On Wednesday, April 29, 2009 a group of 30 interested citizens met at the Downtown Library in Lexington, Kentucky to hear Dr. Ewell Scott, a Morehead internist and recent recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Kentucky Medical Association, lead a discussion of how market-based private health insurance has failed the United States. He said the United States National Health Care Act, HR 676, a bill in the US Congress, can address our current economic woes, as well as provide quality health care to 48,000,000 uninsured and an equal number of underinsured Americans. Dr. Scott explained to the audience details of the wastefulness and inhumanity of the current profit-based system. For example, in Morehead, Kentucky, Dr. Scott’s private practice must deal with 34 separate insurance plans. (There are 17,000 separate plans in Chicago.) He pointed out the huge administrative expense market-based private insurance costs our system, $400 billion annually. Indeed health insurance costs, premiums, etc. soon will consume up to 30% of the average wage.
As a member of his local hospital Board of Directors, Dr. Scott described how he has witnessed his hospital lose $500,000 a month in unreimbursed services, a fiscal drain that could be stopped by a government –financed national health plan. Everyone would get comprehensive health care and all of it would be reimbursed.
Dr. Scott was introduced by Janet Tucker, RN, who along with Jan Ewing, RN is leading the development of a Lexington area chapter of Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare. The group will meet again at the Lexington Library, Monday, May 4, at 7:00 PM, Room B. Anyone who wants to improve health care quality and access for all Kentuckians is urged to come to this meeting. For more information please write firstname.lastname@example.org.