Thursday, August 27, 2009

Patients deserve peace of mind

Sharon Phillips, NPA NY, wrote a compelling letter to the editor to Wicked Local, Concord, MA to share her support for health care reform.

To the editor:

Although I am currently a family doctor practicing in the Bronx, I grew up in Concord. I was disappointed to read of the angry opposition Congresswoman Niki Tsongas received at her Town Hall meeting on Aug. 8. As a physician, I strongly support a public health insurance plan. While private insurance companies pay high executive salaries and operate to maximize shareholder profits, a public health insurance plan would be designed to pay solely for the needs of its members.

While protesters of health reform fear that their options will decrease, the truth is that a public health insurance plan will provide an affordable alternative to prohibitively expensive private insurance and will foster competition to guarantee that quality, affordable coverage will be there for everyone in America when they need it.

Every day I see patients who cannot get the health care they need, either because they have lost their job, their insurance premiums have become unaffordable, or because their insurance company has denied a necessary treatment in order to save money. Several of my patients have been admitted to the hospital this year because they couldn’t afford their medications, turning controllable chronic conditions into emergencies.

Guaranteeing coverage for all through a public health insurance plan will mean that I can spend time with my patients and know that neither of us needs to worry about whether they will have access to the care they need in the future.

My patients deserve this peace of mind. I urge your readers to contact Congresswoman Tsongas to affirm their support for health care reform that includes a strong public health insurance option.

Sharon Phillips, M.D.

Fairhaven Road

Montefiore Medical Center

Bronx N.Y.

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