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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Have Obama and Congress Sold Out Healthcare Reform to the Insurance Industry?
23 Jul 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Have Obama and Congress Sold Out Healthcare Reform to the Insurance Industry?

Interview with Dr. Mary O'Brien, spokesperson with Physicians for a National Health Program, conducted by Scott Harris

As a candidate, Sen. Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency pledging to reform the failing U.S. health care system. Now six months into his administration, President Obama is pushing Congress to pass initial reform bills before the summer recess begins on Aug. 8 However, Republicans, conservative Democrats in both the House and Senate as well as health care and insurance industry lobbyists have called for more time to debate the final shape of legislation, and how funds will be raised to pay the $1 trillion costs of the leading plans.

Bills passed in the House maintain the primary role of private insurance companies, require all individuals to purchase health insurance and all employers to provide it. The poor would get subsidies to buy health coverage and insurance companies would be prevented from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. President Obama and Democratic leaders support adding a public health insurance option to compete with private insurance providers.

Early on Congressional leaders took the single payer option for revamping the U.S. health care system out of the debate, removing a model that has succeeded in cutting costs in most other industrialized nations around the world. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Dr. Mary O'Brien, a member of the faculty at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. O'Brien, a spokesperson with the group Physicians for a National Health Program, takes a critical look at the health care reform legislation now being debated by Congress.

Contact the Physicians for a National Health Program by calling (312) 782-6006, or visit their website at

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions
©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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