Insurance companies have for a long time manipulated reimbursement rates rather than allowed competition to thrive (Physicians call out insurers on low pay, poor service, Feb. 19). To believe otherwise is extremely naive and belies overpowering evidence to the contrary. The system is further manipulated by a structure of procedure-approval (or denial) mechanisms. Make no mistake, this is intentional and comes at the expense of both provider and consumer, resulting in a healthcare-delivery system of shamefully low quality at inflated costs. In the end, we all lose and not only is quality healthcare sacrificed but both consumer and provider confidence are as well. I believe there are no major carriers that are not involved in these shenanigans, a sad testament to the integrity of the system. We so desperately need a social mallet in the form of a governmental watchdog. Although I frequently find myself on opposite sides of political issues with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, I applaud his taking such bold initiative in this manner and implore his continued press to justice.
Paul Verrette, M.D.Medical directorHomeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Department
St. Bernard Parish, La.