• As it is now, anyone can get medical treatment and not have to pay a dime for it. I see it regularly at CMC. Now of course those people that don't have insurance are probably not going to be able to get on a transplant list or be able to obtain more expensive surgical procedures (i.e. open heart procedures). In a large way though, the greed of people has lead to the high prices we all pay. Malpractice insurance premiums can be staggering. What everyone needs to realize is that the practice of medicine is just that...practice. There are going to be mistakes and there are going to be unpleasant outcomes. For serious and grievous instances of negligence, lawsuits are warranted but so many people have sued over things that were beyond the control of the physician or hospital. I understand the desire to do so, but in my mind tort reform needs to be seriously undertaken to prevent these types of suits. This in turn should reduce the premiums physicians pay for malpractice coverage which in turn hopefully would result in lower costs for treatment. There has been some movement in this area in the recent past but more needs to be done.

    June 26, 2009 at 8:25 p.m.

  • There are four alternatives only apropos of health care:
    1.) Have private-company insurance
    2.) Have "universal" governmental health care
    3.) Be extremely wealthy
    4.) Evade serious illness

    I never thought I'd say it, but I sincerely believe we'd have more recourse against the federal government than against the juggernaut insurance companies. If they decide to drop you, you are dropped. But if universal health care ever gets its foot in the door, it will be like Social Security: taking it away will become political suicide.

    Without hyperbole, I declare the insurance companies are largely satanic, and I loathe them as much as arrogant doctors who daily exploit them. For this reason, the only sane choice is universal health care carefully modeled.

    June 24, 2009 at 12:23 a.m.

  • The Universal Health Care that everyone seems to envision just isn't realistic. The price is far too high and the care will be substandard. There are so many, real-world examples of how it just isn't going to work. So, rather than universal health insurance we should be looking to Affordable Health Care - routine care should not require health insurance. Insurance policies should only be necessary for catastrophic coverage like a "real" ER visit (as opposed to an Acute Care Situation) or other major illness. An example to illustrate my point: As a Self-Pay patient, a well-baby visit for my baby cost $185- that included immunizations. At the 6-month check we had insurance. The insurance company was billed $585! Of course, the physician only got paid about half that amount, it was still about $100 more than I was charged with no insurance at all. So, what was the doctor's "real" rate? Somewhere in the middle, I suspect. What If doctors HAD to bill every patient the same amount for the same service and the insurance companies HAD to pay it....what would happen to the costs of medical care? I think costs would be far more up-front.
    A responsible person can plan for routine health care if they know roughly what the financial impact is going to be.

    June 21, 2009 at 10:50 p.m.