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Letter: Health care haves and have-nots

In response to Ron Snyder's letter Aug. 6:

Health care reform is not a question of the "haves" being happy with their health care, but providing quality, affordable care to the "have-nots." According to a CNN poll Aug. 5 it is true that 80 percent of the haves are happy with their own health care, yet 50 percent support health care reform. Why? Because the haves know they are just one pink slip away or one uninsurable medical diagnosis from being one of the 46 million American have-nots." Snyder states the recycled fear tactics that were used to kill the Clinton plan. Special-interest groups supporting the enormously profitable health insurance companies have rung the rumor bell to mislead the public through distortions, mistruths and panic.

Private insurance routinely rations care that they deem "too expensive," "not necessary" or "not covered." Must Americans continually accept paying more for less? Is competition through a government health care program unacceptable because their cost controls are labeled "rationing" by the insurance lobbyists? Private insurance will make sure they are always with us. We can still choose them when we want. Mr. Snyder, are you aware that Medicare is facing financial trouble down the road regardless if health care reform is passed now or not? Providing financial competition, ensuring that all can receive medical care at an affordable cost, helps all senior citizens, Medicare age or not. AARP understands this. That is why they support health care reform.

Some foreigners do come to America to consult our top doctors. But Mr. Snyder, are you aware of the growing number of Americans who are traveling to foreign countries for surgery too expensive here? A whole new (foreign) industry feeds off of competition with the expensive U.S. medical system, and they often include a vacation package with the trip.

Seniors, don't listen to fear-mongering and false doomsday predictions. Consider the benefits reform has for you, but also the legacy you are leaving for your children and grandchildren. Without reform, there is a growing risk that they too will join the ranks of have-nots.

Susan Werner

New London