Letter: Pro-bono healthcare would help the poorest

To the Editor:

Medicaid, a federal health plan for low income residents, has an annual budget of almost $600B and growing 6 percent a year. The money is sent to states who supplement it to fund health programs that consume over 25 percent of the state budgets that are also swelling every year.

There is no easy answer to escalating health care costs. With the current contentions Congress reforming health care is doubtful. There are too many conflicting lobbyists and special interest groups to reach a consensus. However, here's an idea that could gain support.

Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Fla., is working on a Pro-bono Healthcare plan. Doctors who accept and treat 20 patients at no costs (pro-bono) would be allowed a charitable tax Federal deduction. Patients would have to be Medicaid beneficiaries and it's estimated to save Medicaid $47B a year. A recent poll showed overwhelming support of doctors ready and willing to participate in such a plan.

Pro-bono healthcare can be a crucial part of America's healthcare safety net that provides health care to the poorest. This proposed tax incentive will also increase the number of providers accepting Medicaid and with this service, pro-bono re-enforces the reasons for doctors ..aiding all those in need.

Frank Mazur,

South Burlington


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