Re "No Insurance Doesn't Mean No Healthcare," Commentary, May 21: Conrad Meier's misguided analysis of healthcare in this country is almost a joke. When he states that more people paying cash for services is a trend, it is not because they want to, it is because they can't afford insurance. Even if you have insurance you do not necessarily get good healthcare. A friend can't get her gynecologist to even return a call, much less make an appointment to see her. My wife, with an $8,000 insurance premium, waits over two weeks for approval of a radiological study to rule out a tumor. I was, unfortunately, in an auto accident. Hospitalized for 1 1/2 days, without any surgery, I was billed over $23,000 dollars, not including doctors' fees and ambulance costs!
Who would elect to pay cash for this? Insurance companies make profits that do not contribute to services. Advertising takes dollars away from services. Jobs that do not provide insurance deprive millions of services. The system is broken. Just saying there are only 25 million people without health insurance instead of 44 million is not enough to make it better. We need universal healthcare -- nothing less.
Leonard A. Zivitz MD