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No easy remedy for healthcare

August 16, 2009

Re "Make the case -- now," Editorial, Aug. 9

Our economy is based on competition, so why not allow a government plan to compete against the insurance companies?

If the federal government competed on the same basis as the private insurers, there would be no reason not to allow the government to compete with private insurance companies. But therein lies the problem: The federal government has virtually unlimited resources, which even the large insurance companies cannot come close to matching.

With its vast power to spend, impose taxes, run budget deficits and even print money, the government can easily drive the private insurers out of business.

Rudy Alvarez

Los Angeles

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Spot on! Our healthcare situation is a disgrace, but it would be relatively simple to fix. Just add every citizen to Medicare.

Of course, that would reduce the role of the insurance companies. But wouldn't that be an improvement? Their biggest input to our healthcare is cost and confrontation. Who needs that?

J.B. Thomas

Arroyo Grande

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The protests at the town hall meetings are grass-roots creations; the Republican Party isn't clever enough to orchestrate anything like this.

But the objections are real, not concocted, and solidly grounded on facts and experience. Nobody talks about the real solution: allowing healthcare companies to compete across state lines.

A separate Medicaid-type program for the truly uninsured (those who really can't afford coverage, not the inflated 46 million) will solve that problem.

Len Lamensdorf

Westlake Village

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There can be no meaningful healthcare reform without also having serious and meaningful tort reform. Abusive trial-lawyer litigation is one of the biggest special-interest and profit enterprises in this whole industry. Until that issue is addressed, nothing meaningful can happen. For this reason, it is likely that nothing meaningful will happen. The cost of liability insurance for health providers is one of the major causes of rising healthcare costs.

Roy Fassel

Los Angeles

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