News of Otsego County


DUNCAN: Hospitals Posting Prices? When You’re Sick, It Doesn’t Matter

Hospitals Posting Prices? When

You’re Sick, It Doesn’t Matter

To the Editor:

As I was driving along listening to NPR talking about hospitals now being required to post prices for services. I thought: That is all the hospital needs, more hoops to jump through for the government. I looked on the Internet to find out more details.

“The Trump Administration…announced it would begin forcing hospitals to publicly disclose the discounted prices they negotiate with insurance companies, a potentially bold move to help people shop for better deals on a range of medical services, from hip replacements to brain scans,” wrote the New York Times’ Reed Abelson.

Do they really think I want to go shopping for better deals in healthcare? Can you see yourself on a shopping spree to compare prices when you are sick? Are they completely clueless?

If you are sick, it’s prices be damned.. You want solutions to regain full health. Do you think a commander of a battleship has to worry about how much weapons, food and fuel cost so they can go out and kill people? Yet with healthcare in this county, it is all about prices. What kind of country is this?

It is true that hospitals and doctors are the Number 3 cause of death in America. (Maybe with COVID they have moved to fourth.) This fact and the issue of cost is a symptom of a deeper problem of medicine in America. What is the meaning of healthcare?

The high cost of healthcare is drug companies – “BigPharma”. They donate huge sums of money to universities to teach doctors to push drugs. Doctors then have a limited perspective on what healthcare is. They are forced to think within the box and lose their ability to be creative and innovative.

The knowledge should be about nurses’ and doctors’ views and experiences, not corporations. Even scientific studies would be better off if the ideas came from the nurses and doctors, not from mice running around in cages.

You can’t have a system of health based on profit without discriminating against the people with limited resources. Capitalism and healthcare can’t share the same bed.

Many will cry “socialism.” My cry is: compassion, humanitarianism. Healthy citizens equal healthy society. The bottom line is: We are all in this world together and we are all going to die. Why can’t we do it with dignity and virtue?

Hartwick Forrest

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