United States. His plan for fixing it would keep the insurance industry in health care -- to the detriment of us all.

ACT UP protest brings attention to heath care crisis
Michelle Garcia | The Advocate
One of the groups involved with organizing the campaign was the Metro New York Physicians for a National Health Program, or PNHP. Oliver Fein, chairman of PNHP, said the partnering of these two groups is crucial to furthering the cause of health care and affordable housing for HIV patients and all Americans.

March 29, 2007

In health care reform, California needn't settle for second best
By Kay McVay, RN | San Jose Mercury News
Anyone worried about the cost and availability of health care should be very wary of some of what's being said about health care reform in California. SB840, state Sen. Sheila Kuehl's bill providing guaranteed health care as an expanded and improved version of Medicare for all Californians, is the gold standard reform. It's the most comprehensive - and the only plan that controls costs by eliminating administrative waste rather than limiting care and shifting costs to families.

N.H. House stands behind single-payer plan
By Shir Haberman | Portsmouth Herald
"It's very exciting," said Portsmouth physician Thomas Clairmont, who was the impetus for the resolution. "It will open up the debate, because now when these (presidential candidates) come to speak before the Legislature, they will know where that body stands on health care.

Transcript of Presidential Forum
The Center for American Progress held a forum on health care with Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Chris Dodd, Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Mike Gravel, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Sen. Barack Obama, and Gov. Bill Richardson. Click here for the full transcript

March 28, 2007

Plug the health care drain
By Ron Forthofer | The Rocky Mountain News
Although health care is the top domestic concern of Americans, neither the Bush administration nor congressional leaders are willing to provide the leadership necessary to solve the crises confronting uninsured and underinsured Americans and U.S. businesses. Leading politicians continue to put campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries ahead of the interests of other businesses and the American public. However, as U.S. businesses are faced with ever increasing health insurance premiums, more are willing to tackle the crisis and become a part of the solution.

March 27, 2007

Health coverage for more people just helps insurers
By Milton Fisk | The Journal Gazette
Suddenly, the most unlikely bunch has turned altruistic. Conservative businesses and politicians want health coverage for the uninsured. Schemes are multiplying about how to do it. Why the change of heart? Beware of those bearing gifts -- this altruism is but poorly disguised self-interest.

March 26, 2007

Candidates Outline Ideas for Universal Health Care
By ROBERT PEAR | The New York Times
Seven Democratic candidates for president promised Saturday to guarantee health insurance for all, but they disagreed over how to pay for it and how fast it could be achieved.

Gray Matters
By Saul Friedman | Family & Relationships | Newsday
Each new subscriber to a Medicare Advantage plan means another of the thousands of cuts that are bleeding Medicare to death, which explains why Medicare advocates in the Congress want to reduce the subsidy. You'd help by staying with Medicare.

March 23, 2007

Union fights health horrors
By Gregory Lopes | Washington Times
America's largest organized labor union is setting the stage for a campaign to reform the country's health care system. The AFL-CIO's Working America, an affiliate of the union, this week set up the Web site: "Health Care Hustle."

Winds of change carrying cries for health care toward the Hill
Lance Dickie | Seattle Times | Editorial Columnist
Here is an unadorned fact of political life: An anxious middle class makes things happen, which explains the persistent drum beat of national interest in universal health-insurance coverage. People are uneasy. The exact shape of the change to come is not clear, but more and more Americans are eager to listen to the options. One of the most straight-forward, and familiar, is national single-payer health insurance.

March 22, 2007

Physicians Critique Presidential Candidates' Health Plans
Media Advisory March 20, 2007 CONTACTS: Don McCanne, MD — (949) 493-3714 David Himmelstein, MD — (617) 665-1032 Nicholas Skala — (312) 782-6006 Leaders of the 14,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) will be available for commentary and...

March 20, 2007

The health care crisis
By Alex Gerber | Washington Times | Commentary
The answer to our outmoded, multipayer, profit-oriented health-care industry is its replacement by a nonprofit, single-payer government agency. In short, universal health insurance (UHI) through Medicare for our entire population.

The single-payer solution
By Linda Hunt Beckman | Philadelphia Inquirer
We in the United States are unfamiliar with the single-payer option because tremendous amounts of money are spent by the medical-insurance and pharmaceutical industries to keep us in the dark. They would lose big bucks if we chose to go this route.

March 19, 2007

Time for a change?
By Sandy Miller | Times-News writer
"Five years ago, if you mentioned national health care to a roomful of doctors, they would have booed," said Bobbie Dennett, a disability hearing officer for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the co-chair of the Outreach Committee of Idaho Health Care For All. They're not booing so much anymore.

March 17, 2007

Critical condition: Single-payer plan gains steam as cure for health care system
By Julie Creek | The Journal Gazette
Fears about cost, quality and lack of access have pushed health care reform to center stage in American domestic politics. In the 13 years since the Clinton health care plan went down in flames, the problems that plan was designed to address have become more severe, and reform promises to be a major issue in next year's presidential race. Among solutions under discussion is the "single-payer" system, which proponents argue is the best way to provide health insurance and control costs.

March 16, 2007

Schwarzenegger's Health Plan Unaffordable for California, Nurses Charge
California Nurses Association | Press Release
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's health plan could cost the typical California household from 25% to 36 percent of their family income, according to data released today by the California Nurses Association.

Universal health care provides everyone access
By DOMENICK BUSCEMI | The Morning Call
The obvious solution to the problem is to stop making a profit from the sickness and misery of human beings. Facts point to a single-payer, universal health care system where everyone pays his or her fair share and everyone receives equal access.

When to Violate the Top Two Commandments of Antigovernment Crusaders
By ROBERT H. FRANK | New York Times | Economic Scene
In health care, for example, the private insurance system employed in the United States delivers worse outcomes at substantially higher cost than the single-payer system employed in virtually every other industrial country. But switching to the single-payer system would require higher taxes and increased benefits for low-income citizens, steps that would violate the two commandments. So for now, we remain saddled with a system that everyone agrees is dysfunctional.

March 15, 2007

What we need: single payer, a single plan
Lisa Nilles | Star Tribune | Opinion
The universal health insurance plan introduced last week by Healthy Minnesota (a coalition of providers, legislators and insurers) is nothing more than a band-aid on a system in need of a much bigger fix.

March 13, 2007

Time to Fix Healthcare
The Nation | Editorial | March 26, 2007 issue
There's no mystery about the fix Americans want: Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed in a recent New York Times/CBS poll say the government should guarantee health coverage for all Americans. Half said they'd willingly pay as much as $500 a year more in taxes to pay for universal coverage. To do that, this country needs to establish a single-payer system--one inspired by Canada and other developed countries but distinctly American in approach.

March 09, 2007

California Nurses Association/NNOC Joins AFL-CIO following Endorsement of Single Payer Healthcare, Affiliation Unites 325,000 RNs in Federation
The California Nurses Association, and its national arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee was granted a charter Thursday to join the AFL-CIO, uniting 325,000 registered nurses into the leading voice of America's working people. CNA/NNOC represents 75,000 RNs in all 50 states. Significantly, the affiliation came two days after the Federation adopted a sweeping new healthcare policy statement endorsing a single-payer type system premised on "updating and expanding Medicare benefits" to all Americans.

The Health Care Monster Returns: Even Republicans acknowledge its ravages, but what's the best way to slay the beast?
by David Moberg | In These Times
Like the creature from the Black Lagoon, the health insurance monster has returned, creeping back onto the public stage. After President Clinton's jury-rigged pen to contain the monster collapsed in 1994, it never really went away. Political leaders tried to ignore the beast or deal piecemeal with its ravages, but it pushed more unsuspecting civilians into the uninsured pit, devoured more family budgets, squeezed even giant corporations' ability to compete globally, and raised fear and insecurity among the populace.

March 08, 2007

Book Review: Solving the Health Care Problem
Reviewed by Danielle Ofri, M.D., Ph.D. | New York University School of Medicine | For the New England Journal of Medicine
Pamela Behan has something of an outsider's view of America. The title of her book, Solving the Health Care Problem, assumes that the lack of national health insurance is the biggest problem in U.S. health care, which is what you learn once you read the book

Uninsured are focus of forum
By Jennifer L. Boen | Fort Wayne News-Sentinel
The stories told by the uninsured and underinsured reverberate in the mind of emergency room doctor Robert Stone, who works in Bloomington: People delay care because they don't have health insurance or skip or stop taking medications because they can't afford them. A less serious medical problem becomes catastrophic because of the delays or lack of medication.

March 07, 2007

AFL-CIO Decides to Campaign for Medicare for All
By Mark Gruenberg | PAI Staff Writer
Armed with universal denunciation of the failing, creaky, expensive present employer-based insurance-company-run health care system, the AFL-CIO Executive Council unanimously voted March 6 to campaign for a massive change: Expanding Medicare to the entire country.

AFL-CIO Endorses Medicare for All
AFL-CIO Executive Council statement
As a nation, we need to exert the political will to enact comprehensive health care reform nationwide. There is strong evidence the crisis can be solved with tools at hand and at a cost that pales in comparison to the toll in human lives the current system exacts. It is time to mobilize America behind a concrete plan to enact universal health care and the AFL-CIO commits its full resources to asserting leadership in this historic effort.

WonderWoman: Rose Ann DeMoro
Bay Area BusinessWoman
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association (CNA), has been hailed as the "The Woman who met the Terminator's match." For the last 13 years, she has run the boisterous, nearly all female 70,000-member union that neutralizes its opponents, including actor-turned governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, with creative direct action, alliance building and media manipulation.

March 06, 2007

Editorial: Unions should lead on health
The Capital Times
But Americans do not need to borrow a plan from Canada or elsewhere. As supporters of HR 676 remind us: America already has a great single-payer system, Medicare. It simply needs to be expanded.

Groups line up on health plan
By Robert Manor | Chicago Tribune staff reporter
Although details of the proposal won't be known until later this week, interest groups are already starting to take positions for or against [Illinois] Gov. Rod Blagojevich's plans to expand health insurance to hundreds of thousands of people without medical coverage.

Liberal Fables About Health Care
Edwards' plan is a complex brew of health markets, public incentives and private mandates. Dr. Don McCanne of Physicians for a National Health Program has one word for Edwards' plan--"lousy." "The idea of setting up a public plan to compete with private plans has been thoroughly discredited," McCanne told Corporate Crime Reporter. "No matter what regulations are established, private plans will continue to select the healthy--especially the healthy workforce and their healthy families. The private plans cover the majority of us who are healthy and cost very little, while as taxpayers we pay most of the costs for health care for those with medical needs."

Doctors call on Albany over health insurance
Business First of Buffalo
The New York State Academy of Family Physicians has called on Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the state Legislature to create a single payer health-care system.

March 02, 2007

Millions of AFL-CIO Members Support Universal, Single-Payer Health Insurance
By Harry Kelber | The Labor Educator
When the AFL-CIO Executive Council meets March 6-8 in Las Vegas, it will be deciding what to do about the nation's most important domestic problem, health insurance for all Americans. It should recognize the wishes of millions of union members and endorse and campaign for the United States National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676) that would establish a single-payer health insurance system with guaranteed coverage for all Americans.

Poll Shows Majority Back Health Care for All
By ROBIN TONER and JANET ELDER | New York Times | March 1, 2007
A majority of Americans say the federal government should guarantee health insurance to every American, especially children, and are willing to pay higher taxes to do it, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.

February 28, 2007

National progressive political group campaigns for single payer national health insurance
Tim Carpenter | PDA Executive Director
There are times in American history -- "perfect storms," if you will -- when forces are in alignment for the passage of a momentous reform that makes our country qualitatively better. In the 1930s, we won union rights and Social Security. In the 1960s, civil rights and Medicare. Is this our moment to finally win Universal Health Coverage -- improved and expanded Medicare for All? Or at least wage a campaign so powerful that victory will be just around the corner?

February 27, 2007

Schwarzenegger on Health Care: People or Profits?
In his speech at the National Press Club yesterday emphasizing his health care proposals and "bipartisanship," California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said: "Whether you're Republican or Democrat, you don't have to give up your principles at all. But isn't the ultimate principle to serve the people? To do the things that are good for the people?" When asked about the role of big insurance and pharmaceutical companies, Schwarzenegger replied: "You must let everyone make their profits."

In Health Care Reform Debate, Single-Payer System is Labor's Only Clear Choice
Rose Ann DeMoro | Labor Notes | 02/23/07
Union members have a huge stake in the present debate on health care reform. At a time when employers routinely slash or eliminate health benefits for workers and their families or force union members on strike to preserve those benefits, when insurance plans routinely restrict workers' choice of doctors and prescription drugs, and when more working families declare bankruptcy due to medical debt, only one reform can provide the health care security working people need: single-payer.

Taking Back the FDA
by Marcia Angell | Boston Globe
It's time to take the Food and Drug Administration back from the drug companies.

Health care problem is rooted in insurance
Greg M. Silver, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | St. Petersburg Times
As a practicing family doctor in Clearwater, I see the increasing problems of our system every day. More of my patients have lost their insurance coverage and struggle to pay for even basic care. For the lucky ones who have coverage, insurers shift more cost to my patients, maintaining their profits while forcing people into difficult choices that can adversely affect their health.

February 26, 2007

Health Care Coverage Should be Amendment XXVIII
By Robert G. Levitt, M.D. | Missouri Medicine
Such wonderful advances have been made in medicine since the founding of our country that a twenty-first century America needs a twenty-eighth amendment.

February 23, 2007

Critic of big-drug industry speaks
By Daniel Connolly | Memphis Commercial Appeal
Dr. Marcia Angell of Harvard Medical School was in Memphis on Thursday to continue her public criticism of big drug companies.

Private Health Insurance Is Not the Answer
By Phil Mattera | Corporate Research Project
Surely, it is a good thing to provide coverage to the uninsured, but it is remarkable that almost everyone assumes that coverage has to come from for-profit (or, in some cases, private non-profit) providers. Despite the overwhelming evidence from other industrial countries -- and even domestic programs such as Medicare -- that government-run health plans are much more efficient, the U.S. political class seems to be on a mission to save private insurance.

February 22, 2007

Commentary: Government can cure U.S. health crisis by halting pursuit of profit
The Northwestern | February 22, 2007
I was having lunch a few years ago with a long-time friend. He had worked many years for a small company in Oshkosh. That day he had some momentous news. He had been laid off. We talked about what employment options he had at the age of 54, but the most immediate concern was his health. My friend suffers from diabetes. He would get COBRA coverage for a while, but after that he absolutely had to have a job with health insurance. No way could he afford to buy the medications he needed on his own, and with his pre-condition he was uninsurable. He needed to find a job with a group plan, and at 54 that wasn't going to be easy. I looked across the table and asked what he was planning to do if he couldn't find a job with health benefits. His eyes caught mine as he said dryly, "Die, I guess."

Study: More money will go to health care
MarketWatch | Wednesday, February 21, 2007
National health-care spending will double in the next 10 years, a study says. One out of every five dollars we spend will be for health care, and Uncle Sam will be footing more of the bill. Amy Scott reports.

Why Obama, Edwards, Hillary, Romney, Schwarzenegger Don't Support Single Payer?
The majority of the American people want a single-payer health care system -- Medicare for all. The majority of doctors want it. A good chunk of hospital CEOs want it. But what they want doesn't appear to matter. Why?

February 21, 2007

Single-Payer, Health Savings Accounts, or Managed Care?
By By Joel M. Albers, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Breanna Peterson Lathrop, Kirk C. Allison, Ph.D., Charles N. Oberg, M.D., and James F. Hart, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
Despite physicians' vital role in health care, few studies have assessed their preferences regarding health care financing systems. We surveyed a random sample of licensed Minnesota physicians to determine their preferences regarding health care financing systems. Of 390 physicians, 64% favored a single-payer system, 25% HSAs, and 12% managed care.

February 20, 2007

Protect patients not health insurers
JACK E. LOHMAN | Capital Times, Madison, WI | February 16, 2007
Of all of our health care needs, government protection of insurance company mega-profits should not be on the list of needed reforms.

Beware of ill-thought-out solutions to health care crisis
By Malinda Markowitz, RN | Mercury News, 2/16/07
Then, as now in health care, the private market was touted as the solution, a fool's gold that became a nightmare. Let's not let it happen again. Instead, we should examine proposed legislation that will achieve universal care through a simple, single-payer system.

February 16, 2007

The Health Care Racket
By PAUL KRUGMAN | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times
Is the health insurance business a racket? Yes, literally -- or so say two New York hospitals, which have filed a racketeering lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group and several of its affiliates.

February 15, 2007

"The Year of Health Reform" in California Gets Another Boost From New Group
By Gary Passmore | Director, Congress of California Seniors |
At the instigation of our state political leadership, 2007 is shaping up to be the year of health reform in California. The central issue is how to provide quality, affordable coverage to more than six million Californians who are not covered by employer-based health insurance, public insurance programs (such as Medicare, Medi-Cal, or Healthy Families), or who purchase their own coverage.

A Health Care Plan So Simple, Even Stephen Colbert Couldn't Simplify It
By ROBERT H. FRANK | New York Times | Published: February 15, 2007
Annual health spending in the United States currently exceeds $2 trillion. A single-payer system that did nothing more than reduce administrative expenses to the levels of other countries would save roughly $300 billion annually.

February 14, 2007

The problems with private health care plans
Larry Thompson | Letter to the Editor | The Gainsville Sun
It is time to dispel the myth that only the uninsured have problems with our health care system. My wife and I worked for over 25 years and had medical insurance all that time. We retired recently and sought health insurance coverage with two major companies. We were both in good health but, much to our dismay, were denied coverage on the pretext of "pre-existing medical conditions."

Slow start for health coalition
By David Lazarus | San Francisco Chronicle | Friday, February 9, 2007
It caused quite a stir when some of the biggest names in the business world came together this week to declare that they want nothing less than" a new American health care system by 2012."

Supporters at forum push for state health-care system
Supporters of a single-payer health-care system that would cover all Ohio residents say they hope it is adopted here and becomes a model for a national health-care system.

Assessing a Plan for Universal Care
David U. Himmelstein, M.D. and Steffie Woolhandler, M.D. | Letter to the Editor | New York Times
Paul Krugman lauds former Senator John Edwards's health care proposal, claiming that it would trim insurance bureaucracy. But Mr. Edwards’s plan forgoes at least 90 percent of the $350 billion in potential administrative savings available through single-payer reform.

February 12, 2007

Study: Minnesota doctors prefer single-payer universal health system
by Carissa Wyant | Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal | Monday, February 12, 2007
A new study by the University of Minnesota has found that most of the state's physicians surveyed prefer a single-payer universal health insurance system.

Candidates need to speak out now on health care
Portsmouth Herald Editorial | Sunday, February 11, 2007
Major health-care reform has become an urgent political and economic issue that, along with energy policy, likely will dominate the domestic agenda battle in the 2008 electoral campaign.

Timid ideas won't fix health mess
By Marie Cocco | Columnist | Sacramento Bee
John Edwards is trying to get ahead of the political curve, but he would send us back to the future. To 1993, to be exact. Edwards would repeat the mistake that was at the heart of Hillary Rodham Clinton's misadventure in trying to fix a health insurance system that was then, and is now, so out of whack that it manages to cover fewer and fewer Americans at higher and higher cost.

February 09, 2007

Edwards on Healthcare - He Should Go Back to Being a Populist
By Rose Ann Demoro | Huffington Post | 02.07.2007
In his latest campaign, John Edwards has taken promising steps in an effort to burnish his credentials as an "economic populist" - as the New York Times put it - from his opening announcement in New Orleans' devastated 9th Ward to his regular visits to picket lines to his timetable for pulling our troops out of Iraq. But his disappointing and shortsighted healthcare proposal shows he still has a long ways to go.

SEIU President Andy Stern Rams Ahead with Corporate Partnerships in Healthcare Industry
By ALAN BENJAMIN | Unity & Independence
As we go to press, Stern and Wal-Mart have just announced a healthcare partnership "aimed at attaining universal healthcare coverage." The partnership also includes Intel Corp., AT&T Inc. and Kelly Services Inc., a temporary staffing agency. According to the Associated Press release of Feb. 7, "no specific policies were proposed to achieve this goal. Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said that Wal-Mart is not committed to spending more on healthcare or making any immediate promises to provide health coverage to more workers."

February 05, 2007

Will Health Care Reform Lead to a Single-Payer System?
by George Lauer | California HealthCare Foundation | January 29, 2007
As costs continue to rise -- and there's no reason to expect they won't -- employers, as well as individuals, are being priced out of the health insurance market, mandate or no mandate. The main alternative to such a scenario is a single-payer system, a notion already adopted in almost every other nation in the industrialized world.

Which Side Are You On?
The Nation | Editorial | February 19, 2007 issue
The Democrats should counter [Bush's health care plan] with a plan that's already backed by seventy-eight House members, HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act, introduced by Representatives John Conyers and Dennis Kucinich. Some 225 labor unions back the bill, which would expand Medicare to every US resident.

Only a single-payer system will keep all of us healthy
By Dr. Joseph E. Birnbaum | Times Herald-Record | February 05, 2007
I write as a health-care provider and user of the broken system of health-care delivery that has evolved in America, driven not by our medical needs but by the insidious influence of powerful, profit-driven corporate forces that influence our elected representatives on both sides of the aisle.

Hasta la vista, single-payer movement?
By Michael Corcoran |
In September, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have resulted in a single-payer health care system in California saying that he " cannot support a government-run health care system." While the recently re-elected executive is running from the right on several issues, most notably Climate Change, it appears signing off on something that could be described as a single-payer plan was just too much for this GOP moderate.

Edwards Becomes the First To Promise a Big Tax Hike
BY JOSH GERSTEIN | The New York Sun | February 5, 2007
A former North Carolina senator making a second bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, John Edwards, has chosen not to embrace a single-payer health insurance plan, disappointing activists who contend that only a radical overhaul of the health care system can ensure that all Americans are insured.

Focus on patients, not profits
By Rose Ann DeMoro | South Florida Sun-Sentinel | February 5, 2007
Americans expecting relief from the meltdown of our health care system should watch out for the political mugging now unfolding in the current debate on health care reform. From President Bush's proposals to proposals in Washington and state capitols, to a recent procession of groups. there is a lot of talk about a new "consensus" on the need for action on what everyone agrees is a crisis careening out of control.

Profits Before People -- Again?
Bill Falzett | American Chronicle | February 2, 2007
California Governor Schwarzenegger's health insurance proposal is a bad one. I suspect that it might get passed but it shouldn't. It puts the load on providers, hospitals, small businesses, and the consumers once again. Guess who gets off the hook? That one is easy -- the health insurance industry.

Will Healthcare Timidity Trip Up Hillary Clinton?
by Jeff Cohen
Yet the dividing-line issue in the upcoming primaries may turn out to be not Iraq, but healthcare. And just like on Iraq, the Democratic base is in no mood for timidity and half-way measures and vague rhetoric. Most rank-and-file Democrats support government-provided national health insurance: enhanced Medicare for All.

January 31, 2007

The new 2007 Bush: It's Schwarzenegger lite!
By Peter Schrag | Sacramento Bee | Published Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Schwarzenegger and Bush got polite applause for touching on two subjects that not long ago had been unmentionable. Even last week, the closest Bush got to global warming was "global climate change," no comfort to dispossessed polar bears, but at least getting warmer. His version of improved health care boiled down to getting 3 million off the rolls of the nation's 47 million uninsured: the 6 percent solution.

Dr. Don McCanne Comments on USA Today's Op-Ed on Bush's Health Plan
Don McCanne, M.D. | Comment on USA Today Editorial
Everyone agrees that the regressive tax policies and job-lock of employer-sponsored coverage should be replaced. The divide is over what would be a better system. President Bush advances his ownership society ideology by using tax policy to encourage individual purchase of affordable (stripped down) health plans.

Ideas, not ideology, will bring reform
Tom Linnell, EdD | The Coloradoan
Health-care reform. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Arnold Schwarzenegger. The president highlighted it in his State of the Union speech.

January 30, 2007

Unworthy of consideration
By Pete Stark | USA Today | January 29, 2007
Bush's proposal would destroy the very system through which the vast majority of people get their coverage today and fail to replace it with an alternative means of obtaining quality care. It doesn't deserve Congress' consideration.

A Father's Call for Health-Care Reform
By Eve Conant | Newsweek | Jan 29, 2007
But it wasn't just folks in Washington who were upset. Nathan J. Wilkes of Greenwood Village, Colo., was so worried about the possible effects of Bush's proposal on his ability to provide coverage for his chronically ill son that he decided to travel to the capital to make some noise.

January 29, 2007

Single-Payer Health Care Advocates Bring Campaign to D.C.
By Mark Gruenberg | PAI Staff Writer | 1/29/2007
The advocates, led by Deborah Burger, President of the California Nurses Association, and Dr. Oliver Fein of the Physicians for a National Health Plan, contend a government-run single-payer plan would cut costs, eliminate the health insurance companies and their paperwork, denial of coverage and high overhead, and cover everyone, including the uninsured and underinsured. Bush wouldn’t do that, they added.

Fix the system with Medicare for all
By Marcia Angell | Guest Columnist | Boston Globe
THE GREATEST source of insecurity for many Americans is the soaring cost of health care. Leaving jobs can mean losing health insurance, and even when insurance is offered, many workers turn it down because they can't afford their growing share of the premiums.

Like hospitals, insurance system is also in crisis
By DAVID DYSSEGAARD KALLICK | The Buffalo News | 1/29/2007
The best solution would be a national single-payer plan. But if Washington doesn't move, New York should look into a state-based single-payer system.

Editorial: It's time to think single-payer
Minneapolis/St.Paul Star Tribune Editorial | Published: January 28, 2007
[T]he closer you look at these ambitious plans, the more you see they are mere patchworks. In Massachusetts, which will require most residents to buy private insurance, policies are coming on the market with higher prices and less coverage than experts hoped. Economist and columnist Paul Krugman points out that the Schwarzenegger plan will require big new state bureaucracies to regulate insurance companies and police individual behavior. As for the president's plan, even the White House admits it will cover only 5 million of the nation's 46 million uninsured; that's because it relies on tax deductions, which aren't much use to low-income families who represent the bulk of the uninsured population.

January 26, 2007

Mass. 'Universal' Health Plan Already Falling Short
by Megan Tady | The New Standard
Members of a panel charged with implementing the Massachusetts "universal" healthcare plan redirected some insurers this week to make their premiums more affordable. But critics of the plan say it’s the government that needs to go back to the drawing board.

James Winkler's Statement from PNHP/CNA Press Conference
Jim Winkler spoke at a January 24, 2007, press conference hosted by Physicians for a National Health Program and the California Nurses Association at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Here is his statement. How to Get Healthyby Jim...

On Being Partisan
By PAUL KRUGMAN | New York Times | January 26, 2007
American politics is ugly these days, and many people wish things were different. For example, Barack Obama recently lamented the fact that "politics has become so bitter and partisan" -- which it certainly has.

Single-payer health only way to go
By Paul Heise | Lebanon Daily News
The only part of the American health-care system that seems to be working is Medicare and Medicaid. Our employment-based, managed-care system is clearly collapsing from inefficiency, rising costs and loss of the industrial base that paid for it.

Kucinich renews pitch for universal health care
By THOMAS J. SHEERAN | Associated Press Writer
U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, whose anti-war views have gained wider acceptance since he ran for president in 2004, hopes a similar public opinion shift will boost chances for enacting universal health care.

January 25, 2007

A vote for single-payer health
Dr. Ann Troy | Marin Independent Journal | Article Launched: 01/12/2007
If we get the insurance industry out of health care, we will have more than enough money to provide health care for all and to pay doctors and hospitals fairly for their services. No longer will people have to change doctors every time they change jobs or their employer finds a cheaper health plan. Nor will they have to worry about losing their access to health care if they lose their job or develop a chronic condition. No longer will families struggle to pay astronomical insurance premiums nor worry about paying for prescription drugs. No longer will 50 percent of bankruptcies be due to medical debt.

Bush's Health Care Proposals Inadequate: Critics
By Amanda Gardner | HealthDay Reporter | Wednesday, January 24, 2007
President George Bush's proposals on fixing the nation's health insurance woes, outlined in Tuesday's State of the Union speech, just don't go far enough to solve the problem, many observers said. "It's just totally inadequate at addressing any of the fundamental issues," said Dr. Oliver Fein, professor of medicine and public health at Cornell University and director of Physicians for a National Health Program. "Let's deal with the question of does this have anything to do with universal coverage."

New Massachusetts Plan Already Starting to Crumble
By Alice Dembner | Boston Globe | 1/25/2007
An advocacy group urged the state Wednesday to delay a key part of the new universal health insurance law, saying that a survey shows that many families cannot afford even subsidized insurance.

Tin-Plated Health Insurance
By Amy B. Monahan | Associate Professor of Law
[T]he Bush plan doesn't cure distortions in health insurance purchasing decisions, it just creates new ones. Bush's proposal would encourage individuals to purchase the lowest cost insurance available.

January 24, 2007

Let's skip the gimmicks and enact real reforms
By MERTON C. BERNSTEIN | Special to The Kansas City Star | Published on Wed, Jan. 24, 2007
We have reached a national consensus on health insurance -- it costs too much and covers too few. Most "reform" proposals, like California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's and the health insurance industry's, camouflage their real costs with tax breaks and other subsidies.

January 23, 2007

State workers union backs single-payer health legislation
By Workday staff | Workday Minnesota | 22 January 2007
The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, representing more than 11,000 professional state government employees, has endorsed a national single-payer health-care system.

Physicians and Nurses Decry Bush Health Plan, Reject Reform Based on Private Insurance
Unite in Call for National Health Insurance - “Medicare for All”New Congress to Introduce Plan and Hold HearingsEmbargoed Until: January 23, 2007 (12:00 a.m. EST) Contacts: Oliver Fein, MD 917-859-5140 (cell) Nick Skala 312-782-6006 Charles Idelson(CNA) 415-559-8991 (cell) Kay...

Krugman's response to Bush plan
By PAUL KRUGMAN | New York Times | January 22, 2007
President Bush's Saturday radio address was devoted to health care, and officials have put out the word that the subject will be a major theme in tomorrow's State of the Union address. Mr. Bush's proposal won't go anywhere. But it's still worth looking at his remarks, because of what they say about him and his advisers.

Nurses, Doctors, Patients Respond to Bush Health Proposals, Unite In Call for Real Universal Healthcare
Physicians, registered nurses and patients will join together in a Washington press conference Wednesday to respond to President Bushs State of the Union healthcare proposals and to promote legislation for the only healthcare reform that would assure universal coverage, control cost, and end insurance industry interference with care.

January 22, 2007

U.S. should focus on finding cure to health-care debacle
WILLIAM CONNOLLY | The Evansville Courier & Press | Sunday, January 21, 2007
According to a recent Parade Magazine article by David Wallechinsky, patriotic sentiments notwithstanding, while the United States is still No. 1 in some respects - Nobel prize winners, billionaires and armed forces stationed in other countries - we lag far behind in other categories that more accurately assess social well-being. We lag behind other countries when it comes to health care. Thirty-three countries, including Cuba, have lower infant death rates; 43 have more physicians per capita, including France, Switzerland, Mongolia and Lebanon; and 49 have more hospital beds per capita, including England, Italy and Ireland.

Massachusetts premiums to average $380 a month
By Alice Dembner | Boston Globe Staff | January 20, 2007
A state panel yesterday outlined for the first time the minimum requirements for coverage under the state's new health insurance law, a package estimated to cost $380 a month on average for an individual, more than $100 above recent estimates.

Letters: Rethinking health care options
Don McCanne, M.D. | Saturday, January 6, 2007 | Orange County Register
The Register's editorial, "A healthy dose of free-market forces"[Jan. 2], makes a case for controlling health care spending by reducing government insurance programs and encouraging lower-cost private coverage options that shift more of the spending responsibility to the individual. Such changes theoretically would reduce the "perverse incentives" to obtain too much care if the individual had to pay for it directly. The problem with this theory is that most of us need very little care, and the marginal services that we would decline are only a very small fraction of our nation's total health care bill.

January 18, 2007

Labor's Rx For Health Care
By JANICE PODSADA | Hartford Courant Staff Writer | January 13, 2007
The Connecticut AFL-CIO launched its lobbying effort Friday for a single-payer system for universal health care, which the labor group said would provide affordable health care to the 300,000 to 400,000 state residents currently without health coverage.

Maria's hope
By Joe Conason | | Jan. 12, 2007
My friend, a consultant for progressive causes, may have died at 52 because she lacked health insurance. The Democrats she worked so hard to return to power owe her one.

Arnold-Care Is A Bad Deal
Rose Ann DeMoro | | January 16, 2007
Like the Massachusetts law before it, on which it is largely modeled, the Schwarzenegger plan has produced fawning editorials across the country and calls from some politicians in state capitals and on Capitol Hill to use it as a blueprint for other states and Washington.

Medicare for All: The Only Sound Solution to Our Healthcare Crisis
By Guy T. Saperstein | AlterNet | Posted January 16, 2007
We all know that America's healthcare system is collapsing. Andy Stern has written that America's employer-based health insurance system is "dead." Auto executives troop to the White House complaining that they are not competitive with foreign automakers because they pay $1,500 per car for health insurance. Some of the biggest laughs in movies come when America's healthcare system is ridiculed.

Doctor: Nation needs universal health care
By Chris Outcalt | Portsmouth Herald | Thursday, January 18, 2007
Thomas Clairmont, a doctor at Portsmouth Regional Hospital, envisions a health care system without co-pays, deductibles or "pre-existing conditions." The program would be tier-free and provide health care coverage for everyone in the country. The way he sees it, having access to health care is not an option; it's a right.

Hospitals cure bill ills with liens
Increasingly, three local hospitals -- Halifax Medical Center, Florida Hospital DeLand and Florida Hospital Fish Memorial -- are recording liens against patients with the Volusia County Clerk of Court when there's been an accident, even when the patient has health insurance.

It's time for national program
By TERRY HAVENER | The Tribune-Democrat | January 16, 2007
As a citizen of this great nation, my health care should not be a privilege. It should be a right -- not a handout but a true entitlement.

Marchers rally for single-payer health care
by Lorna Benson | Minnesota Public Radio | January 15, 2007
Single-payer health insurance advocates recalled the words of Dr. Martin Luther King on Monday as they made their case for health care reform during an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in St. Paul.

January 17, 2007

On the Front Lines of Care: Primary Care Doctors' Office Systems, Experiences, and Views in Seven Countries
In the article, “On the Front Lines of Care: Primary Care Doctors’ Office Systems, Experiences, and Views in Seven Countries” (Health Affairs Web Exclusive, Nov. 2, 2006), the authors report on survey results that reveal striking differences in primary care...

By Mark Gruenberg | PAI Staff Writer | A PAI news analysis
The debate over health care has been relatively dormant ever since the insurers' lies and a business-backed Senate GOP filibuster doomed President Clinton's health care plan. Debate started to rise during the campaign and took a recent heated turn with Wyden's proposed Healthy Americans Act. Stern, backing Wyden, warned "the perfect should not be the enemy of the good," but PNHP says the Wyden plan is far from good.

The Quest for Health Care Reform
By Jerry Ortiz y Pino | Alibi | V.15 No.50 | December 14 - 20, 2006
[I]n the midst of the general optimism over the prospects for hammering out important reforms in the states and nationally, the topic of health care financing stood out as an island of realism, stolidly withstanding all attempts at significant change.

A 10-Step Program For Democrats
Jonathan Tasini | January 02, 2007
Single-payer will increase our individual personal wealth far more than a minimum wage increase.

Silent majority for single-payer
By Marcia Angell | Boston Globe | December 31, 2006
IN SEPTEMBER, an ABC News/Kaiser Family Foundation/USA Today survey found that 56 percent of Americans preferreda government-run universal health system "like Medicare" to our current employment-based system run by private insurers. That is, they want a single-payer system. Among the causes of rising costs, respondents were most likely to name private insurance and drug company profits.

The slippery slope of market-based medicine
By Rose Ann DeMoro | Sacramento Bee | Published Saturday, December 30, 2006As Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recovers from his fractured leg, he has access to the finest medical care California has to offer, as he should. But don't all Californians deserve the same degree of medical attention and health care security?

Physician advocates single payer in letter to the Centre Daily Times in Central Pennsylvania
The recent Associated Press series correctly identified rising health-care costs as a cause of the looming state-pension crisis but left the impression that our only choice is to raise taxes or cut pension benefits. If the cost of health care is the problem, isn't reducing those costs the obvious solution?

System Isn't Healthy But Insurers' Bottom Lines Are
Malcolm Berko | Copley News Service
It's not the doctors nor the government but rather the insurers themselves. Their pockets are so heavily lined with our premium dollars that paying a huge hospital bill is no more meaningful to them than would be the advent of another fly to a slaughterhouse.

January 16, 2007

Paul Krugman on Schwartzenegger's State Health Plan
By PAUL KRUGMAN | Published: January 12, 2007 | New York Times
To understand both what's right and what's wrong with Mr. Schwarzenegger's plan, let's compare what he's proposing with the plan he rejected. Last summer, the California Legislature passed a bill that would have created a single-payer health insurance system for the state - that is, a system similar to Medicare, under which residents would have paid fees into a state fund, which would then have provided insurance to everyone.

Opposing views: State plans miss the point
By Don McCanne | USA Today
Americans need more than affordable insurance; they need affordable health care. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to copy the Massachusetts reform in shrinking the numbers of uninsured people by forcing them to buy stripped down, bare-bones policies.

Comparison between Schwarzenegger Health Plan and Single Payer for California
The best way to analyze the Governor's plan is to compare it to SB 840.

Healthcare packages all inferior, except for one
By Deborah Burger, RN
With Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger unwrapping his long-anticipated healthcare package Monday and talk about reform building in Sacramento, Californians may well be wonder if our long healthcare nightmare is finally coming to an end.

January 11, 2007

Top 10 for a More Perfect Union
By Katrina Vanden Heuvel | The Nation
1. Healthcare for All

Working to extend health care
Column by Kevin Eigelbach | Cincinnati Post | January 01, 2007
Dr. Donald L. Rucknagel has a very unscientific theory about why people - other than those with a vested interest in the present system - oppose government-funded health insurance: In addition to the 12 already discovered, there are two cranial nerves in the human brain. Mention the words government or taxes, and the two nerves shut the brain down. It's the only explanation. The arguments for single-payer, universal health care are just too compelling.

A second, third and fourth opinion on healthcare
By State Sen. Sheila James Kuehl | LA Times | January 9, 2007
Four healthcare proposals are now before the Legislature, including one crafted by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, which will be spotlighted in his State of the State address tonight.

On the Governor's Health-Care Plan
By Deborah Burger | San Francisco Chronicle | Thursday, January 11, 2007
While Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger deserves credit for finally responding to the state's imploding health-care crisis, his plan as designed has major flaws, most notably forcing the uninsured to buy what for many will mostly likely be substandard, unaffordable health plans that primarily serve to further enrich big insurers.

January 10, 2007

We can afford to go for the gold: universal health care
By ANA MALINOW | Guest Columnist | Houston Chronicle
There is an alternative. Our current system allowing private insurers to cover the healthy and profitable while screening out everyone else allows one-third of our health spending to be diverted to needless bureaucracy and paperwork. Eliminating the private insurance companies and replacing them with a single public payer would save more than $350 billion per year, enough to provide coverage for all of the uninsured. Combined with what we're already paying for health care, this is sufficient to provide comprehensive coverage to everyone without any additional spending.

U.S. health care puts profit over people
By JOANNA GARRITANO | Guest Columnist | Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Modern medicine has morphed from a healing profession into a business where the primacy of profit takes precedence over greater human needs. Trusting relationships with medical professionals have taken a back seat to efficiency standards as patients are rushed through doctors' offices.

January 08, 2007

Health Care for All: Big Business to the Rescue?
By Daniel Gross | AARP Bulletin | January 2007
As unlikely as it seems, big business may be the force that brings about universal health insurance.

January 03, 2007

Health Care Problem? Check the American Psyche
By ANNA BERNASEK | New York Times | Economic View | December 31, 2006
What is the most pressing problem facing the economy? A good case can be made for the developing health care crisis. Soaring costs, growing ranks of uninsured and a steady erosion of corporate health benefits add up to a giant drag on the nation's future prosperity.

January 02, 2007

Great White North
By Mark Gottlieb |
Could it be that a healthy workforce -- employees whose medical needs, both curative and preventive, are attended to with a minimum of fuss, stress and paperwork -- is a more productive, more conscientious and more intelligent workforce? And could it be that such a workforce does a better job than its counterparts in countries like, say, the United States?

December 08, 2006

Inside Track: An Irreverent Read on Vermont Politics
by Peter Freyne | Seven Days | Published 12.06.06 The modest, watered-down 2006 legislation that the Democrats defend as progress, and the guv won the big award and the big reelection for signing, "was a temporary solution for some folks. I wouldn't begrudge that," said Dr. Richter. "The point is, they had the opportunity to do something even bigger. The tragedy," she told "Inside Track," "is the fact that they stopped the conversation with this bill."

December 06, 2006

Transparency in Health Care Insurance
By Kip Sullivan | Z Magazine
Comedian Jon Lovitz used to do a skit for "Saturday Night Live" in which he played Tommy Flanagan, the pathological liar. Lovitz's character was always telling tall tales that made him look good. When a tale would become so outrageous even he suspected he was about to be exposed, Flanagan would stop for a moment, then, with a huge grin, he would blurt out a new fib and proclaim, "Yeah, that's the ticket." The health insurance industry is proving to be a master at the Jon Lovitz routine.

December 05, 2006

National Health Care? We're Halfway There
By DANIEL GROSS | The New York Times | Published December 3, 2006
While the administration may oppose government-run health care in principle, the government's role in the vast health industry has been expanding. By various measures, the United States is about halfway toward a system in which the government and taxpayers fully fund health care. And trends are pushing the government to become more involved each year.

December 04, 2006

The 'Show Me' State AFL-CIO Endorses HR 676
Hugh McVey, President of the Missouri AFL-CIO, reports that this state labor federation has endorsed HR 676, single payer health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Missouri is the sixteenth state AFL-CIO to take this action. The endorsement was made at the states recent convention when Resolution # 14, introduced by the Executive Board, passed.

December 01, 2006

HMO-Founder Calls System a Failure, Calls for Medicare for All
By Amy Bentley-Smith | Long Beach News | Published November 30, 2006 A longtime Long Beach resident, (Dr. Robert) Gumbiner founded what would become one of the largest pre-paid Health Management Organizations (HMO) practices in the United States, FHP, in 1961. FHP would lead the way in establishing prepaid health care for the state’s Medi-Cal/Medicaid program for the low-income individuals and families, and received the first contract for federal Medicare service on the west coast. In "Curing Our Health Care System," Gumbiner argues that the country needs a single payer, Medicare-type system that is available to all.

November 30, 2006

Advocates reject privatized coverage
by KIP SULLIVAN | Pulse of the Twin Cities
The last election affected (Minnesota) Governor Tim Pawlenty the way Marley's ghost affected Scrooge. Pawlenty--the governor who cut 38,000 people from MinnesotaCare in 2003, who early in 2005 referred to MinnesotaCare as "welfare health care" and demanded that 40,000 more Minnesotans be kicked off it, and who shut down the state in the summer of 2005 to enforce that demand--that governor announced one week after his narrow re-election that he wanted to "chart a path toward universal health insurance."

November 29, 2006

Three More CLC's in Two states Endorse HR 676
Two labor councils in northern New Jersey, and one in central Indiana, have endorsed HR 676, national single payer healthcare legislation, introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Fifty-three central labor councils, including six in New Jersey, have now endorsed HR 676.

November 28, 2006

Rep. Dennis Kucinich Tackles Health Care
Rep. Dennis Kucinich speaks with Truthdig contributor Joshua Scheer about the state of health care in America, his bill with Rep. John Conyers to provide universal coverage and why progress is inevitable.

November 22, 2006

Canada's Health Care Lauded by One Who Knows
by Sol Littman | Arizona Daily Star
Ever since my wife and I chose to leave Canada and settle in Tucson, we have been amazed and angered by the distortions and misrepresentations in the American media of Canada's government-funded, one-payer medical system.

November 16, 2006

As I see it: Act now to fix ailing health care system
By DR. COSIMO STORNIOLO | Gazette-Times | November 13, 2006
I witness this crisis on a weekly basis while working at Community Outreach's free medical clinic for the uninsured. At every clinic, I see examples of acute and chronic illnesses left unattended by patients who cannot afford or access the health care system. This leads to unnecessary and costly complications.

No happiness with health policy
By ANTHONY SALAMONE | The New Jersey Express-Times | Friday, October 20, 2006
The slide showed excerpts from a 2005 story about Toyota hiring automotive workers in Ontario, with the company citing the quality of the Canadian province's work force. "Everyone knows it's crap," said Dr. Walter Tsou. "The reason why they chose Ontario is because they don't have to deal with the enormous health-care burden (compared with costs in the U.S.)"

Humana's flagrant cherry-picking,cream-skimming HealthMiles Plus program
By Bridget Carey | The Miami Herald | Published Nov. 10, 2006
Insurers do not market their products to the majority of the uninsured since most of them are not able to pay the premiums and many of them have preexisting disorders which would have an adverse effect on their risk pools and result in an upward pressure on their premiums. A small minority of the uninsured have above average incomes and are healthy. Insurers are interested in mining this population to select out these few who are healthy and can afford insurance.

November 15, 2006

Chant from an Ohio March
Courtesy of Dr. Johnathon Ross

November 09, 2006

Time To Socialize Medicine
By Timothy Noah | | Posted Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006, at 4:33 PM ET
The last big attempt to reform the health-care system is widely believed to have lost the House for the Democrats back in 1994, and many would say it's perverse to bring up the subject mere hours after the Democrats finally got it back. The conviction that the United States government is capable of achieving anything has surely been hit hard by the Iraq war.

November 08, 2006

Toyota's health cost cure: A clinic at the plant site
By Christine Tierney | The Detroit News | Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Detroit's automakers are not the only ones grappling with soaring health-care costs. They are becoming an issue for Toyota Motor Corp., as well, as the Japanese giant expands its U.S. manufacturing operations and work force.

November 07, 2006

Healthcare crisis countdown
By David R. Francis | The Christian Science Monitor | November 6, 2006
The healthcare system in the United States is eroding. Costs are rising too fast. More and more people lack health insurance. Companies are dumping or shrinking employee health plans. Deductibles and copayments on medical services are rising. That's the widely agreed-upon scene.

Action and Reaction
By Matthew Holt | Spot On Blog | San Francisco | Nov 6, 2006
Back in the day when there was some vague interest from Democrats in fixing our health care system, a kindly millionaire gave a pile of money to a lobbying pressure group that had quite some influence behind the ill-fated Clinton Health Plan. Not too much has been heard since from Families USA and its leader Ron Pollack. Sadly, those of us of a certain age felt that its day in the sun had come and gone.

North Carolina AFL-CIO Supports HR 676
The North Carolina AFL-CIO became the fifteenth state labor federation to support HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). The state federation represents 200 local unions from 39 different international unions and 8 central labor councils.

Seeking Coverage For All
By JOHN R. BATTISTA AND JUSTINE MCCABE | Op-Ed | Hartford Courant | October 31 2006
Last April, a government-sponsored task force came to Hartford to hear citizens' views on how to improve our distressed health care system. As in nearly all states visited, Connecticut citizens overwhelmingly said they wanted high-quality, cost-effective health care funded through a national health program - single payer health insurance. Yet, such a recommendation would threaten the profits of powerful interests - insurance and drug companies known more for their political contributions than for their consideration of public interest. So in its final report of Sept. 27, the Citizens' Health Care Working Group simply ignored the citizens.

October 31, 2006

Pace Poll: New Yorkers favor a government-run health insurance plan
A new poll by Pace University/New York Magazine/WCBS 2 News/WNYC asked New Yorkers to compare single-payer health insurance with an individual mandate to purchase private insurance, along the lines of the Massachusetts plan.

October 30, 2006

Healthy skepticism
By Dr. Michael Hochman and Dr. Steffie Woolhandler | The Boston Globe | October 28, 2006
Massachusetts is in the midst of yet another healthcare experiment. By July, all residents will be legally required to have health insurance -- a so-called "individual mandate." As doctors in an urban hospital, we are not optimistic about this proposal. We care for uninsured and underinsured patients who often lack the resources to eat well or find proper child care, much less to buy insurance. The individual mandate is another ill-fated Band-Aid.

Louisville Metro Council Supports HR676
The Louisville Metro Council adopted a resolution in Support of HR 676.

October 27, 2006

We deserve U.S. health care
By Adam Gilden Tsai | Op-Ed | Philadelphia Inquirer | Oct. 27, 2006
Imagine if Congress passed a bill requiring national public discussions regarding the state of health care in America. Then imagine that these discussions actually happened across our country, and that across the country there was actually a consensus that we need national health insurance to ensure that everyone has access to care. Finally, imagine that when the final report, to be presented to the President and Congress, is drafted, the report makes no mention of this consensus.

Medicare for All is a smart decision for business world
By DR. RICHARD PROPP | Times Union | Sunday, October 22, 2006
Every day across New York, doctors, their employees and hospital workers spend much valuable time anxiously dealing with health insurance company employees. And every day, businesses begin the multimonth process of evaluating old and new insurance plans, investing more and more to provide decent health insurance in an attempt to retain good employees and keep them healthy. Increasingly, businesses give up providing health insurance because they can't afford it.

October 26, 2006

Senator Kuehl plans to re-introduce SB 840 next year.
By California State Sen. Sheila Kuehl | Tikkun Magazine | November 2006
The facts are chilling. In California, nearly one of every five persons lives without any health care coverage at all. Over 80 percent of these uninsured are employed. Even though various solutions to the crisis have been brought to the Legislature or proposed by initiative over the last few years, we (like the rest of the country) find it easier to agree about the extent of the problem than about a solution.

October 25, 2006

GM on a crash course with health care costs
By Ron French | The San Jose Mercury News | Published Sunday, Oct. 01, 2006
The world's largest automaker is being driven deep into financial trouble not only by the cars of its competitors, but also by the medical bills of its own workers and retirees.

October 24, 2006

Universal care appeals to USA
By Julie Appleby | USA TODAY | Published October 16, 2006
Universal health insurance -- the idea that every resident would have medical coverage from birth to death -- has been labeled everything from a communist plot to the only thing that will solve America's growing problem of the uninsured.

The unraveling of private insurance
By LEONARD RODBERG | Clarion | October 2006
Americans spend more on health care than anyone else on earth. We are first in spending, but, according to recent surveys, 14th in public satisfaction with our health system. Per person, our government spending alone is more than government plus private spending on health care in any other country. And yet our health statistics are comparatively poor, with life expectancy 24th in the world, infant mortality 27th, and more than 45 million people without any health insurance at all.

October 19, 2006

Vic Kamber's Blog on HR 676 and Healthcare Reform
Vic Kamber, a prominent figure in many Democratic and labor-led campaigns, has posted a commentary on Congressman John Conyers' single payer legislation, HR 676, and the outlook for real healthcare reform on his blog:

October 05, 2006

"Citizens' Health Care Working Group" Ignores Citizens
The group created by Congress to listen to Americans' ideas for improving the health system has ignored their overwhelming advice to create a national health insurance program. Although a national health program was by far the most favored option at 86 percent (25 of 29) of the meetings of the Citizens' Health Care Working Group (CHCWG), the group's recommendations avoid the clear public preference for government-guaranteed health coverage.

October 02, 2006

ID Theft Infects Medical Records
By Joseph Menn | Los Angeles Times | Published September 25, 2006
Although the most typical of the millions of identity theft cases in the U.S. each year involve credit cards, a 2003 federal report estimated that at least 200,000 instances involved medical identity fraud. Experts believe that the rising cost of healthcare is driving more identity theft, and that many people are unaware they have become victims unless they receive a hospital bill or query from their insurer.

Major surgery is the only cure
By David Lazarus | San Francisco Chronicle | October 1, 2006
"The bottom line here is that health care costs are increasing dramatically faster than wages, and that's why people are feeling pain," said Drew Altman, president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "We're seeing a slow unraveling of the employment-based health insurance system."

September 28, 2006

Support for Single-Payer in Citizens Health Care Working Group
Excerpted from the Citizens' Health Care Working Groups's final recommendations, Dr. Andrew Pollack of Maimonides Hospital notes that even though the CHCWG own report cites the overwhelming public public for national health insurance (see excepts in bold), the group ignored the public's recommendations.

September 22, 2006

Luring Customers From Medicare
By MILT FREUDENHEIM | New York Times, business section
The $7 billion that Medicare will pay private industry this year to provide this fee-for-service coverage is at least $770 million higher than the government would spend covering those patients itself.

September 20, 2006

Health-Care Consultants Reap Fees From Those They Evaluate
By BARBARA MARTINEZ | Wall Street Journal | Published September 18, 2006
When Kevin Grady took over as an employee-benefits consultant for the Columbus Public Schools District in 2001, he signed a contract promising to act "in the best interest" of the schools. The Ohio district agreed to pay him $35,000 a year to help it choose a health insurer. Officials thought that was all Mr. Grady was getting out of the deal.

September 19, 2006

46 million uninsured focus of meeting
By Laura Ungar | The Courier-Journal | Published Sept. 16, 2006
Dr. Stephanie J. Woolhandler, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, said America is morally bound to care for the uninsured. According to the Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit organization that advises the government on medical issues, about 18,000 Americans die each year because they lack insurance.

September 18, 2006

Albany Med chief calls for hospital reform and single-payer system
The Business Review (Albany) | September 8, 2006
As chief executive officer of Albany Medical Center, James Barba has a unique perspective on the health care industry both regionally and nationally. What he sees is a broken system in which costs are rising and competition is increasing, with no cure in sight.

September 12, 2006

Sacramento Bee attacks Schwartzenegger on "Socialized" Bogeyman
Editorial | Sacramento Bee | Published September 10, 2006
Careful, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Your ghostwriter seems to have just made you an opponent of Medicare.

September 11, 2006

Medicare Costs to Increase for Wealthier Beneficiaries
By ROBERT PEAR | New York Times | Published September 11, 2006
Higher-income people will have to pay higher Medicare premiums than other beneficiaries next year, as the government takes a small but significant step to help the financially ailing program remain viable over the long term.

September 07, 2006

Vermont Central Labor Council Endorses HR 676
Montpelier, VT The Washington-Orange-Lamoille Labor Council became the first in Vermont to endorse HR 676, single payer universal health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). Representative Bernie Sanders, that state's only member of the US House of Representatives, is among the 75 co-sponsors of HR 676.

September 05, 2006

Study: Single-payer health care would save state money
By Louis Porter | Vermont Press Bureau | August 30, 2006
A Legislative study released Tuesday concludes that Vermont could save money by adopting a single-payer health care system.

Medical miasma
By George H. Lesser | The Washington Times | Published August 16, 2006
I have problems with our health insurance "provider," as I suppose some of you reading this do as well.

Single-payer health plan outlined
Vermont News - | August 30, 2006
Vermont could offer health coverage to all its residents and spend $51 million less a year on health care under a single-payer system, according to a legislative consultant's report released Tuesday.

Three More AFL-CIO State Conventions Endorse HR 676
At state conventions in August, the North Dakota, Delaware, and Washington State AFL-CIOs have all endorsed HR 676, single payer national healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). This brings to seven the number of state labor federations that have endorsed the Conyers legislation.

Health Policy Malpractice
By PAUL KRUGMAN | Op-Ed Columnist | New York Times | Published: September 4, 2006
Let me tell you about two government-financed health care programs. One, the Veterans Health Administration, is a stunning success -- but the administration and Republicans in Congress refuse to build on that success, because it doesn't fit their conservative agenda. The other, Medicare Advantage, is a clear failure, but it's expanding rapidly thanks to large subsidies the administration rammed through Congress in 2003.

Speakout: Single-payer health care is way to go
By Drs. David Iverson and Elinor Christiansen | Rocky Mountain News | September 4, 2006
The new uninsured statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau provide a sobering reminder of the failures of the U.S. health-care system. Here in Colorado the number of uninsured has risen to 788,000: nearly 1 of every 5 residents lacks coverage. Even for those lucky enough to be insured, ever-skimpier private policies helped push an estimated 14,000 Colorado families into medical bankruptcy in 2001. As physicians who face our state's health-care crisis day in and day out, we support a single-payer "Medicare for All" system for Colorado and for the nation.

Everyone wins when all pay in
Editorial | Rutland Herald, VT | September 3, 2006
A single-payer health care system would save the state $51 million a year, according to a new study carried out for the Legislature and released last week. It would achieve these savings by reducing the wasteful administrative costs that burden the present system.

Follow the health care money
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | Berkshire Eagle | Thursday, August 31
Powerful forces have been shaping the new mandated health care insurance bill being developed in the Statehouse in Massachusetts. I was reading a news article this week about health care lobbying in our state legislature, and was astounded by the sums of money being spent by special interest groups to ensure that the new bill will protect their specific interests; i.e. their profits.

September 01, 2006

How VA Hospitals Became The Best
By DOUGLAS WALLER | Time Magazine | Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006
Until the early 1990s, care at VA hospitals was so substandard that Congress considered shutting down the entire system and giving ex-G.I.s vouchers for treatment at private facilities. Today it's a very different story. The VA runs the largest integrated health-care system in the country, with more than 1,400 hospitals, clinics and nursing homes employing 14,800 doctors and 61,000 nurses.

August 30, 2006

Mercury News Quotes PNHP Senior Health Policy Fellow Dr. Don McCanne
San Jose listed No. 2 in household income City Also Ranked 4th in Number of People Living in Poverty By Jessie Mangaliman Mercury News San Jose residents had the second-highest income in the country, pulling down a median of $70,921...

Transparency or fig leaf?
By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | USA Today Op-Ed
Nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, and millions more have coverage so skimpy that a major illness would bankrupt them. Yet President Bush apparently thinks Americans are too well-insured.

Pros and cons of single-payer health care
By Nancy Remsen | Burlington Free Press | August 30, 2006
Supporters of a single-payer plan for all Vermonters have long argued it would produce significant administrative savings. This new analysis suggested reduced paperwork and processing at hospitals might shrink administrative expenses from 23.5 percent to 17 percent of total spending. Administrative expenses for doctors could drop from 27 percent of gross spending to 20 percent.

Physician Group Decries 1.3 Million Rise in Uninsured
Responding to newly-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that the number of uninsured Americans increased by 1.3 million in 2005, members of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) condemned the sharp increase in the number of uninsured and called for a national health insurance program to provide comprehensive coverage to all Americans.

August 28, 2006

Has Canada Got the Cure?
by Holly Dressel | Yes Magazine | Fall issue, 2006
Should the United States implement a more inclusive, publicly funded health care system? That's a big debate throughout the country. But even as it rages, most Americans are unaware that the United States is the only country in the developed world that doesn't already have a fundamentally public--that is, tax-supported--health care system.

Single-payer health system for Maine
By Bob Lodato | Bangor Daily News | Friday, August 25, 2006
The Institute of Medicine considers the VHA's integrated health information system, which includes performance measures to improve quality, one of the best in the nation. Thus the quality issue is answered: a single-payer system, with good management, can provide quality care that beats the best private institutions.

What Would Lenin Do?
By Maggie Mahar | The American Prospect
While some progressives applaud efforts to force employers like Wal-Mart to take on greater responsibility for health care, others argue that our employer-based health care system is a failing relic of the past and that such gambits are actually counterproductive. Rather than trying to shore up our employer-based system, they say, we should seek to capitalize on that system's mounting woes to build support for replacing it with national health insurance.

What's behind Ireland's economic miracle--and G.M.'s financial crisis?
by MALCOLM GLADWELL | The New Yorker | Issue of 2006-08-28
America’s private pension system is now in crisis. Over the past few years, American taxpayers have been put at risk of assuming tens of billions of dollars of pension liabilities from once profitable companies. Hundreds of thousands of retired steelworkers and airline employees have seen health-care benefits that were promised to them by their employers vanish. General Motors, the country’s largest automaker, is between forty and fifty billion dollars behind in the money it needs to fulfill its health-care and pension promises.

August 23, 2006

Groups Form Coalition Focused on "Healthcare Crisis"
Carole Mikita Reporting | KSL | August 22nd, 2006
Six community groups formed a coalition to bring awareness to what they call the healthcare crisis. The coalition called this event 'CHALK IT UP'; the chalk outlines of bodies are still on the sidewalk, each one representing a Utahn.

Another view: SB 840 will cure state's struggles with health care
Nibbling around the edges with incremental change is not enough. We need courageous and thoughtful reform that provides what all Californians want -- affordable access to good-quality health care. This is what SB 840 achieves.

August 22, 2006

What will happen to me if I get sick or injured and can't pay my bills?
The sad joke is that plans like this are being marketed as "consumer driven." Healthcare consumers (that is to say, everybody) please take note: any so-called 'consumer-driven' health plan is really an anti-consumer hit and run. California State Senator Sheila Kuehl is offering a real alternative. Her bold legislative initiative would bring truly affordable healthcare to all.

What will happen to me if I get sick or injured and can't pay my bills?
The sad joke is that plans like this are being marketed as "consumer driven." Healthcare consumers (that is to say, everybody) please take note: any so-called 'consumer-driven' health plan is really an anti-consumer hit and run. California State Senator Sheila Kuehl is offering a real alternative. Her bold legislative initiative would bring truly affordable healthcare to all.

August 21, 2006

Salinas throws support behind universal health care
The Salinas City Council this week endorsed a state Senate bill to provide universal health care for California residents.

August 14, 2006

It's time for healthcare for everyone
The United States will spend more than $2 trillion on health care this year, which is more than enough to pay for comprehensive health care for everyone.

August 11, 2006

Union of Government Workers Seeks to Build Political Muscle
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees announced plans yesterday to spend $60 million more a year to campaign for universal health coverage, to unionize 70,000 workers annually and to register 280,000 union members to vote.

Doctor's Order: Tell It Like It Is
Poll after poll shows that's the way Americans want to go. Everybody knows the for-profit insurance companies will always try to squeeze out the biggest profit possible. It's the nature of the beast.

August 09, 2006

San Francisco Mayor Signs Health Access Program Into Law
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday signed into law a program to expand health care access to the estimated 82,000 uninsured city residents.

August 08, 2006

Band-aid Therapy
The United States seems to be adept at alleviating the pain caused by the health-care system--taking just enough action to forestall a system-wide crisis, but not enough to provide long-term solutions. Two recent examples of this are the changes to the Medicare payment structure for physicians and proposed solutions for the growing number of Americans without health insurance.

August 02, 2006

Spanish Language Newspaper in Kentucky Cover PNHP Conference
The Spanish language newspaper Al Dia in Kentucky covered the local PNHP chapter’s conference on HR 676. Click Here to read the article. (pdf)...

Access to Health Care Services in Canada
Click here to read Statistics Canada’s report on access to health care services in Canada from January to December 2005. (pdf)...

States Push Healthcare Reform While Activists Demand Overhaul
In healthcare debate, single-payer still 800-pound gorilla by Shreema Mehta Aug. 1 — Across the nation, states have made headlines this year for innovative approaches to expanding residents’ access to health insurance. But when the publicity has cleared and...

Health insurance for all, for real
Nobody likes to hear the health care horror stories: emergency rooms clogged with sick people who otherwise can't see doctors, patients skipping treatments to afford food for their children, deaths from easily curable diseases that weren't detected. We don't want this in America.

July 31, 2006

Kentuckians hold Citizens' Hearing on Health Care Crisis
On Saturday morning, June 10, an estimated 140 people joined elected representatives, public health officials, and health care providers at Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Louisville to hear the testimonials of individuals who understand the real costs of our national health care "meltdown."

Nation's Largest Union Endorses HR 676
Orlando, FL-The largest union in the US, the National Education Association (NEA), has endorsed HR 676, a bill introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) that would establish a national single payer health care system. The resolution endorsing HR 676 was...

Ohio State AFL-CIO Convention Endorses HR 676
While we in the United States spend approximately twice as much of our gross domestic product as other developed nations on health care, we remain the only industrialized country without universal coverage. Our problem worsens each year as insurance costs increase and gradual solutions have failed to make a dent in the problem.

July 24, 2006

ABCs of health care
There is no way to make health care affordable and contain costs when the insurance and drug companies are siphoning off these kind of profits from the health care dollar, to say nothing of their "administrative costs" which include marketing and denying benefits in their "managed care plans." Health insurance company administrative costs are 10 times higher than the government-administered Medicare plan.

July 21, 2006

Health insurance for all, for real
Universal health coverage has become almost a universal goal across the political spectrum. There's a growing recognition that covering the uninsured – besides directly helping millions of people – would be good for business, the economy and the taxpayers and premium-payers who now pick up the tab.

July 17, 2006

Massachusetts Health Care Reform Falls Short
Like most states, Massachusetts has a serious health care crisis. The number of uninsured is rising (state estimates are as high as 750,000 people), costs are the highest in the country, and bargaining for contracts is often stalemated over employers' cost shifting demands.

July 13, 2006

A Telephone Worker Responds to Andy Stern on Single Payer Health Care
It was obvious that President Stern is as troubled about the out of control costs of health insurance as any American. It was also obvious President Stern has no constructive solution. He spoke of the health care crisis in America without offering a single constructive idea as to how this crisis can be addressed. Instead he blames politicians and business for their lack of leadership on this issue. He also belittles the concept of a single-payer system while complaining that American business can't compete with countries that have single-payer systems.

July 12, 2006

San Francisco Labor Council Unanimously Passes Resolution in Support of SB840
On Monday, July 10, the San Francisco Labor Council unanimously passed the following resolution in support of California Senate Bill 840, the California Health Insurance Reliability Act and House Resolution 676, the United States National Health Insurance Act.

Single-Payer Comeback?
[Rep.] Conyers cites a groundswell of grassroots support for national health care, mostly because carmakers and other large corporations say they just can no longer afford skyrocketing health care costs for their employees. "Collective bargaining is taking it on the chin" when it comes to health care benefits, Conyers said in an interview.

PNHP NY Metro Chapter Responds to Citizens Health Care Working Group Recommendations
We believe there should be a universal, government-financed system of national health insurance that will make health care available to everyone. This country has the financial means to do this; in fact, many studies show that we can do this without spending any more than now.

July 10, 2006

The Best Medical Care In The U.S.
How Veterans Affairs transformed itself — and what it means for the rest of us By Catherine Arnst Business Week JULY 17, 2006 Raymond B. Roemer, 83, has earned his membership in “the greatest generation.” A flight engineer during World...

July 07, 2006

UAW Convention Endorses Single Payer Health Care & the Conyers Bill
Two thousand delegates to the 34th International Convention of the United Auto Workers (UAW), meeting in June, strongly endorsed a single payer health care system and called for passage of legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers that would implement such a system.

June 29, 2006

Economic equality is best medicine
The headlines read that rich Americans aren't as healthy as poor Brits, despite our spending twice as much money on health care as they do. Our newborns die at the highest rates of any rich country, even with our ever-advancing medical technologies.

June 28, 2006

Health Savings Accounts: Why They Won't Cure What Ails U.S. Health Care
by S.R.Collins, Commonwealth Fund Executive Summary Invited Testimony before the Committee on Ways and Means U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on “Health Savings Accounts,” June 28, 2006 Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this invitation to testify on health savings accounts...

June 26, 2006

Smooth Sailing in Medicare Drug Benefit May Not Last, Wall Street Seers Say
Among the blunt assessments offered by Wall Street analysts at the event: the commercial insurance industry has given up trying to control health costs; much of the enrollment growth in the private plan side of Medicare is in plans that do little if anything to actually try to manage care; Medicare drug plans are going to set premiums for 2007 with basically no clue about whether they are running profits or losses in 2006; and starting in 2008, those plans are likely to cover a much more limited range of drugs.

Bring on National Health Insurance
America's health care system, despite the efforts of millions of dedicated health care professionals, is broken. Frankly, nothing but national health insurance makes sense.

June 23, 2006

If you need insurance, you can't afford it
The real culprits are our neighbors to the north: If only those stubborn Canadians would abandon their nationalized health system and migrate to the United States, the size and better health of their population could reduce our group rates for months or years to come.

You Don't Want to Get Sick if You're American
Like most discussions of medicine, the article was mostly about money. Americans who have medical insurance get it from private companies, often as a benefit of employment. The poor and the elderly are sometimes covered by government plans. About 15 per cent of the population — 45.8 million Americans — don’t have any coverage at all.

APA President Urges Support For Single-Payer Insurance System
Psychiatrists need to "tirelessly advocate" for a single-payer, universal health care system so every American has access to care as a right, not a privilege.

Pact signed to develop health insurance program for British Virgin Islands
"While there are many intricate details to be worked out, the fundamental vision behind national health insurance is simple: We want a system of health-care coverage that will enable every man, woman and child of the [British Virgin Islands] to get the health care that they need," Chief Minister Orlando Smith said.

June 22, 2006

We can address our health care crisis, or we can outsource it
A look at the raw numbers shows there is the potential for huge savings. For example, a hip operation that costs $50,000 stateside checks in at $18,000 when performed in India – and that cost includes travel expenses for two people.

Pittsburgh Columnist on How Health Care Profits Starve the Patients
Since 2000, employer-based health premiums have increased a staggering 73 percent, far outstripping increases in wages (15 percent) and inflation (14 percent). In 2004, this country spent $1.9 trillion on health costs, or 16 percent of the gross national product.

Wrenching Changes on the Line
New York Times Editorial: "In an ideal world, America would join the overwhelming majority of developed countries and hammer out some kind of national health care system. Failing such a sudden and unlikely onset of sanity, creative solutions are needed."

End health care game playing
So private payers, who already pay for Medicaid and Medicare through their tax dollars, have to pay again. Why not abandon the charade, put all the programs under one roof - the U.S. government's - and presumably save a lot with a single bureaucracy and economies of scale?

June 12, 2006

The Best Corporate Health Plan
Jonathan Tasini June 30, 2005 Tom Jonathan Tasini is president of the Economic Future Group and writes his “Working In America” columns for on an occasional basis. The imploding health care system is finally making one thing crystal...

A Walking Tour of America's Broken Health Care System
by Deborah Burger June 7, 2006 on-line at The Huffington Post June 7th 2006 is a national day of action for HR 676, Rep. John Conyers’ landmark bill to create Medicare for All. To mark this day, California’s nurses are...

Big UAW Auto Assembly Plant Endorses HR 676
Conyers’ Single Payer Legislation Newark, DE-On the eve of the UAW’s international union convention this week in Las Vegas, UAW Local 1183, representing 2,000 workers at the Daimler/Chrysler assembly plant here, has endorsed HR 676, a bill introduced by Congressman...

June 08, 2006

Health-care reform is more urgent than ever
By John A. Ameriks, MD Health policy analyst Las Cruces Sun-News The U.S. population will rise above 300 million this year, and health care expenditures are projected to exceed $2.1 trillion. Simple arithmetic leads to the alarming realization that the...

Look north for answers
By Dr. Susanne King Thursday, June 08 LENOX THE CANADIAN health care system hit the news again last week. A new study by Harvard Medical School researchers reported that Canadians are healthier than U.S. citizens, even though the United States...

June 07, 2006

Need for single-payer health care growing
The list of reasons why the current system and its attempted fixes are failing grows longer MAINE VOICES: Richard Dillihunt, M.D. Wednesday, May 17, 2006 Six years ago I wrote here favoring a national single-payer health care system. Since then,...

Paul Krugman speaks on Single Payer and HR 676
Listen here: Paul KrugmanNew York Times columnist and Princeton University economics professor Paul Krugman spoke May 30 at an event sponsored by the NY Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). His talk was entitled “A Prescription...

June 06, 2006

Fix health care. Give Medicare to Everyone
Click here to read PNHP Executive Director Ida Hellander’s Spring 2003 Ms. Magazine article. (pdf file)...

June 01, 2006

Healthcare-NOW Calls "National Healthcare Action Day" June 7th (6-7-06)
To find the action near you, obtain the video, or a complete list of nationwide activities, go to or call 1-800-453-1305.

Canadians Healthier than Americans, Study Finds
Despite complaints about long waits for services, Canadians are healthier than their U.S. neighbors and receive more consistent medical care, according to a report released on Tuesday.

May 31, 2006

Study: Canadians Healthier Than Americans
You can add Canadians to the list of foreigners who are healthier than Americans.

May 30, 2006

USW's Gerard Speaks on Union Action, Single Payer Health Care and HR 676
Link: We are pleased to be able to make available a far reaching talk by Leo Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) delivered May 18th in New York City at an event sponsored by the Central Labor...

May 23, 2006

UAW's Gettelfinger Again Calls for Single Payer Health Care
The UAW has long advocated single-payer national health insurance as the fairest and most cost-efficient way to provide affordable, quality, comprehensive health care to every American regardless of income.

May 17, 2006

A Pennsylvania state senator proposes universal coverage for state residents.
Healthy Choice Philadelphia Weekly (May 17-23) by Jesse Smith Last month Massachusetts garnered national attention for legislation heralded as an answer to the state’s-and possibly the nation’s-problem of health coverage gaps. Requiring that all residents have health insurance, the state...

May 15, 2006

Health Care Spending and Use of Information Technology in OECD Countries
Commonwealth Fund - Publications - May 2006 U.S. health spending per capita significantly and consistently outpaces that of other industrialized nations. One proposal for lowering health spending and improving quality is the adoption of health information technology (HIT). Yet the...

May 12, 2006

Answer to health care issue
If we had a single-payer health care system, small business owners would be off the hook. Health care funds would come from a modest payroll tax, and would be administered by the government, at either a state or a national level. It would be like improved Medicare for all. Medicare's administrative costs are 3 percent: the current system of health insurance consumes 30 percent of the health care dollar.

May 11, 2006

Editorial Independence and the Canadian Medical Association Journal
On February 20, after almost 10 years as editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), I was fired without cause.

May 10, 2006

How To Fix The System
Ask a doctor what's wrong with America's healthcare system, and be prepared to pull up a chair. You'll hear a litany of complaints about Kafka-esque bureaucracies, litigious patients, unreasonable insurance companies, too few nurses, never enough time, too much testing and not enough talk. But complaining gets us nowhere--we need solutions. Here are my top seven reforms for health care.

May 09, 2006

A doctor speaks out
Medicare for everybody makes the most sense. If you want continuity of care, if you want choice, Medicare is the only way to go.

May 08, 2006

Making a Case for a Single-Payer System
Quentin Young, M.D.: We at the Physicians for a National Health Program advocate a national single-payer health system. Regarding the notion that this country can't have such a program, I defend the argument that we can't have anything but.

Massachusetts' 'Universal Coverage' Bill is No Such Thing
By Kip Sullivan In These Times, May 8, 2006 Odds are good that Romney will rue the day he took credit for this bill. Legislators around the country are looking to the law recently passed in Massachusetts for answers on...

Unions Should Break With Managed Care
Despite solid evidence that turning Medicare and Medicaid over to HMOs raises the costs of these programs and damages quality of care, politicians of both parties continue to support the further privatization of both programs.

May 04, 2006

Massachusetts' health plan is not single-payer
By Matthew W. Petty Op-Ed, The Forum (Fargo, ND) May 4, 2006 The single-payer national health insurance system described by Josh Swanson in his April 23 opinion in The Forum is the best solution to America’s health care crisis. Unfortunately,...

Barbara Ehrenreich: President Bush, Meet Lorraine
Lorraine has no health insurance. We didn't know that. In fact, we'd been content to believe that her consulting business was going as well as she said it was. In her late forties now, she's a former accountant who never could find another decent job--also a news junkie, an avid reader, and an energetic volunteer in a number of worthy causes. But it turns out shefs been struggling with the cell phone bill and the rent.

Unions Back Single-Payer Health Plan
SINGLE-PAYER GOVT. HEALTH CARE BILL GAINS UNION BACKERS AS ‘COVER THE UNINSURED’ WEEK RUNS By Press Associates, Inc. Staff Writer Mark Gruenberg WASHINGTON (PAI) – A bill establishing a government-run Canadian style single-payer health care system for the U.S.,...

Cover the uninsured
Tomorrow begins the fourth Cover the Uninsured Week, a nonpartisan, national effort to urge U.S. leaders to make health coverage for Americans their top priority and to facilitate the enrollment of uninsured people who are eligible for subsidized health-care programs.

May 03, 2006

Private Care Is No Cure
To view Medicare Watch’s February 2006 newsletter, click here. (PDF file)...

April 26, 2006

While Massachusetts receives national attention, Pennsylvania has a plan of equal merit
Midweek Perspectives: Health insurance for all — yes, we can While Massachusetts receives national attention, Pennsylvania has a plan of equal merit Wednesday, April 26, 2006 | Pittsburgh Post Gazette By Steven Larchuk and Scott Tyson, M.D. With great fanfare...

Shredding the Social Contract: The Privatization of Medicare
In Shredding the Social Contract, John Geyman examines the development of the largest social insurance program in the country\Medicare\identifies the multitude of influences that have led to the current state of the Medicare program, and suggests that national health insurance (NHI) may be the only solution to its problems.

Gaps in Health Insurance: An All-American Problem
National health care spending is climbing by more than 7 percent per year, outpacing economic growth by a substantial margin. As health care costs have climbed, so has the number of people without health insurance in the United States, even during a period of overall economic growth.

April 25, 2006

"The Word of Those With Whom We Do Business:" The State of Ethics in Healthcare
Apr. 2006 The prevalence of inappropriate actions in healthcare drives additional margins in the industry’s supply, delivery and financing sectors, says contributor Fred Goldstein. It is at the root of our cost explosion and our healthcare crisis, and is based...

Give Canadian-style system a try
How does a single-payer system cut costs so dramatically? Such a system means no competing insurance corporations, no advertising, practically no billing or collecting, no stockholder profits. Usually it also means more regional health planning to avoid wasteful duplication of equipment but adding needed services.

Cuba Has Better Medical Care Than the U.S.
Simple, buyers don't shop for health care. Sick people don't negotiate with doctors or hospitals or drug companies. They don't care what it costs; insurance or the government will pay. This vulnerability has been exploited and hijacked by greedy doctors, drug companies, insurers, personal injury lawyers, HMOs, and hospitals. About 50% of health care funds never even get to doctors or hospitals -- which themselves run bloated operations.

April 24, 2006

Alberta backs off private medicare blueprint
Bowing to public pressure at home and opposition in Ottawa, Alberta has shelved its controversial health-care reforms that would have allowed doctors to collect paycheques in both the private and public systems and patients to buy private insurance.

April 18, 2006

Insurer CEO Makes a Billion
Unrealized gains on Dr. McGuire's options totaled $1.6 billion, according to UnitedHealth's proxy statement released this month. Even celebrated CEOs such as General Electric Co.'s Jack Welch or International Business Machines Corp.'s Louis Gerstner never were granted so much during their time at the top.

Government-Funded Care Is the Best Health Solution
A single-payer system would increase access to care for the uninsured and the underinsured, including the working poor. It would lower total health costs, in part by replacing 50 different state Medicaid programs and umpteen insurers with one system. This approach has the potential to improve quality and lower costs by improving care for chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

UnitedHealth CEO Makes Recommendation on Pay
Dr. McGuire was the subject of a Page One article in The Wall Street Journal today that looked at how an elite group of companies is getting rich from the nation's fraying health-care system. Many of them are middlemen who process the paperwork, fill the pill bottles and otherwise connect the pieces of a $2 trillion industry.

April 17, 2006

Healthcare plan needs dose of common sense
By Marcia Angell Originally published April 17, 2006 IF GOVERNOR Romney thinks the state’s new plan for universal health coverage will carry him to the White House, he should think again. This Rube Goldberg contraption won’t even get him off...

The health-care tipping point
Insurance CEOs fattened on the suffering of manyBy Howie Wolf Originally published April 16, 2006 Boulder Camera A brilliant and widely read book by Malcomb Gladwell called “The Tipping Point” calls our attention as to why there are so many...

April 13, 2006

Single Payer, By Default: Current Trends, Including CDHC, Will Only Compound the Problems
Dr. Don McCanne editorial in the San Diego Physician (PDF File)...

Massachusetts Bill Fact Sheet from MASS-CARE
DID YOU KNOW THAT: •Most uninsured people will now have to buy their own insurance without any or with very little financial support? •The Bill will not help the underinsured or those with poor quality insurance, including those on Medicare...

The New Yorker Comment: Consumption
The New Yorker by Hendrik Hertzberg Issue of 2006-04-17 | Posted 2006-04-10 Perhaps you have been wondering who or what is to blame for the high cost of medical care in this land of ours - and, more broadly, for...

April 11, 2006

New advocacy organization for universal health care holds first meeting in Anniston
By Joseph Lord Star Staff Writer 04-10-2006 Dr. Henry Duke was touched by what he saw in Mobile after Hurricane Katrina. He saw people, lots of them, in need of medical help - many of them caught up in the...

Awaiting a home run
By Dr. Susanne L. King Berkshire Eagle Tuesday, April 11 LENOX MANY PEOPLE have been cheering the new health care bill that was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature, which is supposed to provide universal health care coverage for our state....

Approaches to Health Care for All
Press Release For Release: April 10, 2006 For More Info: Mark Dunlea, 518 434-7371, ext 1 New York Needs a Commission to Develop Cost-Effective Approaches to Health Care for All New Massachusetts Health Care Plan is Seriously Flawed Universal health...

Right idea, wrong tack on health-care reform
Originally Published April 8, 2006 Des Moines Register Editorial Board On Tuesday, the Massachusetts Legislature passed a bill mandating all residents purchase health insurance. The philosophy is right: Everyone should have health insurance. It should be affordable. When people are...

Himmelstein and Woolhandler Respond to Massachusetts' New Healthcare Law
The New York Times Published: April 9, 2006 To the Editor: Your reports about Massachusetts’ health reform legislation treat politicians’ overblown claims as gospel. The legislation completely ignores one-third of the uninsured, dismissing the Census Bureau’s estimate that 748,000 lack...

Teenagers with Cancer - Survival rates better in Australia than US
Originally Published 4/4/2006 Countries that have national health services easily accessible to people of all ages are more likely to have better survival rates for their teenagers and young adults (TYAs) with cancer, than are countries where individuals have to...

April 05, 2006

A Benefit for Insurers
By Milt Freudenheim The New York Times Published March 31, 2006 Critics who say the private insurance industry got too big a role in the new Medicare prescription drug program may not know the half of it. For patients, the...

Former Director of Public Health, Wisconsin, Backs Single Payer
Effective, efficient health care for everyone By Ivan Imm, guest columnist Published Wednesday, March 29, 2006 Winona Daily News Our health care system in America is broken and in crisis. Millions of hard-working Americans have no health insurance, and those...

Forced insurance an unhealthy idea
Opinion Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY Published Sunday, March 26, 2006 Advocates of a new state law that would mandate medium- to large-sized employers to pay for their workers’ health insurance have cause to be frustrated by the status quo in...

Letter to the editor: National health care
Letter to the Editor Huntsville Times Published Monday, March 27, 2006 The Association Health Plans proposed by President Bush and now being considered by Congress will not be of any help to middle-class and working families. It is a plan...

Open Letter to Governor Mitt Romney on Massachusetts Health Care Bill
for a printable pdf version of this letter (click here) for a fact sheet on the Massachusetts bill (click here) Governor Mitt Romney State Capitol Boston, MA 02133 November 3, 2005 Dear Governor Romney, Speaker DiMasi and Senate President Travaglini:...

April 04, 2006

Roanoke Times endorses single-payer
America’s ailing health care system Editorial Roanoke Times Published: Monday, March 20, 2006 The free market approach to health care has given the U.S. a system both mediocre and expensive. It’s time to try single-payer insurance. The good news from...

Statements from IBEW and Jobs with Justice
Statement at the by John Horgan, member, IBEW Local 2222 and Jobs with Justice Health Care Action Committee Community meeting on “How to get health care that works for all Americans,” Boston University School of Public Health March 22, 2006...

Panel explores healthcare reform
By: Kathryn Caggianelli The Albany Record Published March 8, 2006 ALBANY - Though they couldn’t agree on the mechanism for change, four physicians who sat on a panel Tuesday at WAMC’s Linda Norris Auditorium, explored the need for establishing a...

Health plans make more, spend less in 2005
Insurers’ medical-cost ratios are lower than ever By Jonathan G. Bethely, AMNews staff Published March 6, 2006 If physicians needed any more indication of tightening reimbursement, how about this — not only did profits for the biggest health plans go...

Conceiving an Elephant but Giving Birth to a Mouse
The Incredible Vanishing Push for Universal Health Insurance in Massachusetts By Alan Sager, Ph.D., Professor of Health Services Commentary, WBUR-FM Boston Broadcast 20 March 2006 For months, most of us have thought that the Legislature was debating how to cover...

March 30, 2006

The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It
By Paul Krugman and Robin Wells New York Times Review of Books Originally published March 23, 2006 Thirteen years ago Bill Clinton became president partly because he promised to do something about rising health care costs. Although Clinton’s chances of...

March 17, 2006

Louisville Courier-Journal: Readers' Forum
Originally published February 13, 2006 READERS’ FORUM Providing health care for everyone: ‘Everybody in, nobody out’ I’m writing to thank state Rep. Joni Jenkins and her colleagues who raised their voices in support of HCR 40, a resolution that urges...

Health care: the single payer vision
Letter Louisville Courier-Journal Friday, February 17, 2006 America has wonderful hospitals, clinics, and doctors. We conduct brilliant research. But there is a missing link: access to health services. Some day, however, financial barriers to health care in America will be...

Critics challenge health reform plan
By Nancy Remsen Free Press (Burlington, VT) Originally Published February 15, 2006 MONTPELIER — Dr. Deborah Richter hoisted a megaphone and addressed a group of 50 supporters of universal health care gathered Tuesday outside the Statehouse to protest the health...

Health care reform does too little, say activists
Times Argus Originally published Feb 15, 2006 MONTPELIER Even as the House Health Care Committee worked inside on a health reform bill that would provide care to more Vermonters, a group of activists stood on the Statehouse steps demanding...

March 09, 2006

Interview with Dr. David Himmelstein
Healthcare for All: The Campaign for Single-Payer Health Insurance in Massachusetts and the United States Multinational Monitor Originally published December 2000 Volume 21, Number 12 INTERVIEW David Himmelstein is an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder...

March 06, 2006

The Uninsured Patient
By Baldeep Singh, MD, and Rachel Golden, PhD Commentary The American Journal of Medicine February 2006 Despite recent attempts by federal programs to increase access to medical care for uninsured persons, the number of Americans without insurance has increased since...

Remedy for ailing system sought
Forums to examine possible solutions to health care cost crisis By Matt Pacenza Times Union, Albany, New York Monday, March 6, 2006 ALBANY — The bill gets bigger every day. By 2015, one out of every five dollars spent in...

March 05, 2006

Our health care system is inefficient, wasteful
Maine Who among us cannot be ashamed that more than 45 million Americans lack health insurance and millions more have inadequate coverage? How do we spend twice as much as anyone else while being the only developed nation not to...

March 03, 2006

Recourse Grows Slim for Immigrants Who Fall Ill
By Nina Bernstein The New York Times March 3, 2006 When Ming Qiang Zhao felt ill last summer, he lay awake nights in the room he shared with other Chinese restaurant workers in Brooklyn. Though he had worked in New...

March 02, 2006

Why pick on Wal-Mart?
Editorial LA Times March, 2 2006 WAL-MART’S RECENT DECISION to offer health coverage to more of its 1.4 million U.S. employees is a little like getting a date with a favorite crush because she feels sorry for you. Sure, you’re...

March 01, 2006

Goodbye, Europe. Hello, USA.
Alberta headed for USA-style health care system By Diana Gibson Parkland Institute Originally published February 21, 2006 Ralph Klein has wasted no time challenging the election promises of Stephen Harper’s Conservative minority government. In early February, Alberta Health Minister Iris...

Seducing the medical profession
The New York Times Editorial Originally published February 6, 2006 New evidence keeps emerging that the medical profession has sold its soul in exchange for what can only be described as bribes from the manufacturers of drugs and medical devices....

February 28, 2006

Statement for the Record of Dr. Don R. McCanne to Committee on Ways and Means (March 24, 2004)
Statement for the Record of Dr. Don R. McCanne, Physicians for a National Health Program, Chicago, Illinois House Committee on Ways and Means Hearing on Board of Trustees 2004 Annual Reports March 24, 2004 The 2004 Annual Report of the...

No-Fault Compensation in New Zealand
Harmonizing Injury Compensation, Provider Accountability, and Patient Safety Commonwealth Fund, February 2006 Executive Summary In New Zealand, patients seek compensation for medical injuries not through malpractice suits as in the United States, but rather through a no-fault compensation system. Injured...

Disease management strikes out
By Laura Benko Modern Healthcare Originally published January 23, 2006 PREMATURE DEATH PacifiCare ends program early, CMS cites rising costs Raising further questions about the financial value of disease management, PacifiCare Health Systems plans to terminate a Medicare demonstration project...

Californians respond to Sacramento Bee editorial on health care reform
Letters to the editor Our social contract Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, February 19, 2006 Story appeared in Forum section, Page E6 Re “The new shades of gray,” Forum, Feb. 12: For a multitude of unavoidable reasons, our population is...

February 27, 2006

Canada's Health IT Investments Outpace the United States
Originally published February 16, 2006 Canada Health Infoway by March will have invested $562 million in health IT projects, Richard Alvarez, CEO of the federally funded not-for-profit corporation leading e-health in Canada, said at the annual Healthcare Information and Management...

Vanquishing the American Dream
By Jim Hightower, Hightower Lowdown Posted January 24, 2006. As General Motors shuts down well-paid middle-class jobs, the old slogan ‘What’s good for G.M. is good for America’ no longer applies. People like Robert Paulk and Jerry Roy are...

February 23, 2006

Woman Fences Stolen Goods to Pay for Health Insurance
Woman Fences Stolen Goods to Pay for Health Insurance The San Diego Union-Tribune February 23, 2006 By Steve Liewer STAFF WRITER February 23, 2006 A Vista woman was sentenced to prison yesterday for buying from Camp Pendleton Marines stolen body...

February 22, 2006

Insurers' Study Tries to Whitewash Truth that Skimpy Coverage Causes Medical Bankruptcy
Researchers from Harvard's Medical and Law Schools note that none of the data in their 2005 study showing that medical problems contribute to half of all bankruptcies have been questioned, despite an attack on their work commissioned by America Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an insurance industry trade organization. Both the AHIP article and the Harvard response appeared today in the on line edition of Health Affairs.

Health-care overhaul urged at rally
By Richard Halstead Marin Independent Journal February 19, 2006 Guy Esberg of San Anselmo said he recently traveled to Germany for an operation and is contemplating going to Thailand for a second operation because he can’t afford to have the...

February 17, 2006

The Future of Medicare: Finishing What We Started
Bruce Vladeck, Ernst & Young LLP July 2005 As Medicare approaches its 40th anniversary, it’s important to recognize that the program’s founders would have been profoundly ambivalent about its current success and popularity. They never intended that Medicare would stand...

February 14, 2006

Doctor finds a Practice in Paradise
By Judith Zwolak Argus Leader (South Dakota) January 21, 2006 When family practice physician Vicki Walker took a year’s sabbatical from her Vermillion practice to work in Australia, she had to learn a new vocabulary for some common ailments. ”’Crook...

Bad Prescription: Why privatizing Medicare may be hazardous to your health
By Kip Sullivan Washington Monthly March, 1999 When the debate over the fate of Medicare heats up later this spring, you’ll hear a familiar battle cry: The retirement of the Baby Boomers is sending Medicare into “bankruptcy” and it can...

February 13, 2006

VA Care Is Rated Superior to That in Private Hospitals
By Rob Stein Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, January 20, 2006; A15 The Department of Veterans Affairs medical system once epitomized poor-quality care. But after a series of changes, the system has been hailed in recent years as a model...

Trusted Rx for Ill Nation
By Dan Carpenter Indianapolis Star February 12, 2006 To prescribe health savings accounts for a medical system that’s the most overpriced, overcomplicated, underperforming and unfair in the developed world is an artless dodge that denies the possibility the real cure...

Make state health insurance plan available to small firms
By Joseph Q. Jarvis Salt Lake Tribune February 12, 2006 Two days ago a bill, HB122, intended to provide Utah’s small-business owners with a new option for employee health benefits, was eviscerated by the Utah Health Insurance Association. HB122, as...

Ownership Society Redux: New Name, Same Policy
By Sebastian Mallaby Washington Post February 13, 2006 The president likes to be consistent. Loves Laura; sticks to Laura. Kicks drink; keeps kicking it. First inaugural address: blue tie, white shirt. Second inaugural address: blue tie, white shirt. Weight in...

Former NEJM editor Relman supports single-payer in New York Times
New York Times February 11, 2006 To the Editor: Your Feb. 3 editorial “The Lopsided Bush Health Plan” nicely summarizes all the reasons why health savings accounts are a very bad idea and will not help solve the nation’s health...

Bush's Rx for insurance: Buy your own
By John McCarron Chicago Tribune February 10, 2006 Additional material published Feb. 11, 2006 CORRECTIONS AND CLARIFICATIONS In his Commentary column Friday, John McCarron stated that General Motors recently announced it will cap spending on health insurance premiums for salaried...

Change health care for uninsured
By Kay Lapp James Portage Daily Register November 9, 2005 Monday’s e-mail contained a surprising press release from Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager. She announced that her office was taking actions against two Milwaukee-area hospitals for unfair trade practices. The complaints,...

Catching the health-reform bug
By Lance Dickie The Seattle Times February 10, 2006 The nation’s health-care system has not gotten bad enough yet for real change to occur. Just wait. An increasingly anxious middle class is seeing skimpy insurance coverage, higher costs, diminished quality,...

Reform languishes
Editorial Times Argus (Barre-Montpelier, VT) February 2, 2006 One of the leading advocates of health care reform has given members of the Legislature, Democrats and Republicans, a failing grade for addressing reform in a meaningful way. Dr. Deborah Richter told...

Progs hit Dems over healthcare
By John Zicconi Vermont Press Bureau February 8, 2006 MONTPELIER Vermont’s Progressive caucus on Tuesday harshly criticized the Democrat-controlled Legislature for not conducting studies that could show a single-payer, publicly-financed health care system is the most cost-effective way to...

Group seeks health care remedies
By Hilary Corrigan Coast Press Reporter February 8, 2006 It’s an ambitious goal, Lewes resident Lloyd Mills admits. Installing a long-term, universal health care coverage system in Delaware — probably with the state government collecting money through a new tax...

Medicare: Rich HMOs, Sick Patients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FEBRUARY 9, 2006 1:04 PM CONTACT: Institute for Public Accuracy Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167 Medicare: Rich HMOs, Sick Patients WASHINGTON - February 9 - STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER Associate professor of medicine at Harvard...

Budget blind to disaster in health care
President Bush's 2007 budget, with its target of reducing Medicare spending by $36 billion over the next five years, could be the proverbial straw that breaks the back of the nation's health care system. It also could drive states and their voters to the wall, forcing a new look at universal health care.

Economist bashes Bush HSA proposal
WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (UPI) — President Bush’s health savings account (HSA)plan will mean income-based healthcare rationing, an economist said Tuesday. “Should healthcare be cheaper for high-income people?” asked Princeton economics professor Uwe Reinhart at the National Health Policy Conference in...

February 09, 2006

Where does all the money go?
By Dr. Susanne King Berkshire Eagle Tuesday, February 7, 2006 The United States spent $1.9 trillion on health care in 2004, 16 percent of the nation’s economy. Yet 46 million Americans remain uninsured, a 6 million increase since President Bush...

February 06, 2006

Health Care for All/New Jersey responds to Kristof op-ed
New York Times February 5, 2006 To the Editor: Nicholas D. Kristof suggests that we mandate health-promoting measures like taxing junk foods. He says he’s personally “convinced that we need universal health care based on a single payer system,” but...

February 01, 2006

Plan OK for rich, healthy
By David Lazarus San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday, February 1, 2006 When he leaves office in a couple of years, President Bush will continue to be covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefit plan, for which taxpayers pay up to 75...

PNHP Decries "State of the Union" Health Care Proposals
National Doctors’ Group Decries “State of the Union” Health Care ProposalsBush Reforms Would Worsen Care, Bankrupt Sick Families President Bush’s proposals for health reform would simultaneously: (1) worsen access to care for people who are already covered; (2) offer billions...

January 31, 2006

Take a Hike
By Nicholas D. Kristof New York Times, op-ed January 31, 2006 First, a quiz: What “vegetable” do American infants and toddlers eat most? Weep, for it’s the French fry. A major study conducted by Gerber found that up to one-third...

Half of U.S. Health Care Workers Get Flu Shots
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 24, 2006 Cambridge Health Alliance: Alison Harris, (617) 499-8323 UCLA: Elaine Schmidt, (310) 794-2272 Click Here For Study Text RESEARCH ALERT LESS THAN HALF OF U.S. HEALTHCARE WORKERS GET FLU SHOTS FINDS UCLA/HARVARD STUDY;...

"We Will Educate Our Colleagues, the Policy Community, the Media, and Our Patients": Physicians for a National Health Program Meet in Philadelphia
by Andy Coates Published in MRZine Physicians for a National Health Program held its annual meeting on December 10, 2005. Originally planned for New Orleans, it was relocated to Philadelphia after Hurricane Katrina. Founded in 1987, the organization has over...

January 30, 2006

Support swells for universal health care: Ky. panel endorses plan for U.S. system
By Laura Ungar Monday, January 30, 2006 The (Louisville, KY) Courier-Journal It is the paradox of America’s medical system: While hands can be transplanted and the tiniest babies kept alive, many people cannot afford to see a doctor and live...

Third Building & Construction Trades Council Endorses HR 676
Collinsville, IL A third AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Council has endorsed legislation that would institute a single payer health care system in the U.S. by expanding Medicare to cover everyone. The Southwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council joined...

Junk Medicaid
By Alex Gerber Washington Times January 29, 2006 Medicaid, the government health-care plan for low-income people, has been targeted by congressional mediators as a prime source for savings in a bloated federal budget. Medicaid’s costs have increased a staggering 54...

Drug plan needs dose of simplicity
Opinion Atlanta Journal Constitution January 27, 2006 The fiasco during the first few weeks of Medicare’s prescription drug program seems to provide critics of government-provided health insurance with a wealth of ammunition. But before firing off the first round, those...

January 27, 2006

Healthcare on the critical list
Los Angeles Times January 26, 2006 Re “Health Plan to Revive Debate,” Jan. 23 The problem with healthcare in the United States isn’t that Americans are over-insured as claimed by many conservatives but that private health insurers take...

January 26, 2006

Pay up: Group urges Kentucky legislators to support federal bill pushing universal health care
By Mat Herron January 24, 2006 The last time Sandie Limpert had a job that paid for her health insurance, Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office and a bunch of college hockey players whipped the Soviet Union at the...

January 25, 2006

Pull health care out of crisis mode
Letters Outside America, most health care systems provide medications from one comprehensive formulary to all citizens. There are no restrictions or economic credentialing, and all citizens are included. In addition, the rest of the world’s health care systems negotiate the...

January 24, 2006

Health Care Is Broke, How Do We Fix It?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE: Contact: John Wasik at 847-223-9814, Stan Rosenberg at 847-543-1202, A Prairie Crossing Public Forum Saturday, February 4, 2006, 1:00 p.m. Byron Colby Barn, Route 45 and Jones Point Road, Grayslake, IL Affordable and accessible health...

January 23, 2006

'Wal-Mart law' the wrong approach on health care
Don’t mandate coverage by only large companies. By Register Editorial Board Des Moines Register January 17, 2006 While millions of people flock to shop at Wal-Mart every day, the company has also gained a flock of critics for running small...

January 20, 2006

Doctor is in -- for a price
By David Lazarus San Francisco Chronicle Sunday, January 8, 2006 David Ogden, a doctor in Marin County’s affluent Greenbrae, says he wants more time to spend with his nearly 3,000 patients, and he knows his patients want more face time...

January 19, 2006

PNHP Board Member on How to Fix the Medicare Drug Benefit
The administration has designed a drug benefit to protect the pharmaceutical industry and discredit Medicare, our one single-payer health insurance program. Today's mess could have been avoided if Congress had included the pharmacy benefit in Medicare and allowed Medicare to negotiate prices.

January 17, 2006

Bush's Turn to Health Care
Is the President Ready to Expand the Public Role? By Sebastian Mallaby Washington Post Monday, January 16, 2006; A17 This time last year, President Bush was preaching Social Security reform; that got nowhere. This time six months ago, his team...

Kitzhaber's proposal doesn't go far enough
Friday, January 13, 2006 The Oregonian Former Gov. John Kitzhaber has offered a proposal to extensively reform America’s health-care system. The plan would have the state collect Medicaid money (it does this already), Medicare money (federal insurance through Social Security)...

January 10, 2006

States Intervene After [Medicare] Drug Plan Hits Snags
By Robert Pear New York Times January 8, 2006 WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 - Low-income Medicare beneficiaries around the country were often overcharged, and some were turned away from pharmacies without getting their medications, in the first week of Medicare’s new...

Medicare Reality Check
Christian Science Monitor January 6, 2006 (CBS) It was a very tough week for low income seniors who were supposed to be covered by the new Medicare drug benefit. “It’s not covered!” Time after time seniors were told they indeed...

January 06, 2006

Many in poll want feds, state to step up in health care
By Amanda J. Crawford The Arizona Republic Jan. 4, 2006 Jessa Johnson was sick for a couple of weeks. She figured it was probably some kind of virus. But without health insurance, the 23-year-old Gilbert resident could not afford to...

January 05, 2006

To avoid the cruelest cut of all
By Glenn Hameroff Community Voices Daytona Beach News-Journal January 04, 2006 I was dismayed to read in The News-Journal on Saturday that as many as 65,000 local residents may be denied access to Flagler Hospital. This recent episode, coupled with...

Two women, two cancers, two health-care systems
By Tom O’Brien San Francisco Chronicle Thursday, December 29, 2005 After a long time away, you see with new eyes. I moved back to the United States with my Canadian wife and two small boys after living 15 years in...

Quick, someone call a doc
It’s time to start a conversation about national health care. We should talk health to death, plan it out and then find a way to go for it By Charles Madigan Chicago Tribune December 28, 2005 (A note: Your response...

Big Labor's Big Secret
By Robert Fitch The New York Times December 28, 2005 AS most Americans are aware, our auto industry is in a crisis. Workers’ wages are falling, and hundreds of thousands of jobs are being sent offshore. America’s largest parts supplier,...

January 04, 2006

Medicine: Who Decides?
By Paul Krugman The New York Times December 26, 2005 Health care seems to be heading back to the top of the political agenda, and not a moment too soon. Employer-based health insurance is unraveling, Medicaid is under severe pressure,...

Health costs will cause more strikes
By David Lazarus San Francisco Chronicle Friday, December 23, 2005 The devastating transit strike that left New Yorkers trudging through the cold this week probably made more than a few Bay Area residents think, “Glad that’s not happening here.” Think...

Public Employee Health Benefits to Evaporate
Note to Health Care Reform Activists: Public Employee Health Benefits to Evaporate by Andy Coates Monthly Review Zine 12/25/05 According to two recent articles, one in the New York Times and one in the Wall Street Journal, the federal Governmental...

December 20, 2005

Kitzhaber's Rx for state
In eyeing a new run for governor, he thinks on a revolutionary scale By David Steves The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon Saturday, December 17, 2005 The last time John Kitzhaber put Oregon on the map as a health care pioneer, it...

Health care reform urged
Speakers at town hall meeting call for universal coverage through government program By Patrick Cain Special to the Times Union Thursday, December 15, 2005 ALBANY, New York — Medicaid referrals aren’t easy for Dr. Paul Sorum. “I virtually throw my...

Hospital bills -- but with interest
Now patients who can’t pay, or who have high deductibles, can get credit cards specifically for medical care. But the rates can reach 23%. By Daniel Costello LA Times Staff Writer December 12, 2005 With many Americans struggling to pay...

December 17, 2005

Universal medicare: TV is listening; what about Washington?
A reader writes, What are your thoughts about the statement by Matt Santos, the Democratic presidential nominee on TVs The West Wing, that extending Medicare to all Americans would be an inexpensive and effective way of providing national health insurance?...

December 15, 2005

New Study Shows U.S. Hospital Charges Continue to Rise, Even After Changes in Medicare Payment Policy
California Nurses Association - EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE - December 13, 2005 Contact: Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246, 415-559-8991 (pg/cell), or the IHSP at 510-267-0634. New research on pricing practices of over 4,200 hospitals across the U.S. documents that huge markups in charges...

December 07, 2005

'Medicare for All' would cure health care crisis
By Saul Friedman Newsday December 3, 2005 Where were we? Oh, yes. I was saying last week that it’s about time we joined the rest of the civilized and industrialized world in providing publicly financed, universal health care for the...

Health Plan Costs Come Under Fire
At a hearing in L.A., Garamendi grills insurance company executives about why premiums have soared 60% in four years. By Lisa Girion, Times Staff Writer LA Times Business Section December 2, 2005 Concerned that some health insurers may be price...

Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO Central Labor Council Endorses Conyers Single Payer Health Care, HR 676
Detroit, MI—The motor city became the first big urban labor council to endorse HR 676, Single Payer Health Care, a bill introduced by Congressman John Conyers. Acting at its regular November meeting, the Council, which represents 36 local unions, resolved...

Our health care serves up profits
By Andre Picard The Globe and Mail (Canada) Thursday, December 1, 2005 Starbucks spends more on health insurance for its American employees than it does for coffee beans — $200-million (U.S.) annually. General Motors spends more on health benefits than...

November 30, 2005

Salazar, McCain propose health care commission
Group would suggest ways to ‘fix’ system By Ann Imse Rocky Mountain News November 23, 2005 Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., said Tuesday he has partnered with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to push for an independent commission to develop proposals for...

Senate candidates agree that health care system needs change
By Janet Kubat Willette Agri News staff writer Tuesday, November 29, 2005 MINNEAPOLIS — Health care costs are out of control, three Democratic Senate candidates agreed. The nation’s health care system is unsustainable, said Ford Bell, president of the Minneapolis...

Labor's Lost Story
By E. J. Dionne Jr. Washington Post Tuesday, November 29, 2005 Decades ago, Walter Reuther, the storied head of the United Auto Workers union, was taken on a tour of an automated factory by a Ford Motor Co. executive. Somewhat...

November 29, 2005

Blind Faith And Choice
By Rhiannon Tudor Edwards Health Affairs November/December 2005 It was quite a military exercise to get us allme, my husband, two children (aged nine and five), and my guide dog, Vikkifrom Wales to Seattle, Washington, in the fall of 2004....

The Latino Health Insurance Crisis: A Forgotten Community
Latinos for National Health Insurance A Coalition for Equality in Healthcare 63 East 9 Street, Suite 11k New York, NY 10003 917-304-6886 Email Estimados Amigos, We are very glad to tell you that our campaign is moving forward. First,...

The crumbling obstacle to universal health care
By Saul Friedman Family & Relationships Newsday November 26, 2005 The unique but irrational foundation of America’s employer-based health insurance system is collapsing. And nothing illustrates this more than the increasing number of companies cutting or ending health benefits they...

November 23, 2005

Single-payer plan the only solution
By David McLanahan Opinion Seattle Post Intelligence Friday, November 18, 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have focused the nation’s attention on our country’s disadvantaged. Our residents and politicians have indicated a national will to repair New Orleans and with it,...

November 15, 2005

Comparing Total Annual Drug Costs Among Medicare Advantage Plans
Comparing Total Annual Drug Costs Among Several Managed Care Plans Washington Post November 15, 2005 Premiums for Medicare Advantage drug plans, shown in parentheses below, range from zero to $85 a month. Premiums aside, total out-of-pocket costs can vary widely,...

Health Economics 101
By Paul Krugman The New York Times November 14, 2005 Several readers have asked me a good question: we rely on free markets to deliver most goods and services, so why shouldn’t we do the same thing for health care?...

November 14, 2005

$230 billion spent on insurance paperwork
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 11 (UPI) — Billing and insurance paperwork consume at least one out of every five dollars of private insurance health spending in California, a study finds. The findings suggest that about $230 billion in healthcare spending nationally...

The Deadly Doughnut
By Paul Krugman The New York Times November 11, 2005 Registration for Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit starts next week. Soon millions of Americans will learn that doughnuts are bad for your health. And if we’re lucky, Americans will also...

Pride, Prejudice, Insurance
By PAUL KRUGMAN November 7, 2005 The New York Times General Motors is reducing retirees’ medical benefits. Delphi has declared bankruptcy, and will probably reduce workers’ benefits as well as their wages. An internal Wal-Mart memo describes plans to cut...

Part D? It wasn't supposed to help YOU
Saul Friedman Newsday October 29, 2005 Long Beach widow Eula P., 81, writes that she’s neither “stupid nor senile,” but she still can’t figure out the new prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries. “What were the people in Washington thinking?”...

November 11, 2005

PNHP Members Urge Gov. Romney on Single-Payer
Dear Governor Romney, Speaker DiMasi and Senate President Travaglini:
We urge you to abandon your ill-conceived proposals for health care reform and to adopt, instead, a single payer program of universal coverage for the Commonwealth.

November 10, 2005

Health care reform plans are cruel hoax
Letters Berkshire Eagle Tuesday, November 08 To the Editor of THE EAGLE:- Dear Gov. Romney, Speaker DiMasi and Senate President Travaglini: We urge you to abandon your ill-conceived proposals for health care reform and to adopt, instead, a single-payer program...

November 08, 2005

Medicare endorsement equals cash for AARP
Letters to the Editor Des Moines Register November 7, 2005 As the cries of outrage over the new Medicare drug plan grow louder, the shadow cast over the AARP grows darker. It was AARP’s endorsement in 2003 that propelled the...

Physicians push for universal health coverage in Indiana
Health Care Crusade By Tom Murphy Indianapolis Business Journal VOL. 26 NO. 35, NOV. 7-13, 2005 Some heart muscle had already died by the time family members coaxed the 50-something uninsured man into visiting Bloomington Hospital a few weeks ago....

Medicare-for-All would save money and cover everyone
By Merton C. Bernstein Special to The Star Kansas City Star Faced with daunting health insurance costs, American enterprises are eliminating coverage or passing along more of the cost to employees and retirees. State legislatures, particularly in Missouri, are shrinking...

November 07, 2005

Getting serious about the economy
By Michael R. Huckleberry Midland Daily News 10/30/2005 The recent announcement regarding General Motors plan to cut back on health care came as no surprise. The only thing America seems to “win” lately is the “race to the bottom.” Didn’t...

Rx for America: a national health plan
Fewer workers each year receive health insurance from their employers By Ron Gettelfinger Special to The Detroit News Friday, November 4, 2005 In recent weeks, members and retirees of our union have confronted a new set of challenges in the...

For Americans, Getting Sick Has Its Price
Survey Says U.S. Patients Pay More, Get Less Than Those in Other Western Nations By Rob Stein Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 4, 2005; Americans pay more when they get sick than people in other Western nations and get...

Spin Control at Wal-Mart
By Liza Featherstone The Nation Today marks the premiere of Robert Greenwald’s documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, and Wal-Mart is ready with a “war room” led by Robert McAdam, who is, charmingly, the former strategist for the...

November 03, 2005

International Survey: U.S. Leads In Medical Errors
PRESS RELEASE EMBARGOED UNTIL Thursday, November 3, 2005, 9:00 A.M. EST (Washington and Ottawa) Thursday, November 3, 2005, 2:00 P.M. GMT (London) Thursday, November 3, 2005, 3:00 P.M. CET (Berlin) Friday, November 4, 2005, 1:00 A.M. (Canberra) Friday, November 4,...

Lack of health insurance kills
By Kay Lapp James November 2, 2005 Wisconsin Dells Being without health insurance can kill you, say Drs. Linda and Gene Farley, and access to medical care should be a right, not a privilege. The two doctors spoke on the...

Working-Age Americans Bear Brunt of Medical Debt
Health Care Economics By Rich Daly Psychiatric News October 21, 2005 Volume 40, Number 20, page 16 2005 American Psychiatric Association A study finds the largest number yet of Americans struggling with medical bills and medical debt. The burden...

November 02, 2005

Kentucky AFL-CIO Endorses Conyers' Single Payer HR 676
Adopted by the Kentucky State AFL-CIO Convention, October, 2005 RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE KENTUCKY STATE AFL-CIO CONVENTION TO ENDORSE HR 676, SINGLE-PAYER UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE Workers, their families and their union are waging an increasingly difficult struggle to win or...

October 28, 2005

Will industry spur national health care?
Kalamazoo Gazette Friday, October 28, 2005 Remember back in the 1960s when many politicians were having apoplexy over the prospect of Medicare? Pure socialism, they ranted. It’ll break the bank! Well, it hasn’t yet, although it has become obvious that...

The Chaoulli Case: A Two-Tier Magna Carta?
By Gregory P. Marchildon Healthcare Quarterly Vol 8, No 4, 2005 Abstract: There has been considerable speculation about the potential impact of the Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment in Chaoulli v. Quebec. Even if those who are most friendly -...

October 25, 2005

Diagnosis for America
By Jonathan Tasini October 25, 2005 It is a measure of our lowered expectations, fueled by media spin, that people shrugged and seemed to think that it was inevitable that workers for General Motors were destined to have their...

October 21, 2005

First Joint Canada-US Health Survey Shows Both Countries Report High Level of Health
For Immediate Release: June 2, 2004 Contact: NCHS/CDC Public Affairs, (301) 458-4800 E-mail: The Joint Canada-United States Survey of Health (JCUSH) View/download PDF 496 KB The overwhelming majority of Americans and Canadians rate their health as good, very good...

Drug Business Prescribes a Novel Cure for Its Ills
by Lloyd Grove New York Daily News October 17, 2005 Who knew that the multibillion-dollar U.S. pharmaceutical industry was so keen on publishing pulp fiction? In a tale worthy of a zany Washington satire - except for the lamentable fact...

Group urges universal health care system
Payroll, income taxes would cover costs By David Wenner The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, PA) Tuesday, October 18, 2005 A grassroots organization yesterday proposed tearing down the health insurance system in Pennsylvania and building a new one that would cover everyone. The...

October 19, 2005

Health insurance imploding
Wednesday, October 19, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle Page C1 By David Lazarus And so the demolition derby that is the U.S. health care system shifts into high gear. Mighty General Motors, the world’s largest automaker and biggest private-sector purchaser of...

October 18, 2005

Single-payer advocates push cause in states; challenges likely
At least 18 states have introduced universal health care bills, most based on a single-payer model By Amy Snow Landa AMNews correspondent Oct. 24/31, 2005 From Vermont to California, proponents of single-payer health care have been busy introducing legislation, circulating...

October 17, 2005

NY Times Endorses National Health Insurance
Wrong Solution for the Uninsured Editorial The New York Times October 17, 2005 As well-meaning legislation goes, it would be hard to beat the law recently approved by the New York City Council over the veto of Mayor Michael Bloomberg....

Small Business Looks to Mexico for Healthcare Plan
Monday, October 03, 2005 LOS ANGELES As the cost of healthcare (search) continues to skyrocket, one businessman in Calexico, Calif., has found a solution to the problem. Mark Holloway owns the Sam Ellis department store near the U.S. border with...

October 14, 2005

PNHP's Frankel Promotes Medicare for All
Doctor prescribing national health plan By Steve Blow Dallas Morning News Sunday, October 9, 2005 In the newspaper business, someone is always upset with how we play stories. Put one on the front page, and it’s called “sensationalism.” Put it...

October 06, 2005

A Radical Healthcare Solution
Michael Hiltzik LA Times October 6, 2005 Business leaders, acting in what they regard as their economic self-interest, have torpedoed every attempt to improve the nation’s ridiculously ineffective healthcare system for decades. There hasn’t been a significant reform since Lyndon...

Canadian Physicians called to
Physicians: It’s in Your Court Now By Steven Lewis Canadian Journal of Nursing Leadership (CJNL), Vol 18, No. 3, 2005 Abstract: The Supreme Court decision of June 9, 2005 clarifies the political choice facing organized medicine in Canada.(1) Many...

Medicine's Sticker Shock (Kristof)
By Nicholas D. Kristof The New York Times October 2, 2005 In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we have an opportunity to construct something far more important than higher levees - a national health care system that looks less like...

Des Moines Register: Separate health insurance from jobs
By REGISTER EDITORIAL BOARD September 27, 2005 Your employer does not buy your groceries for you. Your employer does not make your house payments for you. Your employer does not pay your utility bills. So why in the world is...

U.S. cancer expert: Canadians aren't aware of value of medicare system
Provided by: Canadian Press Written by: JOHN COTTER Sep. 27, 2005 EDMONTON (CP) - World-renowned cancer specialist Eduardo Bruera is homesick for Canada’s health-care system. Dr. Bruera left Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute after 15 years in 1999 to become chairman...

A Health Care Disaster (Kristof)
A Health Care Disaster By Nicholas D. Kristof Kiln, Miss. In the richest country in the world, a man named Eugene Johnson is going blind in a homeless shelter, because his eye medicine washed away in Hurricane Katrina and he...

VA/Canada have lower prices than Medicare Plan
New Report Finds Medicare Drug Prices are 58.2 Percent Higher than VA Prices 49 of 50 Top-Prescribed Drugs Are More Expensive in Medicare than Through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Washington, D.C. A new report released today found...

Keep our NHS public
Keep our NHS public You may be aware of a major campaign which is being launched, Keep our NHS public. I would like to encourage you to visit its website where you can sign to support the campaign. You...

Privatisation will wreck NHS, say campaigners
Hospitals may close, says letter to Guardian Timing seems designed to foment conference revolt John Carvel, social affairs editor Guardian Saturday September 24, 2005 A campaign to halt the government’s drive to commercialise the NHS is being launched today by...

Senator Sold Stock Before Price Dropped
By Jonathan M. Katz Washington Post September 21, 2005 Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, sold all his stock in his family’s hospital corporation about two weeks before it issued a disappointing earnings report and...

September 20, 2005

Business leaders support single-payer
Business leaders lean toward dramatic health-care changes Friday, September 16, 2005 By Rick Haglund Detroit Bureau TRAVERSE CITY — Frustrated over seemingly never-ending hikes in health care costs, some 40 percent of Michigan business executives polled in a new...

September 14, 2005

Des Moines Register comes out for Medicare for All
Free business from health costs By Register Editorial Board Des Moines Register September 9, 2005 First the bad news: Health-insurance premiums in Iowa increased an average of 12.4 percent from 2004 to 2005. Now, more bad news: Employees are paying...

Doctor to talk about health care for all Ohioans proposal
By Kevin Lamb Dayton Daily News Dr. Johnathon Ross has worked for universal, government-paid health insurance since he worked for an HMO 20 years ago. “I learned that all insurance companies want to insure pig iron, under water, against fire,”...

Health Crisis in Louisville's West End
There is a solution, experts tell forum By Anne Braden The Louisville Defender (Special to The Defender) Thursday, September 8, 2005 Millions of people across the U.S. are in poor health, and many are dying of diseases and conditions that...

Cheney Dropped By White House HMO
The Onion NOTE: The Onion is a satirical newspaper. September 7, 2005 | Issue 4136 WASHINGTON, DCCiting Dick Cheney’s pre-existing health conditions and his refusal to meet regularly with his primary care physician, the White House’s health-insurance provider terminated the...

September 12, 2005

Drug Lobby Second to None
How the pharmaceutical industry gets its way in Washington Special Report By M. Asif Ismail WASHINGTON, July 7, 2005 The pharmaceutical and health products industry has spent more than $800 million in federal lobbying and campaign donations at the...

Pharmaceutical Industry Spent $800 million on Lobbying over 7 years, Report States
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report 08 Jul 2005 The pharmaceutical industry spent $800 million on federal lobbying and campaign contributions over the last seven years, according to a report released Wednesday by the… Center for Public Integrity, Bloomberg/Philadelphia Inquirer reports....

Medicare Law Prompts a Rush for Lobbyists
By Robert Pear New York Times August 23, 2005 WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 - The new Medicare law has touched off explosive growth in lobbying by the health care industry, whose spending on advocacy here far exceeds that of consumer groups...

September 08, 2005

NMA Aids Hurricane Katrina Victims
September 7, 2005 Dear Colleague: As African American physicians who live and work in the affected communities hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, the nation is turning to us for guidance and support as the recovery continues. We are actively involved...

Free corporations from health expenses
OPINION The Business Journal (Milwaukee) From the September 2, 2005 print edition Guest Comment By Jack Lohman and Dr. Eugene Farley It is by historical accident that U.S. businesses provide health care to their employees, and it has now placed...

The Lagging Poor
Washington Post Editorial Page Tuesday, September 6, 2005 THe poverty level edged up last year, to 12.7 percent — the fourth straight annual increase. Overall median income remained flat at $44,389, down 3.8 percent from its peak in 1999. This...

September 01, 2005

Mass voters may get a new angle on health care
Health Reform Program report makes the case for single-payer program By Rebecca Lipchitz BU Today August 31, 2005 A once unpopular plan for health care reform in Massachusetts is gaining support from legislators and with an upcoming vote on an...

WMC Wrong on Health Care and Attorneys
By Jack E. Lohman 8/30/2005 Somehow it doesn’t surprise me that Wisconsin Manufacturers Commerce opposes the recent state Supreme Court decision that declared the limits on malpractice awards unconstitutional and that lead paint trials can move forward. WMC was extremely...

August 31, 2005

Even the insured can buckle under health care costs
Some make ends meet by forgoing treatment By Julie Appleby USA TODAY August 31, 2005 Medical progress has helped Americans live longer, but the exploding cost of those breakthroughs has polarized the nation: More than one in four Americans are...

Get the Facts: HSA's and Consumer-Directed Health Plans are Bad Medicine
PNHP Fact Sheet: Health Savings Accounts — No Savings What is a Health Savings Account? Health savings accounts (HSAs) are promoted by insurers as the “consumer-directed” solution to the health care crisis, and by some conservatives as a way to...

August 30, 2005

Medical insurance left them hanging
Penn Valley couple shocked by big bills By Andrew McIntosh Sacramento Bee Staff Writer Monday, August 29, 2005 When Darlene Henderson became ill with breast cancer in 2001, the illness devastated her body and soul. And that was only the...

August 29, 2005

More doctors returning to Canada than leaving, first time in 30 years
By Sheryl Ubelacker Canadian Press August 26, 2005 TORONTO (CP) - When Dr. Kellie Leitch returned to Canada from the United States a few years ago, she joined a growing number of Canadian physicians choosing to come back home to...

From Hippocrates to Hypocrisy
By Steven Lewis Winnipeg Free Press August 21, 2005 The official voice of Canadian doctors has had it with single-tier medicare. Why? Because patients are suffering and dying waiting for care, according to the ineffable Dr. Victor Dirnfeld of British...

August 25, 2005

Canadian nurses speak out against CMA support of private system
Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario - Open letter to the Ontario Medical Association TORONTO, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - Dr. Gregory Flynn President Ontario Medical Association Jonathan Guss Chief Executive Officer Ontario Medical Association August 17, 2005 Dear physician colleagues, Ontario...

Healthcare is Migrating South of the Border (LA Times)
Healthcare Is Migrating South of the Border California employers are steering Latinos to Mexico, where care is less costly but uneven By Richard Marosi, Times Staff Writer Los Angeles Times TIJUANA Thousands of Latinos who live near the border...

Time for a healthy divorce from employment
Time for a healthy divorce from employment By Dr. Susanne King Berkshire Eagle Tuesday, August 23, 2005 LENOX - “Employers bracing for health bills” cried the headline in The Berkshire Eagle earlier this month. For the past five years, employee...

State's health insurance needs intensive care
State’s health insurance needs intensive care By David Lazarus San Francisco Chronicle Sunday, August 21, 2005 The United States is spending billions of dollars a year — not including the roughly $60 billion annual tab for the war in Iraq...

The Moral-Hazard Myth (New Yorker)
The Moral Harzard Myth The bad idea behind our failed health-care system By Malcom Gladwell The New Yorker August 29, 2005 Tooth decay begins, typically, when debris becomes trapped between the teeth and along the ridges and in the grooves...

August 19, 2005

National health-insurance bill backed
Measure calls for public financing By Paul Wilson The (Louisville) Courier-Journal Wednesday, August 17, 2005 The director of the Louisville Metro Health Department and others called last night for single-payer health insurance — described as Medicare for everyone —...

Employer-sponsored HMOs signal financial disaster
Health Benefits May Cost 12% More By Kristen Hallam Hartford Courant August 16, 2005 American companies may have to pay an average of 12.6 percent more for their employees’ health insurance next year, according to a survey by Hewitt Associates,...

August 16, 2005

The Promise and the Pitfalls of Health Savings Accounts
By Michelle Andrews The New York Times August 14, 2005 Health savings accounts, a sort of I.R.A. for health care, let people set aside money tax-free to pay for medical expenses, both now and later. But the accounts have been...

August 08, 2005

U.S. health care system is unfair and inefficient
By Arthur Richter August 4, 2005 The recent “my view” charging that adopting universal health care will bankrupt America (July 6) cannot go unanswered. Our existing privatized health care delivery system is experiencing continued escalation of premiums and cost shifting...

August 04, 2005

Activists call for giving Medicare coverage to all
Event marks 40th birthday of program By Adam Sichko The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY) Saturday, July 30, 2005 Fifteen people gathered outside the Mazzoli Federal Building yesterday to sing “Happy Birthday” to Medicare and call on Kentucky’s congressional delegation to...

August 01, 2005

Letter on Canadian Health System Stewardship (unpublished)
Letters Editor Calgary Herald Re: “Opening access to health care choices is a moral duty,” Ralph Klein, Opinion, July 30 Premier Klein states that “all the money in the world” is not going to eliminate waiting lists, unless the source...

Single-payer health insurance is gaining traction
By Ronnie Cohen Pacific Sun (Mill Valley, CA) April 22-28, 2005 Vol. 43, Iss. 16, p10 Abstract “The momentum is building, and it’s really exciting to finally see that there’s a serious look at single-payer universal healthcare,” says Marin County...

Insurer and doctors wage e-combat
By Rob Christensen, Staff Writer The News and Observer Published: Jul 24, 2005 It is an unusual marriage: The doctors and the Deaniac. But the docs — with the help of one of former presidential candidate Howard Dean’s computer gurus...

French Family Values
By Paul Krugman July 29, 2005 Americans tend to believe that we do everything better than anyone else. That belief makes it hard for us to learn from others. For example, I’ve found that many people refuse to believe that...

July 28, 2005

Gap in immigrant health care noted
Spending 55% less for immigrants than U.S.-born residents By Sherry Jacobson The Dallas Morning News 07:29 AM CDT on Tuesday, July 26, 2005 A new national study suggests that immigrants in the United States receive about half as much medical...

July 27, 2005

Activists See CAFTA as Gift to Big Pharma
By Jim Lobe Published on Wednesday, July 27, 2005 by the Inter Press Service WASHINGTON — With the U.S. House of Representatives due to vote this week on the fate of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), international health...

Immigrants use fewer health care services, study finds
Tuesday, July 26, 2005 By Alana Semuels Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Although her husband is employed, 30-year-old Pamela Ramirez still pays her health bills the same way many immigrants do — out of her savings account. Ramirez, of the South Side, moved...

July 26, 2005

U.S. Immigrants Have Lower Health-Care Costs, Study Finds
July 25 (Bloomberg) — Health-care costs for U.S. immigrants were an average of $1,139 a year each, half as much as medical expenses for citizens born in the U.S., according to an analysis by Harvard and Columbia universities. U.S.-born citizens...

Study Paints Bleak Picture of Immigrant Health Care
By Ceci Connolly Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, July 26, 2005; Page A11 Regardless of age, legal status or insurance coverage, immigrants, on average, receive about half the health care services provided to native-born Americans, according to findings released yesterday...

Gap in health care noted
Spending 55% less for immigrants than U.S.-born residents 08:57 PM CDT on Monday, July 25, 2005 By Sherry Jacobson The Dallas Morning News A new national study suggests that immigrants in the United States receive about half as much medical...

Immigrants do not overwhelm healthcare - study
Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:16 PM ET WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Immigrants are not swamping the U.S. health care system and use it far less than native-born Americans, according to a study released on Monday. The study, published in the American...

The reinvention of failure
Existing health services are being deliberately destabilised to pave the way for an ideologically driven privatisation programme By John Lister Wednesday July 20 2005 The Guardian How is it that with spending on the NHS now running at double the...

July 25, 2005

Study: AHP Legislation "A License to Steal"
JULY 21, 2005 Legislation that would make it easier for small businesses to band together to purchase insurance and bypass state mandates is “a license to steal,” says a study released Thursday. “The consequences are predictable: bankruptcy, delayed or...

Toyota, Moving Northward
By Paul Krugman The New York Times July 25, 2005 Modern American politics is dominated by the doctrine that government is the problem, not the solution. In practice, this doctrine translates into policies that make low taxes on the rich...

Medicare's 40th Anniversary & Resources from Kaiser
Dear Colleague: This summer marks the 40th year since the enactment of Medicare, the landmark health care program for the nation’s most vulnerablethe elderly, frail, and disabled. For the past decade, the Fund’s Program on Medicare’s Future has focused on...

July 22, 2005

Two BU scholars to criticize Romney health plan
By Liz Kowalczyk Boston Globe July 20, 2005 Two Boston University professors plan today to release a report critical of Governor Mitt Romney’s health-care plan, arguing that it does not address the state’s soaring medical costs and that it does...

U.S. Will Offer Doctors Free Electronic Records System
By Gina Kolata July 21, 2005 There is no one in medicine who does not consider it both crucial and long overdue to have electronic records in doctor’s offices and hospitals. With electronic files, patient records are not stuck on...

July 21, 2005

Jury Awards $7.4 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Humana HMO
TO NATIONAL, LEGAL AFFAIRS AND HEALTH EDITORS: San Antonio Jury Finds Humana HMO Liable for Negligently Managing Managed Care - HMOs Now Liable for Mismanaging Managed Care SAN ANTONIO, July 21, 2005 —- In a verdict that will have widespread...

UAW: For a healtier America
UAW members help build movement for single payer health care by Kim Ashby Local 862 A grassroots movement is underway to educate people about single payer health care in Kentucky. The goal of the movement is to educate people about...

Understanding the Buzzwords
By Susanne L. King Berkshire Eagle LENOX I WAS talking to colleagues this week about the health care reform bills currently before the state Legislature, and realized once again how complex and confusing this topic can be, even for health...

July 13, 2005

Honoring Dr. K
Carol Kirschenbaum’s vision lives on By Bob Geary June 22, 2005 The best thing about writing for the Indy is the chance, on a pretty regular basis, to talk to people who are generous of spirit and engaged in...

Long-time PNHP Board Member Carol Kirschenbaum Passes Away
Dr. Carol B. Kirschenbaum passed away peacefully in her home comforted by her husband Dennis and sister Susan early Thursday morning. Her passing concluded a courageous eight-year struggle with cancer, which was only the last in a long list of...

It's time to bypass employers and try a single-payer health care system
Let’s let employers get out of the medical care business By Jack E. Lohman Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online Posted: July 3, 2005 After spending 35 years in the health care industry, I never thought I’d be supporting more government involvement...

Advocates look to revive push for universal health care
By Matt Leingang Associated Press July 10, 2005 In San Jose Mercury News COLUMBUS, Ohio - A push for universal health coverage is being rekindled in some states by soaring health care costs and a lack of political support in...

July 12, 2005

Bigger and Better
When it comes to providing broad-based social-insurance programs, its the government thats rational and the market thats dumb By Jacob S. Hacker The American Prospect Issue Date: 05.06.05 Remember those bumper stickers during the early-1990s fight over the Clinton health...

July 01, 2005

Big Brother: Leave the decision-making to us
By Dan Kurland Charleston Gazette (Charleston, WV) May 13, 2005 May 1-8 was Cover the Uninsured Week, a time to focus on the broader health-care crisis. Writer Alwin Hawkins sums up the situation fairly well: Everything I see we can...

June 28, 2005

Dissenting opinion, Canadian Supreme Court decision
From Chaoulli v. QuebecBinnie and LeBel JJ. (Dissenting) - I. Introduction 161 The question in this appeal is whether the province of Quebec not only has the constitutional authority to establish a comprehensive single-tier health plan, but to discourage a...

June 27, 2005

One Nation, Uninsured: Paul Krugman Series, 7 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times June 13, 2005Harry Truman tried to create a national health insurance system. Public opinion was initially on his side: Jill Quadagno’s book “One Nation, Uninsured” tells us that in 1945, 75 percent of Americans...

June 16, 2005

PNHP Statement on the Canadian Supreme Court Decision on Private Insurance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, June 16, 2005Contacts: Nicholas Skala (312) 782-6006 Don McCanne, M.D. (949) 493-3714PNHP Statement on the Canadian Supreme Court Decision on Private InsuranceOn June 9, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the Quebec government cannot...

June 14, 2005

Uninsured and Underinsured Adults Estimated at 61 Million
Embargoed until 12:01 a.m., Tuesday June 14, 2005For further information contact: Mary Mahon: (212) 606-3853 / cell phone (917) 225-2314 Kari Root: (301) 652-1558, ext. 112NEW STUDY: AT LEAST 16 MILLION ADULTS WITH HEALTH INSURANCE LACK ADEQUATE COVERAGE; NUMBER...

June 10, 2005

Always Low Wages. Always.: Paul Krugman Series, 6 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times May 13, 2005Last week Standard and Poor’s, a bond rating agency, downgraded both Ford and General Motors bonds to junk status. That is, it sees a significant risk that the companies won’t be able...

A Serious Drug Problem: Paul Krugman Series, 5 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times May 6, 2005There was a brief flurry of outrage when Congress passed the 2003 Medicare bill. The news media reported on the scandalous vote in the House of Representatives: Republican leaders violated parliamentary procedure,...

A Private Obsession: Paul Krugman Series, 4 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times April 29, 2005American health care is unique among advanced countries in its heavy reliance on the private sector. It’s also uniquely inefficient. We spend far more per person on health care than any other...

Passing the Buck: Paul Krugman Series, 3 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times April 22, 2005The United States spends far more on health care than other advanced countries. Yet we don’t appear to receive more medical services. And we have lower life-expectancy and higher infant-mortality rates than...

The Medical Money Pit: Paul Krugman Series, 2 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times April 15, 2005A dozen years ago, everyone was talking about a health care crisis. But then the issue faded from view: a few years of good data led many people to conclude that H.M.O.’s...

Ailing Health Care: Paul Krugman Series, 1 of 7
By Paul Krugman New York Times April 11, 2005Those of us who accuse the administration of inventing a Social Security crisis are often accused, in return, of do-nothingism, of refusing to face up to the nation’s problems. I plead not...

June 08, 2005

British Doctor Opposes Corporate Healthcare in UK
Privatisation of the NHS is accelerating Both patients and staff can resist the creeping corporate takeover By Allyson Pollock Tuesday May 24, 2005 The Guardian When Malcolm Glazer took over Manchester United, fans reacted with horror. Some wore black at...

An Urgent Case For Fixing Health Care
By David S. Broder Sunday, May 29, 2005Nothing is more likely to be overlooked than news that breaks on a day when something totally unexpected occurs. That is exactly what happened last week when Senate negotiators struck the last-minute deal...

HMO profits on Medical Assistance hurt many in state
By Kip Sullivan May 28, 2005The Star Tribune reported that Minnesota’s health maintenance organizations make more money from Minnesota’s Medicaid program than from employers (“HMOs profit from aid by state” May 18).But the damage being done to the taxpayer is...

May 18, 2005

Waiting for C.E.O.'s to Go 'Nuclear'
Waiting for C.E.O.’s to Go ‘Nuclear’ Op-ed By Matt Miller New York Times May 18, 2005The consuming Senate slugfest over judges (vital as they are) proves how Washington remains determined to fiddle while our biggest problem burns: a broken health...

May 17, 2005

Health costs making big business ill
By Quentin Young A Chicago physician and coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program Published May 15, 2005On April 19, General Motors Corp. blamed its dismal first-quarter results (a $1.1 billion loss) on its $5.6 billion annual health-care tab....

May 11, 2005

Health Care for All in Michigan
Michigan needs health care access for all: Since a national universal system is not a reality, Michiganians must create local solutions to provide medical care for the uninsured and underinsured Detroit News Wednesday, May 11, 2005By Irvin D. ReidIf...

May 10, 2005

Stanford Medicine examines health care reform Readers,I often wonder, what will it take for the citizens of the United States to demand quality health care for all Americans? How far will our current system of health-care delivery have to spiral out of control for America’s...

Pressure for Universal Health Care Builds in Detroit
Legislators Call for Government-Subsidized Health Care Plan Burns Big Three May 9, 2005 Detroit Auto Scene www.detroitautoscene.comBy Antonio Vasquez Staff ReporterU.S. Rep. John Dingell recently spoke in support of universal health care coverage during a Cover the Uninsured Week event...

May 09, 2005

Op-Ed: Privatize NHS?
By Colin Leys Allyson Pollock Tuesday, May 3, 2005 Globe and Mail UpdateLiving next door to the United States, where half of all personal bankruptcies are caused by medical expenses, Canadians know what a market in health care implies. The...

May 03, 2005

New York Universal Health Care Options Campaign
For release May 2, 2005Contacts: Mark Dunlea, Hunger Action Network, 518 434-7371 Physicians for a National Health Program - Capital District, PaulSorum@cs.comNew York Universal Health Care Options CampaignAssembly Health Committee to Vote this Week on Universal Health Coverage CommissionSenate Republican...

April 29, 2005

Medical costs prove a burden even for some with insurance (USA Today)
By Julie Appleby April 28, 2005Think your health insurance has you covered? Think again.Even insured workers can find themselves on the hook for thousands of dollars, often at a time when illness has decreased their income.Few workers realize the limits...

A Private Obsession (New York Times)
By Paul Krugman April 29, 2005American health care is unique among advanced countries in its heavy reliance on the private sector. It’s also uniquely inefficient. We spend far more per person on health care than any other country, yet many...

April 14, 2005

Health care goes south: Look to north(Denver Post)
By Jim Spencer Wednesday, April 13, 2005 Ask investigative journalist Jim Steele if he is a scorned prophet because he claims the American health care system is terminally ill, and he says two words :Canadian drugs. Proof is everywhere that...

April 12, 2005

Committee passes single-payer universal health insurance plan(Vermont Times Argus)
By John Zicconi Vermont Press Bureau MONTPELIER A House committee comprised largely of Democrats on Friday adopted a health-care reform plan that restructures key parts of state government to lay the groundwork for a publicly financed, universal-care system paid for...

April 05, 2005

Where's outcry over the lack of health care?(Baltimore Sun )
Letters to the Editor Originally published April 2, 2005 Where’s outcry over the lack of health care? The Terri Schiavo case cut to the core of American hearts and souls. In part, the outpouring of passionate support for her parents’...

More Than One In Four Workers Will Be Uninsured In 2013
EMBARGOED for release Tuesday, April 5, 2004, 12:01 EDT Contact: Jon Gardner 301-347-3930 More Than One In Four Workers Will Be Uninsured In 2013 As Coverage Becomes More Unaffordable, Health Affairs Article Says Researchers Base Findings On Relationship Between...

March 31, 2005

Health Biz: Advancing national healthcare
Health Biz: Advancing national healthcare By Ellen Beck United Press International Washington, DC, Mar. 29 (UPI) — National or universal health-coverage proposals go nowhere on Capitol Hill if they mandate business participation. Two plans proffered recently, however, either eliminate the...

March 29, 2005

Health-insurance rates grab attention
By Bruce Pringle Coast Press Reporter UNHEALTHY PRICES? The cost of health care leads to efforts to provide adequate, affordable insurance to more Delaware residents. Lloyd Mills, who has spent years studying the high cost of medical care, says there...

March 22, 2005

New York needs a single-payer health care system
Albany Times-Union New York needs a single-payer health care system By Paul Sorum It is shameful that residents of New York do not have easy access to needed health care. The best way to do this — indeed, the only...

March 17, 2005

Baltimore City Council Endorses HR 676 Single Payer Healthcare
Eighth Day Fourth Councilmanic Year- Session Of 1999-2004 Journal City Council Of Baltimore March 17, 2003 In Support of Federal Legislation - (HR 676) The United States National Health Insurance Act (“Expanded and Improved Medicare For All”) FOR the...

March 15, 2005

The Health Of Nations
By Arnold S. Relman Please click here to download file...

March 13, 2005

Canada a mix of U.S., European sensibilities
By Gwendolyn Owens Special to the Sentinel March 13, 2005 MONTREAL — There was a joke making the rounds here a few years ago that went like this: Question: What’s a Canadian? Answer: An American with a health-care card and...

March 11, 2005

Universal Health Care System Has Local Support
Store Owner Pleads For It By Gary E. Lindsley, Staff Writer ST. JOHNSBURY — His voice quivering, businessman Tom Hurst pleaded Monday for the creation of a universal health care system. Hurst, who is his family’s fifth generation to run...

March 08, 2005

KY Rural Health Asso. President Endorses Single Payer Health Care
So, how many uninsured is too many? By Greg Bausch, President, Kentucky Rural Health Association From Rural Health Update, Fall 2004 “Ranks of the Uninsured Grow in 2003,” exclaims the headline. “Rural Uninsured Continues to Rise,” notes another. And yet...

The voters lead (Vermont)
Rutland Herald The voters lead March 3, 2005 Vermont voters sent a clear message on Town Meeting Day that they are ready for the Legislature to take a serious look at the establishment of a system of universal health care...

March 05, 2005

Idaho State Journal, (lead editorial)
Our View: It’s time to revisit national health care Idaho, like virtually every other state, can’t figure out how to cope with the black hole of Medicaid. The state’s Medicaid spending has grown 935 percent since 1990 with no end...

March 04, 2005

Health advocates push for single-payer universal health care
Rita Villadiego, Dec 01, 2004 NEWARK, N.J. A few months ago, Filipino American Rico Genaro, 42, whoearns a minimum wage, as a staff of a video shop in New York City, got the flu and couldnt work for a...

March 03, 2005

Stark Introduces Constitutional Amendment to establish right to health care
Stark Introduces Constitutional Amendment to establish right to health care

March 01, 2005

Healthcare Coverage In America
Health Care Coverage in America: Understanding the Issues & Proposed Solutions This guide was prepared by the Alliance for Health Reform with a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and designed by GMMB of Washington, DC. We trust that...

February 22, 2005

Outsourcing Medicine: Letter From Mexico
A haven south of the border Douglas Bower - For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Guanajuato, Mexico —- I had become too sick to live in America. Even with private insurance, even with Medicare, we couldn’t keep up with my medical bills....

Clarity on health care(Rutland Herald)
As Vermont legislators confront the burdens and the irrationality of Vermont’s health care system, they face numerous obstacles. One of the most fundamental obstacles is conceptual. A new book written by three Vermonters and to be released within days from...

Time for single-payer
Published in Times Argus, Vermont By Stuart E. Williams, M.D. Family Physician Berlin It is time for Vermont to establish a universal coverage, single-payer health-care system. We already have a network of excellent non-profit hospitals and well-trained health professionals in...

February 21, 2005

Taiwan's Healthcare System
Hsieh outlines his strategy Taipei Times, Monday, Feb 21, 2005,Page 3 Premier Frank Hsieh defines the goals of his Cabinet as promoting negotiation and stability. `Taipei Times’ staff reporters Ko Shu-ling and Jimmy Chuang recently spoke with the former DPP...

February 20, 2005

Medicare not easy to salve(SF Chronicle)
By David Lazarus There’s no simple or straightforward solution to Medicare’s funding woes. At least with Social Security’s looming troubles, the remedies can be narrowed down to three fundamental (albeit unpleasant) options: raise taxes, reduce benefits or borrow a big...

February 19, 2005

Medicare for all is not socialized medicine
By Dr. James Cockey It’s wonderful to see the recent interest by The Daily Times in health care policy. Our current health care financing system is simply not working. It costs too much and is giving us far too little...

February 17, 2005

Costly medical bills can bury families under a mountain of debt
By Elizabeth Ziegler - Journal Writer Two winters ago, Cheryl Alvarez received a phone call from her son telling her that he had been in a car crash. Now Alvarez lives in a nightmare of debt that she won’t be...

Uncovered medical expenses are leading to bankruptcies(SF Chronicle)
Back-breaking bills/Uncovered medical expenses are leading to bankruptcies By Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer Jeannie Brewer is a physician married to a surgical resident. She and her family have health insurance. She’s not the kind of person you’d expect to...

February 16, 2005

Taming the Medicaid monster
By Robert Kuttner AT DINNER, two sets of parents of college seniors are discussing their dreams for their soon-to-be newly minted graduates. Doctor? Lawyer? Scientist? Entrepreneur? ”I just hope she gets a job with health insurance,” says one mom,...

February 14, 2005

1,700 Doctors: "Bankruptcy Bill Threatens Patients"
On the heels of a major Harvard University study showing that half of all personal bankruptcies are due to illness or medical bills, more than 1,700 American physicians signed a letter released today opposing legislation that would remove protection from patients financially ruined by medical costs.

February 12, 2005

Medical bankruptcy(Kansas City Star Website)
Upon reading about Lisa Adams’ bankruptcy (2/3, A-1, Medical bankruptcies: Double dose of trouble), we were reminded again of the grim prognosis of the current U.S. health-care system. More than 45 million Americans are uninsured, yet Americans continue to spend...

Coalition seeks statewide insurance plan
By Winthrop Quigley Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer A coalition of more than 75 organizations are asking the state Legislature to replace conventional health insurance with a single statewide insurance plan that bases premiums on the insured’s income. The Health Security...

February 11, 2005

New tack for health insurance(SF Chronicle)
By David Lazarus So we learned from President Bush’s budget this week that the new-and-improved Medicare prescription drug benefit won’t cost Americans less than $400 billion over 10 years as originally proposed, but instead nearly twice that amount. A...

U.S. firms losing health care battle, GM Chairman says
By Ceci Connolly Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, February 11, 2005; Page E01 American manufacturers are losing their ability to compete in the global marketplace in large measure because of the crushing burden of health care costs, General Motors Corp....

February 10, 2005

Democrats need new agenda - including single payer
Published on Thursday, February 10, 2005 by Progressives and Democrats: Assert Your Brand! by Thom Hartmann Politics is all about branding. And brands are not about issues or details - they’re about identity. When progressives and Democrats think...

February 09, 2005

Sick and Broke
By Elizabeth Warren Wednesday, February 9, 2005 Nobody’s safe. That’s the warning from the first large-scale study of medical bankruptcy. Health insurance? That didn’t protect 1 million Americans who were financially ruined by illness or medical bills last year. A...

Announcement from Missourians For Single Payer
Missourians For Single Payer (MoSP) Presents “WE WON‘T BE FOOLED AGAIN“ April 1, 2, 3 April 1 - April Fools’ Day Street Theater Actions around the St. Louis Area on “The Absurdities of Rationing Health Care Amidst Great Abundance”. April...

System's ills cost us
By Mike Sweet Ask anyone to describe someone who files for personal bankruptcy and the description most likely fits an uncomplimentary stereotype. It’s someone who’s maxed out their credit cards buying things they didn’t need (even though their president said...

February 08, 2005

An impossibly complicated system causes medical bankruptcies(Cleveland Plain Dealer)
To the editor: Regarding the Plain Dealers Feb. 2 lead article, Medical bills blamed in half of bankruptcies, a reference is made to Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates a single-payer system as the only solution to the...

February 07, 2005

Medical Students Expose Differences Within U.S. And Canadian Health Care Systems
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—February 7, 2005 Kim Becker, Director of Public Relations Phone: (703) 620-6600, ext. 207 Email: Web: MEDICAL STUDENTS EXPOSE DIFFERENCES WITHIN U.S. AND CANADIAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS Reston, Va. - The American Medical Student Association (AMSA),...

Job-based health plans declining
A new study finds fewer employees receive coverage as medical costs soar By Aurelio Rojas Sacramento Bee Capitol Bureau What was once a social compact - work, and chances were you would get health insurance through your employer - is...

February 04, 2005

Soaring medical bills account for half of all U.S. bankruptcies
Friday, February 4th, 2005 A new study in the journal Health Affairs has found that half of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are now caused by soaring medical bills. We speak with the author of the report, Dr....

February 03, 2005

Group pushes for national health insurance (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Thursday, February 03, 2005 By Christopher Snowbeck If you think government bureaucracy is bad, Mike Stout thinks you should look at the current state of private health insurance. Stout, who owns a small printing business in Homestead, recently underwent treatment...

A Healthy Choice(In These Times)
A Healthy Choice A movement builds to take on Wal-Mart By Hans Johnson January 25, 2005 In These Times Until last year, Wal-Mart, the global retail chain known for undercutting local competitors by curbing wages and benefits, enjoyed so...

February 02, 2005

Frist's HSA Proposal a Nightmare for Patients
We dare not follow Bush, Frist, Thomas have healthcare dreams others might call nightmares Story originally published January 31, 2005 Written by Todd Sloane, Assistant Managing Editor Op/Ed Modern HealthCare Visionaries see problems differently than the rest...

Middle-Class Workers With Health Coverage Represent Most Medical Bankruptcies In America(Health Affairs)
EMBARGOED for release Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005, 12:01 a.m. EST Contact: Jon Gardner 301-347-3930 Middle-Class Workers With Health Coverage Represent Most Medical Bankruptcies In America, Health Affairs Article Says Authors Say Trend Shows Need For Safety-Net Program For Chronically...

Bankruptcy Study(Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report)
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report Wednesday, February 02, 2005 Coverage & Access Medical Conditions, Resulting Financial Issues Contributed to Half of Bankruptcies in 2001, Study Says About half of bankruptcies filed in 2001 were because of medical bills, according to...

Bankrupted by illness(Newsday)
Bankrupted by illness Researchers find that medical problems contributed to about half of all 2001 filings in the United States February 2, 2005 Medical problems and their financial fallout - such as job loss and inability to pay soaring health...

Study ties bankruptcy to medical bills(NY Times)
By Reed Abelson Sometimes, all it takes is one bad fall for a working person with health insurance to be pushed into bankruptcy. Hundreds of thousands of Americans file for personal bankruptcy each year because of medical bills - even...

Study finds most pulled into debt by illness have jobs, health insurance(Associated Press)
By Mark Jewell, AP BOSTON (Feb. 2) - Costly illnesses trigger about half of all personal bankruptcies, and most of those who go bankrupt because of medical problems have health insurance, according to findings from a Harvard University study to...

February 01, 2005

Canada cheapest for business
Low outlay for labour, benefits cited for ranking Report analyzes cost of operating in 11 countries Neco Cockburn Business Reporter Despite a rising dollar, Canada remains the cheapest industrialized country in which to do business, according to KPMG. Lower labour...

Reform health care for all
by Karen Winstead Winstead, of Rocky Mount, is a certified nurse midwife working as a nurse at a local hospital. I agree with Dr. Eric Swisher, whose commentary was published Dec. 30 regarding malpractice insurance premiums. As more obstetricians get...

Frustrations vented at health care forum
By Sarah Baker Based on comments made and stories told at the Kentucky Health Insurance Research Project public forum Tuesday in Elizabethtown, physicians and patients alike are disgusted. The forum was the first of 15 scheduled across Kentucky to gather...

January 27, 2005

Privatizing Social Security: 'Me' Over 'We'
By Benjamin R. Barber Benjamin R. Barber, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, is the author of “Jihad vs. McWorld” (Ballantine, 1996) and other books. Social Security privatization has been vigorously challenged on both economic and...

January 26, 2005

Forum on health care reform Jan. 31,2005
Forum on health care reform Jan. 31 The Daily Press Wednesday, January 26th, 2005 Affordability and access still present huge barriers to adequate health care in the United States. Health care costs rose seven times the rate of inflation in...

January 21, 2005

Alberta premier ignores evidence that for-profit care costs more
Alberta Premier Ignores Evidence that For-Profit Care Costs More Globe and Mail Update January 21, 2005 by Tammy Horne Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has just unveiled the province’s latest health reform plan. He proposes a “third way” for Alberta’s health-care...

January 18, 2005

A Democratic Blueprint for America's Future
An Address by Senator Edward M. Kennedy at the National Press Club January 12, 2005 To revitalize the American dream, we also need to renew the battle to make health care affordable and available to all our people. In this...

January 12, 2005

Health Care? Ask Cuba
Health Care? Ask Cuba By Nicholas D. Kristof Published: January 12, 2005 Here’s a wrenching fact: If the U.S. had an infant mortality rate as good as Cuba’s, we would save an additional 2,212 American babies a year. Yes, Cuba’s....

December 16, 2004

The many faces of outsourcing
The Bush administrations unwillingness to deal with health care costs menaces Wisconsin jobs and workers pocketbooks. The many faces of outsourcing By Roger Bybee As the Grim Reaper of outsourcing-related job loss now shadows gleaming office parks in Waukesha and...

December 14, 2004

Mayhem in the Medical Marketplace
Mayhem in the Medical Marketplace by David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler Monthly Review, 12/20/04 Even in the United States, some aspects of life are too precious, intimate or corruptible to entrust to the market. We prohibit selling kidneys and...

December 09, 2004

The Disparate Consensus on Health Care for All
By Steve Lohr Published: December 6, 2004 The New York Times N Washington, the phrase “universal coverage” is rarely mentioned as the way to provide health insurance for the 45 million uninsured Americans. It evokes memories of the Clinton administration’s...

December 03, 2004

Democrats need to reframe the debate on Social Security
By Jonathan Tasini December 03, 2004 George Bush is beginning to frame his Social Security reform agenda as a way to help workers. That leaves Democrats the opportunity to reframe the debate about the best way to do so. Jonathan...

December 02, 2004

Another Union for Single Payer Health Care!
Another Union for Single Payer Health Care! Kay Tillow Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care Nurses Professional Organization 1169 Eastern Parkway #2218 Louisville, KY 40217 502 459 3393 General Board of the Graphics Communications International Union (AFL-CIO) Endorses National...

November 30, 2004

PLoS Medicine:A National Health Insurance Program for the United States
The continuing deterioration of affordability, coverage, and quality in health care makes it imperative that United States policymakers broaden their reform efforts beyond the ineffectual tinkering of incrementalism. Kindly go to the below link to read Dr.McCanne’s interesting article published...

Uwe Reinhardt on what makes America great
Uwe Reinhardt, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University (personal communication): Don: Attached is a portrait of what makes America great. Instead of using the coercive power of government to make you and me pay for her dental...

November 27, 2004

Healthcare as a moral imperative
The Boston Globe, November 27, 2004 Healthcare as a moral imperative By James J. Mongan This article was adapted from remarks made Nov. 16 at the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Summit on Access. AFTER AN ELECTION season in...

November 24, 2004

Taipei:Researchers discuss gaps in medicare
FAIR CARE: Academics and activists discussed changes to the health insurance program to ensure that all citizens receive medical coverage By Cody Yiu STAFF REPORTER Wednesday, Nov 24, 2004,Page 4 A panel of academics and social welfare activists yesterday discussed...

Two UW professors say U.S. could afford health care for all
Two UW professors say U.S. could afford health care for all Administrative bloat blamed for driving up costs Jesse Hirsch- Portage Daily Register Criticizing the large amount of “myth and knee-jerk reaction” surrounding universal health care, Chairperson Meghan Yost invited...

November 23, 2004

Letter to the editor of NY Times on Single-Payer
New York Times Health Care Costs November 23, 2004 To the Editor: Increasing incentives and competition are not magic potions to control health care costs (Economic Scene, Nov. 18). Independent studies in a number of states have...

November 16, 2004

Flu shot shortage: Health care woes in a nutshell
By Ellen Goodman The Boston Globe, 11/15/04 BOSTON — Toward the end of the campaign, President Bush offered his small variation on JFK’s famous line: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can not do...

November 15, 2004

Honoring our troops
Berkshire Eagle, Lenox, MA Monday, November 15, 2004 Honoring our troops By Suzanne L. King M.D. Last Week we celebrated Veterans’ Day. Parades and services honored veterans from past wars, even as American troops pushed forward against the Fallujah insurgency....

November 14, 2004

Greetings From The Disunited United States Of Canada
November 14, 2004 WASHINGTON — I pledge allegiance to the flag of the disunited states of America. Now is the winter of some people’s discontent following the stormy election of President Bush. The Internet is all abuzz with residue resentment....

Headaches For All
Everybody knows it will take a lot more than diet and exercise to fix America’s health AMERICANS are constantly told that their health care is the best in the world. In terms of research, technology and advances in surgery, the...

November 12, 2004

Vets return, but not always with healthcare
Vets return, but not always with healthcare Alexandra Marks Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor 11/10/2004 After serving 410 days in Iraq with the 1st Armored Division, Spc.Stuart Wilf came home to Colorado on Oct. 2. He changed his...

A primer on health care
A primer on health care In the first of a two-part series on the Japanese health insurance system, Tomoko Furukawa goes back to basics By TOMOKO FURUKAWA There are two main types of Japanese Health Insurance: National Health Insurance and...

Care for veterans
Lexington Herald-Leader Lexington, KY Editorial, November 11, 2004 Care for veterans Honor them by providing health services When a group of Harvard Medical School researchers reported last month that almost 1.7 million military veterans have no health coverage, a spokeswoman...

November 11, 2004

Fail Globally, Act Locally
Fail Globally, Act Locally:Hotel Workers, Family Medicine, and the Future of Health Care Kevin Grumbach, MD November 11, 2004 Earlier this year, the San Francisco Chronicle quoted me as saying that my motto was, Fail globally, act locally. This was...

November 10, 2004

Plaintiff Cry: When Retirees Sue an Ex-Employer
Sue an Ex-Employer By Ellen E. Schultz Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal November 10, 2004; Page A12 When retirees of GenCorp Inc. were told the company was going to start charging them for health insurance, despite a labor...

Companies Sue Union Retirees To Cut Promised Health Benefits
Firms Claim Right to Change Coverage, Attempt to Pick Sympathetic Jurisdictions The Process Server Pays a Call By Ellen E. Schultz Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL November 10, 2004; Page A1 When a deputy sheriff came to his...

November 08, 2004

Our 'Kindness Deficit' of Care
Newsweek, November 8 Jane Bryant Quinn Our ‘Kindness Deficit’ of Care After the third presidential debate, the plight of those without health insurance vanished from political sight. No surprise there. Lack of medical care represents a moral lapse that...

November 05, 2004

A crisis too loud to ignore
A crisis too loud to ignore Nov 5, 2004 By: Robert Lowes Medical Economics I began writing this in a hotel bathroom in San Francisco. Only there could I escape the racket of a picket line 20 floors below and...

November 03, 2004

FDA Memo Indicates Vioxx Might Have Contributed to About 27K Heart Attacks, Death
Wednesday, November 03, 2004 Coverage & Access FDA Memo Indicates Vioxx Might Have Contributed to About 27K Heart Attacks, Deaths Arthritis medication Vioxx, which maker Merck voluntarily withdrew from the market in September, might have contributed to an estimated 27,785...

November 01, 2004

The View From Vermont
by MORTON MINTZ [from the November 15, 2004 issue of The Nation] Dr. Deborah Richter has advocated state-sponsored health insurance for every Vermonter, at nearly fifty Rotary Clubs plus chambers of commerce and boardrooms. The reservations she heard from the...

Single-Payer: Good for Business
by MORTON MINTZ [from the November 15, 2004 issue of The Nation] Business leaders complain endlessly that the current system of private healthcare insurance based on employment provides fewer and fewer people with less and less quality care at higher...

National health insurance policy law by year-end
National health insurance policy law by year-end By Hani M. Bathish 31 October 2004 DUBAI The National Health Insurance Policy Law could be on the books by the end of the year, as the draft of the proposed law...

October 31, 2004

It's the Taj Mahal of Health Insurance Schemes
By Susan Dentzer Sunday, October 31, 2004; Three months ago, Howard Staab learned that he suffered from a life-threatening condition and would have to undergo surgery at a cost of up to $200,000 — an impossible sum for the 53-year-old...

October 25, 2004

Tommy Douglas A Remarkable Canadian
Tommy Douglas A Remarkable Canadian Kevin Wong Winner of the Norm Quan Bursary When considering the giants of Canadian politics, T.C. Douglas surely stands at the forefront. Tommy Douglas was a remarkable Canadian whose contributions have helped to shape our...

October 24, 2004

The Health of Nations
The New York Times The Health of Nations By Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele For years the people in Washington have offered one plan after another that they said would provide health care for all Americans and rein...

October 22, 2004

New report shows nearly half of Americans in medicare at risk of losing coverage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCTOBER 22, 2004 1:16 PM CONTACT: Families USA Geraldine Henrich (202) 628-3030 New Report Shows Nearly Half of Americans in Medicare at Risk of Losing Coverage Millions of Seniors and People with Disabilities will Experience Temporary...

October 21, 2004

Health care in America/Canada'S way
Thursday, October 14, 2004 (SF Chronicle) In Critical Condition: Health Care In America/Canada’s Way/What a universal health care system delivers, good and bad Barry Brown, Chronicle Foreign Service Toronto — Discovering he had colon cancer came as a shock to...

October 18, 2004

Healthcare Debate on "Democracy Now"
AMY GOODMAN: We’re joined by Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, association professor of Medicine at Harvard University, co-director of the Harvard Medical School General Internal Medicine Fellowship program. Also, Sally Pipes, president of the San Francisco based Pacific Research Institute, author of...

October 17, 2004

On health, a clear choice between Bush, Kerry
On health, a clear choice between Bush, Kerry October 17, 2004 The health care crisis is back. It’s a lively topic in the presidential campaign. Eleven years after the Clintons introduced their super-complex plan to revamp health care, the problems...

October 13, 2004

Health Experts to Debate National Health Insurance
Released by University Relations 12 October 2004 Contact: ISU Continuing Education and Conferences, 208-282-3155 or 800-753-4781. Nationally Renowned Heath Experts To Debate National Health Insurance at ISU Pocatello - Should the United States have a national single-payer health insurance program?...

Drug Makers Spend More on Stock Dividends Than Research, Analysis Indicates
During the past 18 months, the nine largest pharmaceutical companies have spent a greater percentage of their money on dividends for shareholders and on company stock buy-backs than they have spent on research and development, according to a Banc of...

October 10, 2004

Break the Insurance Lobby Choke-hold on Health Care
Embargo for Oct. 7 For more information:Larry Rubin 202-955-1250 Labor, Business, Medical Leaders Launch America’s Agenda: Health Care for All, Aiming To “Break the Insurance Lobby Choke-hold on Health Care” WASHINGTON, DC, October 7 — “There will be no health...

October 08, 2004

Well Paid Insurance CEOs vs. 45 Million Uninsured Americans
Anthem, UnitedHealth, Wellpoint Pay CEO Fortunes: Graef Crystal Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) While 45 million Americans don’t have health insurance, the chief executive officers of the major companies that provide health coverage to much of the nation are munificently paid. Among...

Health Care Can Be Cured: Here's How (TIME Magazine)
From the Oct. 11, 2004 issue of TIME magazine Viewpoint / Health Americans are burdened with a costly, hugely dysfunctional health-care system. In a new book, a pair of investigative reporters offers a fresh remedy based on a successful model...

October 07, 2004

Launch of "America's Agenda: Health Care for All"
Labor, Business, Medical Leaders Launch America’s Agenda: Health Care for All, Aiming To “Break the Insurance Lobby Choke-hold on Health Care” Embargo for Oct. 7 For more information: Larry Rubin 202-955-1250 WASHINGTON, DC, October 7 — “There will be no...

Final Release: Study Shows That Health Industry Waste Could Fund Health Care
Press Release Embargoed until: October 7, 2004 For more information: Rand Wilson, 617 989-8045, New “Waste Not, Want Not” report: Study shows $245 billion savings from cutting insurance and drug industry waste could fund health care for all Grassroots...

October 06, 2004

Health-care fraud alarm sounded
Edmonton Journal October 5, 2004 Health-care fraud alarm sounded Auditor criticizes Alberta gov’t for losing track of two million health cards By Jason Markusoff and James Baxter (Auditor General Fred) Dunn charged that Alberta Health ignored its own warning in...

October 05, 2004

Lifespan Crisis Hits Supersize America
Robin McKie, science editor The Observer - Sunday September 19, 2004 0,6903,1307825,00.html"> 0,6903,1307825,00.html Bloated, blue-collar Americans - gorged on diets of fries and burgers, but denied their share of US riches - are bringing the nation’s steady rise in life...

October 02, 2004

Let's Change Medicare into a Plan for the Ages
by Saul Friedman October 2, 2004 It’s time Gray Matters put up or shut up, instead of merely complaining about what passes for the American health care system. And if one day we get a responsive president and Congress, what...

September 30, 2004

The Bush Administration's War Against Our Health
The Bush Administration’s War Against Our Health by Nicholas Skala (Health Policy Research Associate), Physicians for a National Health Program Click here to read the article...

CEPR Releases Report on Prescription Drug Research
CEPR Releases Report on Prescription Drug Research Economist Dean Baker examines alternatives to the drug patent system CONTACT: Patrick McElwee, 202-387-5084 In a new report entitled, Financing Drug Research: What Are the Issues? Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)...

September 27, 2004

Do Bush and Kerry Offer a Cure?
Do Bush and Kerry Offer a Cure? by Milton Fisk A PERMANENT CRISIS has plagued American health care since 1981. It began with Ronald Reagan, whose tax cuts led to cuts in Medicaid as well as more stringent eligibility rules....

September 24, 2004

FEHBP: A Feeble Model for Universal Health Care!
Politicians are fond of saying that everyone should have a health plan as good as the one that Congress has. John Kerry, for instance, says that all Americans should have access to the same affordable coverage policies that Members of...

September 19, 2004

Lifespan Crisis Hits Supersize America
Robin McKie, science editor The Observer - Sunday September 19, 2004 0,6903,1307825,00.html"> 0,6903,1307825,00.html Bloated, blue-collar Americans - gorged on diets of fries and burgers, but denied their share of US riches - are bringing the nation’s steady rise in life...

September 16, 2004

Most Back Health Care Regulation
By Randi F. Marshall Rising health care costs and shrinking coverage have prompted a significant majority of Americans to support government regulation - or even universal health care, according to a survey released yesterday. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they...

September 14, 2004

A Wonderful Country - If Only We Had Universal Health Care
America is wonderful - a mixture of Disney World and Lake Woebegone. You remember Garrison Keilor’s home where all the men are good looking and all the children are above average. In a recent poll review in Provider (Sep. 2004)...

September 13, 2004

Teamsters President Calls for National Health Insurance
Teamsters President Calls for National Health Insurance Speech to Detroit Economic Club Focuses on Taxes, Health Care, Trade, Pensions Press Release, Teamsters web site September 13, 2004 (Detroit, MI) - International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today outlined...

Women: Health Care is in Crisis
The Albuquerque Tribune September 13, 2004 By J. D. BullingtonThe National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has become increasingly outspoken on health care policy…The NAWBO position doesn’t address whether a government-run, single-payer health care system should be studied. However,...

September 10, 2004

Health Care's Reality (SF Chronicle)
Friday, September 10, 2004 (SF Chronicle) Health care’s reality by David Lazarus The original article can be found on here: denial \di-nI-l\noun: a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided...

Israel has Rx for U.S. Healthcare
Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, September 2004Israel Has Rx for U.S. Health CarebyMordechai ShaniIsrael and the United States each have successes and failures in their respective health care systems, but the younger of the modern nations, rooted in its...

Health Care's Reality (SF Chronicle)
Friday, September 10, 2004 (SF Chronicle) Health care’s reality by David Lazarus The original article can be found on here: denial noun: a psychological defense mechanism in which confrontation with a personal problem or with reality is avoided...

Cost of Insuring Workers' Health Increases 11.2%
September 10, 2004 Cost of Insuring Workers’ Health Increases 11.2% By MILT FREUDENHEIM (story has a good chart that doesn’t show up here) The cost of providing health care to employees has risen 11.2 percent this year, according to...

September 08, 2004

Dirigo Health: Don't compound the illness
Dirigo Health: Don’t compound the illness By Kent Price WALDO COUNTY (Aug 29, 2004): Last week’s Citizen reported that as many as 3,500 of Maine’s hospital jobs may be at risk under cost-cutting ideas being considered by the Commission to...

The privatisation of our health care
NHS plc THE PRIVATISATION OF OUR HEALTH CARE ALLYSON M POLLOCK Whether or not the public has a right to choose, it seems likely that the basic right to free care that the creation of the NHS sought to enshrine...

September 01, 2004

Time to Level the Playing Field for American Business: The One-Payer Advantage
By Ron Cohen, special to Workday Minnesota - September 1, 2004ST. PAUL - Employers will reduce or eliminate drug coverage for 3.8 million retirees when the new Medicare prescription drug benefit starts in 2006, according to one U.S. government estimate....

August 27, 2004

Record Level of Americans Not Insured on Health
Record Level of Americans Not Insured on Health By MILT FREUDENHEIM Published: August 27, 2004 Rising costs for health coverage and a continuing fall-off in the number of workers in employer-sponsored health plans are among the reasons that a greater...

August 24, 2004

HMO workers strike over health benefits
HMO workers strike over health benefits SEATTLE (AP) — About 1,700 nurses and other health care workers formed picket lines to start a five-day strike against Group Health Cooperative — one of the nation’s oldest HMOs — over the cost...

August 23, 2004

Bush's Health Proposal Would Fall Short of Estimates for Expanded Coverage
Experts Say President Bush’s Health Proposal Would Fall Short of Estimates for Expanded Coverage, Washington Post Reports Several independent analyses of President Bush’s proposal to extend health care to 10 million uninsured U.S. residents at a cost of $102 billion...

New book attacks attempt to privatize the British NHS
Allyson Pollock. NHS plc. The privatisation of our health care. London: Verso September 2004 It’s here at last. In this eagerly-awaited book, Allyson Pollock draws together the many strands of her research and experience, and that of her colleagues in...

August 20, 2004

McKinney, Texas, drugstore offers prescriptions at no profit for needy
The Dallas Morning News July 31, 2004, Saturday McKinney, Texas, drugstore offers prescriptions at no profit for needy By Paul Meyer To order prescription drugs for less, please visit: McKINNEY, Texas — As pill prices rise, politicians wrangle and...

August 19, 2004

State health insurance 'reform' is making matters worse
Another View: State health insurance ‘reform’ is making matters worse By BURT COHEN Guest Commentary WHICH COSTS you more: your mortgage or your health insurance? From talking to many neighbors, I know Im not the only one whose health insurance...

August 18, 2004

A Medical Emergency in Ireland Shows Strengths of National Health Service
Laura&Jerry A Medical Emergency in Ireland Shows Strengths of National Health Service By Laura Zimmermann, second year medical student, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. While gingerly treading among the limestone slabs of the Burren in County Clare, Ireland, my...

Canadian drugs aren't the cure
Canadian drugs aren’t the cure By Robert Kuttner | August 18, 2004 THERE IS something quite lunatic about the entire debate on whether to permit imports of drugs from Canada. It’s not as if Canada manufactures drugs more cheaply. Nor...

August 17, 2004

Highlights of the Health Care for All Ohioans Act
Highlights of the Health Care for All Ohioans Act 1. The Health Care for All Ohioans Act, referred to here as “the Plan,” provides coverage for the full range of inpatient and outpatient hospital care, preventive care, mental health, vision,...

Health Care Cost Containment or Consumer Rip-Off?
Pharmacy Benefit Managers: Health Care Cost Containment or Consumer Rip-Off? Corporate Truth Squad Alert #12 August 13, 2004 Prescription drug prices are the fastest growing segment of runaway health care costs increasing at double-digit rates over the last...

August 16, 2004

Canadian health care better than we think
Canadian health care better than we think By Dave Zweifel August 16, 2004 Thanks to years of propaganda from the giant corporations with a vested interest in the U.S. health system, Americans have a somewhat jaundiced view of Canada’s national...

August 13, 2004

Investor ownership in hospitals signals "the triumph of greed"
Last February in City Council chambers, the Bloomington community came together behind Bloomington Hospital and against the concept of a private for-profit competing hospital in our community. The idea was defeated, but it has not died. Dr. Tiwari and unnamed...

August 09, 2004

Lessons from Three Countries with Single Payer
Statement by Dr. Elinor Christensen on Lessons from Single Payer Health Systems in Scotland, Norway, and Finland
I am a family medicine physician whose medical career of 40 plus years has included private practice, inner city maternal and child health clinics, twenty years of college health, including medical administration, and rural health care in two underserved communities. I learned so much from each of these experiences, serving patients to the best of my ability with a variety of encumberances.

August 04, 2004

Labor and the Health Crisis
Labor and the Health Crisis by Kip Sullivan August 04, 2004 Workers in every Industry from trucking to telecommunications, know that there’s a health care crisis in the United States. Yet the AFL- CIO refuses to endorse the only...

August 02, 2004

Real simple
Real simple By Thomas Geoghegan To win the election and, once in power, to create new jobs, Democrats need a big plan everyone can understand: Have the government pay the first $1,000 in healthcare costs for every man, woman and...

July 29, 2004

Our Health Care Mocks Equality
Our Health Care Mocks Equality I was reading the Berkshire Eagle on July 4th, and was moved by our Declaration of Independence, printed on the editorial page, and its proclamation of equality for all people, and of their rights to...

July 28, 2004

Cure a Sick Healthcare System
July 23, 2004 In These Times Cure a Sick Healthcare System Universal coverage under National Health Insurance would not increase health costs By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein Like Capistranos swallows, the Democrats always return to health reform. Unfortunately,...

July 26, 2004

Ford: Health costs could drive investment overseas Firm's vice chairman says rising fees hurt competitiveness
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 Ford: Health costs could drive investment overseas Firm’s vice chairman says rising fees hurt competitiveness By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News If U.S. health care costs continue to soar, Detroit automakers may be forced to...

Health costs talk is crucial
Sun, Jul. 25, 2004 Health costs talk is crucial States need incentives to try policy changes Mercury News Editorial Crisis doesn’t begin to describe the extent of America’s health care problem. The nation’s economic future is being threatened by a...

July 24, 2004

Health Care Crisis Incites Residents
THE SAG HARBOR EXPRESS ISSUE DATE: 6/24/04 June 2004 Health Care Crisis Incites Residents by Beth Young Sag Harbor has become known of late for its social activist groups, from the Women in Black to East End Direct Action to...

July 23, 2004

Op-ed by Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler on the Kerry Health Plan
By Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein | In These Times | Published July 23, 2004
Like Capistrano�s swallows, the Democrats always return to health reform. Unfortunately, this year they�re showing little more brain power than the birds.

July 22, 2004

Article by PNHP member in New Haven
New Haven Register July 22, 2004 With health care crisis, the trees are obscuring the forest Steve N. Wolfson, M.D. Our health care system is in massive disarray, but we are focusing on the trees and missing the forest....

Single Payer Healthcare Study Approved
Commonwealth Of Massachusetts MASSACHUSETTS SENATE 7/22/04 Contact: Kate Regnier, 617-722-1280 617-251-9567 (cell) Senator Steven Tolman Announces Approval Of Bill to mandate Single Payer health care study (BOSTON) - Senator Tolman today announced that the House and Senate have approved a...

July 20, 2004

Nations Largest Health Coalition Calls For Sweeping Changes in Health Care System
For More Information, Contact: Janet Firshein or Kari Root at (301) 652-1558, or Pat Schoeni at NCHC, (202) 638-7151 Nations Largest Health Coalition Calls For Sweeping Changes in Health Care System Washington, D.C., July 20, 2004: Alarmed at what it...

July 19, 2004

The Georgia SecureCare Program
The SecureCare Program would cover all Georgians under a single uniform health plan that is administered and funded by the state. The SecureCare program would replace all current public-sector insurance systems including: Medicare, Medicaid, PeachCare, CHAMPUS and the Federal Employees...

July 16, 2004

Medical Class Warfare
Medical Class Warfare By PAUL KRUGMAN. E-mail: If past patterns are any guide, about one in three Americans will go without health insurance for some part of the next two years. They won’t, for the most part, be the...

July 15, 2004

Medicare cards little help
Medicare cards little help Dawn MacKeen STAFF WRITER July 15, 2004 Seniors in Nassau County can save more money purchasing top-selling medications through Canada and the Veterans Administration than with a new Medicare-approved drug card, according to a Congressional committee...

Coalition for Health Coverage forms in Southhampton
The Southhampton Press June 24, 2004 By Kathleen Fitzpatrick Members of the newly formed Coalition for Health Coverage in Suffolk held a vigil outside Southampton Hospitals emergency room on Saturday in solidarity with thousands of protesters across the country who...

July 13, 2004

The New Economics of Being Young
The New Economics of Being Young by Solana Pyne One Sick Fall With health insurance out of reach, a generation braces itself for the worst July 13th, 2004 If they’re not outright poor as a class, young adults in this...

Jim Sykes Announces Health Plan
Jim Sykes Announces Health Plan By! Brett Shepard Tuesday, July 13, 2004 - US Senate candidate Jim Sykes has ambitious plans for Alaska’s health care system if he gets elected. According to Sykes contributions from medical and insurance companies...

July 09, 2004

Health Versus Wealth
Health Versus Wealth July 9, 2004 Will actual policy issues play any role in this election? Not if the White House can help it. But if some policy substance does manage to be heard over the clanging of conveniently timed...

ABC News' Medical Editor Dr. Tim Johnson says the U.S. health-care system is in Critical Condition
ABC News’ Medical Editor Dr. Tim Johnson says the U.S. health-care system is in Critical Condition.(ABCNEWS) Peter Jennings Interviews ABCNEWSMedical Editor on the Health-Care Crisis Oct. 21 Did you know that the United States spends more on health care,...

Uninsured's ills worsen come bills
Uninsured’s ills worsen come bills By Jim Spencer Denver Post Columnist Friday, July 09, 2004 - To read Scott Ferguson’s hospital bill is to know the insanity of modern medical economics and the nightmare of 44 million Americans without...

July 07, 2004

News Observer
July 4, 2004 News Observer, North Carolina By VICKI CHENG, Staff Writer Dr. Wes Wallace thinks we need cleaner air. He’s in favor of nuclear disarmament. And he thinks all people, even the impoverished, deserve decent health care. But the...

June 30, 2004

The Truth About the Drug Companies
“The Truth About the Drug Companies” By Marcia Angell New York Review of Books - Volume 51, July 15, 2004 1. Every day Americans are subjected to a barrage of advertising by the pharmaceutical industry. Mixed in with the pitches...

June 28, 2004

51 Legislators Pledge their Support in Writing!!
51 Legislators Pledge their Support in Writing!! ConCon next Wednesday July 7th. Dear Affordable Health Insurance Supporter, Your hard work and determination has paid off! 51 Legislators have pledged in writing to vote YES on the Constitutional Amendment for...

A Second Opinion
June 28, 2004 OP-ED COLUMNIST A Second Opinion By BOB HERBERT In an article a few years ago in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine took a look at...

June 23, 2004

Brokaw's show points Physicians' support for singlepayer
Source: NBC Nightly News (6:30 PM ET) - NBC June 22, 2004 Tuesday BROKAW: Robert, clearly not very many doctors are going to want to deal with 250 different health-care plans. What’s the American medical community doing about this growing...

Walkers Cross the Longfellow Bridge for Health Care
Trying To Bridge the Gap Fighting For Health Care For All Richard Gilluly 06/23/2004 Walkers Cross the Longfellow Bridge for Health Care Many hundreds of people representing groups as diverse as the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the Harvard Medical School, labor...

June 22, 2004

Womens Health Policy Facts
Important advances in our knowledge about womens health have been made in the past decade. Health insurance cover-age helps make these improvements accessible to millions of women. However, the patchwork of different private sector and publicly-funded programs in the U.S....

Group Proposes Single-Payer Insurance Plan in Georgia
Group Proposes Single-Payer Insurance Plan in Georgia Georgians for a Common Sense Health Plan is proposing a single-payer plan to provide health insurance coverage to all state residents, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The SecureCare program would offer residents a comprehensive...

Kuehl's Statewide Health Coverage Bill Takes Historic Step Forward In Assembly Health Committee
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 22, 2004 Kuehl’s Statewide Health Coverage Bill Takes Historic Step Forward In Assembly Health Committee CONTACT: Sara Rogers (916) 445 1353 or Robin Podolsky (310) 441 9084 Senate Bill 921, authored by State Senator Sheila Kuehl...

June 21, 2004

Sick, and Tired of the Endless Paperwork
Sick, and Tired of the Endless Paperwork We’ve been charged for seeing doctors we never met, and even for the armrests on my wife’s wheelchair. By Doug GarrNewsweek, June 21, 2004 When my wife, Meg, suffered a severe stroke that...

Rules to Expose Long-Term Cost of Health Plans
New York Times Rules to Expose Long-Term Cost of Health Plans By ROBERT PEAR Published: June 21, 2004 WASHINGTON, June 20 New accounting standards will require state and local governments to acknowledge the full cost of health benefits promised...

June 20, 2004

Profit motive is health's loss
Editorial page, Atlanta Journal-Constitution June 20, 2004 Profit motive is health’s loss In a country where capitalism is the state religion, it’s hard to get people to admit that the profit motive doesn’t improve every enterprise. Americans seem to think...

Protestersmarch foruniversalhealth care
Sunday, June 20, 2004 By GREGORY A. HALL The Courier-Journal Protestersmarch foruniversalhealth care Local rally allies with national movementfor single system [sidebar photos: Psychiatrist Sue Bentley held a sign yesterday during a Bridge the Gap for Healthcare rally in...

Rally hopes to bridge gap in health insurance
Rally hopes to bridge gap in health insurance By Rob Daniel Iowa City Press-Citizen Health care was the focus Saturday at Hubbard Park as about 300 people rallied for improved access to health care insurance for all. Bridge the Gap,...

June 18, 2004

Scrooge & Marley, Inc. -- The True Conservative Agenda
Scrooge & Marley, Inc. — The True Conservative Agenda by Thom Hartmann “That liberty [is pure] which is to go to all, and not to the few or the rich alone.” —Thomas Jefferson to Horatio Gates, 1798. There is...

June 16, 2004

Healthcare For All
The Charleston Gazette Story:Dan Kurland Saturday, in 100 cities across the country, thousands of people will march to bridge the gap in health care. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge, people are banding together in a call for...

The People's Media Reaches More People Than FOX Does
The People’s Media Reaches More People Than FOX Does by Jim Hightower While Big Media is “simply in the business of selling products, the people’s media reaches more people than FOX does. Democratic reformer Henry Adams, who decried the...

June 15, 2004

Lets not get tangled up in Americas red tape
Lets not get tangled up in Americas red tape By ANDR PICARD PUBLIC HEALTH REPORTER Thursday, June 10, 2004 - Page A21 It is fashionable these days to badmouth public services, and medicare in particular. From pothole repair through to...

June 14, 2004

Delaware Hospital CEO says consider single-payer
Beebe chief: Health-care industry is sick By Bruce Pringle Delaware Coast Press Reporter Like a doctor warning a patient to change his lifestyle today to avoid pain and suffering in years to come, the president of Beebe Medical Center says...

June 12, 2004

Health Care for All Bike Tour -Idaho
The Bob LeBow Bike Tour - “Health Care for All” is a local event aimed at encouraging a healthy lifestyle for riders of all ages, while enjoying the beauty of rural Canyon and Owyhee Counties. The Bob LeBow Bike Tour...

June 04, 2004

A single-payer response to the health care crisis
A single-payer response to the health care crisis By Ross C. Anderson (mayor of Salt Lake City) A health care crisis in this country is having a profound impact on the lives of millions of people. We live...

May 28, 2004

Breakfast Forum on International Health Care Quality Measurement Efforts
Breakfast Forum on International Health Care Quality Measurement Efforts Monday, June 7, 2004 7:30 am - 8:30 am, Pacific time International Perspectives on Quality Improvement: A Report on the Commonwealth Fund’s International Working Group on Quality Indicators Join experts on...

May 27, 2004

U.K. NHS more efficient than Kaiser(HMO)
Dr Alison Talbot Smith, Dr Shamini Gnani, Prof Allyson M Pollock, Sir Denis Pereira GrayBritish Journal of General Practice 01 June 2004 A key document in UK government policy making for the NHS has been evaluated by Dr Alison Talbot...

Bush's health care scam
Bush’s health care scam By Robert Kuttner | May 27, 2004 IF THE MESS in Iraq and the high price of oil were not crowding out other election year issues, health care would top the list. Premium costs keep increasing,...

May 26, 2004

Advocates propose right to health care
Advocates propose right to health care Bill’s backers haven’t estimated cost or suggested funding GARY D. ROBERTSON Associated Press RALEIGH - Advocates and patients strapped by medical costs urged Tuesday that state voters be given a chance to decide whether...

HARLOT plc: an amalgamation of the worlds two oldest professions
HARLOT plc:an amalgamation of the worlds two oldest professions David L Sackett, Andrew D Oxman on behalf of HARLOT plc Tired of being good but poor, the authors have amalgamated the worlds two oldest professions in a new niche company,...

May 19, 2004

Medicare's in Good Health
Medicare’s in Good Health Will future workers accept higher taxes to buy their grannies insulin? Or will they say, ‘Let her rot’? (I’m betting on the grannies here.) By Jane Bryant Quinn Newsweek May 24 issue - The way the...

An Interview with Quentin D. Young M.D.
An Interview with Quentin D. Young M.D. Director, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group By Karen Ide and Clinton Stockwell, PRAGmatics PRAGmatics Spring 2004 ———————————————————————————————————— PRAGmaticsWill you please share with us a highlight from your long and successful career as...

May 14, 2004

Seeking insurance solutions
Seeking insurance solutions David Lazarus Friday, May 14, 2004 This is Cover the Uninsured Week, and it’s been an especially good week for the insurance industry. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have come out with competing plans intended to provide health...

May 13, 2004

15 Reasons Why the 2003 Medicare Law Fails Seniors
15 Reasons Why the 2003 Medicare Law Fails Seniors Alliance for Retired Americans, April 2004, It is more about dismantling the Medicare program than providing a prescription drug benefit. Background: The addition of a prescription drug benefit to Medicare...

The British National Health Service
In a number of ways, the United Kingdoms National Health Service (NHS) is a unique experiment, springing from the fusion at the end of World War II of a number of synergistic elements: a powerful desire for social change; a...

May 11, 2004

Flaws in the Medicare drug bill
Background: President Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-173) on December 8, 2003. The Acts prescription drug benefit begins January 1, 2006. Until then, beneficiaries will be offered drug discount cards, which are...

May 06, 2004

VA buys drugs cheaply, many veterans benefit
Baltimore Sun, Business VA buys drugs cheaply, many veterans benefit Medicare? Since the VA gets the best prices on medicines, the Bush administration is being urged to adopt a VA-style program for Medicare. By Cyril T. Zaneski, Sun Staff Originally...

May 05, 2004

Follow Canada's example
USA Today, Editorial/Opinion 5/5/04 Follow Canada’s example By Quentin YoungForget about importing Canadian drugs. We need to import Canadian drug prices.How does Canada and most other developed nations get 40% to 80% discounts on brand-name drug prices? The same way...

May 04, 2004

U.S. Health Care Spending In An International Context
Click here to download the .PDF version of this article Costs & Competition U.S. Health Care Spending In An International Context Uwe E. Reinhardt, Peter S. Hussey and Gerard F. Anderson Using the most recent data on health spending published...

April 28, 2004

Toward Openness in Drug Purchases
Toward Openness in Drug Purchases April 28, 2004 The New York TimesThe veil of secrecy that shrouds the operations of the middleman companies that manage drug benefits for tens of millions of Americans was lifted a bit this week when...

Prescription Drugs
Daily Health Policy Report [Apr 22, 2004] Prescription Drugs | Sen. Dayton Criticizes Action by FDA To Stop Busload of Seniors Who Purchased Medicines in CanadaIn a letter to FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford, Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) on Wednesday criticized...

Can we afford not to insure the uninsured?
Can we afford not to insure the uninsured? ARNOLD BIRENBAUM (Original publication: March 8, 2004)The Journal News The online information source for Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam(The writer, a Larchmont resident, is a professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of...

April 26, 2004

Health care system needs doctoring
Atlanta Journal Constitution Editorial Health care system needs doctoring Published on: 04/24/04The American health care system is in some ways like the Titanic. It is big and luxurious and a showplace for the last word in technology. It is committed...

April 25, 2004

National health care to be discussed
National health care to be discussed Herald Staff Report April 21, 2004 A free public teach-in on a single-payer national health-care system will be presented from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, in 130 Noble Hall at Fort Lewis...

April 23, 2004

Commission to Allow Insurance Cuts for Retired Employees
By ROBERT PEAR Published: April 23, 2004 The New York TimesWASHINGTON, April 22 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission voted Thursday to allow employers to reduce or eliminate health benefits for retirees when they become eligible for Medicare at age...

April 16, 2004

Cure for health woes: National Insurance
USA Today, April 16, 2004 Letters Cure for health woes: National insuranceUSA TODAY’s article, ‘Hospital bills spin out of control,’ raises the question: What control? America doesn’t have a health care system; it has a non-system with no public accountability...

April 15, 2004

Does Big Government Hurt Economic Growth?
By JEFF MADRICK Published: April 15, 2004 In widely reported comments before a Congressional committee in February, Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve chairman, suggested that President Bush’s tax cuts should not be even partly rescinded. Rather, Mr. Greenspan said, the...

Medicare for the young?
Workers today face the same problem the elderly did when Medicare was established.By Register Editorial Board 04/12/2004If you’re under 65, read this editorial. Granted, the subject is Medicare, something that might normally make you turn the page. You might not...

April 14, 2004

O Canada; Oy Vey United States
O Canada; Oy Vey United States By David Morris, AlterNet April 12, 2004Four years ago Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post wrote a long essay to end his tour as Canadian correspondent. His gloomy assessment of Canada’s future as a...

Zero for Heroes
The City Politic Zero for Heroes Many of the people who spent months in the pit at ground zero have respiratory ailments. And no health insurance. And no aid from the government. Why?By Greg Sargent From the October 27, 2003...

April 12, 2004

What are they thinking?: An Orlando Sentinel Editorial
ORLANDO SENTINEL Editorial What are they thinking? Our position: State senators are making no sense in cutting care for pregnant women.Posted April 12, 2004As the state Senate and House go into conference to ruminate on the budget, here’s something they...

April 08, 2004

Forum: News flash -- Medicare will not go 'bankrupt'
Alarmist language frightens and misleads the public, say Theodore Marmor and Jonathan Oberlander, and opens the door to imprudent policy debatesSunday, April 04, 2004Talk of Medicare going bankrupt is once again dominating the news. The pattern is utterly familiar.Program trustees...

April 05, 2004

Pro & Con - Are tax credits the best way to cover the uninsured?
Pro & Con - Family Practice News, April , 2004 Are tax credits the best way to cover the uninsured?PRO: Dr. John C. Nelson, AMA CON: Dr. Don McCanne, Physicians for a National Health ProgramDr. John C. Nelson is president-elect...

April 02, 2004

Supreme Court to Decide if HMO's Can Deny Care
The Corporate Truth Squad (CTS) Alert is a project of USAction. The CTS Alert highlights how our civil justice system gives ordinary citizens the power to stand up against corporations that commit fraud, abuse or other wrongdoing. We will distribute...

It's time to look again at single-payer
It’s time to look again at single-payer Capital Times - Madison, WI By Dave Zweifel April 2, 2004Marjie Colson, Madison’s passionate champion for the rights of the powerless, shipped me an e-mail a few days ago saying it is time...

March 29, 2004

Resolving the Healthcare Crisis
Please click here to read the article...

March 26, 2004

The Medicare Muddle
The Medicare Muddle By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: March 26, 2004 In advance of Tuesday’s reports by the Social Security and Medicare trustees, some credulous journalists wrote stories based on tips from advocates of Social Security privatization, who claimed that the...

March 24, 2004

PNHP's written testimony on Medicare
The 2004 Annual Report of the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds describes the projected imbalances between the anticipated revenues and the expected growth in expenditures of the Medicare program. The Trustees call for prompt, effective, and decisive action to address this challenge.

The Future of Medicare
Institute for Public Accuracy 915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045 (202) 347-0020, Wednesday, March 24, 2004 Interviews Available: * The Future of Medicare * Exxon Valdez Anniversary ALAN SAGER,, DEBORAH SOCOLAR, Sager and Socolar...

Does universal comprehensive insurance encourage unnecessary use?
Does universal comprehensive insurance encourage unnecessary use? Evidence from Manitoba says “no” Many argue that “free” medical care leads to unnecessary use of health resources. Evidence suggests that user fees do discourage physician use, at least by those of low...

March 17, 2004

If Ashcroft Were Uninsured...
If Ashcroft Were Uninsured… By Dan Frosch, AlterNet March 14, 2004 From the moment Attorney General John Ashcroft was diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis on March 4, he has without a doubt received the best and most efficient medical care in...

March 11, 2004

There's a single solution to problems in health system
LAURA BILLINGS: There’s a single solution to problems in health system A column last week about the health care costs that have been the sticking point in negotiations with striking Metro Transit bus drivers seems to have struck a chord...

March 06, 2004

A Heftier Dose To Swallow Rising Cost
A Heftier Dose To Swallow Rising Cost of Health Care in U.S. Gives Other Developed Countries an Edge in Keeping Jobs By Kirstin Downey Washington Post Staff Writer 3/06/04 For each mid-size car DaimlerChrysler AG builds at one of its...

March 05, 2004

Health-care critic battles on Doctor featured in film says system can be improved
Health-care critic battles on Doctor featured in film says system can be improved BY ARZA BARNETT, THE COURIER-JOURNAL Dr. Linda Peeno, center, talked with Dr. Betty Straub, left, as Sister Mary Rhoads Buckler listened before the showing of the film...

March 02, 2004

The Medicare Road Show
Families USA launched its Medicare Road Show, a nationwide senior awareness campaign about the new Medicare prescription drug law. The launch featured the premiere showing of a new Families USA video, hosted by Walter Cronkite, to a group of D.C....

February 27, 2004

The FDA Huffs, but Canadian Drugs are OK
The Food and Drug Administration would have consumers believe they’re taking a huge risk when they send their prescriptions to pharmacies north of the border, where the same drugs cost far less than they do here. Hogwash. The fact is,...

February 25, 2004

Impact of Consumer-Driven Health Care on Consumers
Testimony of Gail Shearer Director, Health Policy Analysis Washington Office CONSUMERS UNION Before the Joint Economic Committee On Impact of Consumer-Driven Health Care on Consumers February 25, 2004 Employers, who provide health insurance for about 60 percent of the U.S....

February 20, 2004

Push Made In Greensboro For Single-payer Health Plan
BY ROGER LeCOURS News Correspondent - the Caledonian-Record A referendum calling on the Vermont Legislature to enact a universal, single-payer program to provide quality health-care coverage to every Vermonter received a unanimous vote of support from 50 area residents. The...

Prevailing Health Principles
Prevailing Health Principles byKaren Pollitz February 18, 2004 Recently the Institute of Medicine challenged our leaders to take a principled approach to achieving universal health insurance coverage in the U.S. by 2010. The presidents new budget fails to meet this...

February 10, 2004

Medical students investigate U.S. and Canadian health care systems
Study Tour Provides Hands-On Experience for Medical Students Reston, VA The American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation’s largest, independent medical student organization, announces “Sea-Couver,” a hands-on study tour in Seattle, Wash. and Vancouver, British Columbia that provides the opportunity...

Political cowardice is stunting the dialogue on solving the nation's health-care crisis
Feb 9, 6:53 PM FLORIDA TODAY Health care for all Political cowardice is stunting the dialogue on solving the nation’s health-care crisis Weapons of mass destruction haven’t turned up in Iraq, a potential time bomb for the presidential election. But...

Why Canadians Are Healthier
Why Canadians Are Healthier By Judy Foreman2/10/04 My fellow Americans: Want a health tip? Move toCanada. An impressive array of comparative data shows that Canadians live longer and healthier lives than we do. Whats more, they pay roughly half as...

Doctors Support National Insurance- Boston Globe
Doctors Support National Insurance 63% inMass.Survey Support Single-Payer Care By Liz Kowalczyk, Globe Staff,2/10/04 A majority of Massachusetts doctors support national health insurance, and most said they would be willing to accept a 10 percent cut in fees in return...

February 06, 2004

Higher Premiums Mean Higher Profits: Why Your Health Care Insurance Is More Expensive
Higher Premiums Mean Higher Profits: Why Your Health Care Insurance Is More Expensive by Milton Fisk January 2004 Cost shifting is the name of the game as management grapples with the rising expense of employee health care. Employers are having...

Will Lower Drug Prices Jeopardize Drug Research ?
Will Lower Drug Prices Jeopardize Drug Research? Donald W. Light, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey Joel Lexchin, School of Health Policy and Management, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada This documented fact sheet provides evidence that all drug...

January 29, 2004

All Medicare fight-back initiatives in the House to date
In December, Chet Edwards, a Texas Democrat, with more than 70 cosponsors, introduced HR 3672, to authorize HHS to negotiate Rx prices. This week, one of those cosponsors, Dennis Moore, a first-term Kansas Democrat, introduced HR 3707, which at first...

January 27, 2004

Border Wars: The Prescription Drug Battle With Canada
Nobel laureate Dr. Milton Friedman and Other Experts to Debate Drug Importation, Medicare, Uninsured, Single-Payer Health Care, and More SAN FRANCISCO Today experts will debate the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, a practice just recently supported by San...

January 25, 2004

Sure cure for health care
Sure cure for health care By MARTIN DYCKMAN, Times Columnist Published January 25, 2004 TALLAHASSEE - President Bush didn’t say a word about the moon or Mars during his State of the Union address. He did talk about health insurance....

January 18, 2004

State must lead the way
State must lead the way David Lazarus Sunday, January 18, 2004 2004 San Francisco Chronicle More than 43 million Americans may now be uninsured, but no one expects a national health care system similar to Canada’s to be adopted any...

January 17, 2004

The country can no longer ignore the uninsured.
Des Moines Register Editorial: Get everyone covered by 2010 The country can no longer ignore the uninsured. By Register Editorial Board 01/17/2004 ————————————————————————————————————————————- In the past three years, the number of uninsured Americans has grown by 3 million people -...

January 16, 2004

What premiums pay for
Friday, January 16, 2004 (SF Chronicle) What premiums pay for David Lazarus The United States squanders more money every year on health care bureaucracy than it would cost to provide medical coverage for the 43 million Americans now lacking insurance....

January 14, 2004

Health care is broken
Health care is broken by David Lazarus of San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday, January 14, 2004 Businesses large and small are drowning in health-care costs, and their solution by and large is to pass the buck to cash-strapped employees. In Southern...

Patchwork Health-care Reform not What Most Want, or Need
Published on Sunday, January 11, 2004 by the Boulder Daily Camera Single-Payer: We’d Get More for Less Patchwork Health-care Reform not What Most Want, or Need by Brian Smith Politics aside, we could all have better health care for less...

December 30, 2003

Time for single payer?
Time for single payer? By Ruth Rosen San Francisco Chronicle 12/29/03 Don’t