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The Obamacare We Deserve

The Obamacare We Deserve

TODAY marks the beginning of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act’s new insurance exchanges, for which two million Americans have signed up. Now that the individual mandate is officially here, let me begin with an admission: Obamacare is awful. —The New York Times, 01/03/14 More »

State Single-Payer: The Next Frontier of American Healthcare

State Single-Payer: The Next Frontier of American Healthcare

If all the states were a giant family, Vermont would be the stereotypical Birkenstock-wearing, hippie cousin—just a little bit different and unafraid to reject the typical way of doing things. So perhaps it should not have been all that surprising when the Green Mountain State enacted a single-payer health care system, called “Green Mountain Care,” one year after the country kicked and screamed its way to an individual mandate. —Harvard Political Review, 12/17/13 More »

U.S. ranks near bottom on efficiency of health care spending

U.S. ranks near bottom on efficiency of health care spending

A new study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and McGill University in Montreal reveals that the United States health care system ranks 22nd out of 27 high-income nations when analyzed for its efficiency of turning dollars spent into extending lives. —PNHP, 12/16/13 More »

Gen. Colin Powell calls for universal health care in the U.S.

Gen. Colin Powell calls for universal health care in the U.S.

“We are a wealthy enough country with the capacity to make sure that every one of our fellow citizens has access to quality health care,” he said Thursday at a Seattle fundraiser for prostate cancer. “(Let’s show) the rest of the world what our democratic system is all about and how we take care of all of our citizens." —Puget Sound Business Journal, 12/13/13 More »

Texas’ Other Death Penalty

Texas’ Other Death Penalty

The first patient who called me “doctor” died a few winters ago. I met him at the St. Vincent’s Student-Run Free Clinic on Galveston Island. I was a first-year medical student then, and the disease in his body baffled me. His belly was swollen, his eyes were yellow and his blood tests were all awry. It hurt when he swallowed and his urine stank. —Texas Observer, 12/12/13 More »

Hospital Fever - Healthcare now based on unknowns

Hospital Fever - Healthcare now based on unknowns

In anticipation of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals and insurance companies nationwide have begun to cut back services. In California, Kaiser nurses recently reported that "over the last year, Kaiser has been making it harder for patients to be admitted for hospital care when sick or injured, and is sending patients home when they should still be under hospital care" (National Nurses United, Oct. 2013). —Bohemian.com, 12/11/13 More »

As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500

As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500

SAN FRANCISCO — With blood oozing from deep lacerations, the two patients arrived at California Pacific Medical Center’s tidy emergency room. Deepika Singh, 26, had gashed her knee at a backyard barbecue. Orla Roche, a rambunctious toddler on vacation with her family, had tumbled from a couch, splitting open her forehead on a table. —The New York Times, 12/03/13 More »

The real fix for Obamacare’s flaws: Medicare for all

The real fix for Obamacare’s flaws: Medicare for all

Lost amidst the well-chronicled travails of the Affordable Care Act rollout are the long term effects of people struggling to get the health coverage they need without going bankrupt. If that sounds familiar, it's because that's been the main story line of the US healthcare system for several decades. Sadly, little has changed. —The Guardian, 11/27/13 More »

Insurers restricting choice of doctors and hospitals to keep costs down

Insurers restricting choice of doctors and hospitals to keep costs down

As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals. —The Washington Post, 11/21/13 More »

“Mercy Killers” - Play explores U.S. healthcare

“Mercy Killers” - Play explores U.S. healthcare

Broadway actor Michael Milligan's performance of his one-man play, "Mercy Killers" is sponsored by a group advocating a single-payer health care system in the United States, and his writing of the show was prompted by a case of kidney stones that came when he was uninsured. —RecordNet.com, 11/07/13 More »

Maine Health Care Advocates Press for ‘Medicare for All’

Maine Health Care Advocates Press for ‘Medicare for All’

Before Saiyid Brent stopped in for a free basic health screening in Portland Monday night, his thoughts were on dinner - specifically, comfort food. But that changed after he was examined by a nurse. His prognosis? "Not so well!" he says, with a laugh. "My blood sugar was pretty good, but blood pressure not so great, which is a concern." —Maine Public Broadcasting Network, 10/16/13 More »

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

Liz Faraci, a nurse with Downeast Community Hospital in Machias, gets ready for patients Monday afternoon at Portland's First Parish Church. The Maine State Nurses Association held free health screenings Monday at the historic church to raise awareness for its efforts to push for an expansion of Medicare to cover all Americans. —Bangor Daily News, 10/15/13 More »

A single-payer system, like Medicare, is the cure for America’s ailing healthcare

A single-payer system, like Medicare, is the cure for America’s ailing healthcare

The US spends a higher proportion of GDP on healthcare than any other industrialised country – yet 50 million Americans are uninsured, as Obamacare begins. I start my approach to healthcare from two very basic premises. First, healthcare must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the healthcare they need regardless of their income. Second, we must create a national healthcare system that provides quality healthcare for all in the most cost-effective way possible. —The Guardian by: Bernie Sanders, 10/01/13 More »

BJC Healthcare to reduce health benefits for part-timers, employees say

BJC Healthcare to reduce health benefits for part-timers, employees say

St. Louis, MO--BJC Healthcare, the largest St. Louis employer, is preparing to cut health insurance benefits for some of its part-time employees. According to two part-time nurses with the BJC system, managers and Human Resources representatives recently began informing certain employees that those who do not work at least 24 hours per week will be ineligible for health benefits. —St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/18/13 More »

Hospital-acquired infections cost $10 billion a year

Hospital-acquired infections cost $10 billion a year

One out of every 20 patients who are admitted to a hospital will fall victim to an infection they pick up while there, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These infections can be serious and even life-threatening, and recent studies have estimated that as many as half of them may be preventable. —HealthDay Reporter, 09/10/13 More »

Study: Single-payer healthcare system would save billions

Study: Single-payer healthcare system would save billions

Expanding the nation’s Medicare program to cover people of all ages would save the government billions of dollars, according to a new study released Wednesday. —TheHill.com, 08/07/13 More »

Canadians Pay Taxes for Universal Health Care, and Now They’re Richer Than Us

Canadians Pay Taxes for Universal Health Care, and Now They’re Richer Than Us

Many conservatives still characterize Medicaid as “welfare,” and many think of it as such. Presumably other types of health care coverage have been “earned” (think veterans and the military, highly paid executives, union members and congressional staff). We resent our tax dollars going to “freeloaders.” Until the slicing and dicing is ended, the finger pointing, blame shifting and their attendant political wars will continue. —Portside.org, 06/25/13 More »

Study finds jump in ER-related admissions

Study finds jump in ER-related admissions

Efforts to shift patients to lower-cost healthcare settings appear to flounder as the emergency department continues to play a larger role in where and how care is delivered. —Modern Healthcare, 05/21/13 More »

Chained CPI Proposal Would Cut Social Security Retirement Benefits by About 2 Percent, on Average

Chained CPI Proposal Would Cut Social Security Retirement Benefits by About 2 Percent, on Average

The President’s new budget proposes to use the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) for computing cost-of-living adjustments in Social Security and certain other federal benefits, as well as for indexing key parameters of the tax code. —Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 04/23/13 More »

South Side isn’t ready for health emergencies

South Side isn’t ready for health emergencies

CHICAGO--As this is written, everyone wounded in the terror bombings at the Boston Marathon has survived his or her wounds. This remarkable testament to effective medical response stems largely from Boston’s exceptional health-care capacity. —Chicago Sun-Times, By Jesse Jackson, 04/23/13 More »

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