David Himmelstein

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David Himmelstein


Dr David U. Himmelstein

Medical bankruptcy paper

In 2005, Senator Elizabeth Warren – then a professor – published an academic paper along with David Himmelstein, Deborah Thorne and Steffie Woolhandler, in the journal Health Affairs that made a very bold claim: Over 40 percent of all U.S. bankruptcies came as the result of medical problems suffered by the bankrupt.

Four years later, in 2009, they published an update to that figure – and it looked much, much worse. Medical bills were actually responsible for more than 62 percent of all American bankruptcy filings.

Needless to say, it was a very eye-catching statistic. Arguably, that was the point: Dr. Woolhandler and Dr. Himmelstein are physicians, public health researchers at Hunter College and advocates of a single-payer healthcare system. Ms. Thorne is a sociologist who studies bankruptcy. At the time, Warren was a Harvard law professor with a longtime issue in social justice and a professed desire to throw data at questions in the social sciences instead of speculation.[1]

"Single payer" book

A book, "Caring for the Uninsured and Underinsured A Better-Quality Alternative: Single-Payer National Health System Reform" was released in 1994 by the Physicians for a National Health Program Quality of Care Working Group, Contributors included;

Gordon Schiff; Andrew Bindman; Troyen Brennan; Thomas Bodenheimer; Carolyn Clancy; Oliver Fein; Ida Hellander; David Himmelstein; Linda Rae Murray; T. Donald Rucker; Ron Sable; Jeffrey Scavron; Ronald Shansky; Ellen Shaffer; David Slobodkin; Steve Tarzynski; Steffie Woolhandler; Quentin Young.

Open letter to Andy Stern

On May 1 2008, JOJO of signed an open letter to SEIU president Andy Stern in protest at SEIU moves force its local United Healthcare Workers into trusteeship.

We are writing to express our deep concern about SEIU's threatened trusteeship over its third largest local, United Healthcare Workers (UHW). We believe that there must always be room within organized

labor for legitimate and principled dissent, if our movement is to survive and grow.

Putting UHW under trusteeship would send a very troubling message and be viewed, by many, as a sign that internal democracy is not valued or tolerated within SEIU. In our view, this would have negative

consequences for the workers directly affected, the SEIU itself, and the labor movement as a whole. We strongly urge you to avoid such a tragedy.

Healthcare-Now!

In 2009 David Himmelstein, Co-Founder, Physicians for a National Health Program, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA served on the board of directors of Healthcare-Now! .[2]

References