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Letter: Lopez should be commended

October 19, 2018

To: My fellow Sussex County residents

This is a letter of support for Ernie Lopez in his bid to again serve Delaware’s 6TH District (Lewes, Milton, Harbeson, Rehoboth and surrounding areas) as state senator.

Mr. Lopez serves on the Senate health committee. In March of last year, I was in the committee hearing room in Dover and watched Mr. Lopez hold large insurance companies accountable for their actions. The insurers have been reimbursing primary care physicians 65 percent and 85 percent of Medicare rates. This drives primary care physicians out of practice in Delaware. The primary care physicians retire early, or they move to surrounding states (where the pay is 120 percent of Medicare), or they start concierge practices where patients pay the doctor out of their own pockets.

Mr. Lopez is fighting to provide Delawareans access to primary care physicians. There is a primary care shortage in all three Delaware counties. A six-month wait for new patients is common (especially in Sussex County).

Mr. Lopez helped get Senate Bill 199 through the Senate health committee. With Mr. Lopez’s help this bill was then passed unanimously in the Senate, and then signed by the governor in June. This bill forces Delaware insurers to pay primary care physicians no less than Medicare.

Presently the Senate is studying how to bring primary care pay up to the national average and to a healthy level that will attract primary care doctors to Delaware.

Please vote for Mr. Lopez Nov. 6. He has an excellent grasp of healthcare issues that matter in Delaware. Mr. Lopez supports doctors in Delaware, but more importantly supports patients in Delaware. Not all of us are doctors, but all of us are patients. We all need access to primary care physicians.

Andrew Dahlke M.D.
Neuroradiology Southern Delaware Imaging in Lewes
president-elect, Medical Society of Delaware

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