An Open Letter to Tom Price MD , Secretary of HHS re healthcare

From one AMA member to another. I am embarrassed that you stood there supporting Trump’s plan to replace the ACA with another terrible piece of legislation. I am delighted that it failed.

Like it or not, the ACA provided health care for millions of American who did not have it. Was it great – no, it needed to be fixed and still does. What you tried to do was ram through a terrible bill in 18 days when it originally took a year and a half to formulate and get passed – the ACA- and even then it was imperfect.

If you want to improve healthcare in the US, you need to sit down with all parties involved — ie Democrats and Republicans. Your plan alienated many of those who voted for your boss, Trump.

You know as well as I do, why the 65 yo male has to pay for maternity care, because the 23 yo female pays for his prostate care. The well finance insurance for the sick – if not the government pays for it.

So when you were an orthopedist – a non insured 23 yo male came in with a fracture? Did you send him out because he had no insurance — no the hospital had to eat the bill and you gave care for free. We all need to be insured or no one is safe. Today 60% of individual bankruptcy filings are because of medical bills due to lack of insurance.

On your web site it says that you are” dedicated to advancing the quality of health care in America – both as a physician and policymaker.” Prove it by working across the aisle to improve our system not destroy it. You know as well as I that we need to get rid of for profit insurance companies – all Americans should be able to afford insurance – not make insurance company CEOs get rich. The cost of drugs needs to be brought down too. Why is one drug in Canada or Europe half the price of the same drug here. Also the costs of medical malpractice insurance needs to be reduced with tort reform.

Although I hate to admit it, Medicare does a good job of covering me. The overhead for the insurance is low and it gives me peace of mind that my care will be covered and even though I maintain a catastrophic insurance policy, I know that my doctors and hospitals will receive payment.

In doing your job, you should re look at the Hippocratic Oath — do no harm is a main tenet – you would have harmed over 12 million persons by removing their insurance.

As a doctor, I have learned from my mistakes and have always been inclusive when making important decisions — I hope you can do that too.

William Rosenblatt MD
AMA Delegate from New York State 1983 – 2013

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