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Healthcare from every angle

July 25, 2009

Re "Obama takes healthcare debate and runs with it," July 21, and "Rehabilitating healthcare: The reality of rationing," Editorial, July 20

The president looks at those who question his healthcare proposal's price tag, its death blow to the private insurance industry, its increase in unemployment and the cost of care and its bloating of the federal bureaucracy and refers to its critics as practitioners of "the politics of delay."

One of my favorite restaurants had a sign that read: "Good food isn't fast. Fast food isn't good."

Because we'll be digesting the residue of these decisions for a long time, it's imperative that the recipe be thoughtfully prepared rather than crammed down our throats.

David Altschul

Berkeley

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It continues to amaze me that people are more afraid of "socialized medicine" (such as Medicare) than of having no health coverage at all.

They don't seem to mind health insurance executives making their healthcare decisions, but heaven forbid "the government" gets involved.

These people need to meet some folks who have to pay for their own health insurance, or who have been dropped by their health plans when they actually got sick, or who have lost their homes because of crushing medical expenses.

Lynn Eames

Los Angeles

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In reference to the editorial on rehabilitating healthcare: When your case is hopeless, retreat to trivia, anecdotal evidence and populism.

If you were a plumber and knew of a plumber who got better results than you did and served one-third more people at half the cost, wouldn't you at least want to know how he did it?

That's what the rest of the developed world does with healthcare. Is there some reason we can't copy them?

Putting the focus on cost and the welfare of the stakeholders seems, to me, to be a diversion.

Frank M. Kline

Rolling Hills Estates

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Republicans are arguing that Obama's healthcare plan will cost too much. It is already costing too much.

If one could add up the costs associated with untreated medical conditions, outrageous insurance premiums, costs borne by hospitals and taxpayers in treating the uninsured and the loss of man hours because of untreated medical conditions, you'd get a total in excess of what Obama's plan proposes.

My objection to it is that it still leaves insurance companies in the game.

It is unconscionable that huge profits should come from human illness.

William McCall

Arcadia

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To encourage public support for government insurance, add a requirement that members of Congress must exchange their present health insurance for the new plan.

Charles Drexel

Palos Verdes

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While three-quarters of the public wants single-payer healthcare, the opposition is openly, cynically working hard at sabotaging the president's efforts to achieve a minimal public option for the benefit of our people and to fix our broken economy.

Rita Sokolow

Mar Vista

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The major factor that is not being mentioned is the insurance companies.

Healthcare costs are increased dramatically by what insurance companies take out of premiums to pay for advertising and staffs, especially top executives.

Insurers make decisions about what care can be provided, when and to what extent. They are more interested in profit for their investors than in patient care.

As a speech-language pathologist in private practice, I spend a great deal of time arguing with insurance companies about whether a patient should receive the treatment that the doctor has prescribed and I recommend. Even when the patient is making good progress, the insurance company is likely to deny service.

I am a Medicare provider, and I prefer dealing with Medicare than with private insurance companies in most cases.

Barbara Samuels

Woodland Hills

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Re "Reform urgent, Obama insists," July 23

It is unconscionable that those elected officials who are going to great lengths to impede the passage of healthcare reform are themselves recipients of some of the richest health benefits available in the land.

Until meaningful healthcare reform is enacted, I recommend the American public demand the immediate suspension of government-provided healthcare benefits to all members of Congress.

Let them pay out of pocket for a while and then perhaps we'll see some action.

Tim Hanson

Santa Monica

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Make no mistake, I see this as nothing more than another greedy Washington grab for power.

Government has never exhibited the "efficiencies" it claims to have, and you will not "streamline" healthcare. You'll run it through an even larger bureaucracy than exists now in the private sector.

This will not decrease the money spent on healthcare, just transfer it into government control. That's all this is about, legislators maintaining their hold on power.

Bob McCarter

Aliso Viejo

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