Advertisement
 

Broken Health Insurance System

May 25, 2004

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

Fullerton

*

I suggest that Meier spend a mere year uninsured and, while trying to earn a living, spend some time cobbling together healthcare at free clinics, faith-based programs and Veterans Affairs offices. I'd like to read the essay he writes at the end of that experience.

James Dutcher

Los Angeles

*

As a former chief financial officer of a home health agency, I can assure you that the "billions of dollars' worth of free care" that Meier indicates is provided to the uninsured costs the facilities that provide it billions of dollars. Most of the cost is disproportionately absorbed by facilities that then cannot afford necessary equipment or develop programs to address community health issues.

Patrick Brown

Bronx, N.Y.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|