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Editor's Correspondence |

Ten Points for a National Health Plan

J. Gary Grant, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(22):2631. doi:.
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In their article on national health insurance, Woolhandler and Himmelstein1 are right for a number of reasons:

  • The current nonsystem takes a tremendous amount of resources away from health care.

  • The current nonsystem is redundant and frustrating for all involved (except insurance company executives who make unconscionable millions of dollars each year).

  • Currently, the insurance industry rules supreme—along with Wall Street.

  • The pharmaceutical industry is next in power; then come the politicians, influenced and lobbied aggressively by the powers above. So much is consumed by these "market forces."

  • Whatever is left over goes to patients and providers—and it is not enough!

  • Medicare works; it's pretty fair and efficient but could use some improvements.

  • United States military and Department of Veterans Affairs health care also work fairly well as examples of "socialized medicine."

  • We can do better than Canada, but we must set some limits like Oregon had the guts to do.

  • It seems that the Republican party is in bed with Wall Street and the insurance industry, both of which will fight a national health plan tooth and nail.

  • The American Medical Association (AMA) should champion real health care reform, but I fear the AMA is too stodgy.

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December 9, 2002
David U. Himmelstein, MD; Steffie Woolhandler, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2002;162(22):2632. doi:.
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