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I am a board-certified family physician unable to actively practice because of effects of bilateral breast cancer radiation on my immune system. When dealing with Los Alamos National Lab’s self-insured United Healthcare administered program, I was evaded throughout the appeal process until arbitration to pay for services that Medicare would have covered to determine the appropriate treatment for my breast cancer. These tests incidentally saved over $30,000 for my treatment while allowing me to avoid cytotoxic chemotherapy. Considering what happened to me as a physician in their system, I can only imagine what would have happened to a nonphysician.
When my sister lost her job last spring, she was turned down by Kaiser to continue her policy because her husband had controlled hypertension and elevated cholesterol. She now has a $10,000-deductible plan. We save money now that my parents Blue Cross plan was cancelled.
59 percent of physicians now would support a single-payer system. Administration and profits make up about 30 percent of private insurance costs. Insurance companies do not provide or coordinate care, they just deny care, making choice in plans irrelevant. Plans do not encourage preventive care because the average insured person changes plans every two years.
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