Issues Healthcare for All/Single Payer

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It is a moral outrage for a country as wealthy as ours to leave 50 million people with no reliable access to health care and tens of millions more with inadequate or overly expensive coverage. That health care is a basic human right is not in question. This human right is codified in international declarations to which America has been a signatory for more than 60 years. Furthermore, this human rights concept lies at the core of every faith tradition that exists in humanity. We believe, in the words of health care reformer Tommy Douglas, “that people are more important than profits and man is more important than money”. Also as observed by Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr. “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

In addition, despite spending nearly twice as much as other developed nations on health care, our system performs poorly, because the private U.S. insurance bureaucracy soaks up as much as one-third of all the money and pharmaceutical interests overburden America by avoiding price competition. The real costs of poor health and poor healthcare are human death and suffering.

PDA supports enhanced Medicare for All by replacing private insurers and recouping administrative savings amounting to hundreds of billions each year and instead using those funds to expand universal and equitable access to a single standard of high-quality care for all without financial barrier. This publically financed system would rely on progressive financing and would be privately and publically delivered by healers and hospitals. But a system financed by the public —with no bills, no co-pays, no deductibles, and no medically precipitated bankruptcies – the U.S. economy, its states, and individual communities would also be strengthened. PDA also supports healthcare initiatives at the state and local level that move us toward this non-profit unified health care system.

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Medicaid Expansion: Allow Every Citizen Access to Health Insurance

Medicaid Expansion: Allow Every Citizen Access to Health Insurance

I live in a state that has refused to accept Medicaid Expansion funds. The latest reports are proof that Texas, the largest state opting out, will cut off its nose to spite its face: we could collect $100 billion in federal funds over the next 10 years if we agreed to expand Medicaid eligibility. While hospitals in other states will see a drop in uncompensated care, Texas hospitals will continue to provide $5.5 billion annually to the uninsured. It’s a little difficult to understand why politicians in our state—and others like ours–would reject the opportunity...

Deborah Mitchell | Counter Punch 05 Oct 2014 Hits:395 HCA Articles

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Switzerland rejects single-payer, will keep its own version of Obamacare

Switzerland rejects single-payer, will keep its own version of Obamacare

Besides our own health-care system, Switzerland's may be the one that gets the most attention in America because of its similarities to the Affordable Care Act's new coverage scheme. So it seems worth noting that 64 percent of Swiss voters rejected a ballot measure on Sunday that would have scrapped its own system in favor of single-payer health care. If that vote had gone through, it would have replaced more than 60 insurers with a government-run system, something that a fair number of liberals and others would like to see here,...

Jason Millman | The Washington Post 05 Oct 2014 Hits:315 HCA Articles

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Broad coalition builds for single-payer health care

Broad coalition builds for single-payer health care

The Affordable Care Act has made a dent in the glaring lack of health care for many millions of poor people in this, the wealthiest country in the world. But allowing states to op-out of providing Medicaid coverage for the poor, most often people of color, youth and those living in rural areas, means many millions more — in 23 states — have been denied access to essential health care. This disgraceful loophole in the ACA was raised at the Healthcare-NOW! national strategy conference held in Oakland, Calif., Aug. 22-24. “The...

Sue Davis | Workers World 14 Sep 2014 Hits:511 HCA Articles

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Single Payer Would Save $150 Million in Hospital Overhead

Single Payer Would Save $150 Million in Hospital Overhead

A study of hospital administrative costs in eight nations published in the September issue of Health Affairs finds that hospital bureaucracy consumed 25.3 percent of hospital budgets in the U.S. in 2011, far more than in other nations. Administrative costs were lowest (about 12 percent) in Scotland and Canada, whose single-payer systems fund hospitals through global, lump-sum budgets, much as a fire department is funded in the U.S. The study is the first analysis of administrative costs across multiple nations with widely varying health systems. It was carried out by an international team...

Stephanie Woolhandler | Single Payer Action 14 Sep 2014 Hits:874 HCA Articles

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Putting ‘Medicare for All’ on the Agenda

Putting ‘Medicare for All’ on the Agenda

Don Berwick is making a vital point about the need for progressives to expand the discussion about healthcare reform. Democratic and Republican strategists, and the candidates who let campaign consultants frame their range of opinion, are still engaging in picayune debates about the strengths and weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act. But Berwick, who for seventeen months headed the Medicare and Medicaid programs under President Obama, isn’t getting lost in the political weeds. He’s blazing a trail in the direction of what ultimately must be done—pushing at the constraints of the conversation...

John Nichols | The Nation 14 Sep 2014 Hits:774 HCA Articles

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Racial discrimination alive and well in reproductive healthcare

Racial discrimination alive and well in reproductive healthcare

This week, U.S. experts from the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective will testify before the United Nations' Committee to End Racial Discrimination in Geneva, sharing a report that describes the experiences of American women of color and immigrant women who pay with their health and even their lives for the race and gender discrimination that tirelessly persists in our health system. The meeting is part of the U.N.'s periodic review process that evaluates how signatories to the International Convention on the Elimination of...

Andrea Flynn | The Hill 17 Aug 2014 Hits:415 HCA Articles

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After Hobby Lobby: A Single-Payer Health Care Solution?

After Hobby Lobby: A Single-Payer Health Care Solution?

Now that the initial shouting and—at times—vitriol from both sides has subsided after Monday’s Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, it’s time to take a sober look at what the ruling says about the future of health care reform in the United States. The majority’s ruling was an imperfect solution to a complicated case involving the reach of religious liberty to exempt organizations from providing certain medical benefits that they find morally objectionable to their employees. The fact that these medical benefits were almost exclusively offered to women...

Fred Rotondaro and Christopher J. Hale | TIME 13 Jul 2014 Hits:1140 HCA Articles

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Countries spending the most on health care

Countries spending the most on health care

The United States currently spends more per person on health care than any other developed country. Health outcomes in the U.S., however, are among the worst. Despite weak health spending growth worldwide, a number of countries still had substantial health care budgets as of 2012. Based on data released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the U.S. led the developed world in 2012, spending $8,745 per capita on health care. Turkey, by contrast, spent just $984 per capita, the lowest among developed countries. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the...

Ashley C. Allen | USA Today 13 Jul 2014 Hits:513 HCA Articles

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ACA is paying off with access for all

ACA is paying off with access for all

The venomous politics dogging the Affordable Care Act and the flawed rollouts of its new health insurance marketplaces have too often overshadowed health reform’s noble goal: ensuring that more Americans have access to vital, potentially lifesaving medical coverage. But on Wednesday, a groundbreaking analysis released by University of Minnesota researchers offered a powerful reminder of why it’s important to keep the big picture in mind as the challenges of implementing the landmark 2010 law continue. Even though this state struggled with the balky MNsure website, historic gains were made in extending...

Editorial Board | Star Tribune 15 Jun 2014 Hits:640 HCA Articles

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Universal health care in Oregon: The HB 3260 study brings us closer

Universal health care in Oregon: The HB 3260 study brings us closer

Oregonians can take a critical step toward comprehensive health care for everyone in the state. That first step is the HB 3260 study of health care financing options. In 2013, the Oregon House Health Care Committee unanimously approved the study,  the legislative passed the measure with bipartisan support, and the governor signed it into law. Why is this HB 3260 study critical? The study authorizes the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to study four options to finance comprehensive, universal health care in Oregon. When the study is complete, the OHA will submit its report...

Samuel Metz, MD 14 May 2014 Hits:552 HCA Articles

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Rwanda Has Become a Poster Child for Health Equity: Life expectancy has doubled, and child…

Rwanda Has Become a Poster Child for Health Equity: Life expectancy has doubled, and child vaccinations rates are higher than they are in the U.S.

Twenty years ago this week, Rwanda's genocide began. Over the course of 100 days, more than 1 million people would be murdered, and after the violence ended, the country—including its health care system—was left in ruins. Cholera outbreaks were rampant, HIV was widespread and people no longer trusted the few doctors who remained in the country because of their ties (suspected or legitimate) to the genocidal regime, the Atlantic reports.  In just two decades, however, according to a new study published in The Lancet, Rwanda has gone from one of the world's most health care-deprived countries to a stand-out example...

Rachel Nuwer | Smithsonianmag.com 11 Apr 2014 Hits:700 HCA Articles

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Hawaii's trailblazing healthcare underscores disparity

Hawaii's trailblazing healthcare underscores disparity

When the giant kapok and nawa trees that tower over the Queen's Medical Center in downtown Honolulu were planted more than a century ago, Hawaii faced a health crisis. Many on the islands, including the queen who founded the hospital in 1859, feared that native Hawaiians, devastated by smallpox, measles and other illnesses brought by foreigners, were in danger of dying off completely. Today, the people who walk under these trees are some of the healthiest in America. Hawaiians live longer than their counterparts on the mainland. They die less frequently from common...

Noam Levey | Los Angeles Times 11 Apr 2014 Hits:579 HCA Articles

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$1,000-a-day miracle drug shocks U.S. health care system

$1,000-a-day miracle drug shocks U.S. health care system

Sovaldi, a new hepatitis C treatment, can cure up to 90 percent of patients within three months. There's just one problem: The drug costs $1,000 a day. That price tag has thrown the biotechnology world into turmoil, as lawmakers and insurance companies complain that Sovaldi's maker is trying to milk desperate patients. Doctors are understandably finding it hard to pass over a drug that is so effective. As a result, Sovaldi's manufacturer, Gilead Sciences (GILD), is raking in the dough, while its shares have soared 53 percent over the last year....

Kim Peterson | CBS News 11 Apr 2014 Hits:627 HCA Articles

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Single-payer health care system is needed to insure all Americans

Single-payer health care system is needed to insure all Americans

Canadians don’t drop dead or delay care due to the lack of health insurance. However in America, thousands will continue to face death according to Harvard researchers. About 25 million people will still not have insurance under Obamacare. Those that do, have seen their rates rise and contrary to the promise that “you can keep your existing plans” bullshit, working people with existing coverage and the poor will see rates not only increase, but will continue to pay a greater share of their income for health care than the wealthy...

Steven Maiken | Daily Sundial 16 Feb 2014 Hits:1053 HCA Articles

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Lawmakers push the single-payer financing issue

Lawmakers push the single-payer financing issue

Lawmakers have begun looking at how to finance a single-payer health care system that Gov. Peter Shumlin hopes will be his crowning achievement. Shumlin, a second-term Democrat, wants to launch a universal, publicly financed health care system known as Green Mountain Care in 2017. He has repeatedly told lawmakers that the financing plan to support the system, which his administration has estimated will cost $1.6 billion in its first year, will be revealed next January. But Sen. Peter Galbraith, a Democrat from Windham County, says the governor’s date is too late. He’s...

Staff | Times Argus 20 Jan 2014 Hits:624 HCA Articles

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Advocates push for single-payer health care system in Maine

Advocates push for single-payer health care system in Maine

A government-run health care system in Maine would provide universal coverage to residents, cut down on administrative costs and free businesses from the complexities of providing insurance for their employees, supporters of a single-payer model said Thursday. Advocates of a single-payer system have long been trying to implement the model in Maine with little success, but said they are hopeful that the steps Vermont officials have recently made to spearhead the effort there can help make it a reality in Maine. "Our current health care system is complicated, is inefficient, unfair and...

Associated Press | Maine Sun Journal 20 Jan 2014 Hits:582 HCA Articles

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Single Payer Is Getting a Second Life as Obamacare Frustration Peaks

Single Payer Is Getting a Second Life as Obamacare Frustration Peaks

As the rollout of Obamacare clunks forward, activists who opposed the law from the beginning say it is time to seize the moment, to tear down the current health-care edifice and start anew, especially now as frustration with the law’s implementation is reaching a peak. These are not Tea Party activists but advocates for a single-payer health-care system who say some of the problems with the launch of the Affordable Care Act—in addition to built-in problems with the law itself—have made the American public more receptive than ever to a Medicare-for-all...

David Freedlander | Daily Beast 10 Dec 2013 Hits:2566 HCA Articles

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Vermont Approves Single-Payer Health Care: "Everybody In, Nobody Out"

Vermont Approves Single-Payer Health Care:

The Affordable Care Act continues to plow ahead, despite Republican attempts to fight it at every turn.  What is unfolding in front of us is nothing short of spectacular.  The problems with healthcare.gov are slowly being resolved which is helping more and more people sign up for affordable healthcare, many for the first time in their life.  The law provides so much more than that, including standards for even the lowest level plans, protections for young adults 26 and younger, and the elimination of pre-existing plans.  Of course, you will...

Salvatore Aversa | Truth Out 08 Dec 2013 Hits:1998 HCA Articles

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After Obamacare, Can Don Berwick Implement Single-Payer In Massachusetts?

After Obamacare, Can Don Berwick Implement Single-Payer In Massachusetts?

Former CMS administrator Don Berwick is running for Governor in Massachusetts. He has an uphill battle in the ever growing primary for the Democratic nominee. Yet his controversial tenure in DC, his pursuit of the Corner Office in the state that birthed RomneyCare (a state that is home to some of the best medical research institutions in the world), and his devoted following on the left — all grant extra weight to his comments on healthcare. Berwick’s campaign released his platform on healthcare for the Bay State last week. Even with little detail,...

Josh Archambault | Forbes 08 Dec 2013 Hits:807 HCA Articles

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Website Glitches Are No Katrina

Website Glitches Are No Katrina

It's no secret that the rollout for Healthcare.gov has been somewhat of a bumpy road. Technical glitches have caused delays for folks looking to obtain insurance, and frustrated those working hard to provide coverage options for all Americans for the first time in this nation's history. While the kinks get repaired, much of the criticism has been beyond comprehension. Is it okay to highlight website problems? Yes. Is it okay to push the president to get these tech issues resolved quickly? Absolutely. But when did having website problems become the...

Rev. Al Sharpton | Huffington Post 18 Nov 2013 Hits:772 HCA Articles

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Liberals Should Fight Like Hell for Single Payer Health Care

Liberals Should Fight Like Hell for Single Payer Health Care

In my recent column in The Hill titled Obama's health care Katrina I took President Obama to task -- proudly -- for spending years telling Americans they would keep their insurance policies when he knew millions of Americans could not. I called for a solution to help these people and I called on progressives including myself to lead the fight to help them. And now, even more, it is time to do what really needs to be done and fight like hell for a public option, for Medicare for all,...

Brent Budowsky | Huffington Post 17 Nov 2013 Hits:1234 HCA Articles

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The Single-Payer Signal in the Obamacare Noise

The Single-Payer Signal in the Obamacare Noise

Whenever scandal arises in Washington, D.C., the fight between the two parties typically ends up being a competition to identify a concise message in the chaos—or, as scientists might say, a signal in all the noise. This week confirms that truism, as glitches plagued the new Obamacare website and as insurance companies cancelled policies for many customers on the individual market. Amid the subsequent noise of congressional debate and cable TV outrage, Republicans argued that the signal is about government—more specifically, they claim the controversies validate their age-old assertions that government...

David Sirota TruthDig 17 Nov 2013 Hits:1223 HCA Articles

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House Passes Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans

House Passes Bill Letting People Keep Their Health Plans

WASHINGTON — Defying a veto threat from President Obama, the House on Friday approved legislation that would allow health insurance companies to renew individual insurance policies and sell similar policies to new customers next year even if the coverage does not provide all the benefits and consumer protections required by the new health care law.        The vote was 261 to 157, with 39 Democrats bucking their party leadership to vote in favor of the bill. The legislation would go further than the fix announced on Thursday by Mr. Obama,...

Robert Pear and Ashley Parker 15 Nov 2013 Hits:689 HCA Articles

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Charlotte health advocates ask McCrory, legislature to reverse stance on Medicaid expansio…

Charlotte health advocates ask McCrory, legislature to reverse stance on Medicaid expansion

Holding signs demanding “Expand Medicaid Now,” about 60 people, including state legislators, medical professionals, clergy and health advocates gathered Thursday in Charlotte to ask the state’s Republican leaders to reverse their position and accept expansion of Medicaid benefits for the poor. “Today I am making a 911 call to Gov. (Pat) McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly,” said state Rep. Carla Cunningham, a Mecklenburg County Democrat. She and fellow Democratic state Rep. Beverly Earle have asked McCrory to convene a special legislative session to reconsider the earlier decision to reject Medicaid...

Karen Garloch | Charlotte Observer 01 Nov 2013 Hits:662 HCA Articles

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This State Is Working Toward The Nation's First Universal Health Care System

This State Is Working Toward The Nation's First Universal Health Care System

As states open insurance marketplaces amid uncertainty about whether they're a solution for health care, Vermont is eyeing a bigger goal, one that more fully embraces a government-funded model. The state has a planned 2017 launch of the nation's first universal health care system, a sort of modified Medicare-for-all that has long been a dream for many liberals. The plan is especially ambitious in the current atmosphere surrounding health care in the United States. Republicans in Congress balk at the federal health overhaul years after it was signed into law. States are...

Dave Gram | The Huffington Post 27 Oct 2013 Hits:731 HCA Articles

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Maine nurses say Obamacare doesn’t go far enough, argue for universal coverage

Maine nurses say Obamacare doesn’t go far enough, argue for universal coverage

PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine nurses group on Monday said President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, which is criticized by conservatives as overreaching, doesn’t go far enough toward universal health coverage. The Maine State Nurses Association held Monday afternoon health screenings and an evening “town hall” event at the First Parish Church on Congress Street in Portland to advocate for the expansion of the federal Medicare program to cover all Americans, regardless of age. The organization is planning to hold a second wave of screenings and another town hall event Tuesday afternoon...

Seth Koenig | Bangor Daily News 15 Oct 2013 Hits:836 HCA Articles

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Shutdown is really a showdown

Shutdown is really a showdown

Did you happen to see Jimmy Kimmel’s interesting skit last week, where he asked people on the street whether they preferred “Obamacare” or the “Affordable Care Act”? Far too many people chose the “Affordable Care Act” over “Obamacare” without realizing that they are one and the same law. Even worse, several of Kimmel’s interviewees rejected “Obamacare” after having already endorsed major pieces of it! Some of this cluelessness is no doubt because of propaganda. Some of it is no doubt because of partisan dislike of the president. But we must not...

Rev. Jesse Jackson | Chicago Sun Times 08 Oct 2013 Hits:847 HCA Articles

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Is 'Obamacare' like Canada's health-care system? 'Not even close,' critic says

Is 'Obamacare' like Canada's health-care system? 'Not even close,' critic says

Despite critics slamming "Obamacare" – the first major U.S. health-care reform passed in nearly 50 years – as "Canadian-style" health insurance, critics note that major differences between the two systems persist. McGill University Professor of Political Science Antonia Maioni said the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which went into effect earlier this week, is "not even close" to the Canadian system. "Obamacare keeps in place the basic principle of health care in the United States which is: if you want to get access to care you need to buy insurance coverage," she told...

CTVNews.ca Staff 06 Oct 2013 Hits:946 HCA Articles

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Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law

Millions of Poor Are Left Uncovered by Health Law

  A sweeping national effort to extend health coverage to millions of Americans will leave out two-thirds of the poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the low-wage workers who do not have insurance, the very kinds of people that the program was intended to help, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times. (Claretha Briscoe, left, of Hollandale, Miss., with family. She earns too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to get subsidies on the new health exchange./James Patterson for The New...

Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff | The New York Times 03 Oct 2013 Hits:936 HCA Articles

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Donna Smith: Pushing For The Real Health Care Victory of Single Payer

Donna Smith: Pushing For The Real Health Care Victory of Single Payer

Donna Smith: “The fact remains that we all have bodies and we all will someday get sick or hurt; all of us will need some level of health care.” Through all the rhetoric, the misinformation, the lack of information, the cheering and the nay-saying, and the threats and realities of government shutdowns that surrounds the Affordable Care Act (ACA), one thing remains certain: individuals will begin enrolling for health insurance at state exchanges starting on October 1, 2013. Whatever else people may think the ACA is or isn’t, it remains this country’s...

Joanne Boyer | Wisdom Voices 02 Oct 2013 Hits:913 HCA Articles

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Dr. Bill Honigman
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