Long Island Coalition for a National Health Plan

July 1, 2008

Top 10 Reasons the U.S. should adopt a Canadian style health plan

Filed under: Uncategorized — nhplan @ 1:22 am

This article was posted at the Physicians for a National Health Plan web-site, where you can find daily updates of press and letters to the editor about the single payer health care issue.

The U.S. should adopt its northern neighbor’s system of state-paid medical care for all its citizens. Pro or con?

Pro: Follow the Maple Leaf

by James Clancy, National Union of Public & General Employees (Ottawa)
Business Week

I find Top 10 lists are a useful way to quickly distill large and complicated issues down to the bare essentials. So here are my Top 10 reasons the U.S. should adopt Canada’s single-payer health-care system.

1. All Americans would have health insurance. This is the right thing to do because it reflects and promotes core values and notions of citizenship: equality, compassion, and social solidarity. Sickness doesn’t discriminate. Neither should health care.

2. Health would improve. On almost every critical measure (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.), Canada rates higher than the U.S., and we’re among the best in the world.

3. It would cost less. Canada spends 9.8% of GDP on health care, while the U.S. spends more than 15%. A single-payer system is the less expensive way to go.

4. Patients would have more choice. In Canada, patients can choose whatever doctor, specialist, and hospital they want. Treatment decisions are left to patients and their doctors. No insurance companies meddle in our choices.

5. Quality of service would improve. In Canada, health providers never have to choose between their wealth and a patient’s health. Our system forbids that choice. The vast majority of Canadians are highly satisfied with the quality of care they receive. In Canada, patients rarely sue physicians.

6. It would reduce the bureaucracy. Patients in Canada show their health card and get care. Health providers bill the government directly and get paid. It’s that simple.

7. Fewer Americans would go bankrupt because of health-care costs. This is a major problem for many U.S. families. It rarely happens in Canada.

8. It would benefit business. Companies in Canada have a competitive advantage because they don’t have to provide basic health-care coverage for their workers.

9. It would diminish labor strife. Health care is incidental in labor negotiations in Canada. It’s a large and growing pitfall in contract negotiations in the U.S.

10. It would serve democracy. Most Americans want major, not incremental, health-care reform. Many Americans support a single-payer system. It is about responding to the wishes of the people.


June 25, 2008

Health Care, the Massachusetts Way

Filed under: Uncategorized — nhplan @ 1:21 pm

Two Letters from the New York Times. These were posted at the Physicians for a National Health Plan web-site and collected by Joe Kane.

The New York Times
Published: June 19, 2008

To the Editor:

Re “The Massachusetts Model” (editorial, June 16):

As a Massachusetts primary care physician, I dearly wish that your optimism for our state’s health care plan were well placed. My fear, however, is that any plan that does not eliminate the colossal waste of multiple competing private health insurers is doomed to failure.

Costs can never be contained while supporting bloated private bureaucracies and for-profit medicine. Most physicians now support single-payer, national health insurance (“Medicare for all”).

Alan Meyers
Boston, June 16, 2008
The writer is associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and a founding member, Physicians for a National Health Program.

To the Editor:

You hail Massachusetts health reform as a promising model for the nation. But within the last year both the State Senate president and the executive director of the agency implementing the new law have publicly recognized that it will collapse if health care costs continue to rise by double digits, which they have.

No effective cost-control legislation is in sight. In Massachusetts we see history repeating itself: a large expansion of Medicaid in the mid-1990s added more than 300,000 residents to the rolls, cutting the uninsured population almost by half. A few short years of rising costs, however, were enough to erase those gains and place the state back to where it started.

Similar fates have befallen many “universal” state reforms hailed as models for the nation. Without eliminating the waste inherent in commercial health care systems and making comprehensive coverage a right, no country has ever been able to achieve universal health care.

We need a single-payer health care system that will be there for our children, not another unsustainable experiment with obvious math problems that won’t be there just a few years from now.

Benjamin Day
Executive Director
Mass-Care: The Massachusetts Campaign for Single Payer Health Care
Boston, June 17, 2008

February 16, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — nhplan @ 5:21 am

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