Featured Commentary

Posted July 1 2010
"In Health Care, Some More Equal Than Others"
Christine Adams, Ph.D.
Statewide Secretary, Health Care for All Texas

I recently visited my father’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery. He received the Silver Star for risking his own life to protect his men during an ambush in WWII.  He received the Purple Heart for the permanent, disabling wounds he received in doing so. Like him, the row upon row of patriots resting there embody our finest values: equality, justice, and sense of duty to our family, friends and larger American community.  Sadly...

Posted June 10, 2010

Why Health Care is a Human Right: Balancing the Rights of the Individual with the Public Good for a Civil Society.

(On May 14, 2010 Health Care for All Texas participated in a debate at Baylor College of Medicine on health care as a right.  Read our opening and closing statements in support of health care as a human right.)

The U.S. stands alone as the only industrialized nation that has not declared health care as a human right and as a result has not established a national health care program.  In the U.S., the clash over whether health care is a human right is fundamentally a disagreement over inalienable rights.  In brief...
Dr. Margaret Nosek
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Center for Research on Women with Disabilities
Baylor College of Medicine

Health Care For All - Texas

Huffington Post Op-ed  July 27, 2010
Quentin Young, M.D., National Coordinator
Physicians for a National Health Program

RX for Medicare:  Expand it to All
Medicare, one of our nation's most cherished social programs, turns 45 on Friday.  I was in active medical ractice when, on July 30, 1965, Medicare was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson.  The law's...

Houston Chronicle Op-ed  July 30, 2010
Christine Adams, Ph.D., Statewide Secretary
Health Care for All Texas

After 45 years, Medicare needs support
July 30th marks the 45th birthday of Medicare the public insurance program that guarantees basic medical coverage to all seniors and people with severe disablilities of their income, health status or where they live.  In Texas...
Op-ed Houston Chronicle 2009
"Medicare-for-All' Cure for Health Woes Single-Payer System is Best Reform Approach"
Dan Wirt, M.D.
Health Care for All Texas
Physicians for a National Health Program

The data and evidence are clear: To a scientific certainty, only a single-payer "Medicare-for-All" system of health care financing will solve the serious cost and access problems and achieve good, affordable health care for all in the United States. As a scientist and physician, this is my conclusion after studying the data for years. The data are voluminous, stretching back to World War II, and come not only from the United States, but from all other industrialized countries. Except for the United States, all industrialized countries have some form of universal health care.  Continue Reading...
February 2010
"Healthcare apartheid and quality of life for people with disabilities"
Margaret Nosek, Ph.D.

The sizzling debate on healthcare reform has very little to do with me as a person with a significant physical disability, yet it fuels the fire in my belly. I am well insured because I work and supposedly have access to some of the best healthcare in the world, yet I continue to receive, and suffer from, some services that are second-class for several reasons. Our current system is best prepared to deal with acute conditions; those of us with multiple chronic conditions are mostly left on our own to manage a bevy of specialists, each with their restricted, though extensive, knowledge and limitations in their practice. Trying to find a generalist who has knowledge of wellness in the context of disability is like trying to find a tofu burger at a Texas barbecue. There is nothing in the current system of medical education that prepares physicians on how to keep people like me well. As a result, when I go to see my internist with concerns about a seemingly common problem, for example, stomach pain and fatigue, it’s just so easy for her to say ‘‘That’s to be expected with such an extensive disability.’’ Aside from being an easy out, disability can mask possibly serious symptoms. The system lacks incentives to look deeper into a seemingly simple but potentially complex problem and consult with my other specialists to rule out, identify, and treat.

Read the entire article...
Texas is No. 1 in lack of health insurance: lessons from other nations
By Christine Adams, Ph.D.

Once again, Texas has the distinction of having the highest rate of people lacking health insurance in the nation – 26.1 percent. According to the Census Bureau’s new report, more than 1 out of every 4 Texans is uninsured, compared to the national average of 1 out of every 6 people. These hard economic times show the woeful inadequacy of having an employer-based, for-profit health insurance system. Lose your job? Lose your health insurance. No health insurance? No access to health care. What’s the easiest way to fall into poverty? Get sick – even if you have health insurance at the time of your illness.

Read entire commentary.
The Huffington Post 02/04/2011
Deja Vu:  The Reptitious History of Health Care in America
by Sherwin Nuland, M.D.

Some 50 years have passed since Yogi Berra uttered his deathless phrase, "It's déjà vu all overagain," and yet that fractured bit of folklore still elicits a knowing, and often patronizing, smile whenever it is heard. But condescension aside, the much-abused architect of this and so many other malapropisms may have been on to something -- a subtle something for which the seemingly buffoonish mind of the Hall of Fame ballplayer has never been credited. 

Read the entire article...
March 31, 2011
"State-Based Single-Payer Health Care - A Solution for the United States?"
William Hsiao, Ph.D.
New England Journal of Medicine,  364;13

"Nevertheless, [single-payer] can produce substantial savings to fully fund universal coverage, reduce health care costs for most businesses and households over time, and reform a fragmented delivery system."  Continue Reading.

April 12, 2011
"Mr. President: Why Medicare Isn't the Problem, It's the Solution"
By Robert Reich

I hope when he tells America how he aims to tame future budget deficits the President doesn't accept conventional Washington wisdom that the biggest problem in the federal budget is Medicare (and its poor cousin Medicaid).

Medicare isn't the problem. It's the solution.

The real problem is the soaring costs of health care that lie beneath Medicare. They're costs all of us are bearing in the form of soaring premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.

Read the entire OpEd.

April 12 2011
"Who's Hurt by Paul Ryan's budget proposal"
Harold Meyerson
The Washington Post

There are sound economic reasons for a collective national responsibility to provide a social safety net for the well-being of the elderly and children. Columnist Harold Meyerson of The Washington Post explains how our social insurance system of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and programs designed to provide assistance to the poor are a good investment in America's future - not a drag on the economy.

Read his entire commentary.

April 28, 2011
"Health Execs Get Richer as Some Americans Beg for Help to Pay Bills"
By Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter, former insurance executive now whistlelower, discusses the are the real-world consequences of our for-profit health insurance system where insurers make money when they deny you care and too many Americans have to "beg" for health care to stay alive. 

Read his entire commentary.

Apr. 30, 2011
"Texas' goal should be to fix healthcare system, not just spend less on it"
By Mitchell Schnurman

Vermont is working toward universal health care and Texas, which has the highest rate of uninsured in the nation, is slashing health care services, making many vulnerable Texans fend for themselves. Columnist Mitchell Schnurman compares Vermont's efforts to control health care costs by creating a state single-payer health system to how the Republican controlled Texas Legislature is planning to control health care costs.  

Read the entire article.

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Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action…

Howard Zinn, Historian Activist

Texans for a National Health Program
September 15, 2011
"Free to Die"
By Dr. Paul Krugman

Dr. Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate in Economics, suggests that "free to choose" has come to mean "free to die" in his comments regarding a  question posed to presidential candidates in a debate.  The moderator presented a hypothetical  situation where a young man is in need of 6 months in the ICU but had refused to buy health insurance then asked if that young man should die or receive free health care.  Shockingly, a significant number of audience members appeared to favor death.

Read his entire commentary.