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Showing posts from September, 2009
Response to the North Coast Journal article on health care reform

I am a local pediatrician and I really enjoyed reading Alan Sanborn's salient and entertaining article in favor of health reform. I, too, am an advocate of a single payer system because I can see no other way to improve care and contain costs. There is fat in the system, but it belongs to: INSURANCE COMPANIES (most of these companies keep about 20% of the premiums thay take in for themselves in the form of administartive costs and profit), MALPRACTICE LAWYERS and PHARMACUETICAL COMPANIES. Without fundamental reform, including tort reform, much of the money put into the system will not go towards health care essentials.
To rebut Ron Ross, the comparison between running health care and running a company is not a comparison that works, because there are fundamental differences between some one with cancer who needs treatment, and some one who would like to mail a package (i.e. the Fed Ex example). Health car…
Anthem or Anathema?


Healthy Families, a government program to provide health insurance to low income children is administered by Anthem Blue Cross, a for-profit insurance company. Last month, Anthem decided to offer new contracts to all Healthy Families providers paying roughly 1/3 the previous rates. In the setting of our national and state budget crisis, primary care offices were asked to accept drastic cuts in reimbursement rates, and many did. The California Medical Association (CMA) estimates that as many as 50% of the healthy families providers accepted the new, slashed reimbursement rates. The providers who refused to sign a fiscally impossible contract were subject to angry calls and tirades from scared and frustrated families, because (of course) Anthem let the physicians break the news to the patients. At our pediatric office patients cancelled numerous appointments, while others paid cash to have their children seen. Local families were unable to find providers who wer…