Why the ‘Safety Net’ Can’t Keep Up With Medical Needs of Uninsured Americans

A few months before I left my job in the insurance industry in 2008, I was working on a “white paper” to try to persuade people—especially lawmakers and candidates running for office that year—that the problem of the uninsured in this country was not a big deal.

At that time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were an estimated 47 million Americans who were uninsured, a number that has increased since then by about 4 million. My job was …

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Doctors Treating Sick in Africa Now Aid U.S. Uninsured

Nonprofit’s free clinic in Chicago illustrates health system failures – and need for reform.

I wish every candidate for public office would be required to spend an hour or two volunteering at one of the free clinics operated throughout the country by a nonprofit organization, Remote Area Medical . The group bills itself as “pioneers of no-cost health care.” Its volunteer doctors and nurses travel to places where patients have been left behind, offering medical care to these forgotten ones.…

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A Smart Investment in Kids’ Health

Affordable Care Act’s grants for school-based health centers may save money in the long run

If opponents of health care reform could view the grant money in the Affordable Care Act as an investment in our children rather than wasteful spending, I believe at least some of them would eventually accept that we’re better off with the law than without it.

I’d be especially confident if they took the time to visit some of the community facilities that will be …

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It’s Time to Get Outraged

One of my favorite bumper stickers reads, “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.”

That’s sort of how I feel about the health care debate. If more Americans paid attention to the fate of neighbors and loved ones who have fallen victim to the cruel dysfunction of our health care system, they would see through the onslaught of lies and propaganda perpetrated by special interests profiting from the status quo.

Since I started speaking out against the abuses of …

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Health Execs Get Richer as Some Americans Beg for Help to Pay Bills

On Monday, I wrote about the good fortune of UnitedHealth Group, one of the big seven for-profit health insurance companies, and its CEO, Stephen J. Hemsley. Last week, UnitedHealth pleased Wall Street so much with its report of earnings during the first three months of this year that investors clamored to buy the company’s stock.

By the time the New York Stock Exchange closed last Thursday, shares of UnitedHealth’s stock had shot up more than 8 percent and reached their

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An Illuminating Expedition to the World of the Uninsured

As Congressional Republicans seek ways to starve the new health care reform law of necessary funding — and Democrats try to keep that from happening — it’s easy to lose sight of the reasons why reform was pursued in the first place.

For a reminder, lawmakers might want to spend a few hours in Nashville this weekend. I’m betting they would behave differently when they got back to Washington on Monday.

If they arrived in Nashville by Friday afternoon, those …

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President Obama and Congress: If You Missed Wise County, Join Me in L.A.

The insurance industry, its business allies and its shills in Congress are doing their best once again to scare us away from real health care reform, just as they did 15 years ago. Using the same tactics and language they did then, insurers and their cronies are warning us that America will be sliding down a slippery slope toward socialism if the federal government creates a public insurance option to compete with the cartel of huge for-profit companies that now …

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