Re "Cedars, UCLA cut from L.A. health plan," Sept. 21
Before my retirement, I was an attending physician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for more than 30 years. I took care of hundreds of Medicare and Medi-Cal patients. I can count on one hand the number of celebrities I cared for.
Cedars is a nearly 1,000-bed hospital occupied mostly by regular patients. It is expensive because it strives for the best treatment, does invaluable research, teaches physicians and is often not paid for the care it provides. To claim that it is expensive because it provides care for celebrities is nonsense.
I feel bad for the L.A. city workers who will have to settle for less than excellent care because of Anthem Blue Cross' decision to no longer provide coverage for treatment provided by doctors affiliated with Cedars.
Gary Sugarman, MD
So, Anthem Blue Cross has decided to deny 60,000 Los Angeles employees
the possibility of going to Cedars and UCLA because the prices of those two excellent hospitals are just too high. Please tell me again that we do not need comprehensive national healthcare because private health insurance companies are doing such a great job keeping us healthy.
Ralph S. Brax
For more than 20 years my husband, who passed away in July at UCLA, and I have had the finest care available to us at both UCLA and Cedars. We are not celebrities, and we are not wealthy, but Anthem Blue Cross has been our Medicare supplement for many years. If Anthem raises my monthly premium, I will cut back on other expenses to keep that coverage.
Why can't Anthem simply raise the premiums and co-pays for city workers so employees have the option of keeping UCLA and Cedars? Why didn't Anthem poll the employees first to determine just how far they would be willing to go to keep their present providers?
UCLA has consistently been ranked as the best hospital in the west by U.S. News & World Report, and not because some celebrity gave birth there. Perhaps city employees are willing to pay more for the care they receive at UCLA.
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