Letter to the editor: Doctors should be able to practice without interference

Let’s ask Bernie and Leahy for a new bill that would keep insurance companies from influencing doctors’ decisions on their patients’ treatments. That should simply be illegal.
Doctors have nuances with patients cases that insurance doctors do not since they have no direct contact with them. If we are paying for insurance we should not have to worry that the company taking our money may also be endangering our health in order to secure their profits. Nor should they make exuberant profit percentages.
Furthermore there should be NO outside influence from any entity that has a financial stake in a patient’s treatment by his or her doctor, for example, hospitals which now own so many small practices. (They are becoming a thing of the past due to financial difficulties that are exacerbated by those who have no health insurance and cannot pay their doctor bills.)
That is why we must strive to find an answer before our hospitals go bankrupt and close down one by one. Do we want to risk going back to the Wild West days when people had to treat their own? The affordable care act is “a work in progress” yes but at least the groundwork is laid.
Physicians have to take an oath to do no harm before treating patients and in order to honestly fulfill that oath they must have full control over decisions pertaining to that patient’s treatment, a treatment from the doctor we have decided to place our trust in. Not some stranger doing profit analyses on a computer in Timbuktu.
Food for thought (and concern): the number of doctors and nurses in this country is on a sharp decline. The number of small practices is also in decline. We are already paying the price for neglect of our health care system and the cost of higher education.
Teresa Glidden

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