Letters: How much does the government really value you?

How much does the government really value you?

I read the following letter in a recent issue of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons newsletter and thought it might make you chuckle, even if it is in a “sad but true” way. Enjoy:

“My wife took our dog, Porscha, to the vet today. Porscha is a senior citizen among dogs and has elevated liver enzymes. The vet performed an ultrasound, which took about 30 minutes of his time. The cost was $240, which I gladly paid.

“When I perform a carotid ultrasound on a human being, which takes about 30 minutes of my time, Medicare “allows” me to charge $30.23. [Using that scale], a Medicare patient is worth one-eighth as much as a dog.”

-Lawrence R. Huntoon, M.D., Ph.D., Jamestown, NY

Reference:

“A Patient’s Worth,” Correspondence section, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) News 2002; 58(11)