News Release

* Health Care * Michelle Obama


Co-author of the book Universal Health Care: What the United States Can Learn from the Canadian Experience, Fegan is former president of Physicians for a National Health Program. She said today: “The reason I’m at the convention is that we have millions more people who are uninsured than when George Bush became president. How many more people are we going to allow to suffer — and literally die — because we don’t have a real universal health care system?” The Census Bureau is holding a press conference tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET to announce the 2007 figures on income, earnings, poverty and health insurance coverage.

White, who comes from a conservative evangelical background, recently revised Dr. Robert LeBow’s classic book advocating a single-payer health care system, Health Care Meltdown: Confronting the Myths and Fixing Our Failing System.

White said today: “I think John McCain’s ideas on health care are a non-starter — he’s basically calling for continued privatization. Obama seems to be proposing some sort of dual system, allowing people to buy into a Medicare-like system. This will not make the changes so many people need.”

The Washington Post reported Friday: “A few years ago, executives at the prestigious University of Chicago Medical Center were concerned that an increasing number of patients were arriving at their emergency room with what the executives considered to be non-urgent complaints. The visits were costly to the hospital, and many of the patients, coming from the surrounding South Side neighborhood, were poor and uninsured. Michelle Obama, an executive at the medical center, launched an innovative program to steer the patients to existing neighborhood clinics to deal with their health needs. …”

Cohen said today: “In three decades of practice, I’ve seen thousands of patients denied access to health care in Chicago. I know that piecemeal solutions like the University of Chicago Medical Center plan are insufficient to overcome this problem. Chicago and the U.S. do not need another single-institution initiative. They need, desperately, a single-payer system — so that hospitals can focus on treating patients and not shuffle them elsewhere.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167