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.
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
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.