This has been a tumultuous time for health care in the United States,. The Affordable Care Act has plateaued in the number of people that it covers, leaving 29 million out altogether and tens of millions more who are under-insured. The Republican’s attempt to move our health system further towards privatization flopped due to public pressure. And meanwhile, the house bill HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act is gaining co-sponsors rapidly and Senator Sanders has committed to introducing a companion bill in the Senate. We speak with Dr. Robert Zarr, the past president of Physicians for a National Health Program and a practicing pediatrician about why now is the time for National Improved Medicare for All and what we must do to win.
Relevant articles and websites:
Trump was Right on HealthCare for Most of his Life by Fareed Zakaria
Senator Sanders to introduce Medicare for All, Not Public Option by Margaret Flowers
Why This isn’t the Time for the Public Option or Medicare for All by Margaret Flowers
How We Win National Improved Medicare for All by Margaret Flowers
Robert Zarr is a board-certified pediatrician at Unity Health Care in Washington, DC, where he cares for a low-income and immigrant population. He is president of Physicians for a National Health Program.
Dr. Zarr is a past president of the DC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and he holds adjunct professorships at Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University. He also co-directs the Washington, DC chapter of PNHP. He is “physician champion” of DC Park Rx, a community health initiative to prescribe nature to patients and families and encourage time in one of 350 parks and green spaces in Washington, DC.
Dr. Zarr is fluent and literate in Spanish and has worked in the U.S. and abroad with Spanish-speaking populations. He is active in Washington, DC, in a variety of quality improvement initiatives including asthma management, injury prevention, literacy promotion, breastfeeding awareness, youth advocacy, tuberculosis prevention, and compliance with early and periodic screening, diagnostic and treatment standards.
Dr. Zarr received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his pediatric residency at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He also has a master’s degree in public health, specializing in international health, from the University of Texas School of Public Health.