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Posted: August 12, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Not following his logic

Dear Editor: I am trying to follow Mr. Durusau's logic in his Aug. 7 editorial titled "Between You and Your Doctor." He asserts that with the government running the health care system he is replacing one bureaucrat he does not elect with one he does elect. I believe he misses the point that with his private insurance, he has entered into a contract with his insurance company. This contract lists the services the insurance company will and will not pay for. Mr. Durusau is free to un-elect his private bureaucrat by voting with his dollars and changing insurance companies. This is how the free market works.

I oppose the government takeover of health care on many levels. Philosophically, it is not the role of the federal government to run the health care system. Basically your health care is a private contract between you and the provider. If you assert a right to health care, then you are also asserting that another individual has the duty to provide it to you at whatever cost the government deems appropriate. The government bureaucrat Mr. Durusau so desires has proven their management abilities so well. Look at the near bankrupt Medicare and Social Security systems.

I do not want my tax dollars paying for abortion on demand, or paying for the same government bureaucrat Mr. Durusau favors to nudge my mother or grandmother towards the final exit sign because their health care has become too expensive. I do not want to pay for health care for illegal aliens. This is one reason California's treasury is being sucked dry. I do not want a massive tax increase and government control over an even larger part of the economy. I want to keep what is left of my shrinking privacy by not having some massive, federal government database of my health care records, tracking every doctor visit or every medicine I consume.

Our health care system is not the problem. The American health care system is the envy of the world. People from other countries must think so as they vote with their feet and come to the USA for treatment. Americans don't wait to visit doctors, have tests like MRI or services like dialysis, or for surgeries. We pretty much get them on-demand. The issue is with how we pay for these services.

Government regulation of the insurance industry has effectively insulated the consumer of heath care from its costs. If that health care is perceived to be free or nearly free, then demand is infinite and costs increase.
There is a role for government to protect the consumer from fraud and to perhaps act as a safety net for catastrophic situations that wipe out families financially.

There are plenty of free market ideas to reduce health care costs. For one, let's make health insurance truly insurance. You don't use your home owner's policy to pay for every home repair, nor do you use car insurance to pay for routine maintenance. Allow companies like Wal-Mart to offer in-store health clinics. Ill bet they can get the cost per visit down pretty low for routine medical care. We should have tax free medical savings accounts and allow consumers to save for health care while they are young.

I will admit, our system is not perfect. There is room to make positive changes. We should be hesitant to rush into government control. As Ronald Reagan said we should be very wary when the government bureaucrat says I'm from the government and I'm here to help.


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