Reply to Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge

In reply to last month's article by Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge: "Straight talk about enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace," I have five questions for Congresswoman Fudge...

Here are my questions:

Q: 1-What is the purpose of requiring universal health insurance for everyone, when doctors make so many mistakes that 100,000 patients die each year from medical errors?

The government has known about this since 1999, and it is still happening today!

Q: 2- What is the purpose of having universal health insurance when doctors do not have to make the correct diagnosis?

Example: Male patient had blood colored floaters inside his eye. He went to the ER and the doctors’ took a CAT scan of his brain, looking for a stroke. (FYI: CAT scans give a lot of radiation equal to 100 x-rays!) He was told “everything is fine,” and sent home. He later went to an eye doctor who said he had hemorrhaging inside his eye, and needed immediate laser surgery to correct a torn retina!

Q: 3-What is the purpose of having universal health insurance, when doctors are allowed to ignore serious medical problems, and infections?

Example: Female patient (an elderly senior citizen), went to the ER with red swollen legs that were “weeping fluid.” The doctors send her home. She could not walk, and the hospital drove her home in a wheelchair van. A few days later she is hospitalized for several weeks with cellulitis (a bacterial infection beneath the skin), and is given intravenous antibiotics.

Q: 4- What is the purpose of having universal health insurance when doctors give conflicting opinions (they give OPINIONS not diagnoses.)

Example: Female patient (this patient is me), has leg pain when walking and pitting edema in both legs. Her Primary Care Physician (PCP) does not document her leg pain or edema. He referred her to other doctors. The rheumatologist said she had Venous Insufficiency (leg veins do not work properly), and needed to follow up with her Primary Care Physician for a Doppler Vein Study. The podiatrist said she had Lymphedema (swelling from a buildup of lymph fluid), and needed to follow-up with her PCP. Her PCP did not order the Doppler or Lymph tests, and told her to get a new PCP. She filed a complaint with the hospital ombudsman, asking how to get the follow-up tests, and she has not received a reply in months.

FYI: The government currently has laws called “The Conditions of Participation,” which all hospitals must follow in order to get Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements from the government. One of the laws is that the hospital ombudsman must reply to a patient’s question in a timely manner (usually 7 days).

The government does nothing to enforce hospitals to obey their rules, yet the government wants to penalize citizens (and make us pay $95.00 or 1% of our income, if we do not obtain health care for ourselves!) This is a double standard!

Q: 5- What is the purpose of having universal health insurance when doctors do not tell the patient about abnormal blood test results?

Example: Female patient feels ill with swollen Lymph glands in her neck. Immunologist did not examine Lymph glands. He says her blood tests are normal. (Later, she learns that her IgG Immunoglobulin’s are abnormally high.) She asked her doctor to explain her immunoglobulin tests. He has not replied.

Does universal health insurance guarantee universal health care? Why don't doctors get performance reviews like all other workers in the United States?

Why can doctors and hospitals refuse care whenever a patient asks questions about their medical care?

Why isn’t there government law preventing hospital retaliation?

Could anyone reading this article refuse to do their job at work, or make mistakes, and still be employed at the end of the day?

If 100,000 patients die each year from medical errors, who will guarantee that patients who purchase health insurance will get GOOD HEALTH CARE?

And finally, if 100,000 patients die each year from medical errors, which are never reported to the patient’s family, how is the government able to know these statistics? Who is keeping track of these patient’s deaths?

Jeanne Coppola

Jeanne Coppola is a resident of the Collinwood neighborhood, and is interested in art and writing. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cleveland State University, where she was a writer for the multi-cultural student magazine, "The Vindicator."

Jeanne is pleased to be able to write for "The Collinwood Observer," and offer her comments and opinions for this new and exciting community newspaper.

Read More on Opinion
Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:24 AM, 10.14.2013