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More resources on health care politics and terminology
- Ten Things You Can Do for Healthcare Reform (links to TheNation.com), May 5, 2010
- Obama's Reform: No Cure for What Ails Us (links to PNHP.org), March 30, 2010
- What Happened in Health Care in 2009, December 1, 2009
- AHIP's Actuarial Acrobatics, November 1, 2009
- Statement: Have the Courage to Say that Health Care is Right, Not a Privilege, July 30, 2009
- A Dictionary of Health Policy Terms, July 1, 2009
- Q&A on the Current Health Debate: What Does a "Public Plan Option" Mean and Why Does Public Citizen Oppose It? July 1, 2009
- A Coalition of the Scared, June 1, 2009
- Letter in Washington Post Regarding Coverage of the Recent Congressional Hearing on Single-Payer, June 15, 2009
- Dr. Wolfe and Dr. Himmelstein Discuss Single-Payer on Public Television (links to PBS.org), May 21, 2009
- All Health Reform Created Equal, Except Single-Payer (links to HuffingtonPost.com), May 8, 2009
- Statement: Public Pressure Helps End Silence on Single-Payer in Congress, April 1, 2009
- Letter in Washington Post Regarding President Obama's Effort to Reform Health Care, March 12, 2009
- Ending the Insanity of Failed State Health Insurance Reforms, March 1, 2009
- Behind Closed Doors, Repeating Mistakes from the Past on Health Care Reform (links to HuffingtonPost.com), February 27, 2009
- What Are the Presidential Candidates (And Their Advisors) Talking About? Part II, July 1, 2008
- Health Policy Placebos (links to TheNation.com), March 27, 2008
Letter in Washington Post Regarding President Obama's Effort to Reform Health Care
March 12, 2009
Read the letter at WashingtonPost.com.
The pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies have offered early support for President Obama's effort to reform health care ["In Health Plan, Industry Sees Good Business," front page, March 5]. Judging by the measures discussed, they have little reason to oppose it.
Mr. Obama and many legislators favor incremental changes such as increasing Medicaid drug rebates and expanding the use of health information technology, measures that do nothing to trim the massively wasteful administrative spending associated with private insurance. Subsidizing expensive and inadequate health insurance or requiring that Americans purchase it would be a windfall to the private insurance industry, as Medicare Part D is to the pharmaceutical industry.
However, the moment the bottom line of these special interests is threatened, the reception will not be so rosy. Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive of the lobby group America's Health Insurance Plans, has fired warning shots over proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage. With this program, private insurers receive a government subsidy of 14 percent over the costs of regular Medicare while selectively enrolling seniors with less costly illnesses and pocketing the difference.
If we truly want to reduce costs and expand health-care access to all Americans, we must eliminate private insurance and move to a single-payer system of financing. But we must be prepared to fight the special interests that won't see this as "good business."