Take Back Health Care
To the Editor:
Opponents of Medicare for All like to scare people by warning about a “government takeover” of health care. Let’s get serious: American health care was taken over long ago by insurance companies and other commercial interests. We need to take health care back from them.
The commercial takeover has reduced American health care to a maddening money pit. Health insurance premiums are tied to the amount of money insurers will have to pay out to doctors and hospitals. The fees doctors and hospitals charge include money to compensate for the enormous amounts of time they spend on paperwork and administration—18.5 hours a week for internal medicine doctors, 13.2 hours for dermatologists, per a recent survey. Much of that time is spent dealing with the insurance companies.
Once doctors and hospitals submit their bills to the insurance companies, the insurer spends time evaluating, processing and rejecting or approving claims. All this administrative time also gets built into the insurance company premium.