I am Pippa Abston, MD, PhD, a general pediatrician who sees patients as well as teaching medical students and residents in Huntsville, Alabama. The work published on this blog does not reflect the opinions of my employer or many of the organizations and boards I belong to. I am the physician coordinator for North Alabama Healthcare for All (NAHA), a Chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). Like the other members of PNHP, I advocate for universal single payer national health insurance– an improved, expanded Medicare for All.
Details of the PNHP proposal and supporting data are published at www.pnhp.org, and I encourage you to visit that site frequently for a comprehensive understanding of healthcare reform issues. My purpose in starting this blog is to give a personal perspective that supports the PNHP view, although this is not an official PNHP or NAHA sponsored site. Because I am not trying to duplicate the PNHP site, blog posts here will not be attempt to go in any certain order or cover every element of healthcare reform– instead, I will post thoughts I’ve had based on recent developments or conversations. I plan to try and write something about once a week or so, as well as addressing comments between posts. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comment section of this page if you have a particular topic you’d like me to address. To access the actual blog posts, click on the archives button to the right, and there is a drop-down menu.
If you belong to an organization in North Alabama and would like to have me come speak to your organization, please let me know. I do not charge for speaking in favor of reform.
I hope to have a dialogue with both supporters of reform, those who are undecided, and opponents– if we are going to make any progress on this, we need to learn to work together! I will not publish comments which are personally insulting to anyone or that have language I wouldn’t want my pediatric patients to read, but otherwise I will avoid editing anyone’s opinion.
On a personal note, I am the mother of two grown children whom I’m very proud of and married since 1985 to Barry Abston, an attorney here in Huntsville. We are members of the United Church of Huntsville and enjoy entering ballroom dance competitions together. My poetry group and I publish work together occasionally, some of which you can order on blurb.com– I sell these at cost only.
Addendum, April 3, 2010: It is customary in medical fields to provide a disclosure of any possible conflicts of interest before a talk or in a research publication. I am salaried, and my employment contract specifies that I must maintain my “Preferred Medical Doctor” (PMD) status with a specific insurer in our state. That PMD contract says that I must not do anything to discourage providers or patients from contracting with this insurer. Therefore, I will not be able to mention any specific insurer in my state by name.