Mitch, don’t ditch Kentucky’s poor

by Brandi Jones and Darshali Vyas writing for the Louisville Courier-Journal

Sen. Mitch McConnell is the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky’s history. Despite his national spotlight as Senate Majority Leader, since 1984 voters have tasked him with one fundamental job: to represent and protect the interests of The Bluegrass. That’s why it is baffling to watch him hard at work in D.C. dismantling the very programs finally making Kentucky a leader in health care.

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Kentucky should move forward, not backward, on healthcare access

by Brandi Jones and

The patient reached for his bedpan and vomited. He clutched the right side of his abdomen and groaned.

His appendix was inflamed and had to be removed. As the surgeon explained the upcoming procedure, the patient, despite being in obvious pain, questioned the necessity of the impending surgery. His concerns became evident when he alluded to having a new job and “waiting for his benefits to kick in.”

While the surgeon gently reassured him of the need for the appendectomy, the patient simply responded, “Now I’m missing work, and I still don’t know how I’m gonna pay for this.”

The unfortunate reality was that although his was the first such experience I encountered on my 8-week surgery rotation, it would not be the last. More than a dozen patients relayed their concerns about the price tag associated with their necessary interventions, their regrets over not being able to get the issues addressed before they became more emergent, and the mounting costs they would face after they were discharged, when they had to get medications and schedule follow up appointments. While I listened to each person’s problems, I couldn’t help but feel that the vast majority of their distress was preventable—if only our system was better suited to truly address the healthcare needs of its people.

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After a Long Week, the Single Payer Movement Marches On

by Augie Lindmark writing for Common Dreams

For many supporters of universal healthcare, last week felt nauseating.

From local to national politics, the notion of health as a human right was barred from public policies.  At the state level, ColoradoCare—a ballot initiative and universal coverage proposal—didn’t reach a simple majority to ensure health access to all Coloradoans.

Then came California, where Proposition 61 aimed to curtail runaway pharmaceutical costs.  But after Big Pharma poured $109 million to attack the measure (making Proposition 61 the most expensive ballot fight this year), it was defeated by a 54-46 margin.

The story was similarly bleak at the national level as Donald Trump’s surprising win left millions of American uncertain about the future of their health care. Patients covered by the Affordable Care Act now questioned their future coverage.  The prospect of a public option that Secretary Clinton adopted late in the campaign cycle was no more.

These headlines could easily be viewed as failures.  It’s important that we see them as opportunities.

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Future Physicians’ Demands For National Health Insurance

by Dr. John Geyman writing for The Huffington Post

Medical students are becoming strong advocates all over the country for expanded and improved Medicare for All. Spurred on by their increasing awareness of the restricted access, unaffordability, and inequities keeping many Americans from necessary health care, they are organizing and making their voices heard about the urgency of real health care reform.

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