An interesting article from Long Beach. Dr. Robert Gumbiner founded FHP in 1961, which went on to become one of the largest HMOs in the country. Remember that once upon a time the argument was that doctors were padding their bills by prescribing tests that were big money makers even when they weren't needed. HMOs were going to save us money by keeping doctors' choices on the up and up. Of course, what we ended up with was a corporation making your medical decisions and penalizing doctors that "waste" money on tests they feel are necessary.
So, perhaps it comes as no surprise that the man who was at the forefront of developing the HMO, now comes out solidly against them. From the Physicians for a National Health Program.
Book Details Health Care System Crisis
In “Curing Our Health Care System,” Gumbiner argues that the country needs a single payer, Medicare-type system that is available to all.
“If you’re over 65 you get covered by Medicare, but if you’re under 65 you don’t. We all pay taxes,” he said, adding that giving coverage to a select group is a form of discrimination.
Such a universal system is not out of reach and could be financed with the amount of money spent on health care today, Gumbiner contends.
“I’m a firm believer that there’s enough money being spent right now with employer/employee contributions and the federal government that everyone can be covered,” Gumbiner said.
“We’ve already done most of these things,” he said of his solutions. “We just need a white knight, some politician who has the courage to go up against the prescription drug companies and for-profit hospitals and stand firm.…
“I wrote it… to help the decision makers, the policy makers be better informed. There are not too many out there offering solutions.”
I would argue that we are the White Knights, it is we who will pressure our Legislators, State Council Candidates, US Representatives and Senators to back Health Care for All. Instead of my normal pitch that you join NC Defend Health Care or join the email list, I'm going to let you know that we have a Speakers Bureau that you are welcome to contact for your favorite group. We'll send someone to discuss Health Care for All, answer your questions, and give you legislative contacts.