Author Affiliation: Department of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
The article by The Physicians' Working Group for Single-Payer National
Health Insurance1 in this issue of THE JOURNAL
should re-energize the much needed debate on universal health insurance. More
than 40 million Americans lack health insurance2 and
nearly 60 million are without health insurance for a portion of the year.3 Employers face rising health insurance premiums, and
their employees face increasing cost-sharing. There are ongoing and increasing
disagreements about health benefits coverage. Physicians, hospital administrators,
home health agency financial officers, and others are increasingly frustrated
with the confusion and inefficiencies of the current multiple payment mechanisms.
In these fiscally troubled times, state legislators are having difficulty
finding funds to support Medicaid and free-care pools. Clearly, there must
be a "simpler and better way."
Fein R. Universal Health Insurance—Let the Debate Resume. JAMA. 2003;290(6):818-820. doi:10.1001/jama.290.6.818