Health Policy for Activists Category

by John Geyman, M.D. Having just finished reading Bob Herbert’s excellent book, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America, I am struck by the parallels between trends in public education and in health care. Herbert, opinion columnist for the New York Times for 18 years and now a Distinguished Senior Fellow […]

The prices and costs of cancer care in the United States have been growing so fast, for so long, that they are now a “canary in the coal mine” of an unaccountable health care system. Many cancer patients are now forced by their increased cost burdens to forego necessary care and die earlier without adequate care. There is a fix—single-payer financing that eliminates profits and waste to the detriment of patient care.

The V.A.’s failures are a failure of its delivery system, not its financing system (except to the extent that it is probably underfunded to meet expanded needs}. Contrast that with our civilian health care system, based as it is not on service but ability to pay, which continues to be a failed system on both the financing and delivery sides. Its failures have been documented in my latest book Health Care Wars: How Market Ideology and Corporate Power Are Killing Americans, and many of the posts from my fellow Health Care Disconnects panel members over the last year.

Ten of the 25 largest health systems in the U.S. are now Catholic-sponsored. As many Bishops interpret Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs) for Catholic Health Care Services more rigorously, health professionals often are unable to provide evidence-based reproductive and end-of-life care based on religious grounds. This blog summarizes some of the problems and harms to patients.

“Premium support” or voucher proposals for Medicare are a mainstay of conservative health policy. They have been defeated for over three decades, starting with President Reagan’s FY 1981 budget proposal. They are a key feature of “managed competition” — type reform proposals. Although President Clinton embraced managed competition in his ill-fated health reform bill, he vetoed the 1995 Balanced Budget Act which would have turned Medicare into a voucher program. Premium support proposals were defeated again in 1997 and 2003.

As the Occupy Wall Street protest continues and spreads, a health care system that meets human needs is increasingly one of the demands.

There is a growing movement to stop the privatization and corporate-takeover of health care in the U.K. and internationally. PNHP member Dr. Matt Anderson from Montefiore medical center in the Bronx spoke recently at the International Association of Health Policy meeting in Ankara, Turkey, along with New Mexico PNHP member Dr. Howard Waitzkin. Save our NHS’s Dr. Jacqueline Davis will be a featured speaker at the upcoming PNHP meeting in Washington, DC on Saturday October 29.

Live or Die: Do We Care Anymore?

In: Health Policy for Activists

We saw in our last post how the intensifying class war in America over the last 30 years has hollowed out the middle class and led to the widest gap between the haves and have nots in our country’s history. In this Second Gilded Age, the right has been winning the war by its promotion […]

As the Great Recession rolls on after three years, without signs of relief on the horizon, a growing army of many millions of Americans is finding it impossible to gain access to necessary health care that is affordable. Meanwhile, class warfare is gaining intensity with a widening gulf between the left and right over the […]

Dr. Clare Gerada, president of the Royal College of General Practitioners, visited Chicago recently on a study tour to see how a market-based system works for society’s most vulnerable first hand. I was fortunate to be able to accompany her on several of her stops.

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Physicians for a National Health Program's blog serves to facilitate communication among physicians and the public. The views presented on this blog are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of PNHP.

News from activists

PNHP Chapters and Activists are invited to post news of their recent speaking engagements, events, Congressional visits and other activities on PNHP’s blog in the “News from Activists” section.