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Nation Topics - Health

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Health and Disease Healthcare Policy HIV and AIDS Mental Health

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The Medicare "reform" legislation just passed by Congress sends the program on a path to destruction.

Forty-four states in the United States today bar people with mental illnesses from voting.

Bus depots are one of many environmental culprits that contribute to health problems in poor communities of color.

The so-called clash of civilizations is not limited to militant Islam
against superpower Christianity, nor to wealthy nations opposed by a
multitude of poor ones.

Making the connections between food, family and the health of the
earth.

Click here to read more from Katha Pollitt.

Twelve years ago, Harris Wofford made healthcare an issue. Promising to
fight for coverage for all, Wofford scored a surprise victory in a
Pennsylvania Senate race--inspiring speculation that a President named
Bush could be beaten in 1992. Wofford handed the issue to Bill Clinton,
who won the election but lost the war by proposing a plan that offered
more in the way of bureaucracy than a clean break with the existing
for-profit system. Since the Clinton crackup, Democrats have struggled
to reassert the healthcare issue. While the 2004 campaign has yet to
experience a "Wofford moment," Dr. Norman Daniels of the Harvard School
of Public Health says rising numbers of uninsured and underinsured
should move healthcare to the fore as an issue. "The question," he says,
"is whether the new crop of candidates will address it effectively."

Enter Representative Jim McDermott, a physician and the new president of
Americans for Democratic Action, who has taken it on himself to sort
through candidate proposals (www.adaction.org). As McDermott sees it,
the plans of Howard Dean, John Edwards, John Kerry and Dick Gephardt
"are all quite similar--they each combine modest expansions of public
sector programs such as Medicaid and [children's health programs] with
private sector initiatives to encourage employers to provide health
insurance for their employees." While under each of these plans the
government becomes an even greater purchaser of healthcare, McDermott
says that "because most of the new expenditures are through the
fragmented private insurance market, the government will continue to
waste its considerable market power." He's still reviewing Lieberman's
plan, which looks to resemble the others.

In contrast, McDermott notes, Representative Dennis Kucinich offers a
single-payer national healthcare plan based on a bill by Representative
John Conyers, of which McDermott is a co-sponsor. While he sees value in
incremental reforms, McDermott says, "I continue to believe that a
national health care plan, with a government-guaranteed revenue stream
for providers, would be most effective in providing universal coverage
and controlling costs while guaranteeing high quality care." A separate
study of the candidate proposals, done by The Commonwealth Fund
(www.cmwf.org), says Kucinich's plan would cover all Americans, while
those of Lieberman, Dean, Gephardt, Kerry and Edwards would leave 9
million to 19 million uninsured. Single-payer backers Al Sharpton and
Carol Moseley Braun have not offered details; Gen. Wesley Clark has yet
to make his views clear.

While McDermott's analysis will please Kucinich backers, his candidate
choice won't. The Congressman just endorsed Dean. Two reasons, he says.
First, "as governor of Vermont, Dean implemented reforms. He got people
covered. One of the problems the Clintons had is that they were starting
without ever having done it. For them, it was theoretical. Experience
helps you avoid big mistakes." Second, "Electability. Dean isn't my
perfect candidate, but I think he can beat Bush. Beating Bush is the
first step toward healthcare reform."

In late June, George W. Bush spoke of Africa as a famine-stricken
continent where the people are unable to grow enough food for
themselves.

Blogs

Instead of encouraging Cuban doctors to defect, the United States should be working with them to stop the spread of Ebola.

November 21, 2014

For Obama, Gruber has become an Other from another mother.

 

November 19, 2014

The Roberts Court's announcement that it will hear another legal challenge that threatens to disable and perhaps destroy the new healthcare system has the distinct odor of political collusion.

November 19, 2014

Could the chemicals in beauty products be causing long-term health problems for salon workers?

November 17, 2014

The US Supreme Court is preparing to hear another case that could render key parts of the ACA illegal.

November 12, 2014

We can't take any chances.

November 3, 2014

Los Angeles is trying to make good jobs vital to producing good food.

November 3, 2014

A new report documents the most major concerns.

October 31, 2014

Using bait-and-switch strategies and confusing language, anti-choice advocates are trying to restrict access to safe, legal abortion.

October 31, 2014

Eric on this week in theater and music and Reed on how the media’s ratings-driven hysterics is warping Ebola coverage.

October 28, 2014