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Health Insurance: Let the Nanny State Go

October 24, 2002

Re "A Cancer in the Body Politic: 41 Million Uninsured Americans," Washington Outlook, Oct. 21: Let's get something straight. Any American without health insurance is an American who has chosen that condition. I'm 55, lost my job and employer-provided insurance in early 2001 and subsequently replaced it with a $178-a-month plan from a private insurer. At no cost, www.ehealthinsurance.com will supply dozens of quotes from a variety of sources. Today I priced plans for a family of four: a male, age 32; a female, age 30; with two children, ages 8 and 6. Premiums ranged from $99 to $191 (and higher depending on deductibles, coverages). So it's a matter of individuals making choices and setting priorities.

Not once does Ronald Brownstein mention private alternatives to government-fiat plans. There may be 41 million uninsured Americans, but each of them can find some kind of coverage at reasonable cost with a little effort and by making sacrifices between luxuries and necessities. The nanny state does not have to be the solution.

Ken Artingstall

Glendale

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So little is written on this shame that we as a society are fiddling as our health system goes up in flames. This simmering disaster will affect not only the poor but all of us in this, the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. A consequence here in Southern California is the threat to close Harbor General Hospital, a major public institution that provides the only trauma center for the Greater South Bay as well as needed psychiatric, general medical and specialty care to vast numbers of the uninsured. To add insult to injury, this chronic, "untreated" problem was greatly accentuated by the theft of California's surplus funds by the Texas energy cabal. Why aren't we talking about this in the media and other public forums before it really is too late?

Irvin Godofsky MD

Marina del Rey

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