Quote of the Day Category

"The Measure of America"

In: Quote of the Day

When we are addressing the narrower problem of health insurance for everyone, does the broader issue of human development really matter? Well, yes, and here’s why.

It would have been sad if this report had demonstrated that there had been no improvement in access and affordability in the past decade for this expensive, non-elderly population with chronic conditions. What it did show is that access and affordability deteriorated further, even amongst the insured. That’s not sad; that’s tragic.

Means-testing Medicare benefits?

In: Quote of the Day

Everyone agrees that health care is now so expensive that those of modest means cannot be expected to contribute as much to the financing of health care as those who are more affluent. Traditionally, the Medicare program has been financed primarily through a common risk pool with contributions paid based on income levels. Now, instead of establishing equity through the revenue side of the balance sheet, efforts are being made to shift equity, or the appearance of equity, over to the benefit/expenditure side.

AHIP's Campaign for an American Solution

In: Quote of the Day

So the insurance industry wants to sign up 100,000 individuals in its fan club to provide free marketing for the private insurance concept. In spite of criticisms, the industry has not changed its goals. They want taxpayers to provide coverage for those too expensive to insure – the 20 percent of people who are responsible for 80 percent of health care costs, but the industry is quite willing to offer guaranteed coverage to everyone else – the 80 percent of people who are quite healthy.

These GM retirees didn't have a choice

In: Quote of the Day

Last week, a Quote of the Day message discussed why the overwhelming majority of individuals, except those enrolled in the traditional Medicare program, do not have a choice of keeping indefinitely the private health insurance that they currently have. The largest private health benefit program in the nation, that of General Motors, was used as an example of how even the best could not provide absolute security that you could keep the insurance you have.

Response to TNR's Jonathan Cohn

In: Quote of the Day

The real debate over health care reform today centers over one fundamental choice. Are we going to continue to try to finance health care through private plans competing in the marketplace, a guarantee that access and equity problems would only grow worse, or are we going to use our own government resources to fix our financing system so that it works for everyone?

National health insurance covers the entire population of many European countries at a much lower cost than US health care. Could such a system of national health insurance work in the US? We already have such a system — it is called Medicare, and it has worked very well for more than 40 years! Medicare pays the private sector to deliver quality health care to more than 44 million Americans. Those who stick with traditional Medicare have free choice of physicians and hospitals. Nearly every US physician and nearly every hospital in the US has elected to participate in Medicare.

Uwe Reinhardt on the Dutch system

In: Quote of the Day

As Professor Reinhardt states, the Dutch system is not even vaguely close to the U.S. system, but rather is a social insurance system in disguise. Merely expanding our private plans to cover more people would not in any way emulate the Dutch system.

Pause for a minute. Think back to the insurance you had twenty years ago. Remember? Now… do you still have precisely that same coverage? Unless you are over 85 and have been in the traditional Medicare program for the past twenty years, it is highly likely that you do not.

China's failed experiment with the market

In: Quote of the Day

Some of the intellectuals in China had decided that using market dynamics was just the solution that they needed to help modernize the Chinese health care system. Sterile, amoral business decisions allow the leeway to bring out the best in us… and the worst. China got the best for a few, and the worst for the many.

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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.

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