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‘Surprise’ bills

Your readers have probably heard about a major challenge facing health care: patients receiving “surprise” bills for treatments or care (“1 in 6 ER visits triggers ‘surprise’ bill,” June 22). These charges often reflect services administered by third parties — such as lab tests — that are initially billed to insurance but rejected.

Worse yet, these charges tend to accompany out-of-network medical care at emergency rooms and urgent care clinics — times when a patient has few choices but to seek an out-of-network provider.

The impact of surprise medical bills on middle class and low-income families, which is increasingly becoming a source of anxiety for Americans, should prompt congressional attention and action. We cannot have patients punished for seeking medical care.

Last week President Trump took an important step by issuing an executive order to increase transparency that will shine a light on pricing. But more can be done without causing fewer choices for patients through price fixing or socialized health care.

Warner Wingler


Getting through

I appreciate the letter “Making progress,” (June 21), in which the writer explained the effectiveness of sex education and birth control in reducing abortion. But this is nothing new; we’ve known for quite some time now that the way to reduce abortion is through sex education and access to birth control. These are the silver bullets to make abortion practically insignificant.

The question is, why won’t conservatives accept the evidence? Why don’t they approve of these methods — at least until a more effective program comes along? (The “more effective program” is not abstinence education, which fails.)

Their reluctance to accept evidence opens them to accusations of insincerity and false motives, i.e., wanting to control women and reinforce traditional gender roles or just being opposed to sex. So we continue to muddle along, never solving the problem when the solution is obvious.

The real question is what it will take to get through to them.

Beverly M. Burton


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