Regarding "Highmark 'Select' Plan Rejected by UPMC," March 5): What are the fundamental rights we wish to have in respect to health care? If we are to listen to the lawyers from Highmark or UPMC it is the ability to select a certain insurance plan or HMO with a certain set of health care provisions associated with it. If a person makes unfortunate or improvident choices, well -- he or she must live with the consequences.
It's considered a fact of life that health care must be organized this way -- according to the dictates of the marketplace. Since that tenet cannot be questioned, the import of the article seems to be that these powers should, in these exceptional cases, show mercy and extend care beyond the letter of the law.
I would remind your readers, since the powers that be in the Post-Gazette hardly mention it, that there is an alternative mechanism for providing health care, the single-payer option, HR 676, the proposed "Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act." It would give all of us as consumers the choice of doctor, hospital, procedure -- and still keep the delivery of health care in private provider hands. In the single-payer world, both women mentioned in the article would have far greater choice, independence and dignity than they have now and this standard would be extended to all of us.
We truly live in a dark age when we defer to the corporate and political forces who have sold their souls to carry the day, to deny us single-payer, the health care alternative we should all have.