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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

March 17, 2010


Some time ago, we ran as our lead article a piece by Rose McKinnon of the Medical Committee for Human Rights in which she argued:

(1) Health care should be universal. By this we mean that it should cover all people residing in the U.S. and should be treated as a right, rather than as a privilege; and must be available to all people, regardless of their ability to pay.

(2) Health care should be comprehensive, i. e., it must include all forms of care. It must not exclude drugs, dentistry, mental health care and preventive medicine, which to one extent or another, all of the present proposals exclude.

(3) Health care should be financed by national progressive taxation.

(4) Costs must necessarily be controlled in order to curtail the present run-away inflation; the increased demand a financing mechanism will generate would make such control imperative, and it is likely to involve government regulation of health-related industries.

(5) There should be no coinsurance, deductables, or other complex formulae, for these become almost incomprehensible, and tend to discourage the seeking of preventive care.

(6) The supply of health care must be expanded and a greater effort made to see that minority groups and women are adequately represented among every category of health care personnel; present imbalances must be eliminated.

(7) The health delivery system must be reorganized to produce a more efficient allocation of resources among and within geographical areas and cities.

(8) Last, and most important, there should be a much greater degree of public accountability within the health care system, so that those who receive care also have a part in controlling matters of quality, priorities and ethos (e.g.

The only thing unusual about the piece was that we published it almost forty years ago, in November 1971,when Dennis Kucinich was 24 years old. Those who consider him radical or impatient might want to bear this in mind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet you, Sam, have come out FOR passing a bill that will prevent states from providing single payer and does nothing but further increase the transfer of wealth from the bottom to the tippy top.

Forty years later, and you don't know WHERE you stand on this issue - but you criticize those who draw an imovable line in the sand!

With friends like you and Michael Moore, "the left" needs no enemies.

March 17, 2010 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing she left out was including Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Naturopathic medicine. For someone like me who is very sensitive to most drugs made by big pharma, if alternative medicine isn't included I won't be able to get meaningful health care except for large mechanical things like broken bones or appendix removal. Almost every Pharma drug I've ever taken has caused serious blood sugar issues or allergic reaction for me, but alternative medicine has really helped me many times over.

March 17, 2010 12:25 PM  

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