The letter by Lee Lamirand ("Sad state of affairs," Nov. 4, 2009, Gazette) taking me to task noting I was naming the opposition all kinds of names, such as racist, heartless, fascist and segregationist have no basis in my letter.
I re-read my letter, then Mr. Lamirand's letter and I cannot find any basis in fact for this. I will admit to firm opinions about my stance, but, Mr. Lamirand, these are formed from 40 years in practice, giving me an advantage in insight to the problems that exist in health care insurance. Sorry, not all opinions are equal, a mistake too often made.
Would you ask Rush Limbaugh his opinion about your heart surgery? He, and others, has very little in his CV to lend these opinions any weight. My point, however, that you should have gotten from my letter, was actual data/information about the private health insurers and their cost. There is a drastic lack of competition, and we do not have a true marketplace environment.
You wondered how we can pay for 25 million new patients (very many of whom we are already treating, and paying for in emergency rooms), and you missed my point that reducing the horribly inflated profits of the private insurers and using those billions of dollars to actually go for health care instead of investor profit would go a long way to covering that expense. I will add that of my 40 years in medicine, 14 were in private practice and 26 in the United States Air Force, including three years each in Germany and England. I witnessed very closely the positives and negatives associated with their national health care, I discussed problems with British doctors as a member of the British-American Medical Society. There were real problems with reimbursement and access on occasion, but we do not have to repeat the mistakes of others.
No, Mr. Lamirand, you do not have to trust government, but the private health insurers certainly do not deserve our trust. They have well shown that their goals are not good health care or cheap health care; their main goal will always be profit, one that is not in the best interest of efficient, quality health care. I have tried to demonstrate that your health insurance dollars are not being well spent.
"Dr. Kenneth F. Wainner, Edmond