PNHP Kentucky’s Dr. Garrett Adams Testifies Before Senate Hearing

On Tuesday September 13, 2011, Dr. Garrett Adams, current President of PNHP and founder of the Kentucky chapter of PNHP testified before the Senate. The occasion was a hearing entitled “Is Poverty a Death Sentence?” The hearing was sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.

Dr. Adams was asked to testify at this hearing because of his association with a free clinic in Beersheba Springs, Tennessee. (The clinic’s website can be found at beershebaclinic.org.)


PNHP President Dr. Garrett Adams testifying before Senator Bernie Sanders’s Senate hearing, “Is Poverty a Death Sentence?”

Dr. Adams’s testimony relates the realities of life and death for twelve patients from Kentucky and Tennessee that he has known, or of whom he has had first-hand knowledge. All of them have suffered or are suffering as a result of a lack of access to appropriate medical care. The testimony is unsettling, but enlightening.

Thank you to Senator Sanders for giving a voice to these unfortunate Americans who live in a country where health care is not a right for every resident, and it should be.

Regional Participation in the National Single Payer Movement


KSPH Prepares Mass Mailing Announcing ‘Patients Not Profits’ Demonstration


Louisville, May 2009

Members of Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare preparing a mailing to 3,200 members and supporters announcing the upcoming demonstration, “Patients Not Profits” and the Presbyterian-sponsored seminar for HR 676, “Making Health Care Happen.”

Volunteers preparing a mailing announcing  upcoming 'Patients Not Profits' demonstration
KSPH Members Prepare Mailing

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Rev. David Bos of KSPH Speaking at Presbyterian Seminar for Single Payer Health Care in Pasadena

Pasadena, CA, May 2009

Rev. David Bos of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care speaking at the Presbyterian Seminar for Single Payer Health Care and HR 676. Rev. Bos is a leader in the Presbyterian movement to educate and advocate for a single payer national health care plan.

Rev. David Bos of KSPH speaking at the Presbyterian Seminar for Single Payer Health Care and HR 676 in Pasadena
Rev. Bos Speaks in Pasadena

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Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan Demonstrate Outside Senator Birch Bayh’s Office

Indianapolis, IN, May 20, 2009

Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan, including a contingent from southern Indiana, at Senator Birch Bayh’s office. HCHP demonstrated at Wellpoint insurance company’s stockholders meeting (largest health insurance company in the US); they then marched to Sen. Bayh’s office, protesting his supporting private health insurance. Bayh’s wife is Wellpoint board member, at a salary of $300,000 a year.

 Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan Demonstrate outside Senator Birch Bayh's office.
Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan Demonstrate

Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan Demonstrate Outside Senator Birch Bayh’s Office

Indianapolis, IN, May 20, 2009

Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan, including a contingent from southern Indiana, at Senator Birch Bayh’s office. HCHP demonstrated at Wellpoint insurance company’s stockholders meeting (largest health insurance company in the US); they then marched to Sen. Bayh’s office, protesting his supporting private health insurance. Bayh’s wife is Wellpoint board member, at a salary of $300,000 a year.

 Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan Demonstrate outside Senator Birch Bayh's office.
Hoosiers for a Common Sense Health Plan Demonstrate

Dr. Garrett Adams – Healthcare Rally, Nashville, 10/6/08 – Transcript

Health Care Rally
Nashville, Tennessee
October 6, 2008

Garrett Adams, MD, MPH
Physicians for a National Health Program
www.PNHP.org

Hello Nashville! Nashville, home of my parents, my grandparents, and my great-grandparents. Nashville, where I was born and where I learned the essential skills of providing medical care for children.

Congratulations on hosting an historic Presidential Debate.

Five years ago an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association entitled, The Physicians Proposal for a National Health Plan, changed my life. When I endorsed this plan, I was one of 8,000 physician endorsers. Today we are over 15,000 physicians, medical students and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance in the Physicians for a National Health Program, a non-profit research and education organization.
Senator McCain, Senator Obama, and all candidates for public office, I speak for physicians today to protest a national health care payment system that yearly snuffs the life of 22,000 Americans,

A system that yearly puts over a million Americans into bankruptcy – three quarters of whom faithfully paid insurance premiums.

A system that enriches shareholders and corporate executives, rather than pay the medical expenses of sick patients.

A system that wants to insure young healthy people and to deny coverage to the sick and elderly in order to maximize profits.

A system that pays multimillions to its executives.

A system that offers bonuses to employees that can find loopholes in policies that will allow cancellation or denial of claims.

A system that does not insure people with pre-existing illnesses.

A system that allows a faithful worker whose illness forces him or her to lose their job, to also lose health care coverage and the ability to get future health insurance.

A system that forces people to choose employment, based on availability of health benefits and to remain in jobs they don’t like just to keep their “benefits” – health care hostages.

A system whose profits rely on increasing premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, and insuring healthy people while denying medical claims for the sick.

A system with no control over health care costs. We soon will spend one of every five dollars on health care, more than twice the average of other developed nations, all of whom provide universal national health care, yet we rank 37th worldwide in our system’s efficiency.

A system that allows the pharmaceutical industry to charge Americans 40% more for drugs than other countries charge.

Now listen to this, Senators McCain and Obama — A system that is carefully shielded and supported by politicians, who are rewarded with millions for their election campaign chests.

There is a cure for this sick health care system. The cure is surgery – Surgery, to remove the health insurance companies and to exert control over the pharmaceutical industry.

The health insurance industry is the problem with our health care system. It has not done, and it cannot do, anything positive for the delivery of health care in this country. For-profit, market-based health insurance is a failed and unsustainable experiment. It cannot work. When an experiment fails, the wise course of action is to abandon it and to begin a new plan.

The Declaration of Independence guarantees to American citizens the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Without health care we have none of these. A responsible government should provide health care to its citizens, just as it provides fire protection, police protection, and education. Americans deserve good health. We deserve to be and we can be a healthy nation, but not so long as we carry the added weight of the health insurance industry in provision of health care.

To cure our health system we need to operate, to excise the profiteering aspects of it; we also need to fill a prescription. The prescription is House Resolution 676, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers of Michigan, a bill now in the US Congress that will provide comprehensive universal health care in the US, publicly financed, but privately delivered, guaranteeing complete free choice of doctor and hospital. The bill has 93 co-sponsors, more than 20% of the Congress, the most support of any health reform bill in Congress.

Passage of single payer national health insurance legislation is politically feasible.

HR 676 has been endorsed by the Kentucky and New Hampshire Houses of Representatives, the New York State Assembly, dozens of cities and counties from Baltimore to San Francisco and from Warren County, Tennessee to majority-Republican Rensselaer County in New York state.

Churches have endorsed single payer national health insurance. The Presbyterian Church, the Unitarian-Universalists, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the United Church of Christ, all have formal statements endorsing single payer NHI.

Recently the US Conference of Mayors, representing over 1,000 cities with populations over 30,000, unanimously adopted a resolution in support of HR 676.

Union support for HR 676 grows daily and includes 39 state AFL-CIO federations and 116 Central Labor Councils.

Fully two thirds of Americans support this plan, as well as the majority of physicians.

Numerous federal and state studies have demonstrated the economic necessity and viability of single payer plans.

Today you and I are part of a new American movement to demand our government jettison all forms of profiteering in the provision of health care. That health care financing become public. That all Americans receive comprehensive, medically necessary health care free from financial barriers. Incremental change will not work. We need a transformational change.

This is a movement of the people as surely as the women’s suffrage movement that gave women the right to vote, the civil rights movement, or other human rights movements.

Join the movement. We need you. We need your voices and your feet.

Listen to us, Senators McCain and Obama! Listen to us! We say
Health Care for All Now!
Can you hear us?
Health Care for All Now!
Health Care for All Now!

See Video of Speech
Photos of Rally

PNHP Rally – Nashville, Tennessee, October 6, 2008

On Monday, Oct. 6, the evening prior to the Presidential Debate at Belmont University, a healthcare rally was held in Nashville, Tennessee. The rally was sponsored by a broad coalition including Tennessee Health Care Campaign, SEIU, TN AFL-CIO, USW, Tying Nashville Together, Tennessee Alliance for Progress, Healthcare-NOW Nashville, and others.

Speakers include Dr. Garrett Adams of PNHP-Kentucky. Below is a video of Dr. Adams’s speech.

Transcript of the speech

Photos of Rally

Large, high quality video of speech: Download (220 MB)