A reader writes:
I am a physician in the Portland area. We are seeing more and more people unable to pay their bills. Today I wrote off two patients' cost for a surgery. Both mom and dad have lost there jobs, their insurance ends this month, and they are losing their house. You can't bleed a turnip.
Colleagues have been cutting staff. My office wants a raise but our revenues are way down. We feel keeping wages stable and not cutting hours is generous in this environment. People can't pay there copays, many are opting out of surgery because of financial uncertainty, and hospital OR cases (the lifeblood of the hospital) are way down. I have been busy filling out forms to try to get free medicines from the pharmaceutical company for patients who can no longer afford them. It is getting ugly here.