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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 Thursday, December 8, 2016
    Although this AJPH editorial was written a couple of weeks before the surprise results of the presidential election were known, it does not change the message. Curing our heath care deficits will require broad popular mobilization, not just the wishes of a president, no matter his or her intentions.

  • Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2016
    There will likely be considerable heat in the discussions ahead on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Based on current observations, much of it will be clouded with failure to adhere to the actual facts which are based on sound health policy science.

  • Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2016
    This is one more highly credible study that demonstrates that high-deductible health plans are creating great financial burdens amongst enrollees in employer-sponsored health plans. These burdens are especially large for low-income employees - a group that already suffers from high financial burdens.

  • Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016
    This study adds one more bit of evidence to the abundance of studies that show that private Medicare Advantage plans will always game the system to benefit themselves to the detriment of patients.

  • Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016
    As of 2015, our national health spending is $3.2 trillion or 17.8 percent of our GDP. That is a per capita spending of almost $10,000 ($9,990). Coverage expansions as a result of the Affordable Care Act certainly contributed to this 5.8 percent increase in spending.

  • Posted on Friday, December 2, 2016
    Based on media reports for the past half year or so Americans seemed to be split on whether they want to keep Obamacare or to repeal it and perhaps replace it with an ill-defined Republican plan. As is usual during political campaigns, the rhetoric did not reveal much in the way of the true feelings of Americans about health care reform. This Kaiser poll provides us much better insight.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2016
    In media reports about her selection as CMS administrator, Seema Verma is being praised for her policy acumen and for being able to work across the isle, that is, as long as "the health savings account model (for Medicaid) remained intact.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2016
    President-elect Donald Trump is making good on his promise to repeal and replace Obamacare by appointing Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Seema Verma as administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). There is trouble coming.

  • Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016
    Under our medical-industrial complex, decisions regarding location of facilities such as emergency departments are frequently based on business considerations of the market rather than on what would be optimal for the community. This NBER paper demonstrates that such decisions can be a matter of life or death. If closure of an emergency department results in more than a ten minute delay in access to the next closest hospital, mortality for an acute myocardial infarction is increased.

  • Posted on Monday, November 28, 2016
    Republicans repeatedly voted for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) knowing that the severe adverse consequences would be prevented by serial vetoes by President Obama. They also filed a lawsuit - House v. Burwell - to prevent the payment of cost-sharing subsidies for exchange plans since the funds were never authorized by Congress. But since, to their surprise, a judge has ruled in favor of the Republicans, they are concerned about being blamed for the ensuing disaster if the judge’s decision were to be upheld.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been leading the charge to paying for quality instead of quantity, as if that will be the answer to our concerns about the high cost of health care. This report on CMS’s hospital quality star ratings reveals that the ratings are not only invalid, but they are potentially harmful because of the misinformation disseminated about the hospitals’ quality status.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2016
    Quoting Professor Gerald Kominski: “No option should be ruled out quickly because it appears too difficult or politically impossible.”

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2016
    In designing the Affordable Care Act, special attention was given to be sure that children were well covered by our system of public and private programs. Yet over 20 million children still have access barriers to essential health care services.

  • Posted on Saturday, November 19, 2016
    May this book become the bible of “our revolution.”

  • Posted on Friday, November 18, 2016
    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now essentially fully implemented. So how are we doing? According to a new Commonwealth Fund study, “adults in the United States remain more likely to go without needed health care because of costs compared to adults in other high-income countries.” Although ACA brought some improvements, they are grossly inadequate by international standards.

  • Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2016
    Health care reform is once again on the national political agenda. It is time for action. The suggestions offered should provide guidance on how each of us can become personally involved.

  • Posted on Tuesday, November 15, 2016
    Much of the interview is cloaked in uncertainty since we do not know yet precisely what Donald Trump, working with Congress, will do. But the discussion to date raises great concerns.

  • Posted on Monday, November 14, 2016
    There is hope for the future of our health care system, and we can be the source of that.

  • Posted on Saturday, November 12, 2016
    Perhaps most astonishing in the political division that separates our nation is that bioethics is not immune to this polarization. You would think that fundamental moral issues of right and wrong would be above it all, but, sadly, that is not the case. Arthur Caplan provides us with a perspective of the rocky road ahead.

  • Posted on Thursday, November 10, 2016
    Amendment 69 - ColoradoCare - is a Colorado ballot measure for comprehensive health care financing reform. It was defeated by a vote of 4 to 1. It joins California’s Prop 186 which was defeated 3 to 1 and Oregon’s Measure 23, also losing 4 to 1.