Jim Recht, M.D.
Dr. Recht is the past chair of the MA chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. He is a staff psychiatrist at Cambridge Hospital and an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Rachel Nardin, M.D.
Dr. Rachel Nardin is chief of neurology at Cambridge Health Alliance, an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and chair of the MA chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program. She is active in educating others about single payer, gives frequent grand rounds and community talks, and appears frequently in the media.
Gordon Schiff, M.D.
Gordon Schiff is currently Associate Director of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He was Professor of Medicine at Rush University and senior attending physician at Cook County Hospital where he worked for more than 30 years as Director of Clinical Quality Research and Improvement for the Department of Medicine, and during the 1990’s director Cook County’s large General Medical Clinic for nearly a decade. His was PI and Director of AHRQ-funded Rush-Cook County Developmental Center for Research in Patient Safety (DCERPS, Diagnosis Errors and Evaluation Research (DEER) Project, whose activities and recommendations are summarized in a chapter in the AHRQ Advances in Patient Safety monograph (on AHRQ website). He is Clinical Director of the recently awarded TOP-MED (Tools for Optimizing Prescribing, Monitoring and Education) CERT (Center for Education and Research in Therapeutics) based at the UIC College of Pharmacy.
Dr Schiff has published numerous patient safety and medication prescribing improving articles in Annals of Int Med, JAMA, Arch Intern Med, Medical Care, Am J Health System Pharm. He is editor of Getting Results: Reliably Communicating and Acting on Critical Test Results published by Joint Commission Resources in 2006, and author of the section on Diagnostic Error in the forthcoming WHO monograph Current Issues in Patient Safety: A Global Perspective published the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety. He is a member of the editorial Boards of Medical Care, Journal of Public Health Policy, and the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety in Healthcare. He is recipient of the 2005 Institute of Medicine Chicago (IOMC) patient safety leader of the year award, the Institute for Safe Medical Practices (ISMP) 2006 Lifetime Achievement award, and in 2006 was selected by Modern Healthcare as one of the top “30 people likely to shape health care in the years and decades ahead.”
Dr. Schiff is a founding member and past president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), author of the PNHP JAMA paper on quality health care reform, and is guest editor the October 2008 special issue of Medical Care devoted to the topic of health insurance in the U.S.
David Himmelstein, M.D.
Dr. David Himmelstein is professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School. He has served as chief of the division of social and community medicine at Cambridge Hospital.
Dr. Himmelstein has authored or co-authored more than 100 journal articles and three books, including widely cited studies of medical bankruptcy and the high administrative costs of the U.S. health care system. His 1984 study of patient dumping led to the enactment of EMTALA, the law that banned that practice.
A co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Himmelstein co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.
Dr. Himmelstein received his medical degree from Columbia University and completed internal medicine training at Highland Hospital/University of California San Francisco and a fellowship in general internal medicine at Harvard.
Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., MPH
Dr. Steffie Woolhandler is a practicing primary care physician, professor in the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, adjunct clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School, where she co-directed the general internal medicine fellowship program and practiced primary care internal medicine at Cambridge Hospital.
Dr. Woolhandler earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University; her medical degree from Louisiana State University; and her master’s degree from the University of California. She worked in 1990-1991 as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow at the Institute of Medicine and the U.S. Congress.
Dr. Woolhandler is a frequent speaker and has written extensively on health policy, administrative overhead and the uninsured. She has authored more than 150 journal articles, reviews, chapters, and books on health policy. A co-founder and board member of Physicians for a National Health Program, Dr. Woolhandler co-edits PNHP’s newsletter and is a principal author of PNHP articles published in the JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine in conjunction with Dr. David Himmelstein.
Pat Downs Berger, M.D.
Dr. Berger is the Co-Chair of Mass-Care, the Single Payer organization in MA sponsoring the Single Payer Health Care Trust bill (S 703). Dr. Berger is retired internist who worked for 14 years at the Harvard St. Neighborhood Health Center in Dorchester, MA, the Harvard Community Health Plan for two years, and then in private practice in Brookline for 9 years.
Local Unions Endorsing HR676
- UAW Local 2322, Holyoke, MA
- IBEW Local 2222, Boston, MA
- Local 2321, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), North Andover, MA
- Local 2322, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Middleboro, MA
- Local 2324, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Springfield, MA
- Local 2325, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Northborough, MA
- Massachusetts State CAP Council, United Auto Workers (UAW)
- Local 2313, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Hanover, MA
- Massachusetts Nurses Association
Massachusetts State News
By Michael Kaplan, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.), Feb. 7, 2017
With an unpredictable president now in the White House, with no track record and conflicting promises about health care in the U.S., we must mobilize and lobby for health care changes that identify and fix what's wrong with our dysfunctional health care system.
By Samuel Shem, M.D. | The Boston Globe, Letters, Dec. 29, 2016
In understanding Partners, a touch of history may be relevant. There never was a need for a “Partners.” It was created to make an alliance between Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital — but also to make money.
By Billy Bevevino | The Daily Free Press (Boston), Oct. 31, 2016
Speakers stood in front of hundreds of miniature tombstones Monday afternoon at Boston University’s Medical Campus, not to just celebrate Halloween, but to represent those who have died from a lack of access to proper health care.
By Robert Rosofsky | The Boston Globe, Aug. 31, 2016
As both an EpiPen carrier and a public health informatics consultant, I closely follow facts and opinions regarding medication pricing. The Boston Globe’s editorial about Mylan’s pricing of its EpiPens (“EpiPen maker sticks it to patients — again”) provides only a mild call to action — that of modifying provisions in the Affordable Care Act and calling for consumers and elected officials to rail against Mylan.
By Ture Richard Turnbull | Jamaica Plain (Mass.) News, Aug. 22, 2016
The Boston City Council will take a bold step on Wednesday, August 24, by passing a resolution reaffirming its support for a single-payer health care system. The resolution calls upon the state legislature in the upcoming 2017-2018 legislative session to propose and pass a measure to achieve a single-payer system in the Commonwealth.
By Jack Bernard | The Boston Globe, Letters, July 11, 2016
There is only one long-range solution for the problem of access to mental health services: Medicare for all.
By Marcia Angell, M.D. | The Boston Globe, May 17, 2016
Other advanced countries spend on average less than half as much per capita on health care as we do, provide truly universal care, and get generally better results, because they have either a single-payer financing system or tightly regulated multiple payers, plus a largely nonprofit provider system.
By Paul Redstone, M.D. | Clinical Psychiatry News, May 14, 2016
If our patients cannot reliably afford the treatments we prescribe, it seems our only choice as physicians is to become politically vocal: So when will we all unite to insist on accessible health care (including dental) for all?
By Marcia Angell, M.D. | Boston Globe, April 11, 2016
A front-page story by Charles Ornstein in the Globe reports increasing concern about editorial decisions at The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), one of which is to defend the practice of medical researchers having personal financial ties to drug companies whose products they are testing. The NEJM's national correspondent referred to critics of such conflicts of interest as "pharmascolds."
By Gordon Schiff, M.D.
It is time to get back on track on the road to providing health insurance, real universal health insurance to everyone in the U.S., and particularly everyone here in Massachusetts. We need to continue lead the way in our commitment to do this in the highest quality, most affordable and cost-efficient way.
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle
Sen. Bernie Sanders has opened a dialogue about single-payer health care in the presidential campaign by supporting "Medicare for All." In response, single-payer critics have written analyses that misrepresent the costs of single-player health insurance, misleading the public.
Two letters: Alan Meyers, M.D., and Jim Recht, M.D. | The New York Times
Just because private insurers are powerful doesn’t mean a concerted national campaign can’t overcome their well-funded opposition. Already a majority of the general public (58 percent in a recent Kaiser poll) supports single-payer. Cost will never be controlled until we do away with the bloated administrative expenses of our hopelessly complex financing arrangements and for-profit medicine.
By Amanda Kaufman | The Daily Free Press (Boston)
Joining 30 other universities around the nation, the Boston University School of Medicine hosted a Medicare-for-All National Day of Action rally Thursday to advocate for single-payer health care reform. BU was the only university in Massachusetts to participate.
By Patricia Downs Berger, M.D. | Wicked Local Brookline (Mass.)
July 30 was the 50th anniversary of Medicare being signed into law by President Johnson. Fifty years of a national health program guaranteeing health coverage for all seniors is a cause for celebration!
By Susanne L. King, M.D. | The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Mass.)
LENOX, Mass. — Medicare, a federal government program for seniors and the disabled, will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Thursday, July 30. As one of our nation's most popular and valuable programs, covering 17 percent of the U.S. population, it has reduced poverty among seniors and improved the financial security of their families.
By Mary L. Ford | Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.)
I’m fed up with citizens complaining that government is a problem, not a solution. I want my children and nieces and nephews to know that because of Medicare, my generation as we grow old does not have to turn to them to cover hospital bills and doctors’ costs.
By Anita Page | Daily Hampshire Gazette (Amherst, Mass.)
July has always been my favorite month, not just because of July 4th, strawberries and corn, but because it is my birthday month. Now, it is even more special because it is the 50th anniversary of Medicare on July 30.
By Jim Bennett | The Boston Globe
From 2007 to 2008, I enjoyed the best health insurance plan I have ever known. I was allowed to choose any primary care physician in my neighborhood who had room for new patients. My prescriptions all came with the same negligible copay, and I could have them filled at any pharmacy. I never received a single bill for a doctor’s appointment or emergency room visit. In fact, the only paperwork I ever handled were my prescriptions and the reminder card for my next appointment.
By Lonnie Shekhtman | Worcester Telegram
WORCESTER — A small community forum on health care Wednesday night, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Medical School, aimed to tackle the state's growing health care costs.
By Terence Redmond McAllister, M.D., and Leann DiDomenico McAllister | Physicians Practice
We are not naive; we know that single payer has its own issues. Whatever concerns we have, though, pale in comparison to the $375 billion dollars that the insurance industry steals from patients and providers on an annual basis. Overpaid insurance company executives will have to find a new way to steal from the American people. It’s time for single payer.
By Tiffany Chan | 22News - WWLP (Boston)
Health care isn’t just expensive for you; it’s costing the state billions of dollars each year. That’s why some state lawmakers are pushing for a single-payer system.
By D.B. Reiff | MetroWest Daily News (Framingham, Mass.)
For many in Massachusetts, the holiday break is here. But for hundreds of thousands of us, the rush is to navigate the Mass Healthcare Connector site to find insurance that we can afford but that won’t leave us bankrupt if we get sick or have an accident. And that’s no holiday vacation.
By Daphne C. Thompson | The Harvard Crimson
Holding signs reading "Healthcare not warfare" and "Insurers deny, people die," more than 100 activists rallied at Boston Common Sunday to promote a single-payer healthcare system and an emergency global health fund.
By Brian Steele | Masslive.com
Decades have passed, but on Wednesday, Aug. 20, members of a group called Physicians for a National Health Program plan to rally before a gubernatorial health care forum at The Dimock Center in Roxbury, calling on all the candidates to agree to push for a new single-payer system if they're elected.
By Jackie Wolf | Daily Hampshire Gazette
There is a joke that goes: What’s so good about turning 65? Answer: Insurance agents stop calling. I would like to suggest a variation on that joke: What’s so good about turning 65? For almost all people in the United States, the good news is they are eligible for Medicare.
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.
By PNHP-Massachusetts and Mass-Care
272,000 Massachusetts residents lacked health insurance in 2012, 4.1% of the population.
By Jawad Husain | Boston Herald
As a medical student at the Boston University School of Medicine, I want to treat patients based on medical need, not socioeconomic status.
By Lisa Hagen | Lowell Sun BOSTON -- While critics complain that Obamacare, and the Massachusetts model for the federal plan involve too much government, a state senator says it is time for more government involvement in paying for health care.
By John McDonough | Boston Globe
Fine story in today's Globe by Liz Kowalczyk on the new state health data report showing, once again, the dominant economic power of Partners Healthcare in our health market. One beef -- if you read you the story, you would have assumed that the annual report from the State's Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) was all about Partners. There is much more -- go see for yourself. and congrats to CHIA for an excellent report.
By Pat Berger, M.D. | Wicked Local News (Brookline, Mass.)
July 30, 2013, was the 48th anniversary of the signing of the Medicare act of 1965 into law. This very special birthday calls for acknowledging the vital role Medicare has played in the lives of our seniors over the last 48 years.
By the Editorial Board | The Boston Globe
One million hours. That’s how much time new Harvard research suggests psychiatrists spend each year obtaining insurance approval to hospitalize suicidal or mentally ill patients.
By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
Architects of the pioneering 2006 Massachusetts health law, which required most residents to have insurance, expected it would reduce families’ medical debt. But the most recent data suggest the scope of medical debt has remained largely unchanged.
By Chelsea Conaboy | The Boston Globe
In an editorial published Tuesday in BMJ, formerly known as the British Medical Journal, two public health professors and a best-selling author in the field of behavior economics explain why they think paying doctors more based on quality metrics is inherently problematic. Hospitals and doctors can easily change their reporting practices to improve their quality scores, they wrote. And financial incentives can undermine doctors’ intrinsic desire to help their patients.
By Milton Hirshberg, M.D. | Cap Cod Times, Letters
Economists at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have projected that all of medical care spending will grow at an annual average of 5.8 percent over the period 2010 to 2020. The growth is only slightly faster than that of the core system we had in the absence of the new legislation.
By Patricia Downs Berger, M.D. | Letters, Boston Globe
Universal access to affordable, high-quality medical care is what we all want for ourselves and our families, but it can only happen if we have a single-payer system that embodies this goal. Such a system means that there would be a single government entity that would pay health care bills instead of myriad private companies and government plans.
By Martha Bebinger | WBUR (Boston Public Radio)
We’re hearing from a lot of different groups lately about what’s wrong with health care and how to fix it. But what do patients think? To find out, WBUR asked Massachusetts residents who said they had a serious illness, medical condition, injury or disability requiring a lot of medical care, or spent at least one night in the hospital within the last year.
By David U. Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler | The Boston Globe
The House and Senate health care proposals would set imaginary limits for spending growth enforced by secret “improvement plans” and wrist slaps for hospitals that overcharge; establish tiered payment schemes to consign the poor and middle class to second-tier hospitals and doctors; push most residents of the Commonwealth into HMOs (oops, we forgot, now they’re called “accountable care organizations,” or ACOs); and wipe out small doctor’s offices by “bundling” their pay into ACO payments. Apparently the legislators’ theory is that forcing health care providers to consolidate cuts costs. Oligopoly saves money?
By GateHouse News Service | The Times and Courier (Clinton, Mass.)
Several senators made a concerted push on Tuesday to put Massachusetts on a track toward single-payer health care, and though their plan failed it generated a level of debate on the topic unseen in recent years.