“Hospitals often bill patients eligible for free, discounted care” [Oct. 15, A1] shows us the folly of requiring hospitals that have tax-exempt status to provide charity care for the poor.
We could require hospitals to use a standardized method of means testing to determine who qualifies for charity care, but more elaborate regulation will most likely only add another layer of bureaucracy and additional administrative costs to our already wildly expensive health-care system. Hospitals will only find new ways to game the system.
It is time to actually solve our problems with health-care financing by passing U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation (HR1384) into law. It will give hospitals an annual budget so they can provide health care without having to worry about billing.
Rich Lague, Seattle