Posts Tagged ‘universal health care’

Universal health-care debate rages—on our Web site!

Monday, March 29th, 2010

by Leigh Ann Otte

Our universal health-care debates consistently rank as two of the most popular articles on the site. But when the bill passed last week, the comments section lit up like crazy.

People seem to need an outlet—somewhere to rant or rave, rather than just listen to the pundits do it. At the beginning, the comments were so, um, passionate? that we had to bleep quite a few naughty words. Now, though the bleeping has slowed, the fire remains.

Have you felt the need to vent about your feelings on universal health care—positive or negative? How have you done it? Did it make you feel better?

You can check out the debates here:

Leigh Ann Otte is the managing editor of

Is there a “death panel” in Obama’s health-care bill?

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Of course not, you say.  Ridiculous.  But could a report by about 64-year-old Oregon woman Barbara Wagner suggests otherwise?  When she was dying of lung cancer, the state insurance refused to pay for her cancer treatment because the drug didn’t give her a “5 percent survival after five years.”

Sarah Palin recently stirred up some controversy when she wrote she thought the congressional universal-health overhaul would lead to a “death panel,” a central group of chosen ”experts” in charge of making life-or-death decisions for everyday people.  She thought those disabled or elderly would fare the worst.  While many claim her assertions are ridiculous, the conservative online publication American Thinker suggests Wagner’s story is an example of just such death panels.


Universal Health Care: Is Medicare really a single-payer success? One doctor’s opinion.

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

“If you want an example of a successful single-payer system, just look at Medicare,” many say.

I say, not really.

A single-payer system is the form of universal health-care Canada and Great Britain use.  Several groups are advocating for it.  People on the right tend to view it as socialized medicine at its worst. Many on the left think it’s ideal. President Obama has tried to distance himself–and his plan–from it, frustrating some Democrats.

With Medicare, the government is the single payer.  And it’s worked so well, some say, why not just extend it to all?

The problem is, Medicare is not working well. The reason it’s been somewhat successful is it has been subsidized, in an indirect way, by private insurers.


Obama’s health care plan. Doctors debate

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

By far our most popular web article has been the pros and cons of universal health care originally printed in our January/February 2008 print edition.  Now that we know a little more about what the Obama administration is planning, we asked the debaters to follow up with their thoughts.

Universal health care, Medicare and rationing

Monday, April 20th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Health-care rationing is coming, but what form will it take?  Limiting by age?  Predicted life expectancy?  And who will make these decisions?

Two recent medical review studies give us a glimpse into the future. (more…)

What is a community health clinic? Obama hints at health-care access.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

What is a community health clinic?

President Obama hinted at how he plans to deal with health-care access when he asked for significant funds to increase and update community health clinics—$155 million up front and $2 billion over two years.

I have some experience with the rural health clinic which, I think, is the country version of a community health center.  President Carter started these in the 1970s.  They are kind of a branch of Medicare/Medicaid.   The fees are figured differently and there are more hoops to go through for providers.


Universal health-care debate: why vs. costs — a doctor’s opinion

Monday, January 19th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

The debate over universal health care should get hot and heavy this year.  By far, our most popular article is “Doctors Debate Universal Health Care Pros and Cons.”  Check it out and join the discussion.  Two things are certain:  No one has a surefire answer, and no matter what happens, it’s going to affect your pocketbook.

We will be in a great experiment, with us as guinea pigs.  Sure, they have universal health care in other countries, but in no nation so vast and diverse as ours. And what is universal health care anyway?  To me, it just means everyone has health care.  Everyone wants that.  The debate is how to implement it–and can we afford it. (more…)

Abortion and universal health care. Will health care issues sway your vote?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Today is the big day.  No more political ads.  I have a little different view than the mainstream on our duty to vote.  Certainly, I believe U.S. citizen has the right to vote, but our duty is to be informed before we cast the ballot.  This election will determine paths we will follow for years to come, with new laws and court decisions pending.  The economy is the news and worry now.  Maybe this is your one issue.  Or maybe it’s defense.


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