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Sick of for-profit healthcare

October 30, 2009

Re "Insurers poised to win big," Oct. 26, "Opt out hits snag in Senate," Oct. 28, and "Public option gains in House," Oct. 29

As someone who believes that healthcare should be an inalienable human right available to all, I strongly support single-payer healthcare.

Therefore, I am outraged that in the United States, my country of origin, healthcare is nothing but a business in the hands of unscrupulous insurance companies whose ultimate goal is increasing their profits.

As a former resident of L.A. now living in Spain, I enjoy the benefits of this country's public national healthcare system, and I am truly grateful. And yes, I know that doesn't mean it is free; it simply means that I feel better about paying taxes here because I know that is how the system is funded.

And public healthcare (with private options) is actually less expensive and more efficient than exclusively private healthcare without any other option -- except possibly not receiving any healthcare at all.

Jack Recasens

Barcelona, Spain

::

Yes, insurers will win big.

As you wrote: "Insurers poured campaign donations into the coffers of key sympathetic members of the House and Senate, and loaded up on lobbyists." Industry lobbyists, through specious advertising and campaign contributions, can prevail and will be allowed to assist in crafting sub rosa bill amendments beneficial to their client companies.

Of course, such amendments will be euphemistically titled so the people whose interests are adversely affected will think they are the beneficiaries.

These purported beneficiaries will only realize their fate when they either attempt to obtain coverage, see how their claims are handled or how their premiums are set after the legislation is enacted and becomes law.

William C. George

San Diego

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Not having a "public option" component to healthcare reform would be sort of like building a Metro system in Los Angeles and not having it run to the airport.

Larry O'Brien

Altadena

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Regarding your article about insurers: The statement, "What's more, there are likely to be no limits on what insurers can charge, while at the same time the plan is expected to limit competition from any new national government insurance plan," means that a following statement, "Insurance companies, in turn, would be barred from canceling policies of sick people or denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions," will have little impact.

You can't be refused coverage, but you are unlikely to be able to afford the premium.

Coupled with the requirement that all Americans buy or be provided with coverage or be fined, this represents surrender to corporate interests.

Maybe we should get rid of the electoral college and directly elect lobbyists who can then appoint Congress and the administration. At least that way we'd be voting for the people who actually run the country.

Tony O'Doherty

Bermuda Dunes, Calif.

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I believe, strongly, that an uncompromised public option is the most appropriate.

I feel that the "trigger option" and the "states can opt out of the program" are compromise positions that are not satisfactory to me.

Karl Strandberg

Long Beach

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Who is addressing the devastating financial impact this will have on seniors and 'tweens like me, people over 50, whom the insurance companies currently view as cash cows?

I'm self-employed, have no preexisting medical conditions, and I spent more than $15,000 last year on insurance premiums just to keep basic coverage. Every year, my premiums have increased based solely on age.

Age discrimination abounds. Age-related issues are being ignored in the current legislation. This is not the change I had counted on.

Nancy Rigg

Camarillo

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I'm not interested in "silver bullets," "competition" or "playing fields" -- level or otherwise -- in the health insurance industry. I'm interested in access to healthcare.

Right now my access is limited because the insurance industry's profit goals are directly at odds with both access and affordability (as opposed to other industries where the incentive is to produce better products at the best prices).

There is no way tinkering with the present system will help anyone except those who are already making obscene profits at the expense of American dollars and lives.

The for-profit health insurance system needs to be scrapped.

Stephanie Remington

Costa Mesa

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Oh joy, Harry Reid believes that he can pass healthcare reform.

I support healthcare reform. I do not support mandatory healthcare. To require millions of uninsured Americans to purchase healthcare is not reform.

True reform addresses long-term care, affordability and accountability by insurers. The promise of lowering health costs by simply ordering Americans to purchase insurance is laughable.

This is not reform. This is a gift to the insurance companies.

Gavin Feehan

Granada Hills

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