Read your paper for the first time (Sept., 2018 issue), picked it up at U of M hospital.
Interesting letter to the editor by Allan Dobzyniak, MD. Apparently, he needs to research exactly what Medicare for all means. If he seriously thinks that doctors and other providers won’t be paid, he is mistaken. He also claims that socialized medicine, as he refers to it does not work and is akin to slavery. Funny, I don’t see any ofthe countries that have socialized medicine taking steps to get rid of it. Socialized medicine is a term some like to use to scare people and whether we admit it or not, we already have some types of socialized medicine in the United States.

His letter to the editor was quite clear concerning his thoughts. He thinks doctors will be giving away care for free, “That someone would expect a service from another without payment seems much like the scourge of slavery that was belatedly banished from this country in the mid-19th century. There seems a hypocrisy here as the loud screams of the
virtue signalers for social justice are joined by equally loud screams for physician services on demand for “free.” Medicare for all in no way would force physicians to provide services for free. They would continue to be paid, just through a different venue.

Britain started its universal healthcare in 1948 and ranks above the United States in many areas when it comes to healthcare. Its citizens have a longer life expectancy and lower infant mortality. The country has more acute care hospital beds per capita and fewer deaths related to surgical or medical mishaps. Britain achieves these results while spending a lot less on health care than we do. When it comes to funding, universal healthcare in Britain it is funded through a national healthcare tax. Which is basically the same plan some are pushing for here. Taxes would be used to fund Medicare for all. For 2017 my premiums alone totaled nearly $7,000 and that figure does not include my deductible or co-pays. What difference does it make if I pay our government several thousand dollars for healthcare coverage, rather than a private entity? HMOs and
PPOs limit which doctors and providers you can use and they put limits on what care or drugs you can receive under their plans.

Medicare for all would level the field for all of us. We would all be able to access the same care, which isn’t the way it is today. One of my children (my youngest) was severely injured in an auto accident in 2001. Recently, my son was an inpatient at U of M for testing (for seizures). Due to a mix-up at the hospital they sought prior approval through his Medicaid plan, the request was denied and his appointment was on the verge of being
canceled. Luckily, I was able to connect with them and let them know he was covered by our auto coverage for the testing he needs. His appointment wasn’t canceled. This experience shows that not all patients are treated equally. They receive care based on the insurance coverage they have. If we had UHC then everybody would be treated the same.

For Dr. Dobzyniak to insinuate that doctors and providers won’t be paid is just ridiculous. My husband has Medicare, his providers are paid. I have BCBS and my providers are paid. My son has Medicaid for routine care, his providers are paid and he has auto insurance for auto related injuries and his providers are paid. Medicare and Medicaid are both government-run health insurance programs. Our auto insurance coverage, while
purchased through private insurers, could also be considered government coverage, since it is mandated by law. And, coverage for catastrophic injuries is for life (MCCA fund) and must cover any care that is deemed medically necessary for injuries received in auto related accidents. Under any of these types of insurance we have the ability to appeal,
should they deny any service’ or the payment for any service. One thing that would change is the fee scale. Doctors and providers would no longer be able to collect different fees from different entities.

Medicare for all in Michigan should help lower the cost of auto insurance premiums, since we would no longer need to purchase separate coverage for auto related injuries. There is a fight in this state currently to gut our no-fault auto insurance law and those that are trying to gut it claim that high premiums are due to medical providers gouging the auto insurance industry. When, in actuality, it is because there is not a fee schedule in
place like there is for every other form of healthcare insurance. Some may not like the idea of universal healthcare, but if we are going to get a handle on exploding healthcare costs we have to do something.

Cheryl Botbyl