The entire medical-industrial complex has been responsible for a 900% increase in health-care costs in the last 20 years with no commensurate increase in the quality of our care. Though the California Medical Assn. approved, as policy, the concept that "it is the basic right of every citizen to have access to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health" the association has all but destroyed that right.
What about the future?: Medicare will go bankrupt within the next six years. Medical benefits will be slashed even further. Insurance premiums will continue to go up. Coverage will go down and health programs for children will be cut back still further as costs continue to climb.
Since the medical-industrial complex helps itself to more and more all the time, with no intervention on the part of the government, we must help ourselves. It is necessary that we replace our current health-care system with a new system that has the following qualities:
Coverage to all people in the United States.
Coverage of every part of our bodies from birth to death.
Every aspect of health care, including preventive, acute and long-term care.
Incentives to assure access to quality health care with built-in cost containment.
Paid for on the basis of the patient's ability to pay.
Federally administered, with provision to phase-in existing health-care systems.
Adequate consumer participation at all levels of policy development.
Development of local consumer-controlled health-care delivery systems.
Provide consumers with the right to choose their own doctors, within or outside the plan.
Authoritative research has shown that such systems are available in every industrialized country in the world, except the United States and the Union of South Africa. In addition, in early 1977, a magnificent bill was brought before Congress detailing and describing the implementation of just such a system. The bill will be reintroduced in this congressional session.
For our group, the die is cast. Our goal is a national health-care plan, and our task is an enormous one for we will be in contention with one of the country's richest and strongest lobbies. It will require the concerted and well-organized efforts of individuals and organizations in the community, on a local and national level.
Southern California Coalition for National Health Care Now
Loves Apple's Macintosh
The article "Apple's Computer Will Soon Talk With IBM'S" (Jan. 24) missed the mark entirely. Apple is definitely \o7 not\f7 "bowing to the inevitable" by announcing a network that will incidentally allow IBM PCs to communicate with Macintoshes and Lisas.
By introducing such a product, Apple is providing businesses that already own IBM micros with the opportunity to upgrade to the Mac without losing their original investment. I say "upgrade" because that is precisely what replacing an IBM PC with a Macintosh is. As an employee of the University of California, I see so many people who come to work one day and find a hulking IBM sitting on their desk, without the slightest idea of how to use it or even what to do with it.
In fact, I'd say that most of them are scared to death of the thing. Many of these people's needs would be more than adequately fulfilled with a Mac, and their productivity would noticeably increase, since it takes less than a day to become familiar with a Mac instead of the weeks of studying IBM manuals. Why do so many companies make money by writing tutorial books and software for the PC, and its related programs? The need obviously exists.
One problem with the Mac is the "Power User." This is the guy whose company buys him a loaded PC/AT with the latest software like Symphony and dBASE III, and then does little more than write memos and file phone numbers with it. Apparently, the Mac is too easy and intuitive for some executives. I guess it just looks a lot more impressive to have a big, ugly complicated system overflowing one's desk than to have a small, friendly Macintosh sitting there. Once products such as Lotus' Jazz becomes available, there won't be any reason \o7 not\f7 to have a Macintosh. And in the meantime, there are more than 300 applications for the Mac now, to silence those who whine that "It's cute, but it's a toy. . . . "
The software is long in coming because the Mac is not an easy machine to develop applications for. Part of the problem is deciding just \o7 what\f7 sort of software to write, since the Mac's visual interface opens up a whole new dimension in software design. Some of the first Mac programs were IBM packages that were simply ported over, and they don't run much better on the Mac than they did on the PC.
The upshot of all this is: Give the Mac time. It's only been out a year, and is growing by leaps and bounds. Remember, the PC was in a similar position the same time after it was introduced, and look where it is now. Anything you can do on a PC, you can do faster and more easily on a Mac, and there's a lot that you \o7 can't\f7 do on a PC that a Mac is capable of.
Letters to the Business Editor should be as brief as possible and are subject to condensation.