Dr. Alan Cowles, Social Security disability benefits advocate
While most health reform talk has centered on the high costs of health care and the millions of uninsured Americans, Cowles would like to see reform when it comes to medical disclosures.
“Through legislation, we need a much higher standard of honesty and a promotion of health care services, which would require full and balanced disclosure of benefits and harms,” he said.
For example, he said there is a drug being promoted for the treatment of strep throat.
“What the advertisement doesn’t say and should be required to say is that it has not been found to be more effective than other antibiotics and that it costs more than 10 times as much as the antibiotics taken twice daily,” he said. “It’s — as many drugs — promoted without full and balanced disclosure of the benefits and harms.”
He also said prices for medical care, such as X-rays, can vary greatly from place to place.
“We see this great disparity and we see some people with insurance plans being charged far less than people without,” Cowles said. “That’s a big problem. If you don’t have insurance, you are at the mercy of the health care provider.”
Cowles said he is afraid the nation will end up with a set of uncoordinated reforms that don’t work well together and don’t serve the entire American public.
“I just don’t know what these people are going to come up with and I am afraid that this may be rushed through too quickly,” he said.
Kansans weigh in on health care reform
- Have your say.
- Graham Bailey, vice president of public relations, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas
- Rod Bremby, Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
- Corrie Edwards, executive director, Kansas Health Consumer Coalition
- Jerry Kemberling, Unemployed, Lawrence
- Gene Meyer, CEO/president, Lawrence Memorial Hospital
- Marcia Nielsen, vice chancellor for public policy and planning, Kansas University Medical Center
- Sandy Praeger, Kansas insurance commissioner
- Jon Stewart, Director, LEO Center
- Judy Bellome, executive director of Douglas County Visiting Nurses, Rehabilitation and Hospice Care
- Dr. Alan Cowles, Social Security disability benefits advocate
- Marcia Epstein, director of Headquarters Counseling Center in Lawrence
- Dr. David Goering, medical director for Health Care Access
- Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care
- Dan Partridge, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department director
- Margie Wakefield, small business owner