Wall Street Journal
Letter to the Editor
September 19, 2007; Page A19
In regard to John Stossel’s Sept. 13 editorial-page commentary “Sick Sob Stories:” By focusing on the narrow subject of bone marrow transplantation, Mr. Stossel is missing the big picture of the major problems in health care in the U.S.
He fails to comment on the fact that there are 47 million people in the U.S. who do not have any health care. While promoting health care for profit, he neglects to mention that 31% of health-care costs in this country are for administrative salaries and advertising. Salaries of HMO executives (along with their lawyers and lobbyists) are obscene. The previous CEO of United Health Care made $1.6 billion (including back dated stock options) last year. This is not where health-care dollars should go. The current for-profit health-care system is not working.
The only solution is to eliminate the HMOs and go to a single-payer system that does not have to be administered by the government. The savings would increase reimbursements to health-care providers (and, it is hoped, stem the annual loss of primary care physicians) so that there would be greater access to care for more patients with fewer hassles.
J. David Gaines, M.D., FACP
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven, Conn.