Exploring Health Insurance Woes & Israel-Palestine Politics



The article includes several letters to the editor discussing health insurance claim denial problems and Middle East conflict as well as US political leaders. One letter highlights the issue of insurance companies denying claims that are later overturned, suggesting financial penalties for insurers when this happens. Another letter discusses the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, advocating for recognition of both groups’ rights to exist as sovereign nations, another letter calls for more critical thinking and media literacy in interpreting events and movements like Black Lives Matter and the Palestinian freedom struggle. The final letter expresses concern over the lack of effective political leadership in the US.

Reader Letters: Addressing Denied Medical Claims and Healthcare Issues

Star Tribune Opinion regularly publishes readers’ letters online and in print. To have your voice heard, contribute here.

The article detailing Mark Christensen’s ordeal with a denied medical claim brought to light an issue many patients and healthcare providers face. Denied claims are common, causing stress, extra costs, treatment delays, and are typically overturned eventually, as in Christensen’s case. Payer denials for surgery preauthorization consume valuable time that could be better spent on patient care.

Insurance companies continuously issue denials with little consequence. Imposing financial penalties on overturned denials could potentially discourage this practice. For instance, if Empire BlueCross BlueShield had to pay an increased reimbursement on an overturned claim, they might reconsider their denial strategies.

Paul Johnson, Eden Prairie

A recent story about Bright Health’s claim processing “errors” raises concerns about insurance companies avoiding claim payments. This behavior puts patients at risk of financial disaster, especially when ill. Allowing insurance companies to decide valid claims creates a conflict of interest. There should be an independent process to monitor doctors for proper care and to settle claim disputes, preventing undue denials from licensed healthcare professionals.

Mark Brakke, Coon Rapids

Conversations Around Israel and Palestine

Last week, I thanked Rep. Angie Craig for her vote to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s speech, which was perceived as advocating for the destruction of Israel (“Craig cast vote for Tlaib censure,” Nov. 9). Unfortunately, I was confronted by aggressive protesters promoting anti-Israel slogans. This incident had nothing to do with compassion for Palestine but was a manifestation of hate and antisemitism. I commend Angie Craig for standing against hate speech by elected officials.

Barry L. Ross, Minnetonka

Resolution of the Middle East conflict hinges on two questions: Do Israelis have the right to exist as an independent nation with defensible borders and sea access? Do Palestinians have the same right? Until both questions receive a widespread “yes”, conflict will persist.

Robert J. Krueger, Bloomington

Concerns Regarding Political Leaders

Our country has completed yet another election cycle, exemplifying that we are a society divided, characterized by inflammatory discourse and lacking compromise. Amidst this chaos, our political leaders are disturbingly silent. For instance, Rep. Dean Phillips stands alone in his courageous effort to present electable candidates. In this turmoil, it’s essential for leaders to present viable alternatives and guide us towards a promising future.

Kathy Meinhardt, Bloomington

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