Medical Fees Are Often Higher for Patients Without Insurance

The New York Times
April 2, 2001
by Gina Kolata

"Most patients paying the full fare have no idea that their bill may be many times that of the people next to them in the doctor's waiting room. And, in interviews, many doctors said they did not offer patients information on pricing disparities, however much they might agonize over the inequities of the system. While this may not be a problem for people who can afford fee-for-service plans, which typically are far
more expensive than other health insurance, it can be devastating for the uninsured."

Mark V. Pauly, PhD, Professor of Health Care Systems at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania:

"I don't think it's exactly good versus evil, it's just business."

Comment: Thank you, Dr. Pauly, for reminding us that "business" is inherently amoral, and cannot possibly serve as a force to move our health care system toward promoting the "good." By extrapolation, you have reminded us that a public service model demands optimum utilization of public funds, an ideal model for our health care system. Dr. Pauly, I'm sure that you will endorse our proposal to throw out the egregiously wasteful, ineffective and "amoral" middleman health plans, and replace
them with an efficient, publicly administered, universal health insurance program that has a mandated mission of providing the greatest good in health care for all of us.