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Single-payer plan: second opinions

March 03, 2007

Re "Kuehl's health plan to get new push," Feb. 27

Thank you for writing about SB 840, the single-payer bill. I urge you to read it carefully. It is not government-run healthcare. It is single-payer in that the money will go into a single fund held and distributed by the state.

Doctors and hospitals, however, will be in business for themselves and will negotiate their fees. You and your doctor, not an insurance broker, will make decisions about your health.

The threat of long waits is flimsy in light of today's system.

I am currently on a six-month waiting list for a heart procedure. My daughter recently went to an emergency room and was on a gurney for 11 hours before she got care. I don't believe waits can get much worse.

When you speak of the taxes it will take to fund a single-payer system, please note that those taxes would replace our present premiums, deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses. I think it is a fair exchange.

MARTHA STEVENS

Studio City

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The single-payer health plan has only three defects: It can't be enacted; if enacted, it can't be implemented; if implemented, it would be a disaster.

Single-payer is a train to nowhere that idealists eagerly board, but every time it leaves the station, it derails the effort for real reform of the healthcare system.

SID SIEGEL MD

Covina

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Kuehl's demand for a single-payer health plan is right out of the socialist playbook. Better to demonize insurance companies that could run healthcare efficiently than to admit that a huge new bureaucracy would be necessary.

RAYMOND G. BOYD

Somis, Calif.

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