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Doctors Strike is Proposed

on The Health Show

Physician proposes a doctors’ strike to help
establish single-payer health care
– 4:45 minutes audio

  • Dr. Stephen Bergman, whose pen name is Dr. Samuel Shem, communicates a proposal that doctors go on strike in July 2010 and that other health care workers may want to consider participating.
  • Why? To help get health care for all. Because there is currently not enough talk among election candidates about establishing single-payer health care, Improved Medicare for All.
  • The original link is no longer available to access the audio of the The Health Show from July 10, 2008.

A Review of the Audio

  • First, he shares an example of the disastrous consequences to health care by going to “managed care” as per HMO’s. “We lost our clout in setting standards for good care for our patients …” “Now pretty much everyone agrees that health care in America is a national disgrace.”
    • “(Tens of millions are) one illness away from bankruptcy, poverty, or homelessness. Our private health care system is worse for patients, worse for doctors, and better only for the insurance industry.”
  • Here is an outline of the doctor’s idea for a strike:
    • 2:15 – “Change will not originate from the top.” There is a need for a high quality of connection among what he calls the “subordinate group” (such as individual citizens and individual physicians). Change in the past has come by “believing that by organizing together at the grassroots level we could right an obvious wrong.”
    • 2:45 – “I propose “the doctors’ strike” … or “the health care workers’ strike” … “First, we doctors recruit … our colleagues to pledge … (to go on strike, as follows)”
      • July 2008: announce the strike … that it will occur if there is no federal law for (non-profit) single-payer national health insurance system before July 2010
      • January 2009: remind the public that the doctors will go on strike
      • July 2009: announce the specific services that will not be provided during the strike; by this time more health care workers will have joined … and maybe even (a major corporation) will have joined the plans for a strike
      • January 2010: the public starts to fully appreciate that the “consequences of a strike would be disastrous” with tens of thousands of people planning to go on strike
      • Dr. Shem predicts that it “will never come to that”; instead “we’ll put real (non-profit single-payer) health insurance on the books”
    • “If we care for our patients and our Hippocratic ideals, we have no choice but to try.” We need to join the (other) “rich nations who put first things first: the health security of their citizens.”


As noted above, the link is no longer available to the audio verion of this 10 July 2008 Health Show program.
However, we do have a pdf file.


We need to join the …
“rich nations who put first things first:
the health security of their citizens”.


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