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Health Care Debate

September 13, 1987

Parachini overlooked a subtle irony in his articles on national health insurance and the Bay Area physician overload. The serious oversupply of physicians in the United States may be, in large measure, ascribed to Rashi Fein, the very same Harvard economist whose arguments Parachini uses to advance the cause for national health insurance.

In 1967, Fein, a sincere and articulate advocate for his causes, wrote a book on the impending doctor shortage. The book resulted in a dramatic change in U.S. health policy, a sharp increase in medical school enrollments that continues to this date and the importation in the 1970s of more than 9,000 foreign medical graduates yearly.

It may be argued that the United States should adopt some type of national health insurance. I would hope, however, that Parachini would have the grace not to use Fein's arguments toward this end. He has screwed us up enough already.

STEPHEN GIBBENS

Montecito

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