Healthcare reform has been an issue that I have studied and supported for almost two decades.
I believe health care is a basic human right, not merely a privilege. I support a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. I can support my position with sound ethical principles, as well as a comparative historical analysis of the proven benefits that have been achieved by other countries that have embraced universal healthcare.
What is often lost in the continuing screed against healthcare reform is that yes, folks, many physicians welcome healthcare reform. In fact, when I was working at a medical center, serving an internship in healthcare ethics, and teaching 4th year medical students, I can honestly say I never met a healthcare professional who wouldn't admit that the traditional American for-profit-healthcare model was seriously flawed. The majority of the people I spoke to in the medical system were more than willing to try a better system that had at its heart a desire to create a more equitable distribution of healthcare resources. Sure, many had reservations about how the program would roll-out and more than a few were dubious about the role government would play in a national plan but, honestly, I never heard a physician or nurse say they were satisfied with the status quo or they wouldn't welcome some major change.
The fact is that American physicians and other healthcare providers are utterly exasperated by a monstrous system that's become totally out of control.
Tonight as I was doing some research for my project about healthcare being a basic human right I came across an organization I had forgotten about. It was smaller when I first discovered it some time ago; it has since grown but it's mission has remained the same.
Please meet the PNHP -- an organization more fully titled "Physicians for a National Health Program."
Here is how they describe themselves on their web site:
"Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 18,000 members and chapters across the United States.
Since 1987, we've advocated for reform in the U.S. health care system. We educate physicians and other health professionals about the benefits of a single-payer system--including fewer administrative costs and affording health insurance for the 46 million Americans who have none.
Our members and physician activists work toward a single-payer national health program in their communities. PNHP performs ground breaking research on the health crisis and the need for fundamental reform, coordinates speakers and forums, participates in town hall meetings and debates, contributes scholarly articles to peer-reviewed medical journals, and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating for a single-payer system.
PNHP is the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program." (Emphasis in the original)
No frills, no multiple issues -- these docs are focused on one thing and one thing only.
You can read all about PNHP at http://www.pnhp.org/about/about-pnhp
It's for you. It's for them. It's for all of us.
Like I said, we're all in this together.
BTW: PNHP is based in Chicago. That makes me proud.