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John Geyman
John Geyman, MD is Professor Emeritus of Family Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where he served as Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine from 1976 to 1990. As a family physician with over 25 years in academic medicine, he has also practiced in rural communities for 13 years. He was the founding editor of The Journal of Family Practice (1973 to 1990) and the editor of The Journal of the American Board of Family Practice from 1990 to 2003. His most recent books are Health Care in America: Can Our Ailing System Be Healed? (Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002), The Corporate Transformation of Health Care: Can the Public Interest Still Be Served? (Springer Publishing Company, 2004), Falling Through the Safety Net: Americans Without Health Insurance (Common Courage Press, 2005), Shredding the Social Contract: The Privatization of Medicare (Common Courage Press, 2006), and The Corrosion of Medicine: Can the Profession Reclaim its Moral Legacy? (Common Courage Press, 2008), Dr. Geyman served as President of Physicians for a National Health Program from 2005 to 2007 and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Entries by John Geyman

Does the Affordable Care Act Guarantee Healthcare as a Right?

(6) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 10:28 PM

In his recent celebratory remarks after the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) upheld the legality of subsidies/tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama had this to say: "Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate -- we finally declared that...

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Who Is the Patient: The Insurance Industry or Real People?

(2) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 5:53 PM

The long-awaited ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) supporting subsidies/tax credits for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been hailed by the mainstream media (even including MSNBC) as a landmark event showing the success of health care reform. Granted, the ACA after five years has brought new coverage...

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Medicare at 50: Strengths to Build On

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 4:05 PM

Traditional, or Original, Medicare turns 50 on July 30, having had many challenges and achievements from the days of its passage to today. It is time to celebrate its many successes, note some of its current challenges and threats to its future, and briefly discuss how it gives us a...

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Privatized Medicaid Managed Care: Yet Another Health Policy Disaster

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 3:20 PM

You might think that we learned the lesson of discredited managed care in the 1990s. The term "managed care" is confusing to many, but really amounts to managed reimbursement rather than managed care, whereby a set prospective annual payment is made by federal/state governments, as in the case of Medicaid...

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Where Is Hillary On Health Care?

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2015 | 11:15 AM

Twenty-one years ago, Hillary Clinton, then leading the presidential committee proposing a health care reform plan, made these statements in speaking to a group at Lehman Brothers Health Corporation on June 15, 1994, as revealed by a transcript made public through the Clinton Presidential Library:

...if there is not...

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Why the Private Health Insurance Industry Has to Go

(2) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 2:50 PM

The private health insurance industry in the U.S. has had a long run since shifting to medical underwriting and a for-profit status in the early 1960s. It finds itself increasingly dependent on the government as the costs and prices of health care have continued upward since the 1980s. Its many...

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Privatization of Medicare: Urgency of the Latest Threat

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 1:47 PM

This is a dangerous time for Medicare. The bill passed by the House on March 27, by a surprising bipartisan majority of 392-37--H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015--threatens to end traditional Medicare as a social insurance program that protects seniors in a single large risk...

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The ACA at Age 5: What Lessons Can We Draw?

(2) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 10:45 AM

Having assessed in the last three posts the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the last five years, we have seen that the ACA will not bring universal access, contain health care costs for patients and taxpayers, or improve the quality of care.

These are some of...

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The Affordable Care Act at Age Five: Quality of Care

(1) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 3:23 PM

Having looked in the last two posts at access and affordable costs of care five years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), we now examine its impact on quality of care, the third leg of the stool that defines the...

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Costs and Affordability of Care

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 6:25 PM

In this second post assessing the track record of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) five years after its enactment, we now look at its impact on containment of health care costs and affordability of care, two of its principal goals. In the last post, we noted that up to 11...

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Obamacare at Age Five: Access to Care

(1) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 1:10 PM

Now that Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act or ACA) is just turning five years since its enactment in 2010, it is time to assess its progress and shortfalls. This is the first of three posts that will deal with its experience toward its major goals -- expanding access to care,...

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Brill's Bitter Pill: Accurate Diagnosis, Inadequate Treatment

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 11:10 AM

Steven Brill, author of the well-known 2013 Special Report, Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us, in Time magazine has just released his new book, America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System. (1) Based upon in-depth reporting of interviews with more than...

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Martin Luther King Jr. -- Health Care as a Moral Crisis

(0) Comments | Posted January 30, 2015 | 2:20 PM

On this occasion honoring the anniversary of the birthday of Martin Luther King 86-years-ago, coinciding with the release of the movie Selma, it is fitting to recall his leadership on moral principles toward equity of health care in this country. Among his many classic quotes about health care, he had...

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The Draft: Missing in the Inadequate Debate Over the Ongoing Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

(0) Comments | Posted October 24, 2014 | 4:51 PM

Conspicuously absent from the minimal public debate over our ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the taboo subject of reinstating the draft in this country. As the U.S. extends its military presence in Afghanistan for another ten years, increases military forces in Iraq as "advisers and trainers," and expands...

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Cancer Care in the US: The Achilles Heel of a Profit-Driven System

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 11:21 AM

Care of cancer in this country is outpacing other health care problems and is already pricing itself beyond the reach of many Americans unfortunate enough to contract the disease. In my 2009 book, The Cancer Generation: Baby Boomers Facing a Perfect Storm, this storm warning was included:

• Cancer soon...

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The VA Scandal -- What Lessons Can We Draw?

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 4:09 PM

The V.A. scandal over access to care for our veterans is, of course, a betrayal of our government's debt to our veterans and a national disgrace that needs fixing on an urgent basis. Typical of such scandals, there is piling on from all quarters about what should be done, although...

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Health Care Reform and the Futures of Primary Care and Psychiatry

(2) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 6:47 PM

What does health care reform have to do with the futures of primary care and psychiatry? A lot, and most of it is still under our collective radar screen.

Both fields are essential to our health care system, and both face critical shortages even as the demands for their services...

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Catholic Hospital Systems: A Growing Threat To Access T0 Reproductive Services

(13) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 3:27 PM

Expansion of Catholic hospital systems is accelerating around the country, partly by acquiring non-Catholic hospitals. This trend is posing an increasing threat to access to care in two major areas -- reproductive services and end-of-life care. Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (the ERDs) are being enforced...

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Continuity of Health Care: Going, Going... Almost Gone!

(4) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 4:53 PM


We have heard the promises as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was being sold to the public, including -- you can keep your doctor and insurance if you like it. We now know those promises to be mostly false as the...

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The Affordable Care Act: Not a Government Takeover But a Privatized Bonanza

(4) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 7:10 AM

"(Obamacare) is not a government takeover of medicine. It's the privatization of health care."

Those words were spoken by Tom Scully, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) during the George W. Bush administration. The occasion was as keynote speaker at an event in late October,...

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