Letters to the Editor: Read Reactions to ‘Bitter Pill’

Time - Health

As a surgeon, I want to commend Steven Brill on an outstanding article. A detailed discussion about the pricing and profits in health care is long overdue. You succeeded in putting a personal face on this crisis, and yes, it is a crisis. Most people are not aware of the outrageous costs  until they or a family member becomes ill. Indeed, we are but one major illness away from bankruptcy. To the Republicans: the health care market is not a free market. Competition raises costs, it does not lower them. Why? Fancy new buildings and technology of dubious benefit raise costs. Patients always demand what’s new, because it is perceived to be better, even when it is not.  Get over your dislike of President Obama; being against Obamacare is not enough. Our healthcare costs are bankrupting our nation and hurting our international competitiveness. You need to come up with realistic, constructive solutions. As on the issue of Social Security and Medicare, you risk being on the wrong side of history. To President Obama and the Democrats: Do not think that we practicing physicians love everything about Obamacare. The goal of universal coverage is laudable. But your failure to address the issue of cost, so eloquently illustrated in this article, will bring the entire health care system down very soon if it is not addressed. And I appreciate the article’s emphasis on the need for liability reform. The hidden cost is enormous. Roger R Perry, MD, FACS Virginia Beach, Va. (COMPLETE COVERAGE: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us) I read Mr. Recchi’s story with interest on several levels. First, as a physician, I know how important it is for Americans that health care “get it right.” Second, as a person also diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I understand the fear and uncertainty that comes with such a devastating diagnosis. And finally, on a third level, I serve as Chief Medical Officer for a company whose vision is to improve the quality and lower the cost of healthcare through better use of data and analytics.  I can understand the frustration of not being able to get answers to questions such “where can I get the best care”, “what should it cost” and “how can I