Sick Around The World – 2008 Film on Healthcare Around the World Still Relevant

Four in five Americans say the U.S. health-care system needs “fundamental” change. Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health-care system, or are these nations so culturally different from us that their solutions would simply not be acceptable to Americans? FRONTLINE correspondent T.R. Reid examines first-hand the health-care systems of other advanced capitalist democracies — UK, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Taiwan — to see what tried and tested ideas might help us reform our broken health-care system.

This PBS Frontline’s T.R. Reid investigates healthcare systems in five modern developed countries. There are lessons to be learned from England, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland.

Taiwan developed their modern healthcare system in 1995 by studying 10-15 countries. Taiwan wanted a system that gave access to healthcare to everyone (not un-affordable to tens of millions like the U.S.), gave people a choice of doctors with no waiting times (not having most be inaccessible due to the structure of private insurer networks), and one that encouraged competition among medical providers.

Switzerland had a system similar to the U.S. in 1994, with healthcare tied to employment. In 1996, a referendum was held and they passed the Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act of 1994. Switzerland now has guaranteed comprehensive medical treatment to all its residents and healthcare is no longer tied to employment.

Bankruptcy due to medical expenses is unheard of in these countries. Overall rates of satisfaction with healthcare among the populations run high.

The United States is the wealthiest country on earth, but the only aspects of it’s healthcare system that compares to the superior systems of some of these other countries is the Medicare system and the Veterans Administration. Nearly 30 million lack healthcare coverage and 70 million are under-insured.

PANA supports the call to expand Medicare and eliminate the monopolistic control of private insurers over most of the healthcare delivery and administrative system. We hope you will do the same:


Healthcare Uncategorized

AB 1400 Would Finance Expanded Patient Care Rather than Corporate CEO Salaries

Capital Extraction CEO Salaries

The current private-insurer-controlled healthcare system is one of capital extraction.
The rising premiums and deductibles we pay finance political corruption to the demise of patient care.

This is why it has been a challenge to win healthcare-for-all even in a Democratic Party Supermajority state like California and why we must build increased grassroots power.

Instead of public financing of exorbitant CEO salaries, AB 1400 would help redirect this capital into local economy health infrastructure development and direct our monies towards patient-centric healthcare services, including multilingual and culturally-appropriate care in our communities.

In addition, (nationally) the current system drains $228-280 BILLION into wasteful, bureaucratic administrative costs to take away healthcare decisions from doctors, putting this power into the hands of private insurers. The multi-payer system is overly complex and wasteful by design.  It needs a complete overhaul if we are to win the healthcare that other modern countries provide with single-payer systems.

Today, patient care in the United States is one of capital extraction, not one that is centered on the well-being and health of people. It views disease and illness as a source of profits and for the most part, it opposes preventative care. Pharmaceutical unregulated price-gouging that also contributes to great financial stress for working-class families, and contributes to medical debt remaining one of the top reasons for personal bankruptcy.

This is why Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA) supports the fight to win a single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare system and legislative reform such as AB 1400 in California. Of particular note, it is the first healthcare reform bill that acknowledges the need for linguistically and culturally appropriate healthcare.  Until the loopholes that give control over the government to the private corporate interests are closed, we will continue to have millions in the U.S. face unnecessary suffering both in terms of poor health outcomes and financial stress.

AB 1400 Benefits
Click HERE for an AB 1400 Fact Sheet PDF

Watch this video to learn more about AB 1400 from Carmen Comsti of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United.  She is the writer of AB 1400 and serves as a commissioner on CA Governor Newsom’s Healthcare Commission:

Please send a letter to your CA Assemblymember to urge them to advance AB 1400, the CalCare Act, which would guarantee healthcare coverage for ALL Californians:

Anti-Asian Violence Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare, universal healthcare, healthcare disparities, healthcare inequality, corporate Democrats, healthcare insurance Solidarity

Win Justice for Christian Hall!

“A Mental Health Crisis is Not a
Death Sentence”

A Mental Health Crisis is Not a Death Sentence

On December 30, PANA and Neighborhood Safety Companions (NSC) were not deterred by rain as they joined calls for justice in downtown L.A. on the one-year anniversary of Christian Hall’s murder by Pennsylvania State Police. Organized by Answer Coalition, Los Angeles, other attendees included Anti-Asian Violence community safety allies from Asians with Attitude and Pan Asian Harmony Society. We heard recorded statements from Christian’s parents and his best friend. Solidarity statements included members of Party for Socialist Liberation, Roofers Union Local 36. Music by @taevinmusic.

Progressive Asian Network for Action and Neighborhood Safety Companions
PANA and Neighborhood Safety Companions taking a stand for Justice for Christian Hall on 12/30/2021
Reggie Wong of PANA/NSC calls for support of AB 1400
Reggie Wong of PANA and NSC advocates support of CA AB 1400 which would finance increased mental healthcare for all Californians
Christian Hall Justice Demands

Please support the campaign to win Justice for Christian Hall, which is the intersection of killer cops accountability, the lack of mental health services in the U.S. and the challenges faced by adoptees and their families.…/christian-hall-police…#JusticeForChritianHall



Centering Asian Americans: Racism, Violence, and Health

Hear insights from people with experience from the frontlines of healthcare work in Asian American communities, including the challenges around data aggregation and dis-aggregation, combatting the Model Minority Myth…

Episode 213: Antiracism in Medicine Series – Episode 13 – Centering Asian Americans: Racism, Violence, and Health


CPSolvers: Anti-Racism in Medicine Series

Episode 13: Centering Asian Americans: Racism, Violence, and Health

Show Notes by Naomi F. Fields

December 21, 2021

Summary: This episode is about racism faced by Asian-Americans, why it often goes unrecognized, and how we can work to rectify these wrongs. This discussion is hosted by Jazzmin Williams, Rohan Khazanchi, MPH, and Jennifer Tsai MD, MEd, as they interview Thu Quach, PhD, an epidemiologist and galvanizing leader who has led the Asian Health Services (Oakland, CA) in addressing racial disparities in COVID-19, and Tung Nguyen, MD, a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a nationally-renowned health disparities researcher. Our inspiring guests help us to contextualize struggles faced by Asian-Americans even as they outline and energize within us a path forward – together.

Content Warning: This episode contains themes of violence, trauma-induced mental health concerns, and brief mentions of suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255, that’s 800-273-TALK.


Healthcare Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare, universal healthcare, healthcare disparities, healthcare inequality, corporate Democrats, healthcare insurance

US Ranks 36th Out of 37 Nations on COVID-19 Mortality

A new study quantifies the loss in life expectancy due to COVID-19 in nations around the world. The US is in the worst tier, with a drop of nearly two years. Blame lays at the feet of mishandling by Trump, but also long-term degradation of public health and primary care access. Both must be rebuilt.

From abstract:


“Reduction in life expectancy was estimated as the difference between observed and expected life expectancy in 2020 using the Lee-Carter model. . . .


Results: Reduction in life expectancy in men and women was observed in all the countries studied except New Zealand, Taiwan, and Norway, where there was a gain in life expectancy in 2020. No evidence was found of a change in life expectancy in Denmark, Iceland, and South Korea. The highest reduction in life expectancy was observed in Russia (men: −2.33; women: −2.14), the United States (men: −2.27; women: −1.61), Bulgaria (men: −1.96; women: −1.37), Lithuania (men: −1.83; women: −1.25), Chile (men: −1.64; women: −0.88), and Spain (men: −1.35; women: −1.13)”


[Note: All figures are in years; confidence intervals deleted to enhance readability]


Comment and Graph by David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler via

COVID-19 Death Rates and a Healthcare System Designed to Profit From Illness and Suffering:

These data provide further evidence of the criminal mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. By another measure – years of life lost per 100,000 population – the US was better only than Bulgaria, Russia and Lithuania. Donald Trump’s denialism and malfeasance bear much of the blame for the US’ sorry record on COVID-19. But the gutting of public health capacity, which occurred under both Democrats and Republicans, and our defective health care system, which obstructs access to care and discourages trusting relationships, were and remain major contributors.

6% of health spending should go for public health, double the current proportion. Further, we need to erase access barriers, and build a real and universal primary care infrastructure.

The Current U.S. Healthcare System Seeks to Discard Those Most in Need and is Inherently Discriminatory:

The Democrats, not Trump, continue to lead efforts to dump COVID-19 positive hospital overflow to willing privately-operated nursing homes. And, they are also involved in data coverup and tactics of failing to dis-aggregate data. We know this because of involvement in dealing with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the high-death rates at Kei-Ail Los Angeles, a nursing facility traditionally in service of Japanese American and Japanese seniors in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles:

See more at


Healthcare Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare, universal healthcare, healthcare disparities, healthcare inequality, corporate Democrats, healthcare insurance Political Power

PANA Members Join “Knit the Revolution” Podcast on Medicare-for-All

Tsukuru Fors, Reggie Wong and Taiji Miyagawa share experiences from their work to win healthcare-for-all, including AB 1400 in CA.

How efforts by PANA to address the larger issue of inequality faced by Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are an example of how to build a broader, more diverse and powerful grassroots movement to win the change we all need:



US Surpasses 800,000 Pandemic Deaths

More than 800,000 Americans have now died from the coronavirus, the highest recorded national death toll from the global pandemic.

The 800,000 total exceeds the populations of cities such as Boston or Washington DC. The milestone means nearly twice as many Americans have died during the pandemic as in World War 2.

The US death toll far exceeds that of any other country.

U.S. Death Count earlier in December, Prior to Exceeding 800K
More than 40% Were Preventable
Single Payer Would Reduce Pandemic Deaths


Climate Crisis

Japanese Mothers Protest Dumping of Nuclear Waste into the Pacific Ocean

Mothers from Iwaki City and Onahama and activists protest TEPCO and the Japanese Government’s wreckless plans to once again dumb tons of radioactive waste from the still-melting-down Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant into the adjacent Pacific Ocean.

Via the Manhattan Project for a Nuclear-Free World:

Japan has plans to release 1,280,000 tons of radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean starting from 2023 and continue for more than 30 years.

Three independent human rights experts appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council expressed deep regret at the decision of Japan in a joint statement, saying that the “decision is particularly disappointing as experts believe alternative solutions to the problem are available.”

They expressed their concerns that the dumping of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi “could impact millions of lives and livelihoods in the Pacific region,” and such dumping “imposes considerable risks to the full enjoyment of human rights of concerned populations in and beyond the borders of Japan,” and “reminded Japan of its international obligations to prevent exposure to hazardous substances, to conduct environmental impact assessments of the risks that the discharge of water may have, to prevent transboundary environmental harms, and to protect the marine environment.”

The dumping of this radioactive water could cause irreparable damage to our planet, and could affect everything from the smallest sea creatures to our human living conditions and everyday lives.

Please watch and listen to the videos below (subtitled):


6 Videos

A message from Ms. Miyuki Iizuka


A message from Ms. Yumi Chiba


a message from moms in Iwaki


A Message from “KOREUMI”

Issues and updates on Japan’s dumping plan

The Dangers of Tritium by Dr. Ian Fairlie


The First Year of COVID: Filipinos Were Among Hardest Hit, But Hidden by Data

Filipinos had the second highest mortality rate in the county during the pandemic’s first year — but that cost was largely hidden because the county reported cases and deaths among Filipinos within a broad category of Asian Americans, rather than breaking them out specifically. 

Maya Srikrishnan

Voices of San Diego

In San Diego County, Filipinos accounted for about 7 percent of the 4,000 COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic’s first year, while they make up roughly 6.5 percent of the county population. That made Filipinos the third largest nationality for pandemic deaths in the county during that time.  

Filipinos faced a unique set of risks. Many Filipinos work in the health care sector or in other essential, high-risk employment, like in assisted living facilities. They also tend to live in multigenerational households, and suffer from certain health conditions that increase morbidity with COVID, like diabetes and hypertension. The majority of Filipinos who died, 92 percent, were immigrants, while only 8 percent were U.S.-born. 

But because Filipino deaths and cases weren’t specifically tracked by the county – grouped instead with other Asian nationalities, which had lower numbers of cases and deaths – community advocates and researchers said that the community didn’t get the support and resources it needed. 

Read the Voices of San Diego article HERE.


The Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 on Pacific Islander Communities

Take a listen:

‘Alisi Tulua, project director of the Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander COVID-19 Data Policy Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, tells Marco Werman that while California is easing its lockdown restrictions, Native Hawaiian and Pacific islanders in the state are still experiencing high infection rates.

Please visit SoCal PIRCT to learn more:

Climate Crisis

At COP26, Youth Activists From Around the World Call Out Decades of Delay

Young people from around the world strike at home and in Glasgow to protest climate inaction from government leaders.

Inside Climate News

By Delger Erdenesanaa | November 10, 2021

At COP26, Youth Activists From Around the World Call Out Decades of Delay
Glasgow COP 2021

A Sense of Extreme Urgency 

This push and pull between rich and poor countries, between large and small, extractive economies and the rest, has been a hallmark of each COP negotiation to date. But youth in bigger and more polluting countries are acutely aware of the consequences, and many feel a visceral urgency to halt the climate crisis.

“This could truly be our best last chance,” said Ema Govea, who marked her 18th birthday in late October in Washington by beginning a hunger strike in front of the White House. She was one of five young Americans who decided climate change warranted such an extreme form of protest. 

The strikers had wanted President Biden to pressure Democrats in Congress to pass the full scope of his climate agenda. The U.S. government owes strong climate action not just to Americans but to the world, Govea said. The countries gathered for COP26 are well aware that the United States is the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases. 

Here are youth activists’ demands at COP26:

  • Limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • Hand over the $100 billion in climate financing promised to developing countries, and
  • Immediately halt new fossil fuel projects.

More Coverage by The Nation

Youth Activists Fight for Their Future at COP 26

On emissions targets, on funding to developing nations, and on phasing out fossil fuels, youth are demanding that COP26 deliver.

More Coverage on NPR:

Clean up your mess, young activists tell leaders at COP26 climate summit


Beyond Cathay Manor: The Interconnected Tenant Struggles of LA Chinatown

Elderly tenants of a low-income senior housing complex protest unsafe living conditions and demand accountability from landlords, developers and politicians.

Janis Yue and Amy Zhou | November 3, 2021

Chronically broken elevators, dangerous stairwells without proper lighting, a non-functional laundry room, inconsistent hot water, and cockroach infestations — this is only a partial list of the grievances named by the elderly tenants of Cathay Manor, a low-income senior housing complex that stands 16 stories high at 600 N Broadway in Chinatown. The tenants, many of whom are Chinese immigrants in their 80s and even 90s, have begun organizing powerfully to demand habitable conditions and accountability from slumlord Don Toy, chairman of the board of the Chinese Community on Aging Housing Corporation (CCOAHC) that owns the building, as well as the former chair of the Historic Cultural North Neighborhood Council (from which Toy was recently removed due to improper conduct).

The tenants are also demanding accountability from politicians such as US Representative Jimmy Gomez, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, and Supervisor Hilda Solis, implicating a vast array of community actors on a scale that has rarely been seen before in Chinatown. 

Read the full article: