Value-Based Payment Is the New For-Profit Health Care Industry

Over the last decade, a new industry has emerged that may eventually contribute as much to administrative waste as the insurance industry does today. This industry has no name. Because the participants in the industry all promote a new scheme known as “value-based payment,” and because they all make money off it, we propose to call the new industry the value-based payment (VBP) industry. Like the insurance industry, the VBP industry hovers over doctors and patients and seeks to influence (and in some cases, dictate) doctor-patient decision-making, and in the process diverts resources away from medical care. Unlike the insurance…

Capitalism Is Making Us Sick and Sucking Us Dry

“Framing health as a personal responsibility doesn’t work. And it’s one of the greatest tricks that capitalism has ever pulled,” says author and podcaster Beatrice Adler-Bolton. In this episode of “Movement Memos” Adler-Bolton and host Kelly Hayes discuss the extractive nature of the U.S. health care system, the dominance of COVID nihilism, and why we cannot give up on universal health care. Music by ​Son Monarcas and Silver Maple TRANSCRIPT Note: This a rush transcript and has been lightly edited for clarity. Copy may not be in its final form. Kelly Hayes: Welcome to “Movement Memos,” a Truthout podcast about…

Medicare for All Could Have Prevented 338,000 COVID Deaths in the US

A universal health care system could have saved more than 338,000 lives in the United States by preventing roughly one in three deaths resulting from the COVID-19 infections through March 2022, according to a new study. A single-payer health care system would also have saved the nation an estimated $105.6 billion in health care costs associated with COVID treatments and hospitalizations, leading the study’s authors to conclude that universal health care, often called “Medicare for All,” is both a moral and financial imperative for policymakers. Published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, the study…

Sanders Introduces Medicare for All as Solution to “Dysfunctional” Health System

For the first time since 2019, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) reintroduced his proposal to establish Medicare for All in the U.S., the only wealthy country in the world without universal health care. Sanders introduced the legislation with 14 cosponsors on Thursday “to guarantee health care in the United States as a fundamental human right to all,” according to his press release. The Medicare for All Act of 2022 would establish a universal health care system over the next four years, gradually broadening the existing Medicare system until all medical benefit areas and all members of the public are covered. Under…

“Health Care Is a Human Right”: Sanders Schedules Hearing on Medicare for All

The Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday to examine the economic and social benefits of implementing Medicare for All to combat the current health care crisis, Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced on Monday. The COVID pandemic, which has claimed over 1 million lives in the U.S. so far, has highlighted the inequities in the U.S. health care system — which were already vast before the pandemic, Sanders wrote in a press release. The senator’s plea, which he has been making for years, is a familiar one: now, more than ever, the U.S. must catch up to…

Life Expectancy in US Declined in 2021. Many High-Income Nations Saw It Recover.

Just over a month into year three of the Covid-19 pandemic, research revealed Thursday that life expectancy in the United States declined again in 2021 — which followed a well-documented drop in 2020 and contrasted a recovery trend in other high-income countries. The paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, shows that U.S. life expectancy fell from 78.86 years in 2019 to 76.99 years in 2020 and 76.60 years in 2021, a net loss of 2.26 years. The study comes as progressives in Congress continue to fight for Medicare for All legislation to replace the U.S. for-profit healthcare system —…

Democrats Schedule First COVID-Era Hearing on Medicare for All

Democrats in the House Oversight Committee have scheduled the first hearing to consider Medicare for All since the onset of the pandemic, as progressive lawmakers wage a new push for the proposal. Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-New York) and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) will lead the hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, to consider proposals for universal health care and to assess the ways that the U.S.’s primarily private health care system is affecting people without insurance. The hearing will also feature Representatives Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York), Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Massachusetts), as well…

Medicare for All Bill Introduced by Pramila Jayapal Gets Record 120 Cosponsors

A bill that would establish Medicare for All in the U.S. has reached 120 sponsors, Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) announced on Sunday. “We’ve officially got a record 120 co-sponsors on my Medicare for All Act!” said Jayapal, who introduced the legislation. “Thrilled to welcome Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Florida) to our fight to ensure health care as a human right!” Signing on to the bill as a cosponsor is one of Cherfilus-McCormick’s first acts since being sworn in as a member of Congress in mid-January. Last week, Representatives Donald Norcross (D-New Jersey) and Shontel Brown (D-Ohio) also…

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