Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP, MACE
Below is a comment made to my son, Brad Feld, on his blog, when he asked everyone following his blog to join his dad’s Posse.
Denise ——- wrote
I would like to join your dad’s posse. Here is a letter I wrote to Kinky about healthcare. If your dad’s interested have him contact me. I’ve been researching healthcare on my own for the last 4 years.
Here’s the letter, they never responded to it.
Please excuse my boldness, but I am writing this to help with your platform on healthcare.
I like the leave no teacher behind, bio-fuels and the I’ll sign anything but bad legislation; however that is not enough to get my vote and the thousands of Texans who are either un-insured or under-insured.
It is not just about covering the poor. I have found out how a middle-class person can quickly become poor without insurance or with inadequate insurance.
First I want to make you aware of a few problems in healthcare costs:
The un-insured are charged at least 10 times the amount charged to insurance companies.
A blood test called CA125 cost me $198.50 when I was un-insured and only $22.50 when I got insurance. The $22.50 was before my deductible was met! I could give you more examples but you get the idea.
A person cannot get prices before purchasing healthcare services.
o I had to have major surgery after my health insurance was canceled. So like I do with any large purchase I tried to shop around and called different hospitals to get an approximate price. Impossible! I called 4 hospitals; one hung up on me thinking it was a prank call, two didn’t know what to tell me and would call me back, which they didn’t; and one called me back and told me $15,000 which of course was way above what an insurance company would pay.
A hospital official was quoted saying,” We have to charge the un-insured more to make up for the discounts we give health insurance companies.”
o Does this seem like common sense to you?
Doctors are not allowed to give a discount to the un-insured or under-insured.
If I could have paid the rates given to health insurance companies I wouldn’t have lost all my savings, I could have stayed in the middle-class.
Where does pricing come from?
o One ENT I saw charged over $2,200.00 for a Limited CT scan of the sinuses while another charged over $600.00. Since I had insurance at the time each cost me $210.00, again this is without my deductible met.
o So how much does a Limited CT Scan and other procedures really cost? What is a fair price?
The Solution (maybe not THE solution but an idea)
Allow the un-insured to pay the same fees for procedures given to the Federal Government under Medicare.
This would cost the taxpayers nothing. It would simply be a Medicare Discount Card.
Allow doctors to give the un-insured discounts
Price transparency-have doctors, dentists, labs, pharmacies state their prices up front.
At the very least make no interest loans or credit cards available for medical debts.
So in conclusion I have another campaign slogan for you:
Leave no Patient behind!
I would love to hear something back from your campaign or from whoever reads this.
Give me some healthcare hope and Ill give you my vote; and campaign my friends and family to vote for Kinky.
You are now an official member of the Stanley Feld M.D. ,FACP, MACE Repairing the Healthcare System Posse. Enclosed is an official membership card. Your letter to Kinky is great. You hit the nail on the head. You are talking about transparency of prices. You are also talking about leveling the playing field for all patients, insured and the uninsured.
I think Kinky Friedman will listen. He might not know what to do. Through my Posse,I plan to tell him and every other elected official what needs to be done to Repair the Healthcare System
We need about 10,000 Texans sending Kinky this kind letter detailing their experience. If he responded appropriately he could get elected in Texas as Jessie and Arnold got elected in their States. I sent him your letter and a detailed explanation of the letter’s importance. His public relations people have not yet answered.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous if two people from Texas could start creating the Tipping Point that would Repair the Healthcare System.
I would like to request that you send this note to your entire email list and invite them to visit my blog and subscribe. They, too, need to be members of the Posse and learn what to do to Repair the Healthcare System. The time has passed when we can leave it to someone else to fix things for us. If the politicians want to be our surrogates, they should know what the we want them to do to earn our vote.