Re "Consumers will drive the next big health care reform" (Viewpoints, May 29): The article by Roger Smith shows control of health care costs will soon be in the hands of the patients, where it should be. All citizens must become more educated about costs, and AB 1558, which compares costs, is a major step along this path.
Many patients do not think to question the doctor in regards to tests and exams and believe they do not have sufficient knowledge to make good decisions about their care or its cost. That view is rapidly changing. All patients can stress to the doctor that they are now shouldering more of the costs and want him/her to use their best judgment when it comes to needed tests.
The patient must become more active in comparing costs at all levels in the medical care system in order to obtain their medical care at the most reasonable cost.
-- Richard J. Frink, MD, Carmichael