Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

March 27, 2009


Physicians for a National Health Policy - Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders has introduced a single-payer health reform bill. The single-payer approach in Sanders' new bill is in sharp contrast to models being offered by the White House and by key lawmakers like Senators Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). Their plans would preserve a central role for the private insurance industry, sacrificing both universal coverage and cost containment.

In contrast, Sanders' new legislation would cover all of the 46 million Americans who currently lack coverage and improve benefits for all Americans by eliminating co-pays and deductibles and restoring free choice of physician. The most fiscally conservative option for reform, single payer slashes private insurance overhead and bureaucracy in medical settings, saving over $400 billion annually that can be redirected into clinical care.

Highlights of the bill:

Patients go to any doctor or hospital of their choice.

The program is paid for by combining current sources of government health spending into a single fund with modest new taxes amounting to less than what people now pay for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

Comprehensive benefits, including coverage for dental, mental health, and prescription drugs.

While federally funded, the program is to be administered by the states.

By eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance industry, along with the burdensome paperwork imposed on physicians, hospitals and other providers, the plan saves at least $400 billion annually - enough money to provide comprehensive, quality care to all.

Community health centers are fully funded, giving the 60 million Americans now living in rural and underserved areas access to care.

Resources for the National Health Service Corps to train an additional 24,000 health professionals.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

HOORAY for Bernie Sanders, and for ProRev. http://pnhp.org/news has continually been indispensible, and also good are http://calnurses.org and shows like www.yourownhealthandfitness.org (read the editorials in the blog) and www.garynull.com. Oh, and http://redflagsdaily.com too.
It's great to hear Bernie interviewed every week on thomhartmann.com (AirAmerica Radio).. truly an accountable guy. Speaking of talk shows, mightn't we all meet weeknites on the MikeMalloy.com show? Thank you.

March 27, 2009 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

It's the same plan, by the sound of it, that Dennis proposed 6 years ago. And for which he got credit only among the usual suspects.

I wonder whether Bernie, in proper socialist tradition, will give Dennis the credit he so richly deserves.

March 27, 2009 3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like a insurancy company hand out ot me. Dennis's bill he676 would relieve the medical insurance industry of its responcibility (phased in over 12 years). If this plan goes through it will be exploited by he insurance industry who will pad operating expenses to justify higher rates and since it will be more or less invisible to the consumer we wont know or care.

I applude Bernie for his goal but this vehicule is flawed in a well known manor. I'm surprised he fell for it.

May 22, 2009 1:00 PM  

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