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April 01, 2009

U.S. health care

While I agree with Steve Luptak (3/26, Letters, “U.S. needs health-care reform now”), I find it necessary to add to his comments.

Our government needs to look at the cost of how much doctors charge patients and how much the insurance companies pay the doctors. We need to reevaluate the HMO and PPO systems.
Doctors charge us a fee for an office visit, but the insurance company pays only on the contract amount they have
with the doctors, which can be reduced by as much as half. Insurance companies and doctors offices spend countless hours on contracts, pushing the total cost of care up considerably.

The policyholder also has a new contract every year, for which the cost continues to increase. All this paperwork for, quite often, a simple doctor’s visit.

For my son’s last ear infection, the doctors sent the insurance company bills totaling about $350. My last ER bill for an arm X-ray was more than $900. Charging fees like this has to stop. We need a more efficient way to run our system. Getting rid of the contracts for the doctors and the consumer buying health insurance would go a long way toward cutting costs.

Jennie Sindak
Overland Park

I, like millions of other Americans, already have single-payer health care. When the medical bills come to my house, there is only one person responsible for them: me.

The idea of using tax credits or medical savings accounts are not at all viable for someone on minimum wage or trying to support a family on low wages. Cost controls, electronic records and a single-payer system will save this country from paying such a high price for less service. Employers could save as they would no longer have to pay for the medical part of worker’s compensation as well as health insurance for their employees.

It is time to stop insurance companies from making medical decisions and give those decisions back to the doctors and the patients.

Jeffery C. Humfeld
Kansas City

After more than 30 years of experience with the practice of medicine and taking care of patients in this country, I have been persuaded, as has Michael Moore, that single-payer health care is the only rational and fair option for adequate and affordable care for all people in this nation. Anything less is a cop-out and a sell-out to for-profit greed.

Health care cannot be a for-profit endeavor.

David Oberdorfer
Bonner Springs


Mark Robertson

Single payer systems are a catastrophe. THEY DON'T WORK!!!!!!!!THEY KILL PEOPLE!!!!!!IT'S NOT THAT COMPLICATED!!!!!! PLEASE READ ANY HONEST INFORMATION ON THESE DISASTROUS BANKRUPT SYSTEMS!!!!!!!! Why is it so difficult to see the obvious? Could it be that many are blinded by their hatred for capitalism and the free market system? Thankyou.

Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

The profit motive is what keeps prices down. The U.S health care system has largely gotten away from free market forces.
The main reason for high health care costs is that someone or some entity is willing to pay those costs. An answer is less third party payments from the government and private insurers, and more direct pay. It works in virtually all other industries.
Private charity is the actual answer for the poor. Thankyou.

Mark Robertson


So health care is to be a charity non-profit endeavor? Who determines what medical professionals get paid? Obama?
I would ask Jennie what her cmpay provides in the market and how do they determine what their prices for said product or srvices are. How ,uch should an x-ray cost, based on what matrix or formula.
Granted we have several components to contend with, the first being individulas holding their own policies just like auto or homeowners insurance. Insurance companies pay according to contractual arrangements, there is nothing wrong with that. I do think hospital and physicians should be required to provide individuals that pay out of pocket for services an upfront itemized breakdown of rates or services rendered and then allow the individual to determine whether they want the medical procedure. My biggest problem with socialized anything is that those of us that EARN end up paying for everyone else that chooses not to EARN.

Then there is this continual problem:


T. Hanson

Honestly is it going to change? I mean I have not been around as long as a few people on this board, but I do remember that Clinton, Bush I, Bush II and Obama all saying that they were going to take care of this "Health Care Crisis". Still after only four presidents we still have the rule of the rich will get treated better than the poor.

And by rich I mean those that can have insurance or private doctors while those that rely on medicare or no care get the ER or free clinic visit treatment.

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