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Nation's Health-Care Crisis

April 20, 1985

The article on the health-care crisis points out a fact that many of us have long realized. As long as medical care remains a "for-profit" business, those who can afford to pay for it will receive the most extravagant and wasteful care available, regardless of medical necessity, while others may well go wanting. The group that can afford to pay for such care includes those for whom the government is willing to foot 100% of the bill.

I would like to know what would happen if our President and the pro-lifers went to battle for the rights of the already born, who may desperately need even minimal care, as fiercely and religiously as they do for the rights of the unborn? Adequate prenatal and postpartum care and nutrition, routine physicals and immunizations for all children, drugs to relieve the pain and suffering of terminal illness for all ages, availability of dental care for the poor, these things would improve and save the lives of thousands. Is this not as important as one liver transplant?

Our country thrives on sensationalism. Our present Administration uses it to their advantage. The Jerry Falwell followers create it to further their notions of morality. There is no glory, or profit in good, regular health care. No newspaper stories about the people who die quietly, in great pain, without the help of modern drugs, no donations to help the average person meet emergencies.

As long as we as a people make demi-gods out of ordinary human beings with specialized educations, hang on every word a TV personality utters and enjoys sensational stories of million-dollar transplants, which may or may not prolong or improve someone's life; as long as we sit mesmerized in front of TV sets and believe whatever our favorite show-biz preacher or expert tells us, we deserve exactly what we let. Lower standards of care and higher bills for the "average" patient.

CAROLE SHANAHAN

La Mesa

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