By Ann Settgast, M.D. | The Star Tribune (Minn.)
The need for our hospitals to provide uncompensated care to uninsured and underinsured Minnesotans will continue to grow if we do not fundamentally change our system. Assuming the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented, more than 250,000 Minnesotans will remain uninsured, while hundreds of thousands more will rely on skimpy insurance that does not properly protect them from serious financial strain if they fall ill.
By Sam Baker | The Hill
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is continuing to argue for a single-payer health care system, saying it would not raise the same constitutional questions that have dogged President Obama's health care law.
By Amy Lange | Star Tribune (Minneapolis), April 2, 2012
Minnesota would not be alone among the states if it forged ahead to provide a universal and unified health system. Governors, legislatures and citizens groups are pushing similar reforms in Vermont, Montana, Oregon and Hawaii. And Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton favored a universal system for Minnesota in his 2010 campaign.
By Josh Moniz | The Journal (New Ulm, Minn.)
Physicians for a National Health Program-Minnesota hosted an informational presentation for business owners on single-payer health care Friday at the New Ulm Country Club.
By Rick Kvam, M.D. | Letters, Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin
Guided by evidence, not ideology, one finds that in health care, the unbridled free market returns a very poor value. We boast the most market-driven health care in the developed world, and, not coincidentally, far and away the most expensive. Our per capita costs are double those of other industrialized nations (in spite of 50 million uninsured!), but our outcomes (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.) are nevertheless worse. Workers' inability to switch jobs for fear of losing health care coverage (“job lock”) is a major drag on our economy.
By Mark Liebow, M.D. | Rochester (Minn.) Post-Bulletin
Well, Vermont beat us to it. The people of Vermont decided correctly that the advances of the Affordable Care Act weren’t enough. They looked at Massachusetts and found that with that state’s plan, which serves as the model for the Affordable Care Act, costs continue to rise and the rate of medical bankruptcies didn’t go down.
By Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | Twin Cities Daily Planet
Medicare is an efficient, effective way of health care financing. It is what we all want for our parents and ourselves as we get older and heck -- it probably is a good idea for the entire nation. If we had Medicare-For-All maybe it would be so popular that Michelle Bachmann would be forced to defend it, too.
By Ann Settgast, M.D. | Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Whether the debt ceiling is raised or not in the days ahead, Minnesotans and the nation have reason to celebrate this weekend. Saturday marked Medicare's 46th birthday.
By Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva | Twin Cities Daily Planet
Senator John Marty contacted the TC Daily Planet after he read our June coverage of health care, specifically a Q&A with Senator Dave Durenberger on his support for federal health care legislation. Senator Marty let us know that he respectfully disagreed with Senator Durenberger’s view of solutions for our health care system. This is to be expected, since he’s the chief author of the Minnesota Health Plan, the only proposal for universal, single-payer coverage in Minnesota.
By Joe Kimball | MinnPost.com
The St. Paul City Council passed a resolution Wednesday supporting the Minnesota Health Plan, a proposal that's floating around the Legislature (but not yet close to passing) for single-payer, universal health care in the state.
By DR. RALPH S. BOVARD | Star Tribune
As a physician, I agree that we must get health care costs down if we're going to achieve universal coverage, but I strongly disagree that the only way to do it is to ration. There is another viable and proven option: a single-payer or regulated multipayer health care system, such as exists in every nation in the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development except the United States and Mexico.
By EDWARD P. EHLINGER, M.D. | Minneapolis Star Tribune
Insurance is a great mechanism that people can use to offset their risk of losing some material thing of great value like their house, boat, car or jewelry. It can also be used to protect a valuable personal occupational asset like a voice for an opera singer, a hand for a surgeon or a knee for a football player. And it can be useful in providing protection from a singular catastrophic event like a malpractice suit or the premature loss of life. But for something that is predictable, ongoing, needed by everyone, or necessary for the welfare of our community, an insurance model makes absolutely no sense. That's why we don't use an insurance model to provide police or fire services or to provide an education to our children. For these we use the tax model. Basic essential health care should also be in this category.
By JOHN M. BRYSON | Minneapolis Star-Tribune
The emotional debates over health care reform in the United States last fall and again this election season are puzzling to my wife and me. We are professors who were on sabbatical leave in London from August 2009 through August 2010, so we missed last year's debates. While in the United Kingdom we were automatically covered by the National Health Service.
By Elizabeth Dunbar | Minnesota Public Radio
Dr. Elizabeth Frost, a family practice physician and a member of Physicians for a National Health Program, said the groups would like to see all Minnesotans covered by a plan paid for by state government.
By Nick Coleman | Minneapolis Star Tribune
After she was diagnosed with kidney cancer, my mother was given a prescription for a daily chemotherapy pill that has been shown to extend the lives of patients with that cancer. When I went to pick up the medicine, the pharmacist asked if I had received financial counseling. No, I said, wondering why we were talking finances, not health care. Just how much is this prescription?
By David Swanson | OpEdNews.com
California keeps passing bills for state single-payer healthcare, but Ahhhnold won't sign em, and Jerry Brown who wants to be governor doesn't seem to want it badly enough to make a commitment on healthcare. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is encouraged that their current governor has said he probably will sign a single-payer healthcare bill, and the legislature just might pass one. But Minnesota has an angle neither of these other states can claim: a serious candidate for governor who is the state's leading advocate for single-payer.
By John Marty | MinnPost
Please, restore the hope that you raised in all of us, bring back the inspiration that made the American people so excited by your inauguration. I urge you to step back, reconsider, introduce a health care plan that is truly universal, and fight for it.
By Mike Rose | Austin (Minn.) Daily Herald
When the current health care debate began in earnest last year, one potential topic of discussion was largely left out — “single-payer” insurance.
By Ann Settgast, M.D., and Elizabeth Frost, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
As physicians, we are troubled by the direction of federal health care reform. Whether via a public health insurance option or an insurance mandate, the proposals on the table build on the structure of our broken system—the most costly, fragmented, and bureaucratic in the world.
By Ann Settgast and Elizabeth Frost | Opinion | Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)
The health care reform debate is reaching a feverish pitch. As physicians, we are troubled by the direction the debate has taken. Whether via a public option or a mandate to purchase insurance, the proposals on the table aim to cover more, but not all Americans. They build on the structure of our broken system -- one that ranks as the most costly, fragmented and bureaucratic in the world.
By Kathlyn Stone | TC Daily Planet
The American Medical Association has come out against President Obamaâ€™s â€œpublic optionâ€ for health care reform, but the AMA doesnâ€™t represent all physicians. Some physiciansâ€™ groups support the public option but others think it doesnâ€™t go far enough to fix changes in a badly broken system. Dr. Oliver Fein, president of the progressive Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), found a warm welcome in the Twin Cities last week. Fein was here to present PNHPâ€™s vision for a national single payer health program. PNHP has 16,000 members, including 300 in Minnesota.
BY KIP SULLIVAN | Southside Pride, Minneapolis
SF 118, the Minnesota Health Act, which would guarantee health insurance for all Minnesotans under a program called the Minnesota Health Plan, passed out of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee by a party-line vote of 7 to 3 on Feb. 10. The lopsided vote was a sign of the growing support for the single-payer approach. This is the first year since 1991, the year single-payer legislation was first introduced in the Minnesota Legislature, that a single-payer bill has cleared two committees in the Senate. The bill has never been heard in the House. It will get its first hearing in the House on Feb. 25.
By Robert Wolfington III | Marshall (Minn.) Independent
Dr. Ann Settgast, co-chairwoman of the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for A National Health Program, said a single-pay insurance program would provide care for all U.S. citizens, while at the same time save money compared to the current multi-payer system.
by Ann Settgast, MD | Twin Cities Daily Planet
The upcoming change in administration has brought optimism and hope to the American public. Now is the time to demand meaningful healthcare reform rather than a replay of past failures. As a physician, I know that offering a placebo in place of known effective treatment is unethical. Hence, while I applaud the good intentions of Senator Tom Daschle, the Healthcare for America Now (HCAN) coalition, and others, I advise against their proposals to extend a system that is fundamentally flawed. In these times of economic uncertainty and crisis, single payer is the only fiscally responsible option for reformâ€¦and it is the only solution that will actually work.
By Elizabeth Frost, MD | Pioneer Press | Letter to the Editor
As a family practice doctor who works with the uninsured in St. Paul, I have recently become involved in health care reform. I believe single-payer national health insurance is the only way to provide quality affordable care for all.
When you hear that the AMA is opposed to single payer reform, keep in mind that it represents only a minority of American physicians, and within their organization there is a diversity of opinion.
By By Joel M. Albers, Pharm.D., Ph.D., Breanna Peterson Lathrop, Kirk C. Allison, Ph.D., Charles N. Oberg, M.D., and James F. Hart, M.D. | Minnesota Medicine
Despite physicians' vital role in health care, few studies have assessed their preferences regarding health care financing systems. We surveyed a random sample of licensed Minnesota physicians to determine their preferences regarding health care financing systems. Of 390 physicians, 64% favored a single-payer system, 25% HSAs, and 12% managed care.