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Health Care Debate

September 13, 1987

In his article, "Health Care Debate: Who Will Pay the Way?" (Aug. 30), Times reporter Alan Parachini argues as if national health insurance were a historical inevitability. Those of us interested in the future health of the medical profession hope he is wrong.

The fundamental issue in this debate was completely ignored by Parachini: a doctor's right to his own life; i.e., his right to choose his patients, set his fees and use the procedures he knows are best, his right to act on the decisions of his mind without being forced to heed the dictates of a government bureaucrat.

From the fact that "an estimated 60 million Americans are either uninsured or underinsured," Parachini concludes that our health care system is failing. The implication is that individuals somehow have a "right" to health care they are not getting, and that government should guarantee this "right." The implication, though, is left as a blind assertion. The position is never argued for.

Nor did Parachini ask the question: Why is America's medical system the most efficient and advanced, and adored by the world? (One does not see foreign dignitaries flocking to the Soviet Union or even to Britain for an artificial heart.) It has attained this stature because, relatively speaking, it is the freest in the world.

STAN BRIGHT

Claremont

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