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A Front-Row Seat on Healthcare Favoritism

March 13, 2004

Approximately six weeks ago a friend was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. After undergoing both radiological and nuclear testing it was found that, presently, the cancer is isolated in the prostate. The friend opted for surgical removal of the prostate to ensure that the cancer would not spread. To date he is waiting to meet with an insurance carrier-approved surgeon to discuss and schedule the surgery.

It seems that neither his "gatekeeper" physician nor his urologist is certain who must contact the insurance carrier for an OK to meet with and schedule the surgery.

On the other hand, Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft is diagnosed with gallstone pancreatitis and within 48 hours is in surgery with the best surgeons, hospital facilities and postoperative care -- all at the taxpayers' expense (March 10). Seems the system needs tweaking.

Bud Fink

Carpinteria

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