Latest PNHP News

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    By David Lotto, Ph.D., and Michael Kaplan, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle (Mass.)
    On July 10, Mr. Jim Balfanz wrote a letter to the editor titled: "Dangers of single-payer on display" in which he makes two claims. The first is that what he calls the "Veterans Administration health care corruption scandal" happened because the VA is a government-run single-payer program. The second claim he makes is that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or the ACA) is on the road to creating a single-payer system for everyone in the country.

  • Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    By Ted Van Dyk | (Seattle)
    The Western Washington Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, which advocates for a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program, held its annual public meeting last Saturday evening at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus. The event provided a useful snapshot of things to come in healthcare politics nationally, but also here in Washington State.

  • Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    By A.W. Gaffney, M.D. | New Politics
    The Affordable Care Act commentariat—including those confidently awaiting the day when all its promises are vindicated, those rooting for its ignominious demise, and those of us in a separate camp—have been kept occupied in recent months. Between autumn’s website drama and winter’s enrollment saga, the news cycle has been full of stories of IT dysfunctions tackled, right-wing challenges thwarted, enrollment goals met, electoral prospects threatened, and individuals newly insured (or variously dissatisfied).

  • Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014
    Arkansas is demonstrating to us the irrationality of basing reform on ideological concepts divorced from health policy science. Let’s look closer at this proposal for “Health Independence Accounts,” their version of consumer directed health care for very low income individuals, using the concept of health savings accounts.
  • Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
    This report describes the paradox of the “new normal” in which increases in health care costs have been slowing as payer/employers and providers adjust their business models to the marketplace, while the financial burden for health care on patient/consumers continues to increase. As this report states, “this trend of growth in out-of-pocket spending combined with increases in health insurance premiums that outpace increases in wages is not sustainable.”
  • Posted on Tuesday, July 22, 2014
    This KFF update on the financial burden placed on Medicare beneficiaries shows that average out-of-pocket costs are $4,734 when half of all people on Medicare have incomes of less than $23,500. Although Medicaid supplements Medicare for some low income beneficiaries, destitution is a prerequisite for qualifying for Medicaid. The wealthy should have no problems, but should affordable access to health care be granted only to those with modest or low incomes who must give up what little fungible assets they have been able to accumulate through life?