Private insurance companies already rationing health care
To the Editor:
I'm writing in response to John Lengemann's recent editorial in the Oct. 27 issue under 'Letters to the Editor' and his opinion regarding health care and the potential for rationing under the Obama health care plan. By the way, we already have rationing right now in the United States. The private insurance companies ration care.
He stated a government panel recommended that women under the age of 50 no longer needed mammograms because "it was not cost effective." He went on to tell the scenario of a 45-year-old woman who didn't get a mammogram and was diagnosed with terminal cancer secondary to health care rationing. We do have options.
The decision to have a screening mammogram is usually made on the recommendations of a doctor or a female's own choosing. There are many facilities which offer mammograms without needing a physician's order, but it will require the name and address of your doctor so he or she can receive that report. Call diagnostic facilities in the area to ask about their policies.
If you don't have insurance or the funds to pay for the screening, programs are available that will help pay for the cost if you meet the criteria. Marlette Regional Hospital has a program called 'B Cups.' Check with local hospitals and screening centers to see if they can set up a payment schedule for women that don't have full payment up front. Also during the months of May and October, Marlette Hospital offers screening mammograms for $65. Many hospitals are coming on board to offer affordable programs for this diagnostic test. The lack of insurance or funds to have a breast screening should not deter a woman from getting a mammogram. Most importantly, every woman should continue self-breast examination on a monthly basis and clinical breast exams yearly.
We must come together as a nation and solve our health care issues with a rational mind, not rationing.