I am writing to comment on MaineGeneral Medical Center’s recent decision to downsize its Diabetes and Nutrition Care Center because reimbursement rates are too low. Diabetes is a major health problem, the seventh leading cause of death in our country, and a disease (like many other chronic illlnesses) whose outcomes can be improved by early intervention.

Over 4,000 patients are being left without assistance by an organization with nonprofit status because of low reimbursement rates. There appears to have been little or no responsible planning for transferring these patients to another endocrinologist, according to a recent article in the Press Herald by Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Charles Eichacker, and Inland Hospital in Waterville is reporting a seven-month wait for an appointment for new patients.

This is a deplorable situation that points up the deep dysfunction in our system, with high-risk pools of patients such as Medicare and MaineCare recipients running up high bills and pools of employer-insured patients who need less care being “cherry picked” by insurance companies to make a profit.

Market forces are a poor approach to solving the health care funding problems in our country. The creation of a single pool of patients and devising an improved system such as Medicare for All would prevent this type of situation from occurring. Resources could be allocated based on needs rather than potential for profits.

Diana Cundy

Portland