By Dr. Stephen Radinsky

As a retired radiologist, I will never forget the day when I had to tell a woman that her free mammogram, provided through a state initiative, had shown that she had breast cancer. I began telling her about the next steps in diagnosis and treatment and she interrupted me, saying, "You don't understand, I don't have health insurance. I can't afford any of this."

I have spent years wondering what happened to that woman. With the health reform legislation just enacted by Congress, scenarios like this will disappear.

Our healthcare system has been broken for many years. One of the major problems in reforming the system was due to the unwillingness of the insurance companies to compromise. The insurance systems had a virtual monopoly in every state and were unwilling to sell insurance across state lines. Thus, the insurance companies made huge amounts of money. Last year, the CEO of United Healthcare made $1.6 billion in stock options alone. Several years ago, a Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO had a salary and bonus of $337.5 million.

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