Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have to respond to the latest article written by the Freedom of Speech staff. The first two sentences make perfect sense, the rest of the column, not so much.

"It simply amazes us at the misconceptions people have about a government run plan"
I agree.

"By far, a single payer system would be the best for providing care and in lowering cost"
Right again.

They go on to say that insurance companies need to be bailed out. No, actually the insurance companies are doing just fine. They have record profits at the expense of the citizens of America.

"According to CMS...Medicare only covers 53% of an average persons yearly healthcare expenses..." Our office (cardiologists) receives CMS bulletins every month and I have never seen these figures, nor has my supervisor. Medicare pays 80% if the approved charges which means that we take a write-off right at the top before the payment. For instance, if a doctor charges $100.00 for a procedure Medicare would normally approve about $70.00 of which the doctor would receive 80% or $56.00. The other $30.00 would be above allowed, meaning a write off, and the patient or their supplementary insurance would be billed for $14.00.

As far as the Medicare premiums, people on Social Security have around $97.00 deducted from their checks each month for Medicare. I don't know how that translates to $400.00 per month per individual. And a family of 4 would not be covered by Medicare anyway.

As far as people from Canada and Britian coming to America for healthcare, why would they travel to a country ranked 37th in the world for healthcare? Canadians and Europeans have a longer life span and lower infant mortality rates.

Mr. Obama wants everyone to be able to have preventative care, not wait until stage 4 cancer before seeking treatment. That is what many Americans do now because they have no health insurance and put off seeing a doctor for as long as they can.

As far as government providing healthcare at a reasonable cost; Medicare's administrative costs are approx. 3% compared to 15% to 30% administrative costs for private insurance companies such as Anthem, Humana, United Health Care, Cigna, and others. A Cabinet Member is paid a little over $100,000 per year as opposed to $6 Million to $20 Million, which is what some of the insurance company CEO's earn.

That is why the insurance companies can pay $1.4 Million dollars A DAY to oppose single payer. They are spending OUR premiums to oppose the healthcare that we so desperately need.

Talk about liars. I talk to patients every day who were duped into buying Medicare replacement coverage only to discover they have higher premiums, and limited choice of hospitals and physicians.

Even physicians are banding together in Oregon to form the "Mad As Hell Doctors Road Tour".
See or call Dr. Paul Hochfeld (541) 740-4065.