Below is a letter OneCare supporter, Coline George, addressed to Gov. Jerry Brown. The letter has been edited here for clarity and to protect the identities of those involved.
Dear Gov. Brown,
I believed you to be a good governor before, and I pray for the sake of California that you will give this state what it needs now. I worked for your election because I believe in you. You can heal California’s woes.
California’s greatest expense is medical care for it citizens, government employees and elected officials. I would like to give you a couple of examples:
I paid thousands of dollars in 2010 for my medical insurance. I had one doctor’s visit and lab. The lab was $525.00, which was negotiated down to $72.62 by my insurance company. My insurance company paid $0.00. I paid $72.62. The doctor bill was $120.00, adjusted to $35.00, also paid by me. Based on this one visit, I got screwed — my doctor and the lab were screwed, and the insurance company made out like the bandit it is. I believe there is more fraud than honest dealings in medicine at every level.
A friend of mine (one of the United States’ longest living heart transplant survivors) had to go to the hospital for a check up. Rather than my friend’s health, the doctor was more interested in changing his medication to one that cost five times as much as the medication he was already taking. The pharmacist said it was better if he didn’t change meds; we knew that the cyclosporine he was on worked very well. My friend told the doctor that his employers were strained by his medical costs already, and he wanted to keep his job. The doctor was not touched by their hardship or my friend’s. We both believe there are kickbacks even to nurse practitioners. To put the medical care in the hands of counties is to add at least two more levels to the fraud and abuse.
California OneCare could end most of the abuses, and it would cost the state less money than it is paying out now. It could also afford to give honest doctors the money they deserve.
I wrote a letter to the doctor. Afterwards, my friend visited the clinic, only to have an adverse reaction because he was not given the appropriate saline to wash the dye out of his system. He wanted to live. He was afraid to go back. I made him drink water all night long; he was doing well the next day. My friend is in a university study because he has lived much longer with the original transplant than expected.
This is just one incident out of millions that happen daily in California.
PS: You have the ability to accomplish what our president could not. Please sign California OneCare.