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08/22/2009

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Jan Mashman, M.D.

Dr. Levine,

Your book is outstanding and needs to be widely read, as it clarifies issues of health care reform that the public does not understand.

As you point out in your book, there are two factors that make up 40% of the health care dollars spent:
1. unnecessary care (complicated issues)
2. administrative costs of insurance companies (unbridled greed without adding value to the system).

If these two problems were dealt with, there would be enough money to care for all Americans without any extra funding being necessary.

The public does not understand what the "public option" is and how important it is in curbing the cost of health care expendatures.

If cognitive physicians (primary care doctors and physicians who do not do proceedures or surgery) were paid a more reasonable wage, they would not have to act like entrepreneurs, driving up the health care costs. The entire health care system has built an infrastructure incentivised to encourage all providers (doctors, hospitals, homecare companies, pharmaceutical companies,nuring homes, etc) to do more of what they have been designed to do. It needs to be redesigned in such a way that they do the right thing rather than the profitable thing.

Your book more clearly outlined these issues than any voice I have heard to date. I think all legislators and the public need to read it. I am concerned that if the legislators proceed with public policy without understanding all the facts, we will be saddled with health care reform which will not work and is doomed to fail.

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I can't shop for my insurance plan because it's selected for me by my employer. My employer selects the insurer by how little it'll cost to cover me. The insurer selects the service providers I'm restricted on using based on how little they'll accept per procedure. While the service provider works the system by over-billing, over-treating and keeping their fees an incomprehensible secret.

The only competition occurring in this scenario is between the Insurance carrier, the health care providers, and the employer. Until the patient, who actually pays for the services gains equal standing with the other 3 entities, medical costs will never stop rising.

Single payer is perhaps the only way for patients to get that equal standing necessary to drive health care costs lower. Our current system is a failure, it's time we tried it.

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Having an affordable, non-employer health care option tweaks the relationship between the organization and its employees, says Jim Winkler, senior vice president of Aon Hewitt's Health and Benefits consulting practice.

BarryV

I am worried that if the law makers continue with community plan without knowing all the important points, we will be stuck with medical care change which will not work and is ruined to fall short.

Hawi Moore

Thanks for sharing

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