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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

I include this for anyone who is concerned about the future of healthcare in our nation. A short-short story I wrote a while back based on my experience with cancer and our healthcare system.

“Oh”, she said, “Perhaps that is the problem. They say your week off was unauthorized and your status has thus changed. You have no insurance Mr. Mainly. And you cannot expect us to take care of you if you cannot pay. This is why I asked about your assets.”

J. Matson Heininger

Eastport, Mi

May 13 2009 - 6:09am

Web Letter

The problem with cost is that the drivers of the cost are not addressed. They are the abused substances tobacco, alcohol and illict drugs. If they are eliminated, the costs of healthcare to society are halved. Since they are not going away, what to do?

Socialize the diseases associated with these substances, taking them out of the payer mix. Hospitals devoted to these patients specificially will have lower costs due to the efficiencies gained from only dealing with these kinds of patients.

This would be akin to what has been proposed for the banks and their non-performing mortgages. Eventually, society at large will get the idea what is going on with healthcare.

The only problem is sending people to a hospital that may not be the closest for care. But as long as these patients stay in the mix, no matter what shell game is played with financing, the costs will always rise relentlessly.

Merlyn Berg

Miami, FL

May 12 2009 - 1:43pm