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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 Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    Although the reason often given for Gov. Peter Shumlin’s withdrawal of the single payer legislation for Vermont was that the taxes would be too high, there were other much more important reasons.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2017
    This column by E.J. Dionne is important because it represents the current most prevalent view on health care reform, written by an intelligent, highly respected journalist with great credibility and uncompromising ethics. We need to listen to him.

  • Posted on Monday, September 18, 2017
    Although this is an interesting exercise, it might be more productive to look at these systems from the perspective of the major problems that we have and what features of other systems might ameliorate them.

  • Posted on Friday, September 15, 2017
    This is serious. In this study, not only did primary care primary care physicians spend almost half of their clinic hours on electronic health records (EHRs), outside of clinic hours they spent an average of an additional 7 hours and 51 minutes - the equivalent of an extra workday per week.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2017
    Everyone included. Care based on need. Lower costs. No financial barriers to care. Better outcomes. Less administrative hassle. And greater pride than even for their ice hockey teams!

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2017
    Replacing America’s fractured, for-profit health system with improved Medicare for all would provide comprehensive care for everyone, help rein in skyrocketing health costs, and deliver better medical outcomes.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2017
    This study confirms that the pharmaceutical firms are using inflated costs of bringing a product to market in order to gouge us. This cries out for government intervention.

  • Posted on Monday, September 11, 2017
    For our purposes, Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s message is not what is happening within the Democratic Party but rather that the recent surge in support for single-payer Medicare for all has originated within the grassroots and not from the political elites.

  • Posted on Friday, September 8, 2017
    When Max Baucus was leading the legislative process that resulted in the ACA, he refused to allow any formal consideration of single payer. In response, a group of notable single payer advocates - the Baucus 8 - protested at the Senate Finance Committee hearing that theoretically represented all views - except single payer, which was specifically excluded.

  • Posted on Thursday, September 7, 2017
    Although the editorial board adheres to its conservative roots by dismissing the label, “Medicare for all,” it makes the case for abandoning our highly dysfunctional health care financing system and turning to models used successfully in other nations - universal systems in which governments play significant roles.

  • Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
    This study is helpful in that the authors deliberately used a very conservative definition for which emergency department visits were avoidable. Under such a definition, 97% of visits were appropriate. The significance of this is that, instead of establishing often punitive policies to keep patients from supposedly abusing the emergency department, we should instead establish policies that would improve access for patients to more appropriate health care services and facilities.

  • Posted on Tuesday, September 5, 2017
    Boring. Boring. Boring. So Anthem eliminated coverage in 17 Missouri counties. That is so commonplace that it is a wonder that Reuters even reported it. But this is precisely the problem. We have accepted as routine the fact that Anthem and the other private insurers will take care of themselves first and use patients merely as a tool to achieve their own ends.

  • Posted on Friday, September 1, 2017
    The Affordable Care Act supposedly was designed to expand health care coverage, including an expansion of the Medicaid program. Yet in Oregon almost half of Medicaid beneficiaries were kicked off the program. Isn’t that the opposite of one of the major goals of reform?

  • Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2017
    The need for retroactive qualification for Medicaid is obvious. Healthy individuals who otherwise would qualify for Medicaid on an income basis frequently do not want to bother signing up when they think they would have little use for the program.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 30, 2017
    Andy Slavitt and James Capretta both support moving forward with health care reform, though one might be considered center-left and the other center-right. So where are we headed?

  • Posted on Tuesday, August 29, 2017
    There are some important observations here on where we stand with insurance coverage in the United States.

  • Posted on Monday, August 28, 2017
    Everywhere you turn these days you see articles stating that we need to shift from paying for volume of health care and pay for value instead. They contend that new payment models, such as accountable care organizations, are doing precisely that.

  • Posted on Friday, August 25, 2017
    California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon received quite a push-back when he decided to withhold SB 562 - the “Healthy California Act,” a single payer bill for California. Under threat of recall, he has now established a special committee during the legislative interim that will “develop plans for achieving universal health care in California.”

  • Posted on Thursday, August 24, 2017
    Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) is currently drafting legislation that would allow Americans to buy into the Medicaid program, supposedly providing them with a “public option” and perhaps a path toward a single payer system in the United States.

  • Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2017
    Single payer reform, as envisioned by Physicians for a National Health Program, is much more transformative than merely changing the payment process. One of the more important recommended changes is to convert for-profit entities, such as hospitals, into nonprofit status. Why should that matter?