Mailbag: Medical care for all, not just kids

Mailbag: Medical care for all, not just kids


I read with a sense of weariness Dr. Ryan Stevens’ tired, uninformed screed about the supposed ignorance of the many doctors advocating for Medicare for All (Mailbag, Nov. 28).

Claiming that most “never had to run a business,” he goes on to rail about parents he assumes can afford insurance yet keep their kids on Medicaid. Where in the world did he get such a notion?

A few facts might be useful to help him understand what motivates us to advocate for the 90 million Americans, including about 60 million with medical insurance, who lack access to care or can’t afford to use it.

First, over 60% of doctors favor a universal health care system because unlike him, they see medicine as a calling to serve others, not as a “business.” They don’t seem to regard their income as a hardship. He can’t seriously think that so many doctors are all employed by others unless he is willfully ignorant of the facts.

Second, if he were a real businessman, he would realize that 20% of his overhead is due to the inefficiencies of our multipayer system. That doesn’t even include the cost of paying premiums for his employees, assuming he does. It baffles me why he thinks he will be reimbursed at lower than Medicare rates, when most proposals are to pay doctors rates somewhere in between those of Medicare and private insurance.

If he truly cared for impoverished children on Medicaid, he would want their parents cared for as well.

Rick Staggenborg, MD



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