Students for a National Health Program

Columbia's chapter of Students for a National Health Program believes that a single publicly funded, privately delivered universal health care system is necessary for us to provide high quality care to all our patients.

Our goal is to advocate for a single-payer health care system as outlined by the Physicians' Proposal, "Beyond the Affordable Care Act: A Physicians' Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform." The proposal's key points are:

  1. Access to comprehensive health care is a human right. It is the responsibility of society, through its government, to assure this right. Coverage should not be tied to employement.
  2. The right to choose and change one's physician is fundamental to patient autonomy. Patients should be free to seek care from any licensed healthcare professional.
  3. Pursuit of corporate profit and personal fortune have no place in caregiving. They create enormous waste and too often warp clinical decision-making.
  4. In a democracy, the public should set health policies and budgets. Personal medical decisions must be made by patients with their caregivers, not by corporate or government bureaucrats.

With these points in mind, we seek to involve medical and health professional students in learning about the economic and political aspects of health care. We inform students about the roles they can take to advocate for universal access to health care and engage them in working toward an improved system for both patients and providers. To this end, we seek to build and sustain an open dialogue across all schools at the medical center in regard to the continued improvement of the U.S. healthcare system.

For more information, email snahp@lists.cumc.columbia.edu