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'High Price of Health'

December 18, 1987

Your editorial only partly covered the reality of the situation. It did not discuss what happens when a group or category is reduced in size because of high premiums causing even higher premiums. It is a vicious circle.

My daughter has a chronic ailment. She cannot change her coverage. No other carrier will cover her illness; they will exclude it. That means that she is "locked" into her present policy. The premiums have increased because the numbers within the original coverage have decreased and a smaller number now carry the burden. We are now paying $750 per month for the coverage and she has been told that this is not the top. We do not know what the next increase will be, nor can we expect that increase to be the last or even the next to last.

I do understand that there is an economic balance that must be a part of every service. The balance must not come alone from the insurance companies. My daughter was recently in a hospital where the charges were $6.50 per pill. She had intravenous feeding and the charge was $150 per bottle. These are just examples. The bill was over $10,000 and she left on the eighth day. We need to examine actual hospital costs, capital distribution and charitable contributions, as well as the insurance company premiums.

You mentioned that many people are not covered now. That is just the beginning. There is no way to stop this insanity unless the government steps in to solve the problem.

This is not a new issue! It has been discussed many times and for years. It's getting worse! I am not for added government involvement, unless, however, society cannot or will not help itself. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) has been advocating a public health plan as in Canada and England. It appears to me that we must have a solution whether it be that one or another.

RICHARD STRAUSS

Los Angeles

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