Flag and Stethoscope, Healthcare Reform

Issues: Health Care

Dr. Veltmeyer speaks out on health care reform

June 16, 2017

Dr. James Veltmeyer, Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, has proposed a new Medical Association Membership (MAM)  direct-payer health reform plan.   He has previously been named “Top Medical Doctor in San Diego,” for 2012, 2014, and 2016 according to his colleagues in the San Diego Medical Society, He recently sat down for an interview with East County Magazine on KNSJ.

Dr. Veltmeyer has been a vocal critic of  the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare based in part on his wife, Laura, and her battle with breast cancer. 

"What would you say to  a young mother of two, a 5 year old and a 7 year old, after being told she is dying from cancer?" he asked in an e-mail sent to ECM prior to his interview. "The mother has a PPO health insurance plan with the highest monthly premiums, but has been denied insurance coverage by non-elected bureaucrats, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and special interest groups, all participating in authoring the Affordable Care Act. So, what would YOU say to her? I need to know…you see, I’m the young mother’s husband; father to the children."

Dr. Veltmeyer says his wife, Laura, had diagnostic tests denied initially, resulted in a year and a half delay in her diagnosis. She is now fighting for her life.

He wants to put the decision-making process back in the hands of doctors and patients with his proposal.  Hear details in our exclusive interview with Dr. Veltmeyer.

While the Affordable Care Act did help millions of previously uninsured Americans get healthcare coverage and protected those with preexisting conditions, among other benefits,  it also  has gaps and  flaws that even many supporters agree need to be fixed, such as high premiums for some middle income families as well as the issues that Dr. Veltmeyer discusses. Conversely, the Republican plan in Congress would take away many protections under the ACA, critics contend, without significant improvements to healthcare coverage for most Americans, according to nonpartisan analyses, though the final Senate version of the bill has not yet been made public.

Are there other solutions? Clearly, some reforms are needed to America's healthcare system, if even a prominent doctor's wife has difficulty accessing tests and care needed during a serious illness. ECM welcomes a robust discussion of all health reform proposals, and we encourage our readers to share your ideas and experiences.We also send our best wishes to Dr. Veltmeyer and his wife for a full recovery.