Editor: Of particular interest to rural Arizona, I’ve been hearing some compelling radio ads regarding surprise medical bills and government rate fixing. We’ve known that Congress was investigating the surprise medical bills that usually result from an emergency room visit. Several weeks later, patients are sent surprise bills that show that some of the medical service or doctor’s care has been denied by their insurance carrier citing out-of-network service.
Patients have no idea what to do because, in an emergency, they have no choice but to go to the nearest facility; they can’t choose doctors or services.
Congress is considering government rate setting to solve this problem. This is unacceptable. Price controls by any other name is still a failed policy wherever it has been tried. Medicare patients should be particularly opposed to this practice as it would surely lead to shortages and rationing of many life-saving drugs. We already have doctor shortages, and this would probably close rural hospitals.
Insurance companies exercise a huge amount of control over our health-care decisions, but putting them in charge of fixing the rates for doctors and hospitals reimbursements would be a nightmare. Let your Congressman know how you feel.
P.S.: Never forget 9/11!