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Deukmejian Signs Bills

October 11, 1988

The headline in The Times read: "Two Clean-Air Bills Get Deukmejian's Signature" (Part I, Oct. 1). The second paragraph of the article read: "Working all day and into the night to meet a midnight deadline, Deukmejian vetoed a bill that would have made catastrophic health-care insurance available to hard-to-insure Californians under the age of 65."

That is the second time that Deukmejian has vetoed the Legislature's attempt to provide a source of health insurance for the disabled who are routinely denied coverage by private companies because their disabilities and illnesses are considered "pre-existing conditions." By way of example, a child born with Down's Syndrome is ineligible for private medical-insurance coverage because any illness that child may suffer is deemed to be the result of a pre-existing condition.

What are Deukmejian's priorities? Is he not the governor of all Californians? Or is he only the governor of Californians who are able to take care of all their own needs without any outside help? Why in his opinion is it improper for the state to make it possible for people who are unable to purchase medical insurance from the private sector to be provided with an opportunity to purchase medical insurance? The state has done so with fire insurance under the so-called Fair Plan. Does property have a higher priority than medical attention for our less fortunate citizens?

Will the people of California condone Deukmejian's heartless rejection of his disabled constituents?

HAROLD FRIEDMAN

Los Angeles

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