Patient's Bill of Rights Fails to Address Underlying Issues of U.S. Health Care Crisis
Interview Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
The House and Senate are currently debating a patients' rights bill that supporters hope will compensate for some of the worst abuses of the managed health care system. The current system evolved after the failure of privatized national health care legislation proposed by President Clinton during his first term. Dozens of insurance companies now provide a patchwork of restrictive coverage plans while more than 40 million Americans have no coverage at all. The U.S health care system is by far the most expensive and flawed in the industrialized world. Despite national pride in the high quality of American medical care, the Institute of Medicine recently found that nearly 100,000 patients die in hospitals annually due to physician error. In calling for reform, consumer groups, some health care providers, and a small band in Congress, have proposed single-payer, universal health coverage as an antidote to the current corporate, profit-driven model. One of the groups which has long advocated a universal system is Physicians for a National Health Program or PNHP.
Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with PNHP's coordinator, Dr. Quentin Young, who has practiced medicine in Chicago for five decades and been in the forefront of the struggle for health care reform. He talks about the movement for universal care and the prospects for change to substantively address America's health care crisis (A RealAudio Version Of This Interview May Be Found At http://www.btlonline.org) .
Contact Physicians for a National Health Program by calling (312) 782-6006 or visit their Web site at www.pnhp.org.