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Good Diagnosis

To the Editor:

I want to commend Gene Mirabelli for a straightforward op-ed on the state of health care reform [“What’s Your Policy?,” Opinion, May 28].

President Obama wants to reform our nation’s health care system. The three core principles reduce costs, guarantee choice, ensure quality care for every American (U.S. citizen?). But is he so naive to believe that the big health insurance companies that have been lobbying Congress (and paying generously) since FDR was president will suddenly have a change of heart and care about people over profits?

Gene makes several good points. The insurance companies “have never, ever worked with anybody to reduce their profits.” The people who have been invited to participate in the hearings do not include “those who favor a single-payer system, a system that has broad support.” Senator Max Baucus, supposedly a proponent of health care reform, recently had single-pay advocates ejected from a hearing. “We need more police,” he said. Yeah. More policing of the Senate and House.

Gene also states that if the commercial health insurance companies become the architects of a “reformed” health care system, “it will be near impossible” to change it down the road.

Then, you gotta love ‘em, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (who I worked for in South Carolina and Florida), Medco, et al, start a fear and threat campaign. If we don’t get our way, the U.S. public will suffer the consequences.

What amazes me is that some of the people who need coverage the most have been brainwashed by the health insurance companies’ propaganda that portrays the evils and dangers of moving to a single-payer, government sponsored health insurance program. Has anyone watched the movie Sicko? Even if you don’t like Michael Moore, the film contains some hard facts and makes a compelling argument for major change to our existing system.

Add up the facts and statistics, throw in some strong public opinion, and back it with a few dollars to lobby against the lobbyists, and maybe, just maybe the people of the U.S. will get a system that actually meets the three core principles. Leave it up to the powers that be and we will be in the status quo or worse for years to come.

Mark Cronin Ritter


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