Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Clare Fauke, PNHP communications specialist, clare@pnhp.org or 312-782-6006
Dr. Susan Rogers, PNHP President, s.rogers@pnhp.org

Press Release

Doctors' Group Endorses the Medicare for All Act of 2021

The 24,000-member Physicians for a National Health Program urges Congress to support single-payer reform, says commercial insurance is a "dangerous and defective product."
WASHINGTON -

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), a nonprofit research and education organization whose 24,000 members support single-payer national health insurance, endorses the Medicare for All Act of 2021, filed today by lead sponsors Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wa.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) along with 110 additional co-sponsors, representing more than half of House Democrats.

“Physicians cannot give patients the care they need in a fractured and profit-driven system,” said Dr. Susan Rogers, a Chicago-based internal medicine physician and president of PNHP. “For too long, doctors have watched helplessly as our patients delayed or skipped needed care — even walked out of our hospital doors — because they could not afford to pay.”

Dr. Rogers added that subsidizing commercial insurance to cover uninsured Americans, as was done in the recent American Rescue Plan, is an expensive and dangerous approach. “The fatal flaw of commercial insurance plans are their financial firewalls — deductibles and copays — that keep patients from seeking timely care,” said Dr. Rogers. “These costs have a negative effect on patient health, but are overlooked in Congress’ current fixation on premiums.”

The Medicare for All Act is the only plan that puts patients first: It guarantees health care for everyone in the U.S. for life, with free choice of hospital and medical provider, and no financial firewalls to stand in the way of care. Unlike commercial plans, Medicare for All covers all medically necessary services, including hospital and doctor visits; dental, vision, hearing, mental health, and reproductive care; long-term care; ambulatory services; and prescription drugs.

Besides bringing down health costs for families, experts predict that single-payer Medicare for All would save more than $600 billion annually by slashing the administrative waste of commercial insurance, including the paperwork burdens that insurers impose on hospitals and doctors. In addition, more than $100 billion would be saved by negotiating drug prices with manufacturers.

For the past year, PNHP leaders — many of whom serve as frontline health workers — have warned that Covid-19 will prey on the weakness of the U.S. health system and exacerbate our long standing racial and class inequities: Despite having less than 5% of the global population, America has 25% of the world’s confirmed cases and 20% of the world’s deaths from Covid.

A new report issued yesterday by Public Citizen found that about one-third of U.S. Covid deaths were tied to a lack of insurance, and that hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions of infections would likely have been prevented if the U.S. had Medicare for All. This report follows a landmark study published earlier this year in The Lancet that found nearly half a million deaths would have been averted since 1980 if U.S. death rates had matched those of other wealthy nations with national health programs.

“We can’t let Congress sit on their hands while our patients suffer and die needlessly,” said Dr. Rogers. “It’s time to invest in a system that is designed to improve health outcomes, not profit margins. It’s time for single-payer Medicare for All.”

###

Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 21,000 members and chapters across the United States.

Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·


'About Damn Time': DOJ Says Treasury Department Must Give Trump's Tax Returns to Congress

"This case is now bigger even than Donald Trump's crimes. Neither the courts, nor the machinery of our government, exist to bodyguard a corrupt private citizen from transparency."

Jake Johnson ·


'Just Say That the Election Was Corrupt,' Trump Told DOJ in December

"It was a failed coup. Call it what it was. It didn't work! But they sure as hell tried."

Kenny Stancil ·


Digital Rights Groups Hail Record €746 Million Amazon Data Privacy Fine

La Quadrature du Net, whose complaint led to the Luxembourg fine, called the penalty a "first step," but said that "we need to remain vigilant" in the face of Amazon's ongoing violations.

Brett Wilkins ·


Science Museum Just Killed Its 'Own Reputation,' Says Greta Thunberg After Docs Reveal Gag Clause With Shell

"It essentially creates a 'chilling effect,' where museum staff must refrain from speaking openly about the reality of Shell's activities."

Andrea Germanos ·