Published or otherwise impactful material written by our members, including editorials, letters to the editor, academic papers.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, millions of U.S. workers who were satisfied with and didn’t want to give up their employer-provided health insurance are losing both their jobs and the associated insurance. While most public option plans have glaring deficiencies, this crisis may be the perfect moment for a new public option plan, […]
HCfANC’s own Jonathan Michels authored this letter for the editor of the News & Observer, printed on April 10th. Regarding “NC hospitals cut staff, expenses as coronavirus spreads,” (April 3): The coronavirus pandemic lays bare the ways in which our expensive, inefficient and profit-driven health care system has left our communities defenseless against public health […]
Thoughts and prayers are nice, but healthcare workers need Medicare for All If patients want to support healthcare workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, they should join us in calling for a universal, single-payer healthcare system. _ Any hope that we might emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic unscathed is gone. So far, the […]
Originally published in the News & Observer on March 13, 2020: Regarding “Blue Cross NC announces coronavirus test coverage,” (March 7): Why is it news when Blue Cross Blue Shield announces that COVID-19 testing will be a covered benefit? Because only in the failing US health care system would individual patients have to pay for […]
From the article: For decades, the American Medical Association has fought single-payer tooth and nail. But the US’s corporatized health system hurts doctors too — and cracks are forming in the AMA’s opposition to Medicare for All. Draft cards weren’t the only cards set on fire during the 1960s. Back then, at least one young […]
“The U.S. federal government is on an unsustainable fiscal path. … The thing that drives our single unsustainability is health care spending. “We spend 17 percent of GDP; everyone else spends 10 percent. … It’s not that benefits themselves are too generous. We deliver them in inefficient ways.” You might guess that Sen. Bernie Sanders […]
Regarding “How a libertarian analyst inadvertently made a good case for Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All” (July 31): In the moral universe of libertarian thinkers like Charles Blahous, spending private money for goods and services is always better than spending public money. Yet publicly-funded Medicare is hugely more efficient than private insurance .
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that U.S. healthcare costs are growing at 5.5 percent a year. Sooner rather than later, we will be paying $4.2 trillion more than we are now. The real question is whether all of that extra cost goes toward keeping us healthy, or toward profit and compensation for over-paid executives.
Under Medicare for All, there will be no pre-existing condition exclusions, no premiums, and no deductibles or co-payments. Most Americans will pay less for health care that will be accessible to all. That’s the moral universe I prefer to live in.
Fifty years ago this month, at the 1968 meeting of the American Medical Association, a fourth-year medical student named Peter Schnall seized the microphone and scolded several hundred of the most prestigious, highly educated white men in America.
“Organized medicine has never felt responsible and accountable to the American people for its actions and continues to deny them any significant voice in determining the nature of services offered to them,” Schnall chastised the group.
Today, in the midst of a revived Poor People’s Campaign, physicians and medical students are again pressuring the AMA to be more responsive to the needs of the nation’s uninsured and underinsured. At the AMA’s House of Delegates annual meeting in Chicago this weekend, its Medical Student Section will ask the AMA to end its decades-long opposition to a single-payer health insurance program, a system better known as Medicare for All that would be publicly financed but privately delivered.
(Excerpted here, site has subscriber pay-wall)
For more than 100 years, Americans have searched for a cure for health care inequality. Instead, we've been prescribed placebos: watered-down poverty programs and party politics.
Support for single payer is growing. According to the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of Americans believe that the federal government has a responsibility to provide health coverage to everyone.
As a Medicare recipient I know how close our country is coming to missing the mark of a caring society. When we invent schemes that use illness as an opportunity to make a buck, healthcare itself is sick. It was as a hospital chaplain in the 1970-80s I became aware of how expensive it […]
July 23, 2017, Forum at UCCH Led by Bill Murray, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-918-3389 Health Care for All NC = www.healthcareforallnc.org To inquire, email Jonathan Kotch email@example.com Facts about health care (HC) problems in US: US pays the most and gets the least. Pay for Mercedes Benz but get bicycle. US is ranked about 50th among nations […]
Being a father isn’t what it used to be, in a good way. I can participate in my son’s life as much as I wish, unbound by societal expectations, rigid class rules and gender roles ...
... as I reflect on my role as a father this Father’s Day, I also reflect on how much parents in North Carolina rely on the protections of the Affordable Care Act
The House of Representatives’ vote to repeal the ACA and radically restructure Medicaid offers families no cause for celebration. Their American Health Care Act takes health care away from 24 million Americans, raises premiums by 20 percent and unravels critical consumer protections, putting mothers of all ages – and their families – at risk.
The Affordable Care Act ended a broad range of discrimination in the insurance market for women, much of it based on the potential for women to become mothers...
The Essential Health Benefits provision of the ACA requires insurers to provide coverage for prenatal, maternity and newborn care, as well as nine other categories of basic services...
The Republican bill also puts health care in jeopardy for many millions more by ending traditional Medicaid as we know it. This restructuring would make permanent cuts to health care services for seniors, people with disabilities and mothers and children, and would turn back the clock not just on the ACA, but also on the Medicaid program that has served families well for over 50 years....
Ever so close and yet so far: Health insurance protections seem once again at risk of disappearing in the hands of our Republican-led federal government. The newly introduced, hastily assembled MacArthur Amendment to the American Health Care Act may be making its way toward a vote that will take it from House to Senate. This […]
Ten years ago, I began transporting sick patients at Forsyth Medical Center. Transporters are some of the hardest working and least recognized workers in the hospital.
Medicine has changed a lot even in the short time since I began transporting patients. Despite the much-vaunted health-care reform of 2010, the Affordable Care Act, medicine is still driven by profit, not progress. ...
A single-payer system would eliminate for-profit insurance companies and replace them with a non-profit, public-payer system. It would be privately run but government funded just like Medicare, saving billions in administrative costs and giving doctors the freedom of practicing medicine without intrusion. Patients would no longer pay high deductibles or co-pays and there would be no fear of losing health insurance if someone loses their job. ...
The only way to get back to the real business of health care — caring for our patients — is to enact universal health care.
The 2016 election turned on racism, xenophobia and anger at the status quo, including the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law covered about 20 million, and modestly improved access to care. But it didn’t address the health care problems facing most working families, feeding the perception that the Democratic Party had neglected them. Trump seized on the ACA as a symbol of the establishment’s false promises, and has placed repeal at the top of his to do list.
A few suggestions for work in the months ahead:
1. Colleagues are, more than ever, receptive to the single-payer message. ...
2. With Medicaid under attack, in many states we’ll need to join in its defense. ...
3. We need to help focus the anger at elites onto the real health care elites: insurance and drug firms, and corporate health care providers.
4. In the past PNHP has focused narrowly on single-payer reform, avoiding participation in most broad-based coalitions. ... Effective action will require coalitions that span many issues.
5. It’s time to ramp up organizing for H.R.676
There is little dispute that Medicaid expansion stands to benefit more than 400,000 uninsured North Carolinians who currently fall in the coverage gap. What is more often disputed is the potential cost to the state. Under the established matching plan that would take effect from 2020 onward, federal funding would pay 90% of the cost of […]
Republican leaders of other states have come to their senses.
They realized the benefits in expanding Medicaid: in savings, the jobs created, the federal dollars flowing to their states.
It’s time for N.C. to do the same.
By Jessica Schorr Saxe
We now see health care as a commodity. Applying this model to medical care creates perverse incentives.
When I started my medical career, no one talked about the business of medicine
We now view medical care as a commodity, much as we view buying shoes
Health care’s for-profit system creates perverse incentives for those in the industry.
Deaths in middle-aged, middle class whites; high insurance rates & demanding the return of democracy
The mortality rate for white middle-aged Americans actually increased by 134 per 100,000 between 1999 and 2014, a public health disaster of the same magnitude as the loss of life caused by HIV/AIDS.
The increase in premiums for health insurance that North Carolinians can buy through the health insurance exchange is among the highest in the country.
These two things are related.
The 2 day single payer health care strategy conference in Chicago that began on the evening of 10/30 and ended the morning of 11/1 was one of the most energizing and crammed wall to call events I have ever attended. Hosted by Labor Campaign for Single Payer. Health Care Now, One Payer States and National […]
In July 2015, Dr. Andy Coates, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) visited North Carolina. His goal? To help us understand the next steps in ensuring that health care is a right rather than a privilege. More than 5 years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and six months since the last […]
The collateral damage is unacceptable when conflicts leach from Jones Street into bedrooms of sick children or around kitchen tables where worried people must decide between food and rent money or seeing the doctor.
The excuses have expired, including two Supreme Court decisions.
With or without privatization, continued rejection of Medicaid expansion perpetuates a scourge upon compassion and morality.
What do these recent news stories in the Observer have in common?
An insurance agent connives to sell Affordable Care Act policies to homeless people by encouraging them to report inflated incomes. ...
Health care advocates across the state call on Governor McCrory to develop a plan for Medicaid expansion, noting that hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians would benefit significantly, at little cost to the state.
A benefit concert is held to pay mounting medical bills for an artist severely injured when struck by a car.
The answer: None of these stories would exist if the United States provided health care to all – as every other developed nation does.
As a physician, I would love to see us return to the primary mission that has inspired our profession for millennia – caring for patients, listening to their stories, concentrating on their well-being – instead of filling out forms and dancing to the beat of insurance companies.
Happy Anniversary, Medicare! Let’s celebrate its success by improving it and expanding it to all.
Lang sparks wrong questionsHave you weighed in on Luis Lang, the diabetic smoker who put off getting health insurance until he was about to go blind from complications of diabetes, only to find it was too late to enroll in an Affordable Care Act policy and that he wasn’t eligible for Medicaid in South Carolina?
Apparently everyone has a position...
The problem is that this is the wrong discussion...
What’s the best model? ...
We all benefit from coverage ...
Much spending is wasted ...
America’s Health Care and Jesus This essay is seeking broader distribution and publication. It is only 1.5 pages long.
“Skin in the game.” The phrase pops up frequently in health insurance discussions, as it did twice in the recent Charlotte Observer article about high deductible policies (“A Growing Risk: High Deductible Health Plans Can Ruin Finances,” April 9). In finance, the phrase refers to high-level executives investing their own money in stock in their […]
Recent cases of Ebola virus infection in the U.S. have brought attention to the fact that we currently do not have a formally appointed surgeon general, though Rear Adm. Boris Lushniak has been serving in an acting role. The surgeon general’s role is important – especially during times of heightened concern about the public’s health. […]
On May 6, 2013, I was arrested by the North Carolina Capitol Police in front of the doors of the state Senate chamber, protesting our legislature’s decision to forgo Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For a practicing physician and professor of medicine, this was an unusual turn of events in an academic […]
Although I have never met Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby, according to news reports he has kindly offered me a deal. To avoid Wake County’s mounting court costs, he wants me to forgo my court date Monday and instead perform 25 hours of community service at an agency of my choice. Then my record […]
Polls about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) nearly always show that the law is unpopular. Despite having positive opinions about the law’s separate components, including improved coverage for kids, seniors’ meds, and pre-existing conditions, most Americans continue to cringe. Obamacare’s polling has virtually never crossed above the 50 percent approval mark. So, the North Carolina […]
Originally published here, the newspaper does not permanently retain content. This link is to a personal archive. This is the first in a five-part series on behalf of the Partnership for a Healthy Durham. Coming Sunday: Medicare changes and health care reform. The Supreme Court has spoken and “Obamacare” is the law. It changes many […]