Health Policy for Activists Category

The corporate media continue to posture that they are covering the real news. But their investigative capacity has been largely diminished through under-funding by corporate chiefs.

Neither the ACA nor GOP options will make health care more affordable or accessible. Single-payer NHI is the only alternative that will achieve universal coverage in an affordable and sustainable way. A strong case for it has been made elsewhere on economic, sociopolitical, and moral grounds.

This really is a perilous moment in the history of U. S. health care. The ACA is fundamentally flawed—a bailout to a failing private health insurance industry and other corporate stakeholders in the medical-industrial complex. Tweaks around the edges of the ACA will never bring us cost containment in a sustainable way. If Republicans gain more control of Congress, and even the presidency in 2017, health care for much of our population will get much worse in terms of access, affordability, and quality. Research over many years has shown that the majority of Americans want NHI.

As documented in Michael Corcoran’s excellent piece recently in Truthout, Hillary has received more money from the pharmaceutical industry than any other candidate in either party during the 2016 election cycle, while health care industries have paid her $2.8 million in speaking fees between 2013 and 2015. (11) She clearly has conflicts of interest and is posturing about her commitment to real health care reform.

“For all the good that the Affordable Care Act may have done in extending the number of Americans with some form of medical insurance, it did very little to address the underlying fiscal crisis of healthcare, which is that our current fragmented form of delivering health insurance is unaffordable.”

As we look at these trends, it seems clear that the health insurance industry needs more and more help from government and taxpayers to stay alive. Though denied by its supporters and lobbyists, it is in a death spiral and would already be in dire straits without these bailouts by the federal government over many years…

All in all, the health care industry is replete with rackets that neither honest practitioners nor regulators find worrisome enough to effectively challenge. The perverse economic incentives in the industry range from third party payments to third party procedures. Add paid-off members of Congress who starve enforcement budgets and the enormous profits that come from that tired triad “waste, fraud and abuse” and you have a massive problem needing a massive solution. —Ralph Nader

It is clear that deregulated health care markets and the ACA have failed the common good. But there is so much economic and political power in the corporate medical-industrial complex that the obvious solution is still being kept off the table. Can our supposed democracy meet this challenge?

Despite the goal of the ACA to make health care more affordable, we have to admit that it has failed to do so, and that containment of health care costs is still just an illusion in this country.

The recent 5,000 percent overnight price increase of Daraprim brought the crisis of drug costs once again to the front burner of public discussion and outrage. Daraprim is a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating toxoplasmosis, a life-threatening parasitic infection. It was acquired a month earlier by Martin Shkreli, a former […]

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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.