PNHP can threaten health reform

PNHP is a fringe physician group that advocates for a single-payer health system.

The Massachusetts branch came out recently and railed against the state’s health reform plan, which incidentally, is similar to what President Obama is likely to propose.

According to its leadership, “nothing less than single-payer national health reform will work.”

I’ve always thought they should compromise their stance on a single-payer system, which has next to zero chance of being passed. In fact, as I noted previously, influential Democrat Max Baucus “wasn’t going to waste his time” on the idea.

Suffice it to say, PNHP didn’t take my advice, and today circled their ideological wagons. David Himmelstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of PNHP, said that “if the reform plan looked like the Massachusetts reform he probably would prefer the status quo.”

In essence, he’s saying that if the United States fails to adopt a single-payer system, he’d prefer doing nothing to change a system that doesn’t cover 50 million Americans and counting.

It’s becoming increasing obvious that the biggest threat to health reform isn’t coming from Republicans and the right, but from these radical, far-left, groups causing liberals to fight amongst themselves.

Maggie Mahar comments on the damage PNHP is doing to the progressive cause, noting that “the single-payer advocates are simply dividing progressive health care reformers at a time when [they] need to be united against the conservative opposition.”

In order to pass meaningful health reform, the President will need all the support he can muster. It’s ironic that his biggest enemies will likely be those on his own side.