Single-payer system is healthcare stimulus

An upgraded Medicare program to cover all Americans would create 2.6 million jobs and add $100 billion in wages and $317 billion in business and public revenues, according to a study by a major nursing association. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), the nation’s largest RN organization, released the first known economic analysis of the impact that a “single-payer” (i.e., Medicare-type) system would have on the country’s overall economy.

The study notes that healthcare already accounts for $2.1 trillion a year in direct expenditures, but this multiplies to $6 trillion when these expenditures translate into greater spending by healthcare products/services suppliers and their employees. The study’s lead author, Don DeMoro, director of the organizationally affiliated Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, said this is why direct healthcare expenditures have a more powerful impact on the overall economy than purchases of private health insurance would.

The CNA/NNOC, which represents 85,000 RNs nationwide, added that a single-payer system would be simpler and easier to access than today’s healthcare system and more effective in controlling costs. Legislation authorizing such a system was introduced recently in the House of Representatives.

Erickson’s Retirement Living TV continues growth

Erickson Retirement Living TV (RLTV) will add another program, Whole Body Health, to its growing lineup. The show, covering holistic and complementary medicine, will debut at the end of the month.

RLTV is the brainchild of John Erickson, founder and CEO of Erickson Retirement Communities. He inked a deal with cable TV giant Comcast which is spurring growth. Speaking at the NIC Western Symposium last month in San Diego, Erickson said he wants to enhance the perception of aging. “I want to take all that negative, ‘Oh, they just want to sit at home and watch reruns of Murder She Wrote’ and say this isn’t the way life works at all!”

The network has more than 1,000 hours of original programming on health, finance, lifestyle, and other topics important to seniors. AARP sponsors My Generation, a lifestyle show, and Inside E Street.

John Erickson

Even with a bad economy, research shows the 50+ set is not economizing on beauty products or cable TV, according to Kimberly Simmons, media relations manager for RLTV, the only network dedicated to those 50 and older. “People want to look good and be entertained,” she says. And Simmons should know. RLTV, since launching two years ago, now boasts 3.5 million viewers across the country and four to five additional markets are added every month.

Both Erickson and Simmons believe this type of programming is “revolutionizing” aging. “I really think this concept could go global,” Simmons says.

Owners and administrators who subscribe to the major cable carriers such as Time Warner, Cox, and Verizon can contact their provider directly to request RLTV. Those who do not can call Betsy Brightman at (215) 527-5018 for sales information. The Web site is

Long-Term Living 2009 April;58(4):12

Topics: Articles , Medicare/Medicaid