Sunday, March 23, 2014

What The U.S. Can Learn

The Los Angeles Times reports on a March 11th Senate hearing on single payer health care (viewable in CSPAN full here).  In the video below, and a highlight described by Michael Hiltzik, Dr. Danielle Martin, a physician and health policy professor from Toronto "bats down the myths and misunderstandings about the Canadian system" that Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) throws at her, concluding with a confrontation about the 45,000 Americans who die every year because they have no health coverage.

A full transcript of the exchange is provided at the article link.  "Premier Williams" is Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams, whose decision to have a heart valve procedure near his Miami condo instead of Canada, "is widely viewed in Canada as a rich man's failure to investigate the care available to him closer to home."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), also seen in the video, asked seven experts to testify before his subcommittee on primary health and aging, and on single payer systems in Canada and other countries. Tsung-Mei Cheng, a health policy analyst with Princeton University provided a 28 page overview of single payer, and the sharp contrasts between the U.S. and other nations.  Among the speakers presenting on specific nations, Victor Rodwin spoke about France, Ching-Chuan Yeh on Taiwan, Danielle Martin on Canada, and Jakob Kjellberg on Denmark.  (Their presentations can be found in full here with links at the bottom of the page.)

A short video of some moments from the hearing:

Here's a short 2009 video of Canadians speaking about their health care system:


Also in recent single payer news, and via Physicians for a National Health Program, the Maine Medical Association has announced results of a state wide membership survey on single payer support.  

The survey asked:  
When considering the topic of health care reform, would you prefer to make improvements to the current public/private system or a single-payer system such as a “Medicare for all” approach?
Nearly 65 percent of the responding physicians support a single payer "Medicare for all" approach to improving the current system, a 12 percent jump in support since 2008 and the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

At present, a March 31st 2014 deadline looms for buying insurance under the Affordable Care Act, with subsidies for qualifying persons.

More information on how to apply at the White House website

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