The health-care blame game

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,The recent column by County Councilor Robert Gibson makes a lot of good points. Still, I take exception to his painting all senior citizens with the same brush and saying that health care providers and drug companies don’t carry an equal portion of this ballooning of health care costs.A local doctor at one time wrote into my file: “This patient fights taking medication and is concerned about cost.” When the next doctor read this to me, I asked her, “Shouldn’t we all be concerned about cost?”When I first came to this town and found a new dentist, after my second visit to his office, he told me all my fillings were loose and had to be replaced. I changed dentists and today, 36 years later, I still have those same fillings and haven’t had another filling since.The next dentist sent me to a dentist in Santa Fe to have him look at a sore spot on my gums. He couldn’t find anything wrong, but wrote me an expensive prescription.Fifteen years ago, I spent two nights at Los Alamos Medical Center. When I checked out, I asked for a copy of the form they were going to send to my insurance. I was amazed at the number of overcharges. There were three or four, but the one I remember best was that the form said I’d had five IVs when I had only had two. I warned a friend who was going to have a small procedure two weeks after me. Sure enough, instead of $75, she had been charged $750.And so it happens all over this country, thousands or millions of times.So, Mr. Gibson, who drives up the cost of health care?Many doctors have invested lots of money in expensive machines and of course they want to make money with them. Older Americans are being overdosed with medications and over-examined by those machines.But I don’t want to paint the entire medical profession with the same brush. I have had wonderful doctors in this country when I needed them. But the whole health-care system changed for the worse when Lyndon Johnson introduced his “Great Society” and the milking of insurance companies started.So, let’s not put the blame for high medical costs on just the seniors. There is enough blame to go around to all who are involved in this “business.”

Margot PelletteWhite Rock