By Roni Reino
Fosters Daily Democrat
Saturday, May 29, 2010
PORTSMOUTH — The Portsmouth Primary Care Associates will host a discussion with Oliver Fein, president of the Physicians for a National Health Program on June 10.
The PNHP is an advocacy organization of some 17,000 American physicians, medical students and health care professionals who support a single-payer system of national health insurance.
The organization will hold a public forum on health care reform and suggest a solution with single-payer health care that will work for the small business person and the individual.
Single-payer health care is the financing of the costs to deliver universal health care for an entire population. It uses a single insurance pool of insured persons, employers and others.
It is a system in which a single or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but the delivery of care remains largely private.
According to the PNHP, all Americans would be covered for all medical necessary services including doctor, hospital, preventive, long-term care, mental health, reproductive health care, dental, vision, prescription drug and medical supplies.
Under their plan, patients would retain free choice of doctor and hospital.
Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom all have examples of a single-payer universal health care system.
A survey conducted by the PNHP found that 81 percent of responding New Hampshire physicians agreed health care should be “available to all citizens as part of the social contract, a right similar to basic education, police and fire protection.”
Dr. Thomas Clairmont of the PNHP advocates for the single-payer system and suggests Americans have the choice of another health care option.
“We need alternative solutions now rather than waiting,” Clairmont said.
He also emphasized health care costs will rise unless the U.S. government does something about it soon, making it more difficult for people to pay for insurance.
“It should be that everyone gets covered,” Clairmont said.
The discussion will be held Thursday, June, 10 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Frank Jones Center on the Route 1 Bypass in Portsmouth. The forum is open to the public with no registration required and attendance is free.