Take the confusion out of health care

To the editor:

Minnesota needs a universal health care plan. The present fragmented medical payment system makes figuring out the cost of health care exceedingly difficulty. Assessing whether a hospital stay is covered nearly impossible. There is so much confusion by the patient and the doctor’s office about what is covered and not covered and by which physician and which hospital.

A close person to me was told by his doctor that his two knee surgeries would be covered. After surgery was done, he was told by the insurance company that he would have to pay the $50,000 because the place of surgery was not in network, and neither was the anesthesiologist. The insurance company blamed him for not checking with them 10 days ahead of the surgery to see if they would cover his surgery.

What average person would know that you need to check with your insurance company as to whether the place of surgery, your doctor and your anesthesiologists are in network?

Most people would leave it up to the doctor.

The fact that the swelling in his legs would not go down made financial matters even worse. Walking even a block is very painful as he says it feels like his skin is going to burst. He has not been able to work for a year because the swelling has not been alleviated. His retail job requires a lot of walking to wait on customers. He has spent most of his savings and will need more medical treatment to figure out the swelling problem.

It appears to me we have a system that is not working for the people I know and care about. We need the Minnesota Health Plan that would cover everyone, and you would pay according to your ability.

Raymond Schmidt



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