Reasons for Outrage on Health Care

By Laura S. Boylan, M.D.
The New York Times, Letters, July 9, 2013

Re “Diagnosis: Insufficient Outrage,” by H. Gilbert Welch (Op-Ed, July 5):

As medical “cost sharing” (read: “cost shifting”) grows, hidden costs will be revealed, and outrage, already simmering, can be counted on coming to a boil. We need to stop pretending that the rules of the market will provide us with high-quality, high-value health care and join the rest of the developed world with universal health insurance.

Medicare’s 48th birthday is coming up this month. Let’s expand and improve on this most successful and popular of American institutions with publicly financed and privately delivered single-payer health care for all.

The writer is a clinical associate professor of neurology at New York University School of Medicine.

Burdened by insurance paperwork

By Melvin W. Young, M.D.

 We doctors should “rage” against a system so perverse that on any given day a physician may treat 15 patients with as many insurance plans requiring unproductive paperwork. It is a system so perverse that it forces us to hire clerks whose only role is to seek authorization for needed procedures.

It is a system so skewed against us that a letter from a lawyer sets our hearts racing. A system so out of control that chief executives of major insurance companies make salaries in the millions of dollars as we doctors struggle to meet payroll and pay the rent.

The excesses in the system may justifiably lead to outrage, but we doctors are likewise outraged at the blame heaped upon us for a failed system not of our creation.

The writer is a cardiologist. He lives in Dover, Vt.