We should send this to Pete Stark

Letter to the Washington Post: “There is no mystery about the findings of a Rand Corp. study that people lack access to doctors in the District. Try signing up with a doctor who will accept Medicare.

The answer will be either that the doctor will not take any more patients on Medicare, or that he or she has opted out of the program. That also applies to tests, which must be paid for at full rates. That even applies, in some cases, to private insurance. Some won’t take anything, period.

Even for ready money, it appears to be difficult to meet with a doctor to assess his or her philosophy and competence. One doctor I queried wanted $250 for a half hour of her precious time. Another would not see a new patient for a talk at all. Her minimum fee is $280 for a full medical consultation. Another’s fee — never mind competence — is upwards of $500 an hour.

Is anyone still wondering how fast these fees can mount if someone gets really ill? Is anyone still wondering why some people out there don’t have doctors? If The Post printed a list of doctors who accepted Medicare, I guarantee that the list would be short.”

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