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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 1, 2009 at 10:00 PM

Quality health care

Treatment decisions are economic, not medical

I was intrigued by Jerry Large’s column this week [“Money distorting doctoring,” NWThursday, April 30] because my father, who died from a form of dementia, had trouble finding a neurologist to diagnose and treat his disease.

Most of the neurologists in his area wouldn’t see patients on Medicare because it didn’t pay them enough. Though my father found a good doctor eventually, it really brought home to me that in the profit-making health-care industry, greed knows no bounds.

When someone is sick, we all like to think that life-and-death decisions will be made based on what’s best for the patient. Reality is quite different. In the U.S. today, treatment, medicine and doctor visits are all economic decisions, not medical ones. Yet the simplest of reforms, like single-payer health insurance, are huge uphill battles. Why? Because the Democrats and Republicans are both funded by corporate health-care giants.

Poor and working people need to hit the streets to press our demand for quality medical care for all — it’s time for a health-care revolution! There is a health-care reform march in Seattle on May 30; I’ll be marching with the single-payer contingent.

— Doreen McGrath, Seattle

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