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Taking the pulse of reform

September 03, 2009

Re "Possible Plan B in health debate," Aug. 28

The Democrats do not need Plan B for healthcare reform. Plan C is better.

As long as the opposition refuses to create a true bipartisan bill that helps the country, the Democratic majority can simply go to reconciliation. Since Medicare already exists, they can throw out the bad bills and institute "Medicare for all." The cost could be paid by increased taxes on the over-$1-million-a-year crowd.

This would result in massive savings for companies, even those currently not paying for employee healthcare.

Larry Severson

Fountain Valley

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People are complaining that the proposed healthcare reform could cost $1 trillion over 10 years. Or $100 million a year. What are we spending in Iraq and Afghanistan?

The only way to cut costs without disemboweling Medicare is to move to a single-payer system (for which Medicare provides an excellent format already in place). The only way to guarantee excellent healthcare is to remove profits from the decision-making process.

Liz Amsden

Los Angeles

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It is ironic that after paying the $1,010 monthly premium (we are both self-employed) for my husband and myself, we just pray we do not need actual medical care.

Our deductible is $5,000 per person. And that premium would be higher if we were to have a lower deductible. The premium is going up $200 when I turn 60. This is madness.

Elaine Gardner

Redondo Beach

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Am I missing something? The AARP warns us to beware of "lies" about President Obama's healthcare plan and illustrates that concern on TV with an ambulance frantically avoiding interfering cars who represent "special interests."

It's heart-wrenching, frightening, cruel. But who are these "special interests," and why aren't they named? Aren't these the same scare tactics that the AARP accuses unnamed "special interests" of using?

Hugh G. Rouse

Laguna Beach

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As one of those (per your paper) uneducated Republican protesters who have attended these rallies just trying to ask questions, I cannot believe how biased you are. Republicans want to reform healthcare, but they want to do it properly and not bankrupt our country. Why doesn't anyone mention the attorneys who make millions on the backs of hospitals and doctors? Where is the outrage against them? Yes, changes are needed, but do it properly.

Where in the Constitution does it say that the government owes you anything more than the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Keep government out of my home and pocket.

Karen Lorenze

Simi Valley

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I have insurance. Recently, I went to my dentist for what I thought would be a rather routine procedure. After a bunch of X-rays and other -- I thought excessive -- tests, the "friendly" receptionist said my co-pay was $2,000.

Though the dentist does not offer a payment plan, the receptionist pointed me in the direction of a "hard-money" lender who might help.

I'm not sure of the answer to the healthcare issue. But I do know that when the middle class and the great underclass are in the same sinking ship, social catastrophe is looming.

Joe Mack

Los Angeles

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Following the remark made by Sarah Palin about "death panels," there have been many responses to the effect that no such word combination exists in any of the bills. However, it was obviously meant as an exaggeration of the present proposals in order to stimulate discussion of a real future danger. Denial of lifesaving medical procedures would eventually come from some government panel within a single-payer system.

Any competition between public and private systems will always take place on a playing field that is grossly uneven, with the public single-payer plan having all the advantage. This must result in the eventual demise of private insurance. The government will then be making life-and-death decisions behind closed doors.

At least with private insurance companies, there is a timely and workable legal method of challenging any such decision. Just read the newspapers to see how quickly such disputes are aired.

Michael McCullough

Aliso Viejo

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Hey, don't blame the insurance companies for dumping subscribers whose bills they were supposed to pay. Wall Street rates companies on how well they keep their costs down. In Europe, where healthcare is considered a human right, they have hundreds of insurance companies, but they are nonprofit.

Gertrude Reagan

Palo Alto

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