Quote of the Day

PNHP's Senior Health Policy Fellow Don McCanne, M.D. writes a daily health policy update, taking an excerpt or quote from a health care news story or analysis on the Internet and commenting on its significance to the single-payer health care reform movement. PNHP posts Dr. McCanne's listserv here; to subscribe to the listserv, please visit the Quote of the Day the mailing list website.

  • Posted on Friday, May 27, 2016
    The shareholders of Aetna and Anthem, by voting down disclosure of dark money contributions, are co-conspirators with the corporate executives in the efforts to prevent transparency of their financial contributions to dark money organizations that use their funds to influence elections.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 26, 2016
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been effective in reducing the numbers of uninsured, particularly amongst low-income adults. Although that is good news, we should be alarmed that “low- and moderate-income adults are uninsured at rates as much as 10 times higher as those for adults with higher incomes,” and that there has been little improvement in enrollment for these lower income levels since the initial steep decline in 2014.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    This poll of selected “top leaders of hospitals, insurance companies, physician groups, trade associations and other not-for-profit advocacy groups” can give us a rough idea of where the executive leadership of the health care industry stands today on health care reform.

  • Posted on Monday, May 23, 2016
    The media continue to cite the flawed Urban Institute analysis of the costs of single payer while ignoring the actual facts as presented by David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler. Yet the Urban Institute authors twice have felt compelled to answer the Himmelstein/Woolhandler criticism of their analysis. Woolhandler and Himmelstein respond here to Urban’s doubling down of errors in their second response.

  • Posted on Friday, May 20, 2016
    Today’s report confirms the growing dissatisfaction with higher premiums and greater cost-sharing of not only ACA-compliant non-group plans but also employer-sponsored group plans as well. The share saying that they feel vulnerable to high medical bills has increased to 45 percent for non-group enrollees and 36 percent for those with employer coverage.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2016
    This article by David Woods is an important contribution to our efforts to inform our colleagues and the public on the true facts about the single payer model of reform. It is particularly credible since the author is a former editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal who was attracted to the market-driven U.S. health care system, but then, through his personal experiences, recognized its clear inferiority to single payer systems.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2016
    There have been a multitude of recent media reports indicating that a single payer program, as proposed by Bernie Sanders, would cost much more than previous estimates have shown. These reports rely on recent analyses by the Urban Institute and by Emory Professor Kenneth Thorpe. Unfortunately, these analyses are being given more credibility than the contrasting conclusions of the nation’s two leading experts on single payer - Professors David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016
    Although this new Gallup poll has been widely interpreted in the media as showing strong national support for single payer reform, the actual question was about favoring or opposing “Replacing the ACA with a federally funded healthcare program providing insurance for all Americans,” and it was asked with two other options (repealing ACA, keeping ACA in place), any or all of which could be chosen. Replacing ACA with federally funded health care was supported by 58%, repeal ACA by 51%, and keeping ACA by 48%.

  • Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016
    When explaining that health care reform seems to be moving backwards, does it improve communication to discuss reform that is sdrawkcab (ananym of backwards)?

  • Posted on Friday, May 13, 2016
    The House Republicans will soon release a white paper describing the policies they recommend for replacing the Affordable Care Act. A few details have been released following their closed-door caucus meeting yesterday - a meeting attended by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan’s presence is important because, when he agreed to accept the Speakership, it was on the condition that he would have a leading role in shaping the conservative Republican agenda.

  • Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2016
    Today’s message provides yet one more example of CMS’s complicity in the privatization of Medicare. What does that mean and why does it matter? Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are private health insurance plans that Medicare enrollees can select in place of the traditional Medicare program. The purpose was ideologically driven - to get the government out of Medicare.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2016
    Hillary Clinton is once again bringing back the proposal to allow for people under 65 to have the option of purchasing coverage under Medicare - the so-called public option. We have written much about this in the past, but since her comments have renewed enthusiasm amongst single-payer advocates for a Medicare buy-in, let’s discuss it one more time.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2016
    Hillary Clinton has declared that she will not consider single payer. When the policy community should be making efforts to convince her to support a superior model of reform they are instead discrediting that model in order to support her and Obamacare - the most expensive model of reform and one that fails to accomplish our goals of universality, efficiency and equity.

  • Posted on Monday, May 9, 2016
    Drug prices are out of control. Wharton School’s Mark V. Pauly, PhD, of “moral hazard” fame, suggests that we, as consumers, can do something about it. We simply walk away from the high-priced drugs we need and then the markets will take care of the prices.

  • Posted on Friday, May 6, 2016
    Most would agree that having healthy mothers would be of benefit to their children. Suppose 5.9 million mothers were uninsured, wouldn’t it seem that we should enact health care reform that would address this problem?

  • Posted on Thursday, May 5, 2016
    We propose to replace the ACA with a publicly financed National Health Program (NHP) that would fully cover medical care for all Americans, while lowering costs by eliminating the profit-driven private insurance industry with its massive overhead.

  • Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2016
    Professor Burdick not only is very well informed on health policy in general and single payer more specifically, he also is dedicated to the cause of health care justice which certainly helps him to sort out good and bad policy. His extensive background as a transplant surgeon and as a health care administrator also provides him with the adroitness to apply effective health policy principles to our health care system.

  • Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2016
    This study looked at the changes in spending and volume of services for individuals who, at age 65, transferred from private insurance to the traditional Medicare program. The authors showed that the volume of services remained the same, but spending went down, which reflects the lower provider prices that Medicare pays compared to private insurers.

  • Posted on Monday, May 2, 2016
    The majority of Americans would like to see a high quality health care system that is affordable and accessible for everyone. We do not have that now. Why not?

  • Posted on Friday, April 29, 2016
    This report of nine focus groups confirms that real people have found that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) often fails to provide access to affordable care.