April 8, 2010
Tax hikes related to healthcare The new healthcare law imposes several tax increases, but most do not take effect immediately, and most apply only to upper-income Americans. Revenue estimates are over 10 years, 2010 through 2019. Medicare taxes, effective 2013 ($210.2 billion) Payroll tax increases from 1.45% to 2.35% on wage income over $200,000 for individuals; over $250,000 for couples. For taxpayers in that bracket, a new surtax of 3.8% on investment income.
June 1, 2012
Re "Patients save by paying cash," May 27 Let me see if I have this right: People in California pay hundreds of dollars a month in health insurance premiums for the "privilege" of paying up to 10 times the cash cost of a medical procedure or test? With such obviously brilliant talent available, I think I will ask a health insurance company negotiator to come along with me when I buy my next car. David Bowles Rancho Santa Fe ALSO: Letters: Buying a town with a barbecue Letters: Wind farms and birds don't mix Letters: Where deportees can go for help
February 25, 2014
Re "A costly pain in the neck," Out Here, Feb. 21 Critiques of American healthcare often focus on the high prices of itemized charges in a hospital bill. We all know that the cost of a hamburger in a restaurant far exceeds the cost of what one would pay for the meat and bun and other ingredients in a supermarket, but even an astute observer like Jon Healey - who was in a car accident and must wear a pricey neck brace that doctors selected for him - may overlook this when paying out of his own pocket.
August 24, 2012
Re "Ryan plan may hurt disabled the most," Column, Aug. 21 Without Medicare, those of us who have pre-existing conditions will have difficulty getting health insurance. After we lost coverage because of a layoff, Blue Shield, which was at the time one of the three companies in California's program for high-risk patients, would not insure my husband because he has acid reflux and takes medication for it. I was turned down because I was a six-year cancer survivor. Apparently, Blue Shield forgot it was part of the high-risk program.
November 30, 2013
Re "Stories you won't hear from GOP," Column, Nov. 27 Michael Hiltzik cites a number of cases that appear to show the benefits of Obamacare. What he fails to address are two very important factors: access to and quality of care. The questions are these: Will the less-expensive insurance plans offer patients the ability to see their new doctors in a timely fashion? And will the quality of their care be as good as they had from their former providers? Given the millions of newly insured people and the number of physicians who will either retire or refuse to accept patients covered by Obamacare, some people may find their newly acquired insurance is not as good as Hiltzik reports.
March 29, 2012 |
Art Kellermann, a doctor and a vice president at Rand Health, a division of the Rand Corp., responds to Christopher J. Conover of Duke University's Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research and the American Enterprise Institute, on the issue of how much is too much money for the nation to pay for healthcare. Conover's Op Ed, " Healthcare wasn't broken ," was published March 15. If you would like to write a full-length response to a recent Times article, editorial or Op-Ed, here are our FAQs and submission policy.