Burdens on primary care doctors

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The state law requiring all residents to have health insurance will, if successful, take a huge burden off the state’s emergency rooms, cutting down the high costs of that service, but it will put much of that burden on the state’s already over-extended primary care physicians. These physicians are the critical component of preventive medicine, which reduces costs by dealing with health problems before they become serious, but a health care system that buries them in cumbersome paperwork and dictates the kind and number of tests they can order for patients discourages primarily care physicians from entering the profession. Like physicians in other fields, they are also are burdened by extraordinarily high malpractice insurance costs. The shortage of primary care physicians in the Berkshires and the state will never be rectified as long as those physicians have to work with insurance company bureaucrats looking over their shoulders.

Other side of gambling equation

The estimate of UMass.-Dartmouth professor Clyde W. Barrow that Massachusetts residents spend $878 million a year at Connecticut’s two gambling casinos is open to debate. James Kennedy, the general counsel and

research director for a legislative committee chaired by Representative Daniel Bosley, a North Adams Democrat who has done extensive research into gambing, challenges the size of the sample Mr. Barrow used and his estimate of how much state visitors spend at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. No one doubts that Bay Staters spend money in Connecticut casinos, but the other side of the equation Massachusetts must factor in as its considers possible casino legislation is the cost in terms of crime, gambling addiction and lowered property values in the vicinity of the casinos. Legislators should seek the opinions of Ledyard and Montville, Connecticut residents about the detriments of casinos in their back yards.

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