HEADLINE HISSY - Medical Insurance Climate Cloudy

(12/05/2002)

By Teresa Starcher

dagwood2us@yahoo.com

I do so look forward to reading the morning paper with that first cup of coffee. It, well, actually both, stimulate me. I am informed! empowered for the day. But I am also what you could call an armchair political critic or couch potato activist. I just read along grumbling to myself, how something must be done about this or that, somebody should fix it here or there, and so it goes.

This week, one of the front page headlines of The Parkersburg News, November 25, really grabbed my attention, as it is also one of my “pet peeves”. It read, Medical Insurance Climate Cloudy. Right on cue, I mumbled, “Well, when was it ever clear or fair?” With fair being a key word here. Doctors have left this state in droves due to unfair rate increases. I'm especially ticked off, because two of them were mine. The article went on to state, “Legislators appeared surprised to learn last week…If legislators were surprised, it was because no one had previously told them despite legal requirements to the contrary.” I took offense at this because, although I am far removed from the state's insurance regulator office; I had taken it upon myself to drop a little note to Bob Wise about the situation, as did my doctor at the time. What do they do with our written concerns; just make graffiti without bothering to read them?

I also know that two years ago, Dr. Richard Cain and a group of other physicians tried to meet with governor Wise, hoping to address their concerns with Medical Assurance company and its major rate hikes, but he was too busy; perhaps with slot machine and gambling laws. Well, the gamble with the deal for WV Physicians to shut up and put up was lost.

Mr. Wise, please don't whine about our state budget. Don't you imagine that the loss of the majority of the state's medical practices may be a factor? The governor did however send a representative from his office to meet with the group of doctors, but it must have been simply a courtesy since no one seemed to give it another thought.

Doctors must just love closing down shop for the day to stroll casually in to exchange civil pleasantries with the governor. Yeah, right! So maybe they should have taken an example and reenacted the Boston Tea Party. With a few legislators scalps thrown in for good measure, but then they have taken an oath against that sort of thing, you know. Do you think that may have stopped them from complaining now that they were not made aware of the situation and are so surprised? Well, I for one doubt it.


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