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Editorials: Point and Counterpoint |

POINT: Should Pulmonary/ICU Physicians Support Single-payer Health-care Reform? Yes

Adam W. Gaffney, MD; Philip A. Verhoef, MD, PhD; Jesse B. Hall, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

FINANCIAL/NONFINANCIAL DISCLOSURES: The authors have reported to CHEST the following: A.G. has received a National Institutes of Health grant [T32 HL116275]. None declared: (P. A. V., J. B. H.).

aDivision of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

bSection of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

CORRESPONDENCE TO: Philip A. Verhoef, MD, PhD, Department of Medicine, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care, 5841 S Maryland Ave, MC 6076, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637


Copyright 2016, American College of Chest Physicians. All Rights Reserved.


Chest. 2016;150(1):9-11. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2016.02.660
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Has the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) finally ensured the longstanding goal of universal health care? Although the ACA helps many people, in several crucial respects it falls well short of a universal system. Rather than comprehensively cover all individuals in a single public program (eg, Medicare for those aged > 65 years), the ACA broadens coverage through a patchwork of provisions predicated on a continued major role for the private health insurance industry. Together, the provisions of the ACA significantly expand insurance coverage. However, even with the law fully implemented, the most serious shortcomings of our health-care system persist. Here we outline why the ACA falls short (with a focus on issues pertinent to pulmonary and critical care medicine) and propose an alternative, truly universal approach to health care in the United States.

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