July 21, 2022
Start Tribune, letters
HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
The toll of obscured prices
The main health care hurdle: Most patients and families do not have the power to act on marketplace choices.
When Dr. Richard O. Walker Jr. nobly returned to clinical psychiatric practice to help mitigate the adolescent suicide crisis, he re-encountered formidable obstacles to practicing his Hippocratic calling (“Hurdles galore hamper health care,” Opinion Exchange, July 19). In his fine commentary, each of the health care “system” problems and their associated frustrations for doctors and patients detailed are related to one indisputable fact: In today’s health care system by far most middle class patients and families do not know and cannot know either the prices of their personal medical care or the coverage benefits they’ll get from their third-party health insurance. Rising health care costs, access to desired care, and patient care quality are all mounting health care concerns. Minnesota policymakers can give the tools to consumers (patients and families) allowing them to reform the health care system from bottom up. It’s about supply and demand.
Voters want patient-empowering health care proposals on the table when choosing candidates in the Nov. 8 election.
Lee Beecher, Maple Grove
The writer is a retired psychiatrist.