Harriette Seiler, at right, with Nan Goheen at the 2009 sit in at Humana as part of nationwide actions seeking to place single payer into the health care debate. Harriette’s current letter printed in the Courier-Journal is below.
Most Kentuckians are pleased that health care coverage has been expanded in our state, but there are questions to be considered.
Are the managed care organizations (MCOs) that oversee Medicaid providing quality treatment and follow-up — including prescribed medications for the mentally ill? MCOs profit by reducing costs and, bluntly stated, cost-cutting strategies often involve cutting care.
Persons who bought private plans (gold, silver, etc.) on the Kynect exchange last year must now re-enroll for 2015. Before buying, enrollees should read the policy carefully: Can you see your preferred doctor? How narrow is the hospital network? How high is the deductible? If you had to pay out of your own pocket for treatment, would that keep you from going for help when you have worrisome symptoms? If you have a chronic disease, check the drug formularies: Is your medication listed? Has the co-pay gone up?
As we ponder all these critical issues, the people in other advanced nations are happily going about their day because their leaders had sense enough to implement a single-payer system —saving money for their country and for each individual. Instead of all the political and judicial machinations now going on across the U.S., let’s just tell Congress to pass HR 676. Simply improve traditional Medicare and give it to everybody!
HARRIETTE NYE SEILER