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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  • 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...
    August 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...
    August 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...
    August 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...
    August 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...
    August 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]
    August 13, 2009 | Story
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    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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    August 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....
    August 04, 2009 | Story
  • A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the direct medical costs of obesity total about $147 billion a year. That amounts to nine percent of all US medical costs. It’s also over $50 billion more than the annual spending on cancer. In the midst of this national focus on obesity, today we’ll speak to David Kessler, who has spent the last seven years trying to understand how the food industry has...
    August 03, 2009 | Story
  • A bipartisan group of six Senators on the Senate Finance Committee has been working in secret for weeks to draft an alternative to President Obama’s plan to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system that does not contain a public insurance option, despite support for such an option from American voters. The Senate legislation was drafted during meetings in the office of committee chair, Max Baucus (D–MT). Last month, the...
    July 28, 2009 | News