Lawmakers, activists, and health experts gathered on Capitol Hill yesterday to announce a new coalition to put universal health coverage back on the nation’s agenda. The coalition is spearheaded by Democratic Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, a staunch advocate of universal healthcare. Conyers has also recently introduced a House resolution backed by 85 co-sponsors that would direct Congress to enact legislation for comprehensive health care by October 2004.
Health care reform was a prominent issue in the 2000 presidential campaign. But the attacks of September 11th and the so-called "War on Terror" have shifted political attention away from the issue.
The US spends more money on health care than any other country in the world. But one out of seven Americans has no health insurance, and millions more cannot afford vital medical services.
We’ll be joined by a fierce advocate for universal health care, Vermont Governor Howard Dean, in a minute.
But first, we’ll talk to Dr. Rudolph Mueller, who spoke at yesterday’s event announcing the formation of a universal health care task force. Dr. Mueller practices internal medicine, and is an assistant professor of medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is also the author of the recently-published book "As Sick As It Gets," documenting his experiences in treating uninsured patients.
- Dr. Rudolph Mueller, author of ??As Sick As It Gets: The Shocking Reality of America’s Healthcare, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
- Dr. Howard Dean, Governor of Vermont. Dean unveiled his own plan for universal health coverage earlier this month at a conference sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Council on Health Care Economics and Policy.
- Poison Laurie Anderson, Bright Red/Tightrope (Warner Bros. Records).