Patient privacy protected now, in future

From the Modesto Bee/ModBee.com (6/30/09)
By John Brennan of Oakdale, CA

Regarding “Want socialized medicine? Look out” (June 18, Letters): Government-controlled health care, i.e. Medicare, does not give the government access to your medical records. In fact, due to the current HIPAA privacy regulations, your medical records are more secure than ever.

On the other hand, the moment you sign up with an HMO you grant them the right to access your medical records whenever they want for no reason. The wait times for tests and treatment under government run Medicare is much shorter than private health insurance. Decisions about your treatment under HMOs and private insurance are made by executives and inexperienced insurance doctors and based on cost savings, not life saving.

More and more Americans are going out of the country for affordable prescription drugs and medical procedures most often prescribed and performed by physicians trained in the United States. For those of us tired of giving money to the insurance and drug companies that control health care in America, an affordable single-payer, government-run health plan should be a viable option. For those of you who wish to continue participating in the inefficient, unaffordable mangled mess that currently masquerades as health insurance, that option would remain open.

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