A group of about 8,000 physicians has renewed the call for national health insurance in an article that harshly criticizes the "irrationality" of the current system, which leaves 41 million Americans without insurance.
The Physicians' Working Group for Single-Payer National Health Insurance argues its case in the Aug. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, pointing out that the world's richest nation, blessed with an abundance of resources and the most sophisticated equipment, is incapable of ensuring "basics like prenatal care and immunizations" to many of its most vulnerable citizens.
The group held press conferences in New York, Washington, Chicago and other major cities today to publicize their cause. The proposal outlined in the prestigious medical journal would save at least $200 billion a year by eliminating high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance business, the doctors maintain.
The American Medical Association, meanwhile, opposes a single-payer system, saying a mix of public and private-sector financing will best protect the uninsured. -- by Michael Romano