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Reform of Health Care

March 31, 1993

In making the case that some physicians and lawyers will prey on any government-constructed health plan, James P. Pinkerton (Column Right, March 18) fails to mention that these types now do quite well preying on private insurance plans.

And let's take issue, too, with Pinkerton's assertion that the Canadian health-care system rations care which " . . . leads Canadians . . . to come here for non-routine procedures."

Well, the vagueness of "non-routine" notwithstanding, our General Accounting Office reports that both the Pepper Commission and the American Medical Assn. have concluded that " . . . few Canadians seek care at American medical centers." The GAO also reports that according to Canadian health officials, some Americans cross the border to Canada to obtain specialized services that are not available in the U.S. or to receive lower cost health care.

Yes, the good news is that, although not perfect, the single-payer (Canadian) health plan is the most effective and efficient system yet devised; the bad news is that this is apparently not now the plan favored by the Clinton Administration.

TERRY E. DE WOLFE

Monterey Park

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