LETTER: Medicare for all

September 12, 2011

Daily Freeman
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011

Dear Editor:

I am a practicing radiologist in Kingston for last 30 years and plan to retire here and live the rest of my life here. I am a new Medicare recipient. I opted to take Medicare as my primary coverage and opted out of my employer-provided private health care.

My primary care physician will get paid by Medicare for taking good care of me, unlike what happened with my previous health insurance company.

I have Medigap sponsored by AARP, another institution that I trust to fight and lobby for senior citizen causes.

I will fight for protecting Social Security for the future generation. I oppose Republican Congressman Ryan’s scorched earth policy of gutting Social Security and Medicare as we know now. Under his plan, seniors will be left to fend for themselves and pay for most of their medical care out of pocket.

Believe me, a rich doctor like me will not be able to afford such payments out of my pocket. My health care is my right that I earned as an American citizen and I want it and will not give it up to benefit insurance companies.

I want Medicare for all, a single-payer approach, reducing the cost of health care by efficiency, electronic medical records, and community based primary care physicians in charge of all medical care. Specialty care including radiology will be controlled by primary care and all will be paid based on patient outcome, not by number of procedures that are performed. My doctors and other health care providers will be paid for keeping me healthy and alive for years to come.

I want Medicare to provide health care for me for the rest of my life here in Kingston, preferably with all the other citizens.

I want the cost of such care to come down by increased efficiency, reducing pharmacy costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for the lowest possible fees, and removing insurance companies from the equation, empowering patients, their physicians, and other providers like hospitals to collaborate and make heath care in America the envy of other developed nations.




Single Payer/Medicare For All: An Economic Stimulus Plan for the Nation

September 6, 2011

By the Institute for Health & Socio-Economic Policy (IHSP)

Medicare for All (Single Payer) Reform Would Be Major Stimulus for Economy with 2.6 Million New Jobs, $317 Billion in Business Revenue, $100 Billion in Wages. The number of jobs created by a single payer system, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover everyone, parallels almost exactly the total job loss in 2008, according to the findings of this groundbreaking study:

Full article here



Video of July 30th Rally

September 1, 2011

From Karen Nezelek:

This is link to Peace Council site and You Tube posting of the “Celebrate Medicare’s 46th” on July 30 at the Federal Building.  Although all 6 speakers delivered stirring messages, Sue Hammond was a stellar in calling out for the needed presence of medical personnel in this movement for Medicare for All.    Rev. Agee was a great MC and there are some good interviews with disabled community members at the end of the 38 minute selection.  This video was sent into Health Care-Now as part of their nationwide series of events around the celebratory theme.


We also got some post-event coverage in VisionCNY, an alternative weekly newspaper reaching minorities in the Upstate NY area.  Use this link to get to the August 3, 2011 edition and find page 4 with several photos and quotes.

Please share with friends if they need a “Reality Show”!

Red Flag: The Blurring of Insurance Cos. and Health Care Providers

September 1, 2011

The Wall Street Journal
September 1, 2011
UnitedHealth Buys California Group of 2,300 Doctors
By Anna Wilde Mathews

UnitedHealth Group Inc. will acquire the operations of a major southern California physician group, in the latest example of how lines are blurring between insurance companies and health-care providers.

The purchase of the management arm of Monarch HealthCare, an Irvine, Calif., association that includes approximately 2,300 physicians in a range of specialties, establishes United’s Optum health-services unit as a formidable presence in the region. Optum had previously taken over the management arms of two smaller southern California groups, AppleCare Medical Group and Memorial HealthCare Independent Practice Association.

In California, deals involving control of medical groups are structured to comply with rules that block most entities from directly employing practicing physicians. Typically, a company like Optum might buy non-clinical assets and sign a long-term management agreement with an independent practice association of physicians such as Monarch.

United has said in the past that providers acquired by Optum will not work exclusively with United’s health plan, and will continue to contract with an array of insurers. But in one sign of the potential complications that might ensue, Monarch is currently in an arrangement with United competitor WellPoint Inc. to create a cooperative “accountable-care organization” aimed at bringing down health-care costs and improving quality.