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We pay for unpaid bills

Published February 24, 2013 5:00 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In 2012, Utah's medical providers had to write off almost $700 million in medical care because patients were unable to afford it ("Utah hospitals absorb $698 million in unpaid bills," Tribune, Feb. 18). If anybody thinks this is charity care, they're kidding themselves.

Some doctors may not get paid, but nurses, administrators and others need to get paid, whether they care for paying or nonpaying patients. Rents are due, utilities, supplies, drugs and so on. Somebody pays for all that care, and it's people who have insurance.

"Charity" care is needed, but this is a charade. Our legislators say we cannot afford to insure everybody through a comprehensive system. They are cowards for hiding behind free-market fantasies in health care with a pathological aversion to real solutions that every other developed country already has.

But they don't mind making me pay for their inaction through my inflated premiums. There are more than 30 other models out there that work better than our dysfunctional system, and they cost much less.

Pick one and try it out. It can only improve our system. And don't give me that baloney about rationing elsewhere. We have more rationing than anybody else.

Thomas Fritz

Sandy