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Opinion: Lowest wage earners need help with medical bills

In his letter in the March 21 edition of the Independent, Dr. Cossaart makes a great argument against Medicaid and rightly so. The whole health insurance industry is so far “out-of-whack,” to the extent that it should be investigated for criminal business practices. But the medical profession is also culpable — physicians, dentists, veterinarians — their charges (expenses) should really be evaluated.
I think, when one is young and decides on a medical career, they do it to HELP others, not to make a lot of money or for the prestige. But somewhere along the way, HELPING, takes a back seat to money (finances) and prestige. Don’t get me wrong it happens to all of us, it is LIFE.
What happens to HELPING patients, even though the finances aren’t there — “I love my patients but,” “When I graduated school, I took an oath to do my best.” Something is very wrong when it is expected and justified to go to the dentist and be charged $400-$500 for an annual visit. After all, most of us go to the dentist only when we have to. Veterinary clinics (companion animal) are just as bad; there is an office visit charge of $25-$40 on top of the treatment charges and FULL payment is expected. To justify one’s charges for service, because of education, is very wrong. At least most medical clinics take insurance and they HAVE TO take Medicaid.
I volunteer and meet other people who are volunteering (from different professions) but I have yet to meet a doctor, dentist, or veterinarian. Why is that I know some doctors volunteer their time and expenses to different causes but what about the rest? How about a free clinic or discount prices for those who do not have the income to pay for extra expenses?
There are many adults who are making ONLY the minimum wage $10 an hour, that is $400 a week, $1,600 a month before taxes. A person with a family cannot live on that not without some kind of HELP.
We are never going to be a socialist society but we don’t have to be to want to HELP our fellow citizens. It starts with CARING.
James Rowe
Middlebury

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