Motorists in Pennsylvania have launched a major law suit against car insurance companies because they will not allow free choice in car repairs. Apparently, car insurance companies were referring repairs to industry-friendly car shops and were at times dictating the type of repairs allowed. This has created a tremendous brouhaha in the state and drivers just will not stand for it.

Every day in my office my office staff and physicians spend countless periods of time arguing with health insurance carriers about the tests they will not allow, the hospitals where patients can receive care, and medications for which they will pay. We are told that all this is necessary to save money and improve health care, while at the same time we see our insurance premiums rise along with our deductibles, and the amount of service we get for our health care dollar declines. The insurance companies continue to profit. As a physician I see this issue from at least two sides. I pay not only for my health care, but for that of my employees. I also need to care for patients with serious problems, but must check with an insurance representative to see if my medical judgment fits with the insurers.

Why aren’t we as motivated as drivers are about their car insurance? Our health is clearly more important. Shouldn’t our health care be just as important as the repair care for our cars? Shouldn’t health insurers butt out? Well, it’s a cold dreary day and maybe it’s just me.