Dear viewer. The Mad As Hell Doctors are not on the road these days but we are still part of Physicians for a National Health Program fighting for health care for all. Currently we are using this website only as an avenue for donations to support a 2013 nationwide radio Medicare for All campaign streamed through Chicago’s WCPT Progressive Radio http://chicagosprogressivetalk.com/

Medicare For All National Radio Campaign

MAHD “Improved Medicare For All” radio ads began June 21.  The purpose of the ads is to reinforce the national outrage about cuts to Medicare and declare that an improved Medicare is the solution rather than the problem.  

LET THEM HEAR US!!!

To keep these ads on the air across the nation please use the Donate button on your right.  Paypal will bring up a window with a box labeled “Purpose”.  Please enter “ads” in the box so we will know the intent of your donation. We feel these ads will be an effective way to reach millions of people and stimulate them to advocate for true health care reform, Improved MediCare for All.

All listeners can go to Physicians for a National Health Program, and HealthCareNow! to learn more and join others in fighting for Improved Medicare for All.

Listeners can connect with local Single Payer Advocates by clicking the group name below:

New York City go to PNHP Metro Chapter

Detroit go to PNHP Michigan Chapter

Minneapolis-St. Paul go to PNHP Minnesota Chapter and Minnesota Universal Health Care Coalition

Denver, CO,  go to PNHP Colorado Chapter and Healthcare for All Colorado

Coos Bay, and Portland OR, go to PNHP Oregon Chapter

Seattle, go to PNHP Western Washington

Health Care for All Washington State

San Francisco, go to singlepayeraction.org;

California PNHP

Health Care For All-California

We hope to share with you our passion that America must achieve sustainable high quality health care for all as soon as possible.

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A long road travelled and a long road ahead.

PNHP is a group of physicians, nurses, ancillary health providers, and other concerned citizens advocating for an improved and expanded Medicare program to provide financially sustainable universal health coverage for all Americans. In September 2009, PNHP doctors traveled 6,000 miles through America’s heartland from Portland, OR, to Washington, D.C., stopping at over 40 venues in 17 states. After appearances on the Ed Schultz Show (MSNBC), Keith Olberman (MSNBC), Democracy Now! and interviews on dozens of other media outlets, the group is continuing its unique approach and activist flair to advocate for Single Risk Pool, Improved Medicare-for-All.

PNHP contends that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P-PACA) does too little to protect the health and livelihood of patients and their families. P-PACA serves to further entrench the current medical-industrial complex with an unsustainable cost spiral within our health care system. PNHP further contends that while the Oregon Health Policy Board, a result of House Bill 2009, has proposed critical improvements in Oregon’s health care system, these improvements will be affordable only under a Single Risk Pool, Improved Medicare-for-All plan.

The work involves studying the relevant literature, listening to others tell of their experiences with our health care system, and then passing this information on to friends, family, civic groups, journalists, and legislators, urging them to action.

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Educate yourself and your neighbors.

What is a single payer health care system? For  a video answer go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAvy9jew9dM. Please use our Literature References tab under which you will find links to peer-reviewed literature that can help you evaluate the US health care system and compare it to the systems of other countries such as Canada. The references are invaluable for supporting your conversations and presentations about health care reform.

Check our “in-house” analysis on our Posts page, share with your friends and family, and comment to keep the discussion going.

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Collaborate, educate, and organize.

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Thank you for your interest.

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN THE BLOG CONVERSATION BELOW. NOTE THAT THE NEWEST COMMENTS ARE ON TOP!

108 Responses

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  1. Further to my letter below.
    If people knew the way a Single Payer/Medicare for All health insurance system worked, they would be begging for it. I would bet that, right now, there are very few people who know what Single Payer is, let alone how it helps ALL AMERICANS, not just a certain number.
    The President, and members of the Democratic Party did a woeful job of explaining a government plan, a which led people to believe the many lies told by the Republicans about “government interference”/”big government”, etc. What they didn’t tell people was that ”big health insurance companies” don’t want such a plan because they have a monopoly now on health insurance, allowing them to charge whatever they want. They do not want the competition which will bring down costs and they also don’t care about those who can’t afford what they charge.
    The President’s advisors might as well be Republicans. He is being given very bad advice. They do not seem to understand that if a Single Payer plan were explained, ad nauseum, using the heartless arguments of Republicans, who want to discard, women, the sick, the unemployed and the old, against them, Single Payer would be a wonderfully effective issue to stand on.
    The issue highlights the glaring Republican “throw ‘em on the scrap heap” mentality aimed towards those less fortunate who do not breathe the rarefied air of these greedy, rich, fully insured and employed politicians.
    SAVE MONEY AND HELP THE ECONOMY WITH SINGLE PAYER.
    Suzanne and Johnny Langland

  2. Suzanne Langland

    It is time the Democrats thoroughly, constantly and enthusiastically educated the public about the many benefits of a Single Payer/Medicare for All health insurance system. This country is so behind in its health system compared with other countries who have successfully adopted single payer and there should be more outcry and outrage from our citizenry against the immense greed that is fueling this lack of progress.

    The Republicans will have you believe that single payer will replace private health insurance. That is simply not true. If one wishes to have private insurance, then there is nothing to prevent a person from buying it. The single payer system will provide much-needed competition to the private insurance companies, thus bringing down costs in an otherwise unchallenged market. It will ensure that EVERYONE is covered and bring about a peace and tranquility to those now buried in holes they did not dig for themselves. And it will even save lives, as well as giving all people the reassurance that when they lose their jobs, they will not lose their health insurance.

    There are none so blind as those who WON’T see and you can apply this wisdom to that nasty and selfish element in our society which does not want to give up one penny of their good fortune to help those in need, either via taxes or some other way. They will make the decidedly un-Christian argument that the sick and unemployed have made their own beds and must pay the consequences. How wonderful to live in a fairyland where disease, illness and unemployment have not yet touched their privileged lives.

    No-one should resent good fortune, but to plead an argument that we should all help ourselves, when it is patently obvious that some of us cannot because of circumstance beyond our control, is just plain political hogwash.
    Suzanne Langland

  3. admin

    Good question. I assume this would be handled by Employers increasing their employees income by an amount which is equivalent to what the employers currently pay for their employees health care. That would be in taxable dollars. It would be tax/revenue neutral for the employer. It would increase the employees taxable income, which would be subject to the “health care tax” surcharge that is the source of revenue for the single payer.

  4. Karen Stoll

    I was wondering. If this country went to a single payer system, I assume it would be paid for by everyone who pays taxes. Since most healthcare insurance is paid for by employers and employees, how will that be changed? Working people receive an employer funded plan as a benefit, part of their overall compensation for working. Since healthcare needs to be divorced from employment, how would that work? I’ve never seen that addressed. Ideas anyone?

  5. admin

    In response to Virginia (below), your doctor should have someone on-call for his patients 24/7. They may not be available in their offices, but they should be available by phone. Some practices allow for scheduled odd hours visits or, occasionally, meet people in their offices after hours. The reason this doesn’t happen often is that if you can’t take care of it on the phone, there will probably be the need for testing which would be unavailable in the office after hours. Urgent Care Centers and ERs have the capacity to do testing whenever they are open, which in the case of ERs is 24/7.

    You are correct. Bills should clearly itemize the charges.

  6. admin

    Also, in response to Virginia (below)…

    You are absolutely correct in your observation that there is some funny business in billing. The “fee schedule” is based on the relative value scale that Medicare uses. It is inherently The fee schedules for all procedures and levels of office visits are based on the Medicare relative value scale that is skewed towards higher reimbursement for procedure (like three little stitches) than evaluating and managing a patients condition. Those fee schedules are re-evaluated every five years in a process that, by law, is subcontracted to the AMA whose Reimbursement Update Commission meets behind close doors and is dominated by specialists, who do procedures. Need I say more?

    As for “containing costs”… It’s our job to take care of peoples’ needs and, partly because of fear of liability, we have become intolerant of uncertainty and, therefor, quite prolific in the tests that we order to make sure we aren’t missing something. It’s hard to be concerned about constraining costs in that environment.

    Now, you ask, how much should a doctor get paid? How much is too much is easier to identify than how much is enough. A number of the specialist expect to make mid-six figure incomes while primary care doctors make on the order of $170,000 to $200,000/year, less in some states like Oregon. I would say that $350,000/year should be enough but there are many specialists who believe they are worth, and earn, far more than that. As a group, physicians have lost perspective on how much money $350,000 is to the average person. I can safely state that virtually every doctor has someone (from the billing office) looking over his/her shoulder coaching them to maximally document and optimally code every chart so that “we don’t leave any money on the table.” For most of us, how much is enough is how much money is on the table. We are just human beings.

    The reason the doctor quite reasonably dropped his charges have to do with cost shifting. We charge far more than what we expect to get paid, contractually, by insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid. If we charged less, we would get paid less. Sadly, self pay people see the bigger bill but only some doctors let people know, up front, they they would (should?) get a discount for paying cash promptly… just like the insurance companies.

  7. I also have a question for Natalie Hodge M.D. Your comment “That is because value for health services in healthcare is artificially set by Medicare rather than true market forces… hence spiraling costs”. You will have to enlightening me on how that would result in spiraling costs! Perhaps what you meant to say is cost to the physician..not the Medicare recipient. Like any businesses, I am sure that fees are inflated in reality knowing all will not be covered by insurance and the rest passed onto the patient. This is not allowed for those on Medicare. One particular incident I remember was when my son fell at school and needed three stitches over his eye. After the doctor was done, the bill came to $100 per stitch as it was considered a form of plastic surgery (tiny stitches that would leave a scar barely noticeable). I did not have insurance to cover this bill and he dropped it to $25 per stitch. I appreciate that he did this and there is no noticeable scar. However, gauging insurance companies also increases health care cost. I understand that running a doctor’s office is expensive and there has to be profit to provide the doctor with an income. Inherently, it would depend on how much they consider is warranted. I would like to know what doctors are doing to contain costs and are they struggling to meet their bills and still able to maintain a decent salary. What are your views on a decent salary for a physician? I do think the “doc fix” needs to be addressed by Congress.

  8. I am a Medicare recipient and a retired LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse). I consider Medicare as good as any health insurance policy offered while working. The premiums are affordable at around $100 per month. I have two questions for any Doctors that have commented here. Over the years, I have noticed that many physicians are no longer accessible in their offices after the normal working hours and week ends. This occurs in offices with four to five doctors that, I feel should take turns being on call for these after hours. I believe this would save on the cost of healthcare as more patients today use the Emergency Room for health conditions that are not emergencies and it is more expensive. My second question has to do with the billing of my health care. I rate it as poor. It is hard to decipher and does not include what service was administered, normally the date, how much Medicare paid and the patient’s responsible part of the bill is all. Before I became my mother’s Health Care Director, she was paying bills twice (usually because she received a second notice), thought her CMS summary was a bill and was unable to keep track. It was hard for me as well. Physicians need to include what the service was when sending out a bill. Would appreciate any input to my questions. Thank You

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