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Clinton Health Plan

January 28, 1994

* I was pleased to see the articles on Jan. 22 concerning the Clinton health care plan. I share President Clinton's desire to provide health care for the American public. Everyone would like to see health care costs managed more efficiently. Most individuals would also like to see affordable health insurance made available to anyone that would desire to purchase it. I, however, am absolutely not in favor of the mandates in the President's plan, which call for setting up health care alliances, a board to determine the "fair price" for new innovation, and forced coverage.

We have the greatest system in the entire world. We should improve it, not scrap it. The President's plan, which would ultimately end in health care rationing and the likelihood of a huge increase in costs, will fail miserably in providing excellent health care to the citizens of the United States.

JIM CAMPBELL

Irvine

* You saw the long lines of angry, frustrated people having to deal with government bureaucrats to get earthquake relief?

That's a preview of what health care will be like in this country if the Clinton plan passes in anything like its present form.

DOUG GAMBLE

Manhattan Beach

* In response to "Raise Quality by Lowering Costs," Commentary, Jan. 17:

The writers make some good points. However, they are way off base in their claim that "the only way to reduce the total social cost of illness and its treatment is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of care delivery." Improvement of care delivery is by no means "the only way" to reduce the total cost of illness. There is huge bureaucratic waste in the way the insurance companies and hospitals operate. Two studies indicate that tremendous savings would be achieved if the 1,500 health insurance companies, which deliver no actual health services whatever, were disengaged from any role in the health field. A 1992 study by the General Accounting Office concluded that the U.S. would save $67 billion if it adopted a single-payer, Canadian-style health system. On Aug. 5, 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on a study which projected 25 cents of every health dollar would be spent of paperwork and that $232 billion of the $940 billion spent on health care in 1993 would be used for administrative purposes. It estimated that we would save $117 billion annually if a single-payer system were adopted.

LEO NEWMAN

Laguna Hills

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