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Pinkerton on Health Plan

January 17, 1994

James Pinkerton's diatribe against the Clinton health plan (Column Right, Jan. 6) was short on understanding of the reform plan but long on weak metaphors and analogies. The one I liked best: "Power brokers of yore could only dream about the clout the seven-member NHB (National Health Board) will possess." Are we to believe that Boss Tweed dreamed about determining standard health benefits or regulating health alliances?

Finally, Pinkerton betrays his ignorance by suggesting that the government simply supply "coverage" for the 37 million uninsured. Talk about ballooning deficits!

Clinton's Health Security Act represents genuine comprehensive reform of the health care system. It deserves consideration and debate on a higher plane.

SIDNEY I. SIEGEL MD, West Covina

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The only reason Pinkerton is even discussing the issue is because a Democratic President had the audacity to propose to do something that will upset the cozy status quo within the very large medical and insurance company Establishments, bastions of Republican support. We tried laissez-faire and it's gotten us a system which benefits primarily the elite and grossly enriches the medical Establishment. Government has a right and obligation to protect us and that can easily be construed as access to adequate health care for all Americans.

What is always missing from these right-wing attacks is a cogent alternative solution. What we usually get instead is hand-wringing, attacks and loaded code words. What does Pinkerton and those of his ilk propose to do? Have Rush Limbaugh moderate a town hall meeting among small-town America to find a solution? It's time our government at least try to serve all Americans instead of serving only the economic elite.

RICHARD MARCHAND, West Hills

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Pinkerton's aim is to discredit Clinton's health plan, which is not rooted in concrete, except that he wants everybody in the plan.

His first shot was to say that anyone in government, by definition, must be incompetent to do anything required. No mention of the failures that the private sector has managed to have, i.e., the S&Ls, buyouts, laying off thousands of hard-working persons because of the failures of business leaders, and many more too numerous to mention.

His next shot was to compare the problems that the military-industrial complex has with the assumed problems of the "medical-bureaucratic complex." He indicates no feeling of differences between waging war and trying to keep everyone, even the needy, well and able.

His third shot is to draw an unfriendly picture of government workers going into hiding and coming out with a plan that looks good but is bound to fail. He didn't describe how those in the private sector come up with their "great" ideas.

Then he is critical of believing that experts should be heard. Again he didn't tell where those in the business sector get their ideas, but I suppose they don't use experts.

It's good to hear both sides of a question, but it would be much more enlightening to read persons that try to make reasonable arguments.

W. NEWTON LeBARON, Laguna Hills

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Stop this blatant, socialistic takeover of the government and over our private lives under this so-called health care plan that is being forced upon us by the Clinton Administration. Government has no right under our Constitution to so blatantly interfere in our private lives. I will no longer vote for those who support a socialistic health care plan, which is nothing but a ploy for complete control of our freedom to choose.

LOVINAH E. WITTE, Montebello

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