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Doctors overcharge because they have to survive. Only single-payer will save us

Doctors overcharge because they have to survive. Only single-payer will save us
A doctor explains prescription medication to a patient. (Getty Images)

To the editor: Why the podiatrists like the one columnist David Lazarus visited lead us to more expensive solutions is the reason why private health practitioners in general tend to do so: survival.

Cutbacks in reimbursements coupled with increasing costs threaten professional survival. Those who claim that fee-for-service games the public for unnecessary visits and procedures are correct in large part, but it is a desperate move, almost a last gasp.

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When a healthcare provider offers medication and devices, that is a red flag to seek answers elsewhere. Even as a physician, I have doubts about innovation that comes my way.

As corporate control of healthcare has ensnared most of us and private practice is on the wane, we have to blame our government for this predicament. With consolidation the buzzword, let us go one more step to a public utility that guarantees a modicum of profit as well as honesty and oversight.

Jerome P. Helman, M.D., Venice

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To the editor: About 50 years ago I had arch problems. Playing sports got to be painful. My parents took me to a foot doctor. I came out with a pair of orthotics costing about $400.

They’ve been great to wear. I played a lot of recreation sports over the years and never had any more arch pain.

But one day, while digging up the yard, the devices broke. I wasn’t about to incur an even higher price to replace them, so I used duct tape to fix them. Since then, they’ve never been a problem — I just have to change out the duct tape every few months.

Tom Lillig, Hacienda Heights

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