Alibi V.26 No.21 • May 25-31, 2017 

Letters

Live Simply, Love Others

Dear Alibi,

Do most college graduates live more wisely than minimum wage workers who never went to high school? Do most college graduates travel less, pollute less, cause less global climate chaos? Do most college graduates pay less federal income tax for war? Do most college graduates consume less and live more simply and fairly in our world family of more than 7 billion people? Do most college graduates take strong public stands against US greed and wars? Do most college graduates choose jobs that help more than harm?

When Gandhi was asked what worried him the most, he said, “The hardness of heart of the educated.” Albert Einstein said, “More and more I have come to value charity and love of others above everything else. All our lauded technological progress, our very civilization, is an ax in the hand of a pathological criminal.”

As long as the main motive for most students to get a college degree is to get more money than anyone needs, big power and worldly prestige, higher education is no sure path to a better world of fairness and compassion for all people! Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world … My life is my message.”

I was a college dropout, but in the university of life, I constantly collect wisdom on how to live and how not to live. I collect wisdom in order to live it every day. I lived well in 2016 on $4,946.00 for my total living expenses, less than half the US poverty level and less than half the federal income taxable level for me as a single person. I enjoy living simply and healthy!

Don Schrader

Doctors & Drug Reimbursement

Dear Alibi,

I'm writing about a paragraph in your article about healthcare on page 28 of the April 13-19, 2017 edition. It says that doctors get reimbursed more when they prescribe more expensive medication. I've heard this myth before, and I'd like to know where you get your information*. I'm a family physician and was in practice in California up to 2011. I did not get any rewards from the insurance plans, in fact I got negative feedback for prescribing expensive medication when equivalent cheaper options were available. When I used medication in the office, like depoprovera, which cost me $150 a dose, I did not get reimbursed at all. When primary care providers realized this, we all started giving patients prescriptions to take to the pharmacy, which was reimbursed for the depoprovera, and the patients brought the bottle into the office where we injected it. Only oncologists as far as I know, got paid more for the more expensive chemotherapy they administrated in their office. And they also had to buy the drugs first and only got paid for their overhead for drugs after the patient was treated and the bill went through probably at least a three month processing period.

My dad was a family physician, and I graduated from residency in 1990, just as manage care companies were getting started. I feel for-profit insurance is a crime against humanity. Every penny of the health care dollar all these years should have been reinvested in treatment, research, prevention and long-term care. These companies have raped America through their outrageous premiums and ruined the medical profession by their low reimbursement to those who are actually providing the service and their audacity in thinking they have the right, the skills and the knowledge to oversee and make decisions on patient care that should only be made by trained medical professionals. I think a lot of doctors feel like slaves and that patient management guidelines have become mandates and are profit-driven and developed with questionable research and data. I think this system will eventually destroy itself, but in the meantime, primary care has become in some places not unlike a fast food restaurant. We have so little time to do a safe and thorough job that sometimes it's like we might as well not do anything as the care is superficial and in the end ineffective and unsatisfactory for both the patient and the provider.

-J. Ralls, M.D.

On La Familiar

Dear Alibi,

Very well written and compelling review (i20, May 18-24). I'm saddened to learn that a change in ownership has diminished the quality of New Mexican fare offered by La Familiar.

As you know and expressed in your review, any restaurant review is a snapshot in time of a reviewer's experiences at the time of a particular visit. A myriad of changes may account for differences of opinion between a reviewer and a diner: not ordering the same menu items, different chef or line cook, different menu, service degradation, things changing over time, etc. Ultimately, readers should take a caveat emptor approach to any restaurant review written by any critic. Keep up the great work.

Gil

* “Straight Dope” is a syndicated column, and any questions concerning the content can be sent to cecil@chicagoreader.com.

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.