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Our Health-Care System Is Failing

September 14, 2002

Re "Freeway Labor Isn't Just Construction Work" (Sept. 10), on the increase in freeway births: While it is heartwarming to read about the stories of successful births that happen on our local freeways, this statistic is a sad commentary on the state of our health-care system. As local hospitals and emergency rooms close their doors because they are no longer "profitable," people have to drive farther and farther to get emergency medical help.

Fortunately, women have been giving birth on their own since the dawn of time, and this can occur successfully even in the back seat of a compact car in rush-hour traffic. But what about the person who has a heart attack?

Amid all the other crises of our day, we need to realize that our health-care system is failing us. Premiums rise, HMOs pull out of plans, hospitals close and the ranks of the uninsured grow. In L.A. County we can do something about it by voting to support the November ballot measure to save our trauma centers, but that only addresses one part of a much bigger problem. When are we going to realize that allowing our health care to be left to the fickle market is just not working?

Jennifer Colamonico

West Los Angeles

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