Healthcare Topics

Democracy Now! continues to closely follow the movement to reform the healthcare system in the United States. We have interviewed policy makers, doctors, patients, independent journalists, academics, single payer healthcare advocates, and filmmakers.

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  • President Obama begins his final drive for healthcare reform tonight with a nationally televised prime-time address to a joint session of Congress. His speech comes after an explosive August recess consumed by raucous town halls and talk of government-run "death panels." We take a look at California’s "real death panels." That’s what the nation’s largest nurses group is calling private insurers, as new data...
    Sep 09, 2009 | Story
  • We speak with Hilda Sarkisyan, the mother of Nataline Sarkisyan, who died two years ago at the age of seventeen after the insurance giant CIGNA denied her claim for a liver transplant. "We need a better change in this country, and I’m willing to help the President to do that...I want to meet him. I want him to feel how it feels not to have a daughter. He has two girls; he should know," says Hilda Sarkisyan. "If we don’t...
    Sep 09, 2009 | Story
  • We speak to Rep. Raul Grijalva, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, on the latest in the debate over healthcare reform. Grijalva has threatened to vote against any healthcare legislation that does not include a public health insurance option. He also recently co-wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, criticizing her for saying that the public option is not the essential element of comprehensive reform....
    Aug 20, 2009 | Story
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    While President Obama defended his escalation of the war in Afghanistan on Monday, in Britain, America’s closest ally, antiwar sentiment is growing. This week, the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 surpassed 200. Yesterday in central London, protesters read the names of the 200 British soldiers, as well as the names 200 Afghan citizens killed in the war. The demonstration in Whitehall was led by former British MP...
    Aug 18, 2009 | Story
  • As premier of Saskatchewan, Tommy Douglas pioneered a number of progressive policies there, including the expansion of public utilities, unionization and public auto insurance. But his biggest achievement was the creation of universal health insurance, called Medicare. It passed in Saskatchewan in 1962, guaranteeing hospital care for all residents. The rest of Canada soon followed, province by province. After his death, Douglas earned the title...
    Aug 18, 2009 | Story
  • In a cover story for BusinessWeek earlier this month, reporters Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein argue UnitedHealth and other insurers maneuvered to shape healthcare reform for their own benefit. The story is titled "The Health Insurers Have Already Won," and the authors argue that the insurers have "succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill...
    Aug 17, 2009 | Story
  • The Obama administration admitted last week it promised to oppose proposals to let the government negotiate drug prices and extract additional savings from drug companies. In return, drug companies reportedly pledged to reduce costs by up to $80 billion. The White House has tried to back off the reported agreements, but the drug industry says it expects the White House to uphold its pledge. We speak to former presidential candidate and longtime...
    Aug 14, 2009 | Story
  • Opponents of President Obama’s healthcare plan continue to disrupt town hall meetings held by Democratic lawmakers. We speak with Stanley Zuber, a registered nurse who attended a town hall in Pennsylvania and was shouted down while trying to ask Senator Arlen Specter a question. We’re also joined by Chip Berlet about the right-wing populism that has fueled the town hall disruptions. [includes rush transcript]
    Aug 13, 2009 | Story
  • Imagine the scene. America 2009. Eighteen thousand people have died in one year, an average of almost 50 a day. Who’s taking them out? What’s killing them? Terrorism is not the culprit here: It’s lack of adequate health care.

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    Aug 12, 2009 | Columns & Articles
  • Since President Obama’s inauguration, two of the Democrats’ key legislative priorities have made significant advances in Congress. In June, the House passed a landmark climate bill that would impose the nation’s first-ever congressionally mandated emissions cuts. And following weeks of intensive negotiations, the House on Friday cleared the way for a September vote on legislation to alter the nation’s healthcare system....
    Aug 04, 2009 | Story