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Curtail this Medicare bloat

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Medicare must be drastically pruned to stop wasting our money on less-effective, more-expensive treatments that bloat the medical establishment. A doctor friend is grinding his teeth because he’s treating a minimally-conscious patient dying of multiple causes, who just had a stent installed in a coronary artery ($60,000 cost approximately). Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish, John McDougall and many other medical researchers have proven beyond all doubt that diet, exercise and stress management cure advanced heart disease at one-twelfth to one-fifth the cost of surgery and angioplasty, with less death and disability. A patient tells me his mother was almost dead of breast cancer in her lungs and spine, when a surgeon removed the breast where it had started, which is proven to actually speed the growth of the cancer at its deadly metastatic sites. It was long ago proven that gall bladder colic can be stopped by removing foods to which the person is allergic, and putting the patient on a low-fat diet, but the surgeries go on and on. Medicare is a feeding frenzy of providing the wrong, most-expensive treatments. No wonder the head of “non-profit” Sutter Health, the huge Sacramento-based hospital-and-doctor network, makes $4 million a year in just salary (Sacramento Magazine, March 2012), and his assistant for the Sierra Foothills region makes $2 million per year, just salary! No wonder we are asked to donate our time and money to help them make ends meet through our local hospital’s foundation! It’s a feeding frenzy! Gordon Ainsleigh, Meadow Vista