Health Reform Timeline


Overview of current issues, what’s right and what’s wrong with current law and some very important reference links

NYTimes: Coronavirus Deaths by US State and Country Over Time: Daily Tracker

Timeline of 2019-20 Coronavirus Pandemic - First case 11/17/19.

H. R. 1384, S. 1129 - Current Single Payer bills in Congress.

Setting the Record Straight on Medicare’s Overhead Costs

Health Over Profit

OECD Health Data 2017 - We spend 2.5 times as much per capita as the average of all OECD per capita spending and 40% more than the next most expensive country.

HealthCare-NOW: Legislative Pushback Guide - Why Improved Medicare for All (S. 1804, H.R. 676) will lead to a net increase of jobs and how the placement and re-training of workers laid off from insurance companies is covered in both bill.

PNHP: What is Single Payer?

PNHP: The Facts On How Much Single Payer Would Cost

PNHP: The Conservative Case for Single Payer

National Nurses United: Nurses Campaign to Heal America

Business For Medicare For All

PNHP: The Public Option Won’t Fix Our System - ...and why.

Timeline of 2019-20 Coronavirus Pandemic - First case 11/17/19.

Guardian: The ER Diaries - Daily(?) installments by an ER nurse about what the unit looks/feels like from the inside.


Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations - Not even a mention of Single-Payer M4A.

Per PNHP: “It basically perpetuates the current health policies, led by the Affordable Care Act, while adding a public option and reducing Medicare eligibility age to 60. Single payer Medicare for All is not simply an expansion of Medicare to cover everyone. It is a comprehensive revision of the financing of health care making it universal, comprehensive, efficient, effective, equitable, accessible, and affordable for everyone, for life. The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force proposal meets none of those criteria.”


Reuters: US Govt. Awards Novamax $1.6 Billion For Corona Virus - From the article: In addition: $456M to Johnson & Johnson, $486M to Moderna, $1.2B to AstraZeneca, $628M to Emergent Biosolutions.  No mention of any sort of accounting oversight as to how these companies use the money, or what the vaccine will finally cost the taxpayers per dose.


NYTimes: How a Covid-19 Vaccine Could Cost Americans Dearly - From the article: The taxpayers are giving Moderna $483M to develop a vaccine. Our government has also promised AstraZeneca $1.2B. But when the vaccine finally arrives it could still cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars per dose. It’s time to nationalize these companies, but failing that there is no reason the US couldn’t do what every other first world country does: Negotiate the price.


NYTimes: US Coronavirus Daily New Cases Soar Past 50,000 - ...the 6th new highest daily total in the last 9 days...eight states report single-day case records


Intercept: Trump Administration Is Waiving the Public’s Right to Affordable Coronavirus Treatments

Guardian: US Reports Record One-Day Increase in COVID-19 Cases As Trump Tweets Erratically

Democracy-NOW: The “Disgraceful” US Pandemic Response & How Medicare For All Could Have Saved Lives

Kaiser Health News: Investigation Into the Erosion of Public Health - “...years of budgeting and staff cuts for state and local health services have left them unprepared for the worst health crisis in a century.”


Democracy-NOW: Massive Case of Denial: COVID-19 Surges in US, Tops 10M Globally, as Pence Touts “Remarkable Progress” - From the article:

And this is what we’re dealing with all over the entire United States now, is situations where people refuse to wear a mask. They take it as a political — you know, “Don’t tread on me, baby. I have a right in America. You can’t tell me what to do.” Well, it’s true. I can’t tell you. I can’t walk in and make you put on your seatbelt, unless I’m a cop. I can’t make you wear a motorcycle helmet, unless I’m a cop. But both of those are things that affect only you. You know, everybody in your car won’t die because you didn’t wear a seatbelt, but you will die.

But this is a situation where we’re asking you to be a good citizen and give a damn about the people around you. And if you can’t do that, if you can’t manage to care about them the way you would, say, with secondhand smoking, or you would with various kinds of pollution that you might use, pesticide you spray on your front lawn as the wind blows it into your neighbor’s windows — if this is your attitude — your neighbors can just go ahead and have that pesticide because you felt like killing ants on your front lawn — then you’re not a good American, and you’re not a good Christian, and you’re not a good spiritual being. You’re a jerk.”


Guardian: Health Secretary: ‘Window Is Closing’ To Stop Coronavirus As US Cases Surpass 2.5 Million

CBS News 60 Minutes: Faulty COVID-19 Antibody Tests Shipped Without FDA Review - Yet another example of Trump more concerned with re-election than the people.


Guardian: Trump Visits Private Golf Course As US Battles Rapid Surge in Coronavirus Cases -


Guardian: Pinocchio Pence Casts Off Reality And Insists Everything’s Under Control


Reuters: US Sets One-Day Record for COVID-19 Cases, Texas Pauses Reopening

NYTimes: How the Virus Won


Milbank Quarterly: US Health Care in Our Neoliberal Era - The graph at the top of the article tells quite a story.


Commonwealth Fund: Poll: An Early Look at Potential Implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic for Health Insurance Coverage - Question 5: “Millions of Americans get their health insurance through a job. Should people who get health insurance through their employers have the option of getting similar coverage at a similar cost through government-regulated and -subsidized health plans?” 75% said Yes, including 65% of Republicans.

Here’s a question that PNHP proposes:

Would you prefer a government plan that covered all necessary health care with no deductibles or copayments and allowed free choice of any physician or hospital even though that meant that you could not choose an employer-sponsored plan that required deductibles and copayments and limited you to a list of physicians and hospitals selected by the insurer?


National Bureau of Economic Research: Misinformation During a Pandemic - Conclusion: Listening to Fox News can get you killed.


Visual Capitalist: The Growth of COVID-19 In The US, By State Peak Date - States peaking right now: TX, SC, OR, OK, NV, NC, FL, CA, AZ, AL. Florida Could be the Next Epicenter of Covid-19


Guardian: Fauci Says US ‘Still in the First Wave’ As Six States See Record Covid-19 Cases - Trump is already lying about the number of people who will attend the Tulsa rally, just as he has done many times in the past.


NYTimes: Oxford University: Inexpensive Drug Shown to Reduce Coronavirus Deaths In Patients Receiving Respiratory Support

Reuters: Record Spike in New Coronavirus Cases Reported in 6 US States As Reopening Accelerates

Reuters: Covid-19 Cases Surging in Alabama, South Carolina and Oklahoma


JAMA: Health Care Policy After the Covid-19 Pandemic - JAMA is not quite there yet, but this article comes very close to advocating for Single Payer.

Propublica: How Rich Investors, Not Doctors, Profit From Marking Up ER Bills


New England Journal of Medicine: Diagnosing and Treating Systemic Racism

Guardian: Nine California Counties Report Spike in New Coronavirus Cases or Hospitalizations

Guardian: ‘An American Fiasco’: US Hits Grim Milestone: 2 M Covid-19 Cases - This is a marathon, and we’ve only see the first 100 yards.

Common Dreams: ‘Lethal Inequality’: New Study Shows More Thank 18 Million At High Risk of Covid-19 Lack Adequate Health Insurance

Journal of Internal Medicine: 18.2 Million At Severe High Risk of Covid-19 Lack Adequate Health Insurance


PNHP: Covid-19 and Health Financing: Perils and Possibilities - If nothing else, just read the 3 paragraph Abstract.


Newsweek: Coronavirus Cases Are Rising in 20 US States, With Sharp Spikes in Arizona, North Carolina and California - and Here, Here, Here and Here


Law and Political Economy: Flattening the Curve and Closing the Gap: The Civil Rights of Health During a Global Pandemic


Health Affairs: Accountable Care Organizations’ Increase in Non-physician May Signal Shift for Healthcare Work Force - Per the article:  The original idea was that ACOs would increase the quality of care and decrease the costs overall. They are failing on both counts. And now the corporations running them are trying to shave costs by using more non-physicians. That’s only going to decrease the quality of care received by sick people who use them.


AMA Statement on President Terminating US Relationship with WHO - Per the article:

"In the grip of a global pandemic that has already killed more than 100,000 Americans, severing ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) serves no logical purpose and makes finding a way out of this public health crisis dramatically more challenging. This senseless action will have significant, harmful repercussions now and far beyond this perilous moment, particularly as the WHO is leading worldwide vaccine development and drug trials to combat the pandemic. COVID-19 affects us all and does not respect borders; defeating it requires the entire world working together. In the strongest terms possible, the American Medical Association urges the president to reverse course and not abandon our country’s leadership position in the global fight against COVID-19.”

Here we are with yet another existential crisis (I count 4 so far: climate, Covid, economic meltdown, social unrest) since Cheeto-Head took office and he reverts to a 3 year old.


NBC News: Covid-19 Cases Surge in CA, AL, and VA


NYTimes: Wealthiest Hospitals Got Billions in Bailout for Struggling Health Providers - Welfare for the rich, Austerity for everyone else.


Democracy-NOW: Crowded & Desperate Rohingya in World’s Largest Refugee Camp Face Covid and Cyclone - Study shows that over 1 million children could die as result of Covid.


Visual Capitalist: Covid-19 in Context: How Many People Die Each Day?


Democracy-NOW: Healthcare Industry Sees “Potential Bonanza” of Profits in COVID-19 Crisis


Politico: Fauci and Brix’s Public Withdrawal Worries Health Experts


Democracy-NOW: Trump Death Clock: Times Square Billboard Tallies Lives Lost to Covid-19 Inaction


Public Citizen: Insurers’ Offers of Free Care for Coronavirus Are Often Confusing and Limited - Get sick now, or you probably won’t be covered.


Axios: States Where the Virus is Spreading Fastest

World Federation of Trade Unions: Statement On Business Games Related to Covid-19 Vaccine - Meanwhile Trump is urging the Supreme Court to strike down ACA and we’re still waiting for that “much less expensive and much better” replacement health plan that he promised.

Health Affairs: Switching From Medicare Advantage to Medicare After the Onset of Disabilities - What this study shows is that patients in the MA program tend to switch to regular Medicare after the onset of disabilities. From the article:

“Limited provider networks may affect the quality of care and satisfaction of MA beneficiaries, as older adults in Medicare Advantage are more likely than those in traditional Medicare to be served by skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies with lower quality ratings. Limited networks and less flexible options may especially challenge people with disability, who often rely on caregivers. The additional coordination needed to find in-network, accessible providers in MA plans may be a barrier. This raises the concern that participation in Medicare Advantage poses unique barriers to care for older adults with disability. This is especially worrisome given that this population is highly vulnerable, with high levels of health needs and risk of significant morbidity and mortality—especially if their needs are not met.”

The inclusion of the private sector was advertised to bring lower costs and higher quality healthcare delivery. This is another example of just the opposite in practice.


Milken Review: A Lesson for America: Taiwan’s Single-Payer National Health Insurance


Atlantic: Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice

NBC News: Experts Sound Alarm Over Inaccurate Antibody Tests - 150 different antibody tests on the market have not been FDA approved. The reported numbers of people with the virus are highly inaccurate.

Global News Wire: The Covid-19 Pandemic - Another poll - NORC at U of Chicago - shows the vast majority of Americans want ‘a government run system.’ 59% of Republicans, agree that "it is the federal government’s responsibility to provide quality healthcare for all Americans. Also, almost all agree, including 66% of Republicans, that during the coronavirus attack "people should have access to quality medical care, regardless of citizenship status."


Politico: Bernie Sanders: Here’s How to Cover Uninsured Americans During the Pandemic - Meanwhile, as the corporate dems and large corporations prepare to dole out corporate welfare in the $Billions to themselves, Joe Biden’s rise to de facto party nominee “was a relief to the health care industry.


CBS News: The Coronavirus Response: Why Wasn’t America Ready? - A very good timeline regarding Trump’s many mistakes during every phase of this crisis, including the dismantling of the Office of Global Health Security and Biodefense at his own National Security Council in May, 2018 originally suggested by John Bolton. This is the group whose sole task was to make sure that the US was prepared for a pandemic like the one we have now.


NBC News: Elective Surgeries Set to Resume, With Complications and Concerns - For anyone considering a non-emergency procedure, this is worth a read.

NYTimes: Prescriptions Surged as Trump Praised Drugs in Coronavirus Fight

SNL: A Few Words From Dr. Fauci


The Hill: Poll: 69% of Voters Support Medicare for All

Counter Punch: The World’s Most Unfair Health Care System


Common Dreams: COVID-19 and the Myth of  ‘Choice’ In American Healthcare


NYTimes: Is the Virus on My Clothes? My Shoes? My Hair? My Newspaper? - Stay calm and wash your hands.

Commonwealth Fund: Catastrophic Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs: A Problem Mainly for Middle-Income Americans With Employer Coverage


The Nation: No, Italy is Not the Case Against Medicare for All - “Joe Biden weaponized the Italian health care system—which has been besieged by one of the world’s most lethal outbreaks of Covid-19—against universal health care during the March 15 Democratic presidential debate. “With all due respect to Medicare for All,” he said, “you have a single-payer system in Italy. It doesn’t work there.””

Completely false. Hillary Clinton all over again. Clearly the Democratic party doesn’t care whether they win in November or not.


Reuters: S. Korea Set to Ship Coronavirus Testing Kits to US - While Trump (with full knowledge of what was coming) and Fox News were saying that this was all nothing to worry about, S. Korea was testing 15,000 people per day, locked down the country and forcing those with the virus into mandatory quarantine. As of this writing, S. Korea’s daily increase is in the low double digits, while we have so many that it is straining the medical community to the breaking point (over half a million cases, daily increases in the triple digits), and people are still shopping with no gloves or face protection.

I remember when the USA would ship CARE packages to starving countries around the world, for free. But in this case, Trump has made sure that private companies will profit by selling the test kits to the highest bidder.

NYTimes: How Biogen Became a Coronavirus Super-Spreader


CNN: Sweden Challenges Trump -- And Scientific Mainstream -- By Refusing to Lockdown - And they are paying the price.


ABC News: Intelligence Reports Warned of Coronavirus Crisis as Early as November - Per the article, it was clearly portrayed to Trump that it could become a “cataclysmic event”, and he could have “ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier”.


Annals of Internal Medicine: Converging US Epidemics: COVID-19 and Lack of Health Insurance


Intercept: After Coronavirus, Never Forget: Republicans Recklessly Put Our Lives in Danger -

Never. Great short article naming the people who originally and persistently claimed that Coronavirus was nothing to worry about. WMDs in Iraq all over again.


ABC News: Alabama Projected to Have 4th Highest Rate of Covid-19 Fatalities In Nation


Kaiser: Various Polls: Public Opinion on Single-Payer, National Health Plans and Expanding Access to Medicare

NYTimes: Cities That Went All in on Social Distancing in 1918 Emerged Stronger for It

CPWR: Health Coverage in the Construction Industry - As you read this keep in mind that this is what those who want to keep ACA are trying to protect.


Democracy-NOW: As US Reels From Covid-19, Trump Backs Gilead’s Exclusive Patent on Treatment and Suspends EPA Rules - Just as George Conway predicted.

CBS News: Coronavirus in Pittsburgh: Pitt Researchers Unveil Potential Covid-19 Vaccine


The Hill: The Threat of Coronavirus Medical Bankruptcy


NYTimes: As Governors Plead for Tests, Trump Promises Ventilators to Europe - This man is grossly endangering the citizens of America. His only interest is his own re-election.

NYTimes: Days After a Funeral in a Georgia Town, Coronavirus ‘Hit Like A Bomb’ - Root cause: They had no testing kits, and still don’t have enough.

Guardian: Seven of Donald Trump’s Most Misleading Coronavirus Claims


NYTimes: Saez and Zucman: Jobs Aren’t Being Destroyed This Fast Elsewhere. Why is That? - “It’s not too late to start protecting employment or to make medical care for Corvid-19 Free. The big battles — be they wars or pandemics — are fought and won collectively. In this period of national crisis, hatred of the government is the surest path to self-destruction."

Guardian: Czechs Get to Work Making Masks After Government Decree - Here’s an example of what works.

MSNBC: Yasmin Vossoughian Interviews Joe Biden on Single Payer Healthcare - MSNBC’s Yasmin Vossoughian: "Our health care system seems to be crumbling underneath this crisis. There is not enough support for the health care system; there is not support for the American people inside of the health care system. Are you now reconsidering your position when it comes to single payer health care?"

Former Vice President Joe Biden: "Single payer will not solve that at all."

Democrats chose this guy over Bernie Sanders.


Guardian: Millions of Americans Are About to Lose Their Health Insurance in a Pandemic

Mid-City News: Justice Department Accuses Anthem of Medicare Advantage Fraud - Here is just one example where M4A could save $100 million/year.


Guardian: How Ventilators Work and Why They Are So Important in Saving People With Coronavirus

American Council on Science and Health: Can One Ventilator Treat Two Patients? - And now there is talk about special fittings to put 4 patients, all with differing degrees of pulmonary distress, on one ventilator and expecting to coordinate their breathing.


Democracy-NOW: Frontline NY Nurses Lack Protective Masks & Ventilators, Say Worst is Yet to Come

NBC News: Inside Iceland’s Unique response to Combating Coronavirus

Health Affairs: Medicare for All: The Social Transformation of US Health Care


Intercept: Trump Says America’s Ventilator Shortage Was “Unforeseen.” Nothing Could Be Further From the Truth.


Democracy-NOW: “Hope Is Not A Strategy”: Emergency Doctor Asks “Where Are the Tests? Where Is the Protective Gear”


Clean Technica: Elon Musk Should Have 1000 Ventilators Next Week and 250,000 N95 Masks Tomorrow - The article points out that Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong had strong leadership and a well understood coarse of action from day one. “Trump downplayed the threat and yelled at journalists.” As a result, “US will soon be the hardest hit country in the world.”: #TrumpMeltdown

— Peace Is Active (@peaceisactive) March 21, 2020

Covered CA: The Potential National Health Costs Impacts to Consumers, Employers, and Insurers Due to COV-19 - Just check to ‘Highlights’.

NYTimes: Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis - Some really good sources here.

Santa Fe New Mexican: Why the US Failed the Coronavirus Test

Corpus Christi Caller: The Hoax That Wrecked the Stock Market


NYTimes: Corona Virus Could Overwhelm US Without Urgent Action, Estimates Say

Politico: Emergency Coronavirus Funds For Native Americans Healthcare Stalled in the Trump Bureaucracy - Draining the swamp?

Reuters: How One Elite New York Medical Provider Got Its Patients Coronavirus Tests - This should be criminal, but instead it is openly advertised. That’s how the ‘free market’ works.


Kaiser: Sebelius, Looking Back at ACA - Kathleen Sebelius:  “Frankly, it probably would have been better to be a government takeover of health care. We got blamed for it. And yet we really didn’t do that. We ran most of this through the private system. So costs are still blossoming out of control. We’ve talked about how the public option would have been a lever for that, which we don’t have. Surprise billing wasn’t even an issue until investment bankers began buying specialty practices and figuring out, Oh, there’s a new way to make money.

And, I also think, often the Affordable Care Act is blamed for employers shifting massive costs onto their employees in employer-based health care plans, which weren’t really tampered with by the Affordable Care Act. That was always to be left alone. So we own all the bad.”

Curious how all of the politicians that could have done this correctly in the first place have such clear hindsight once their damage has been done. Or could it be that they no longer have access to the lobbyists’ check books.


Institute of Public Accuracy: During Pandemic, Biden Lies About Healthcare


Visual Capitalist: Infographic: Visualizing the History of Pandemics

Guardian: “He’s An Idiot”: Critics Say Trump Has Failed the US

Washington Post: Why Outbreaks Like Coronavirus Spread Exponentially, And How to “Flatten the Curve”


Snopes: Did Trump Administration Fire the US Pandemic Response Team? - True. And it was John Bolton that advised Trump to do so.

Democracy-NOW: Meet the 17-Year-Old Behind The Website Tracking Coronavirus Cases That is Now a Vital Global ResourceHere is his web site.


Philadelphia Inquirer: Trump Should Take a Lesson from S. Korea on Coronavirus and Get Moving on Testing Now - S. Korea is testing around 15,000 people per day. The US has not yet tested 15,000 in total, because Trump/Bolton disbanded the global health security and biodefense team of the National Security Council in May of 2018, and Here.

Bloomberg: US Coronavirus Response Marred by Overconfidence and Delays


NYTimes: Strikes and Attack Ads: The Hard Roads to Universal Health Care

Medium: Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now - Flatten the curve: Social Distancing (stay home), Containment (all cases: identified, controlled, isolated), Mitigation: lockdowns.

The coronavirus is coming to you.

It’s coming at an exponential speed: gradually, and then suddenly.

It’s a matter of days. Maybe a week or two.

When it does, your healthcare system will be overwhelmed.

Your fellow citizens will be treated in the hallways.

Exhausted healthcare workers will break down. Some will die.

They will have to decide which patient gets the oxygen and which one dies.

The only way to prevent this is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.

That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.


Health Affairs: Medicare For All: If Not Now, When?


NYTimes: With Coronavirus, ‘Health Care for Some’ is a Recipe for Disaster

Forbes: For the US, Coronavirus Lessons to be Learned from China, S. Korea

Guardian: Trump’s Devaluing of Science is a Danger to US Coronavirus Response - Trump doesn’t understand what a clinical trial is, and thinks the Moon is part of Mars.

Guardian: Trump Hurls Insults as 21 Cases Confirmed on Cruise Ship


Democracy-NOW: Coronavirus Is Best Case For M4A

Economic Policy Institute: Fundamental Health Reform Like ‘Medicare-for-All’ Would Help the Labor Market


JAMA: Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan - Taiwan (and S. Korea) have done everything right and apparently greatly limited the contagion and subsequent deaths. Trump has done everything wrong. He slashed and burned every government agency not related to war, including the agency that was specifically created to coordinate a national response to an outbreak like C-19. With limited testing, we have no idea who is carrying the disease with no apparent symptoms and currently infecting others. This will ultimately cause a very large number of unnecessary deaths, and possibly millions of bankruptcies, and Here.


MSN: Here’s Why Obamacare Would Likely Make Any Coronavirus Vaccine Free for Patients - and Prove Critical In Fighting the Disease - But the 30 million Americans who make just enough to be disqualified from Medicaid, but not enough to be able to afford health insurance apparently are still left out.


Hopbrook Institute: Economists Conclude that M4A Would Be Considerably Less Expensive Than the Current System

Guardian: Millions of Uninsured Americans Like Me Are a Coronavirus Time Bomb - When this pandemic starts to spread, how is the American healthcare system and the American economy going to cope with the 30 million Americans who have no health insurance? They can’t afford to go to the doctor if they get sick, so they are going to stay home unnecessarily infecting many more. Meanwhile Trump and his cronies, such as Alex Azar, prioritize pharmaceutical corporation profits over vaccinating poor people, thus making a rapid spread of the disease, and a breakdown of our economy almost inevitable. But hey, don’t worry because Mike Pence has Got This!


Health Care Finance: Health Insurers Are Abruptly Terminating Physician Contracts


Snopes: True: The Trump Admin Fired the US Pandemic Response Team In 2018 to Cut Costs - #Covid-19


Kaiser Health News: Needy Patients ‘Caught in the Middle’ As Insurance Titan Drops Doctors - United Health Care/Optum takes good care of its shareholders.


The Hill: 22 Studies Agree: ‘Medicare For All’ Saves Money


Health Affairs: How Administrative Spending Contributes to Excess US Health Spending


PNHP: Publicly Traded Health Insurance Corporations Have Taken Over - 7 corporations control $1 Trillion, or 1/3 of the entire US health care market. These are corporations that are obliged to put profits over patients’ welfare. In 2019, their profits increased 66%, boosting their net income to $35.6 Billion.


The Lancet: Improving the Prognosis of Health Care In the USA - This study, from Yale University, concludes that Medicare For All would save $450 Billion and 68,000 lives per year. Discussion on Democracy-NOW, and Here. Currently the US pays more than twice the average per-capita and %GNP costs of all other developed countries, we have some of the worst medical outcomes (longevity, child mortality, obesity, etc.), and we pay 50% more then the next most expensive countries - Switzerland, Norway. The majority of Americans are in favor of Medicare For All. Polls: Kaiser 1/30/20, CBS 10/15/19, Kaiser 1/23/19, Hill/Harris 10/22/18, Pew-Ipsos 8/23/18,  Economist (item 81) 4/4/17, Pew 1/13/17, Gallup 5/16/16. But America is not a democracy, it’s an oligarchy. So the majority doesn’t matter anymore.


Children’s Defense Fund: The State of America’s Children 2020 - “One in six children in America (12 million) lives in poverty, with income inequality having grown to the widest gap our nation has seen in 50 years. Millions of children are homeless and millions more are just one missed paycheck away from losing their homes. Far too many children lack access to quality early childhood care during the most critical years of brain development. For the first time in a decade, the number of children without health coverage is on the rise. And across the country, from urban centers to rural towns, our nation’s gun violence epidemic is killing more children, more often.”

Also according to the study, about 1.4 million children experience homelessness in a given year, double the number before the 2008 recession, and 500,000+ are homeless on any given night.

About 428,000 children are in foster care on any given day, and that number has risen every year for the past 4 years. About 11 million children in America go to bed hungry every night.

John P. Geyman, MD: Long-Term Care in America: The Crisis All of Us Will Face In Our Lifetimes


Guardian: Health Experts: US Underprepared for Coronavirus Due to Trump Cuts

Foreign Policy: Trump Has Sabotaged America’s Corona Virus Response - #Covid-19


Health Affairs: Why Medicare Advantage Plans Are Being Overpaid by $200 Billion and What to Do About It


Vox: In the UK’s Health System, Rationing Isn’t a Dirty Word


Annals of Internal Medicine: American College of Physicians (ACP): Envisioning a Better US Health Care System for All - This is a very long article, but it marks another milestone in the fight for Single-Payer. This is because the ACP, which represents doctors more closely than the AMA, has officially endorsed Single-Payer as one of two ways to achieve universal coverage for a reasonable cost. The other one of the two is a public option, but here’s why that won’t accomplish those goals. The ACP is the largest organization dedicated specifically to patient care, while the AMA has become mostly a lobbying group and a physicians’ guild.


Jacobin: The Labor Movement Should Be Fighting for Medicare-For-All, Not Expensive, Limited Employer-Based Plans


Public Library of Science: Projected Costs of Single-Payer Financing - Simplified billing, negotiated drug pricing, and global budgets for hospitals (just like police and fire departments) are the main drivers of the $500 billion yearly savings.


Truth or Fiction?: 500,000 Will Go Bankrupt This Year From Medical Bills? True

Truth or Fiction? Did a Study Find US Healthcare System Costs 4 Times More to Run Than Canada’s Single-Payer System? True

NYTimes: How the Healthcare Industry Invented the ‘Choice’ Talking Point - Even some Democrats are using it.


American Prospect: What Medicare for All Really Looks Like - Canadian Medicare is way better than the corporate-greedy system in the USA, but it does have its faults. The Single-Payer outlined at Physicians for a National Healthplan and the Bernie Sanders plan covers those errors. “The Canadian system is good, but underfunded,” says Steffie Woolhandler. “The American system is shitty but over-funded.”


Annals of Internal Medicine: Health Care Administrative Costs in the United States and Canada, 2017 - From this article: Health care paperwork cost US $817 Billion in 2017, 4 times more than Canada. A Single-Payer system would have saved the US over $600 Billion in overhead alone. Overhead costs of doctors, hospitals, long-term care and health insurance were 34.7%, or over 1/3.

Excluding Medicare Advantage, Medicare overhead is less than 2%.

Washington Post: American Families Are Required to Pay the Equivalent of an $8,000 Health Care Poll Tax


Sun Port Charlotte: Is Medicare For All a Good Idea? - The best, short summarization ever of why it is.


NYTimes: In the US, an Angioplasty Costs $32,000, Elsewhere? Maybe $6,400


NYTimes: Crisis Looms in Antibiotics As Drug Makers Go Bankrupt - As previously noted here, some drug-resistant bugs can alter their own DNA on the fly, and Here, to resist all currently known antibiotics. Back in 2012 the FDA lifted all limits on the use of tetracycline and penicillin in livestock. It’s clear that the use of antibiotics in livestock feed is fueling the increasing resistance of superbugs that attack humans, however the FDA has its hands tied when attempting to tighten restrictions. The statistics on the increase in the number of Americans who die yearly as a result of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and how we are falling behind in addressing this issue is very scary, not only on livestock farms, but also in fish.


National Bureau of Economic Research: Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed - The exact opposite finding of what neo-liberal, austerity promoting politicians would have you believe.


CA Medical Assoc: Looming Anthem/Cottage Termination Could Have Negative Impact on Patient Access in Santa Barbara Area - Hospital corporations and insurance corporations fight it out while sick people suffer. Wouldn’t happen with M4A.

Democracy-NOW: “The First Cell”: Dr. Azra Raza on Why the ‘Slash-Poison-Burn’ Approach to Cancer Has Failed


PNHP: CBO Report on Distribution of Household Income 2016 - 2021


Wendell Potter: The Current System Has Choices?


Otherwords: Who’s Afraid of Medicare for All? - “If the Democratic Party won’t stand up for the transformative structural changes that America’s middle and low-income majority clearly wants and needs, why would those people stand up for Democrats?”


The Hill: ‘Medicare for All’ Backers Notch Win With High-Profile Hearing


Health Affairs: Medicare For All Would Improve Hospital Financing - A fact based article refuting the voices that claim that 100’s of hospitals would close under M4A. The secret is ‘global financing’ like the way the fire and police departments works, and eliminating the bureaucracy in the hospitals dedicated to filing claims against dozens of private payers.


PNHP.ORG: National Healthcare Spending; But What’s the Real Story? and CMS Office of Actuary - US healthcare spending rose 4.6% in 2018, to $3.6 Trillion, 17.7% of GNP - $11,172 per person - almost 20% of median household income. About 30 million Americans remain without any coverage at all and that number is also expected to increase over time. We’re the only OECD country without some form of government subsidized universal healthcare. Under current law it will reach $6 Trillion by 2027. And for this what do we get? Per OECD Health Data - out of the 44 ‘first world countries’, the US ranks 28th in life expectancy and 33rd in child mortality. We are first in cost of health care dollars per capita, as a percent of GNP, and in absolute dollars. Disgraceful.


PNHP: The Public Option Won’t Fix Our System - ...and why.


JAMA: Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the US, 1959 - 2017 - The corporate run healthcare system is failing us. US life expectancy has steadily decreased since 2014, unlike every other advanced country. Cause? mainly citizen inaction.

Boston Globe: Bucking Industry Line, Some Hospital Chiefs See Benefits of Medicare for All


Politico: “There’s a Fear Factor, A Fear of Change”


Commonwealth Fund: Trends in Employer Health Care Coverage 2008-2018: Higher Costs for Workers and Their Families - The title says it all. Despite ACA, the cost for medical coverage continues a steep upward trajectory, and “has outpaced the average growth in median income over the period studied.” Under “policy implications” are listed several add-ons, and kludges such as expanding ACA (how?), or adding a public option. Then buried in the last paragraph: “Others have suggested eliminating all private insurance and replacing it with a public plan like Medicare...”

How sad that Commonwealth Fund essentially dismisses this approach by treating it as an unattainable aspiration, when all that’s needed is the political will to get it done.

This whole-corporate driven system, aka capitalism, needs some serious disruption.


Common Dreams: Democratic Naysayers Are Wrong on Medicare for All

Reuters: 3 Separate Polls Reveal Majority of Americans Want Medicare for All - Kaiser: 53%, Progressive Change: 66%. However, corporate lobbying has been successful at confusing a large chunk of America that they would be better off with the ‘known’ (ever increasing premiums, deductibles, co-pays, out of network costs, unaffordable life-saving drugs), than the ‘unknown’ Medicare for All.


Robert Reich: The Real Deal With Medicare For All

Journal of General Internal Medicine: The Effect of Large-Scale Health Coverage Expansions In Wealthy Nations on Society-Wide Healthcare Utilization - “This important study looked at 13 large coverage expansions in 11 nations and found that, by and large, utilization increases were fairly negligible, thus increases in costs and rationing were also negligible. The change that did seem to occur was that there was a limited redistribution of care from low-value care for the healthy and wealthy to essential care for the sick and poor - an actual improvement in health care delivery.”


Critics of M4A like to trot out their groundless canards that if it comes about doctors and hospitals will be swamped and sick people will be forced to wait unreasonable times to receive healthcare. This study uses empirical evidence to show that would not happen.


Washington Post: Elizabeth Warren Is No Longer a Medicare-For-All Purist - She’s back peddling. She’s never had any intention of doing it.

FTI Consulting: Assessing the Impact of a Public Option - FTI is “an alliance of American hospital, insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists,” so it’s clear what their intentions are. It’s amusing because they arrive at the conclusion that a Public Option would put them at a competitive disadvantage. And yet these are the same neo-cons that are always telling us that more competition is good because it drives out inefficient producers and reduces costs for the consumer.

But the report was not written for the public. It was written as a call for action, for distribution to their member corporations. So look for more ‘public service’ spots telling us how bad the Public Option would be for the consumer. Just more corporate lies.


Center for Economic and Policy Research: Energy and Health Insurance Drive Inflation Higher - Health insurance overhead was up over 20% in 2019. Insurers fuel the increase with their insatiable need for profit, executive level compensation and advertising. Medicare for All would save the US at least $500 Billion per year.

Fierce Healthcare: Blues Plans to Launch “High-Performance” Networks in 2021 - By “High-Performance,” what they really mean is a very narrow in-network set of providers, from whom they can extract the lowest possible costs. It reduces both choice and competition. Result: Higher profits for the Blues, more cost and foregone healthcare for the patients. Again, a more fragmented and dysfunctional healthcare system. It doesn’t have to be that way.


Gallup: Millions in US Lost Someone Who Couldn’t Afford Treatment - 34+ million. We know the simple solution. Do we just walk away?


NYTimes: With Medical Bills Skyrocketing, More Hospitals are Suing For Payment - Typically against poor patients who thought they had health insurance.


Intercept: Joe Biden Campaign Pointing Reporters to Larry Summers For Comment on Elizabeth Warren’s Health Care Plan - American politics has become just a straight up over-dramatized Kabuki Play. The players all change rolls depending on the season, but the end results never change.

Although cheeto-head has added more lobbyists and insider alligators to the swamp than probably any president in history, Obama certainly did his share as well. And now they live on as the neo-liberal wing of the party.

Examples: Kathleen Sebelius Sec. of HHS, now employed as a board member of Devoted Health, a firm specifically created to sell Medicare Advantage plans. Here’s why that program is a neo-liberal’s dream and, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here. Former Biotech Governor of the Year Tom Vilsack: Sec. of Agriculture. Monsanto provided the jet that Vilsack used to travel the state of Iowa during his gubernatorial campaign. Former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael R. Taylor appointed to Food Safety Czar at FDA. Former Citigroup exec. Sec. of Treasury Jack Lew. Penney Pritzker Sec. of Commerce, heir to Hyatt fortune, anti-union, illegal-alien-exploiting, former part owner of Superior Bank, which crashed leaving 1,400 people without their life savings but making her rich.  Keystone XL and fracking promoting Ernest Moniz Sec. of Energy. Charter school and education privatization promoter Arne Duncan Sec. of Education. The appointment of Jeffrey Immelt, Chairman of GE - the biggest exporter of jobs overseas. GE makes about $5 Billion/year, pays no taxes, got a $16.1 Billion government bailout, and is sitting on about $80 billion in cash - to head Obama’s Jobs Creation Commission (Immelt must have gotten confused on which country he was supposed to create jobs in). This is not to mention Robert Rubin proteges Geithner, Larry Summers, etc., all pro austerity and willing servants of corporations.

Prior to her run as the Bernie Sanders-mimic, Elizabeth Warren extravagantly praised all of these Obama appointments on her senate web site. All that has been removed now of course. Now that she has been chosen by the DNC to syphon votes from Sanders, she has to play a brand new role, and these appointees are now portrayed as her political opponents. Naturally,  as soon as the Dem convention is over, and her job of diluting the influence of, and then killing off the progressive wing of the party is complete, she will join the fold and take more “realistic” positions. Soon thereafter, her political career will take off and she’ll go right to the top of the party - after another 4 years of cheeto-head.


JAMA: History Suggests Most Physicians Likely to Remain as Participants in Medicare

Harvard School of Public Health: Americans’ Values and Beliefs About National Health Insurance Reform - PNHP response: “What is interesting is that those opposed to a greater government role nevertheless do support health care justice in that they agree that health care should be a right regardless of ability to pay, that all Americans be treated equally in terms of the health care that they receive, that poor American families receive the same quality of health care as rich American families, and that African Americans receive the same quality of health care as white Americans.”

However, many people are so averse to change, that they would rather hang on to the current dysfunctional, grossly inefficient corporate delivery model they know, and then try to kludge onto it yet another dysfunctional fix. Are people really that stupid? Sadly, the results speak for themselves.


Guardian: Make No Mistake: Medicare for All Would Cut Taxes For Most Americans - Synopsis: It would also lead to the biggest take-home pay raise in a generation for most workers. Health insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays are essentially taxes paid to health insurance corporations. They reduce wages, are mandatory or quasi-mandatory - required by the ACA and employers with over 50 employees are required to enroll their workers in a health insurance plan.

Unlike food and clothes, there are no cheap ways to treat a heart attack, give birth or handle emergency or any medical need. Unlike haircuts or restaurant meals, everybody needs health care regardless of budget, and it’s not cheap. That’s why every advanced country except the US funds health care via taxes, determined by ability to pay. Insurance premiums are the most regressive type of tax possible, and since we know that in the US, the working class - the 50% of Americans with the lowest incomes - pay higher tax rates than the billionaires. Those billionaires should be the first place we look to help finance Improved Medicare for All.


CounterPunch: The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of Those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills - Another problem that Improved Medicare for All would solve. Wall Street again. If we give them long enough, they will soon find a way to charge for the air we breath.


PNHP: The Urban Institute’s Single Payer Cost Estimate: False Assumptions, False Conclusions


ProPublica: When Medical Debt Collectors Decide Who Gets Arrested


NYTimes: This is the Most Realistic Path to Medicare for All - Synopsis: Private health insurance is failing. Why? It is not reasonably priced, and administrative costs absorb 20% of each premium dollar, which forces more costs onto increasingly frustrated customers, while insurance companies do everything they can to avoid paying claims. Denial of in-network claims runs about 18% across the board, with some insurers denying 30%. With longer living patients, comes increases in chronic conditions, and thus ever increasing costs. No business model can withstand these pressures over the long run. The only solution: Pooling and financing at the broadest level, aka Single Payer Medicare for All.

About the author.


Universal Health Reform: Congressional Budget Office Report on Single Payer: A Good Start


Houston Chronicle: United Healthcare Takes Choice of Hospital Away From 100,000 Plan Members - This affects plan members enrolled in employer-sponsored plans and Medicare Advantage. These members will lose access to 8 hospitals and 800 physicians. So much for those who say the private market can provide more choices. United is reducing choices of hospitals, physicians, and benefit plans.

Axios: Health Care’s Fraud and Abuse Laws Are Getting Overhauled...and not for the better.


The Nation: The ‘Public Option’ on Health Care is a Poison Pill - ‘Incrementally’ achieving Medicare For All is not possible. This article explains why.


Health Affairs: Lower Drug Costs Now

Presidential Proclamation: Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Cannot Afford Health Care - Trump and the complicit Republican Congress want to make sure that immigrants have health care, but waived the requirement for that very thing from ACA. Far more Americans cannot afford health care, about 30 million, than immigrants. It’s another problem that Medicare for All would solve.


Public Citizen: By Increasing Corporate Power Over Medicare, Trump Threatens Health Care for Seniors and Americans With Disabilities


National Bureau of Economic Research: Does Medicare Coverage Improve Cancer Detection and Mortality Outcomes? - “This study provides the first evidence to our knowledge that near-universal access to Medicare at age 65 is associated with improvements in population-level cancer mortality, and provides new evidence on the differences in the impact of health insurance by gender.”


Kaiser Family Foundation: 2019 Employer Health Benefits Survey - To hear the media tell it, this is Americans’ favorite type of health care. Findings: Premiums have risen at over twice the rate of inflation. That great insurance that the media keeps telling us we want to keep has also failed to provide adequate financial protection for low- and middle-income families, and isn't even offered to 43 percent of the workforce.

California Health Care Foundation: A Closer Look at Medi-Cal Managed Care - In 2009 when Obamacare was first passed, private for-profit managed care was all the rage. ‘Let the free market take over and obtain efficiencies, higher quality of care and lower overall costs.’ was the mantra of the day. California led the way. Now that we have 10 years of data on these plans what are the results? Basically none of that is true.

  1. -"Among 41 quality measures collected in two or more years, more than half (59%) remained unchanged or declined."

  2. -“Quality was stagnant at best on most measures.”

  3. -"Six of the nine quality measures currently in use that are related to children declined or stayed the same."

  4. -"Medi-Cal enrollees’ rating of their experiences with their MCP were consistently below the 50th percentile nationally."

- “By ownership, most striking was the substantially lower quality scores of the for-profit MCPs, on average, relative to the nonprofit and public MCPs."

- "Counties that rely on a single public MCP (County Organized Health Systems) had on average better quality scores than counties that furnish Medi-Cal services through either a Two-Plan or competing commercial model."

- “We can conclude that for-profit, commercial Medicaid managed care plans often provide lower quality care, and levels of patient satisfaction are low.

PNHP: “More importantly, counties that rely on a single public managed care plan (County Organized Health Systems) have better quality scores than counties that rely on competing health plans, belying the claim that health plan competition improves quality. This should speak well for the single payer model of Medicare for All.”


NYTimes: Does Anyone Really “Love” Their Private Health Insurance? - “I am alive today not because of insurance companies but despite them.”


People’s Poverty Project: Medicare for All Would Cut Poverty by Over 20%


Guardian: For Rural America, Medicare For All Is A Matter of Life or Death - “Insurance firms are gobbling up airtime in Iowa to attack Medicare for All. They claim it would hurt the very same hospitals their business model has spent years bleeding dry.”


Democratic Underground: Medical Bankruptcy is An American Scandal - And That’s Not Debatable


The Hill: Medicare Advantage For All - This is the dream of most right-wing conservatives, which includes Democrats like Biden, K. Harris, and Buttigieg. It’s tempting with out-of-pocket costs very low, but that’s the idea. Get the majority signed up, drain the life out of traditional Medicare and then stick it to everybody.


National Bureau of Economic Research: Impact of Rural and Urban Hospital Closures on Inpatient Mortality - Conclusion: When hospitals close, people die. Wouldn’t happen with Improved Medicare For All.


Guardian: High Turnover, Understaffing, Low Pay: US Nurses Fight to Unionize


Politico: AMA Drops Out of Industry Coalition Opposed to Medicare Expansion - The sole purpose of this group was to fight Medicare For All. Young doctors are beginning to flex their muscle, and Here. With the loss of the AMA, this industry group is now running out of steam. It is only a matter of time, and Here.


NYTimes: Why Doesn’t the United States Have Universal Health Care? The Answer Has Everything to Do With Race. - “There has never been any period in American history where the health of blacks was equal to that of whites,” Evelynn Hammonds, a historian of science at Harvard University, says. “Disparity is built into the system.” Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have helped shrink those disparities. But no federal health policy yet has eradicated them.” There is one that would.


JAMA: Assessment of Out-of-Network Billing For Privately Insured Patients Receiving Care in In-Network Hospitals - Surprise!! You think you are insured when you go to an in-network physician who treats you in an in-network hospital. Then you get the bill. This is even worse for insured patients who have to go to an ER, but can’t find or don’t have time to go to an in-network hospital. Even if your policy says you are covered in such a situation, you aren’t if an out-of-network doctor drops by your room to take a quick peak. This study shows the trend is getting much worse. This wouldn’t happen with Single Payer.


The Hill: Elderly Couple in Apparent Murder-Suicide Indicated They Could Not Afford Medical Care - This is becoming all too common in America.


Business Insider: 59% of Americans With Employer-Based Health Care Support Moving to Medicare For All -  This directly refutes a popular right-wing canard. We also know from recent polls that 60% of American voters in general want Medicare For All: Pew Research 1/17, Gallup 5/16, and The Economist 4/17 (item 81).


Splinter News: We Will Win Health Justice in America


Kaiser Family Foundation: Financial Performance of Medicare Advantage, Individual, and Group Health Insurance Markets - This and the American Prospect articles just below are closely related. The short AP article succinctly explains how Medicare Advantage plans deny coverage - limit their marketing to younger, healthier populations, and intensely manage their HMO-like therapy strategies. This article shows just how financially successful Medicare Advantage plans are for insurance companies. Their return is about double that of the other types of health plans. Politicians such as Harris, who promote Medicare Advantage, aka ‘medicare buy in’ or ‘public option’ as a way to reach “Medicare for All” are working for insurance companies, not the people.


American Prospect: Kamala Harris’ Fake Medicare-For-All Plan - Medicare Advantage is an intensely managed HMO. It is marketed mainly to younger, healthier retirees. In both ways MA makes its profits by denying care. Harris’ plan would simply expand that private system.


Healthcare-NOW: The Politics of Race and Medicare For All - This 5 min. video explains why the USA is the only 1st world country (or is it really?) without some form of government subsidized universal health care.

National Bureau of Economic Research: The Opportunities and Limitations of Monopsony Power in Healthcare: Evidence from United States and Canada - Using its monopsony power, Canada has forced the cost of drugs down to 54% of what they cost in the US. In the US we hear that forcing big pharma to accept lower prices would stop innovation of new drugs. But the fact is that US pharma corporations spend twice as much on advertising than on R&D, and twice as much on executive salaries than on R&D, and receive 3 times, or 300% of the R&D costs back in revenues over the life of the drug.


NYTimes: How a Medicare Buy-in or Public Option Could Threaten Obamacare - Why are politicians apparently bending over backwards to preserve Obamacare?

It turns out that what seems like a simple desire: ‘Allow people to keep what they have or buy-in to Public Option/Medicare for All’ becomes very complicated when all of the details are considered.

Why do politicians want to preserve the gross inefficiencies of private insurance companies (15-20% overhead vs. 2% overhead with Medicare), the limited in-network choices, the high and rapidly rising premiums and deductibles, and limited availability of Obamacare?

All of these complications go away with Medicare-For-All, and it’s about $500 Billion less expensive per year, and Here. Even a recent Koch-funded study found that it would save at least $200 Billion.


The Hill: Medicare for All: A Voter’s Cheat Sheet


Kaiser Health News: Medicare Advantage Plans Rip-Off  Tax-Payers by the Billions


Current Affairs: Why a “Public Option” Isn’t Enough


JAMA: Association Between Care Management and Outcomes Among Patients With Complex Needs in Medicare Accountable Care Organizations - Benefits of ACO management: zero. And yet the medical community can’t seem to stop trying them and studying them. Why are there no studies or modeling of the benefits of Medicare for All?


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Think Twice When You Hear the Words ‘Public Option’ - A great, short article that encapsulates the entire case for Single Payer.


NYTimes: Some Democrats Talk About Cosmetic Surgery Insurance. It Doesn’t Exist. - When they say that, they are trying to ride the fence. They are trying to sound like they are in favor of Single Payer, but won’t come out and say that private insurance will go away when Single Payer comes online.


Critical Care Medicine: Health Insurance and Out-of-Pocket Costs in the Last Year of Life Among Decedents Utilizing ICU - What this study found is that our current method of paying for this segment of health care takes very good care of insurance companies and hospitals, but ruins patients financially. So why are politicians so anxious to keep it? Medicare For All would fix this.


ProPublica: The Nonprofit Hospital That Makes Millions, Owns a Collection Agency and Relentlessly Sues the Poor - “The only thing that kept me levelheaded was praying and asking God to help me,” she said. Praying to God to protect her from The Methodist Church.


NPR: When Hospitals Sue for Unpaid Bills, It Can Be Ruinous For Patients


US House Ways & Means Committee: Former Head of CMS Testifies in Favor of Medicare For All


Modern Healthcare: AMA Narrowly Defeats Single-Payer Healthcare - 53% - 47% is not a defeat. Given where we started in 2009, when the AMA was practically unanimous in its denial of single-payer, and when Single-Payer and Medicare For All were essentially unknown to almost everyone, this is a huge victory. The youngest doctors and medical students are now almost unanimous in their advocacy. What is really becoming clear: It’s only a matter of time.

Intercept: Ways and Means Committee Chair Doesn’t Want Medicare For All Hearing to Mention “Medicare For All” - Wait what?


John Geyman, MD: Struggling and Dying Under Trumpcare: How We Can Fix This Fiasco

Guardian: Nurses, Doctors, Med Students: Why We’re Fighting the American Medical Association


Axios: Voters Are Tuning Out the Health Care Debates - Points that voters need to focus on:

With Medicare-for-All/Single Payer...

  1. -Never have to change insurers, ever.

  2. -Free choice always of doctors and hospitals

  3. -No medical bills since care is prepaid through a highly progressive tax structure

  4. -Any increase in taxes is more than offset by the elimination of premiums, deductibles, conditions not covered, pre-existing conditions

  5. -Coverage doesn’t change if you change jobs

Neither Republican nor Democrat health reform proposals are consistent with the above.


JAMA: Single-Payer Reform - “Medicare for All” - an explanation


The Week: How Socialist Health Care Saves Lives


Forbes: Doctors to Test AMA’s Opposition to Medicare for All


AP: Medicare-For-All’s Rich Benefits Leapfrog Other Nations


Modern Healthcare: Health Inflation is Now In Insurance Rather Than Healthcare


NYTimes: ‘Medicare For All’ Could Kill 2 Million Jobs. And That’s OK  - In a nutshell, part of the plan is to retrain those affected.


LATimes: Health Insurance Deductibles Soar, Leaving Americans With Unaffordable Bills - “One in six Americans who get insurance through their jobs say they’ve had to make “difficult sacrifices” to pay for healthcare in the last year, including cutting back on food, moving in with friends or family, or taking extra jobs. And one in five say healthcare costs have eaten up all or most of their savings.”


Guardian: Ady Barkan, Activist Dying of ALS, Gives Impassioned Testimony at Medicare-for-All Hearing

Journal of General Internal Medicine: Prevalence and Correlates of Medical Financial Hardship in the USA - “137 million adults face medical financial hardship.”


NYTimes: Universal Health Care Might Cost You Less Than You Think - This is a must read. If you think of your (and your employer’s) health care premiums, deductibles, co-pays, conditions not covered, out-of-network, etc. costs as a form of tax, it then becomes clear the question is not ‘How are we going to pay for it?’ but ‘What will we do with the money we save?’

Fair: Corporate Media Are Here to Warn You: Medicare For All is a Very Bad Idea - Great article. It clearly explains why, as Single Payer gains is popularity, corporate owned media has recently increased its gloom-and-doom reporting on the subject. It’s because they are “owned by investors with stakes in highly profitable medical and pharmaceutical companies—the very same companies that supply them with millions of dollars each year in advertising. This system of interlocking and conflicting interests is rarely acknowledged by corporate media, who also rely on medical and pharmaceutical companies for funding through advertising and patronage.”


Common Dreams: America’s Biggest Lie: We Can’t Afford Medicare for All


Common Dreams: Private Health Insurance Stocks In Free Fall as Medicare for All Gains Momentum - This is people power in action.


JAMA: Workplace Wellness Programs Do Not Improve Health or Economic Outcomes - But we know something that will.


AMA Student Assoc. Endorses Medicare for All


Healthcare Dive: Healthcare Administrative Costs Will Tally $500 Billion This Year - This is 15% of total US healthcare expenditures. Currently administrative costs of traditional Medicare is under 2% and Here.


Chico Enterprise-Record: Why Butte County Needs Medicare-for-All More Than Ever


USA Today: Take it From An Economist, Medicare for All is the Most Sensible Way to Fix Health Care


American Economic Assoc.: Health Care Spending and Utilization in Public and Private Medicare - This article is a direct comparison of prices and utilization between corporate delivered Medicare Advantage (MA), and traditional Medicare (TM). TM patients can choose their doctor. MA patients can choose only from a very limited ‘network’ of providers.

From the article: MA revenues are 30% higher than their health care spending! That’s called profit. The reason is that MA markets to healthier segments of beneficiaries (lower utilization), but they engage in serious upcoding to make it appear that the patients are sicker, thus increasing revenues further.

MA patients are happy with their care, but don’t realize that the insurance corporations are being reimbursed by the government essentially the same as for the sicker TM patients, who need more specialized care.

Annals of Internal Medicine: Medicare for All and Its Rivals - “The leading option for health reform in the US would leave 36.2 million people uninsured in 2027 while annual costs would ballon to nearly $6 trillion - from $3+ trillion today. That option is called the status quo. That is unsustainable, so there will be changes. Out of the quagmire there is the opportunity for comprehensive, affordable, equitable health care for everyone: the single payer Medicare for All model.”

San Jose Mercury: Why Single Payer Would Improve California Health Care - Written by a health care wonk, very plainly explains the advantages of single-payer health care.


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: New Arkansas Data Contradict Claims That Most Who Lost Medicaid Found Jobs - 18,164 Arkansans lost Medicaid coverage in 2018 because of a draconian new law that kicks residents off of Medicaid if they aren’t able work. HHS Secretary Alex Azar told a House hearing last Tuesday that most of them found work. That was a lie. Only 1,981 (11%) found work. So 16,183 (89%) are still out of work and now don’t even have health care. Medicare for All would make this question moot.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Job Openings and Labor Turnover - Total separations in 2018: 66 million. Nothing unusual about this, but that means there were 66 million people in the USA that for one reason or another did not get to keep their health insurance policies. Also, if the US economy can absorb this many people looking for work, then the 1.6 million that now work for health insurance companies (and some estimates are much lower) can easily be absorbed when those companies no longer exist.


The Hill: Why Medicare for Some is the Wrong Idea - “Let’s get real: Commercial insurance is the biggest threat to health care choices and our freedom to receive the health care we need. Employers choose our insurers, and the insurers restrict the providers we can use, the treatments we can receive, and the prescription drugs we can take. Every year, we can be forced to change provider networks, benefits, out-of-pocket costs and, often, insurers. If we change jobs, every aspect of our health insurance changes. And, we are left to fend for ourselves if we leave the job market.”


Health Over Profit: Pharma & Insurance Gave $43M to the 130 House Democrats Not Backing Medicare For All - This article includes names and amounts. None of the leaders of the Democrapic party support this measure. That’s all you need to know about Democraps.

Democracy-NOW: The Time For Medicare-For-All Has Arrived


USA Today: Choose Your Food Based on the Facts - Another look at ‘organic’, ‘non-GMO’, and chemical additives.


Intercept: The Special Interests Behind Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All Bill Are Not the Usual Suspects - No, they are the people. You and me.


Fortune: US Health Care Spending Skyrocketed to $3.65 Trillion in 2018 - Trillion with a ‘T’.


The Nation: We Don’t Need Private Health Insurance - "Particularly hot right now is the meme that people would have to sacrifice by giving up their private insurance if we switched to single payer. But private insurers are intermediaries that use administrative mechanisms designed to reduce utilization of health care no matter how beneficial that care may be.

High deductibles and other cost sharing create financial barriers to care. Narrow provider networks limit access to health care professionals and institutions. Administrative interventions such as prior authorization requirements create additional barriers to care. And for this we pay more because of these expensive administrative functions that provide no health benefit. Besides, how many people do you know who have been able to keep their same precious private insurance plan throughout their lives? Nobody. Private insurance is an unstable method of financing health care with constant changes in providers, benefits, and in the insurers themselves, especially with inevitable changes in employment. Switching from private insurers to stable, life-long coverage is not a sacrifice, but rather it is another benefit of a single payer system."

Carving out a niche for private insurance is like knocking a whole in your floor in order to create work for a carpenter.


BAR: Pelosi Sabotages Medicare For All, Corporate Media Pretends Not to Notice


STAT: ‘Cloud of Secrecy’ in Medicare Advantage Plans Can Create an Environment for Fraud


Commonwealth Fund: Eighty Seven Million Adults Are Inadequately Insured


Intercept: Pelosi Aide Tells Insurance Executives Not to Worry About Democrats Pushing Medicare-For-All


Public Citizen: The Case for Medicare-For-All - Very short, and about the Real Medicare-For-All, not the Demopublicans’ version. One more “Key Fact” to add to its very concise list: Employees don’t have to worry about losing their medical care if they decide to quit or change jobs.


WBUR Boston: As Drug Prices Rise, is Boston’s Prosperity Based on a Moral Crime? - Capitalism is the crime. Single Payer would solve this. But money-grubbing Demopublican politicians will not let it happen.

Mario Savio had the answer (begin at 0:34).


CNN: Top Democrats Want to Keep Private Insurance in Play - The headline says it all. Despite the fact that Single Payer is the cheapest, most efficient, covers everybody, greatly reduces administrative overhead, and about 70% of Americans want it, Democrats will never make it happen.


Kaiser Health: The Uninsured and the ACA: A Primer - Before ACA, 44 million Americans were uninsured. Now there are 27 million. What a crummy result for all that work. Sure, some of this is due to Rethug shenanigans. However that was all baked in from the start by both parties under the instruction of the health insurance lobby. Obama said ‘everybody got a seat at the table’ during the negotiations before passage of the law. He lied. Single Payer advocates were frog-marched out of the building. Pathetic.


Gallup: US Uninsured Rate Rises to Four-Year High - According to the article: The uninsured rate before ACA was 18% and today it stands at 13.7%. Health care gets more and more expensive everyday, as do healthcare corporate profits. Poll after poll cited on this portal indicate that the vast majority of Americans want Medicare For All. The Rethugs have no coherent plan. The Democraps want to take us back down the ACA road. Both parties are doing the bidding of their big donors and not that of the American people. This is not democracy.


NYTimes: Trump Proposals Could Increase Health Costs for Consumers


Gatehouse News: CVS Paid Itself Far More Than Some Major Competitors - More capitalism, more corruption...and who always suffers?


Harvard School of Public Health: Poll: America’s Health and Education Priorities For the 2019 Congress - See page 10 of the overall document, POLQ1, c. Overall 68% of Americans want Medicare for All. See also entries of 12/18, and 10/22/18. At least half a dozen polls over the last two years all agree.


NYPost: AOC Slams Critics Calling Her Agenda Too Radical - Here is a recent peer-reviewed study showing that Medicare for All would save the USA $310B per year. Here is another from 2013 showing savings of $500B per year. Here is a collection of peer-reviewed studies that have looked at this same question since 1991. Even a recent Koch-funded study found that it would save $200B per year. For Anderson Cooper to ask AOC ‘how we gonna pay for it’ is more than a bit asinine. The question should really be: “What are we going to do with all the money we save by switching to Single Payer?”

Why does nobody ask ‘how we gonna pay for it’ when Congress gives away $700B per year to military contractors, an $80B increase from last year, and more than all other countries in the world combined? Or when Congress gives a $2 Trillion gift to the ultra-rich? Or when we give a $700B bail out to the banks with all sorts of conditions that were never met, and they just kept the money for stock buybacks and executive bonuses? Or when the Fed institutes “Quantitative Easing” to the tune of $4.5 Trillion.


Kaiser Health News: Coverage Denied: Medicaid Patients Suffer as Layers of Private Companies Profit - Private companies syphon off funds meant to help sick people. Their profits soar while patients die.

Health Reform 2018