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Choices and Costs in Health Care

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Your editorial “Hard Choices in Health” (April 22) speaks to the desperate need for more funding for the poor, and our patchwork health care system which badly needs revising. It also mentions Alameda County’s plan to set priorities for the limited dollars as a temporary expedient.

One critical link is missing from the plan for professional organizations to do the planning--the opinion of an informed public, made aware of the ethical and economic choices. Oregon did not make that mistake and asked Oregon Health Decisions, an organization devoted to public awareness and involvement in medical ethical matters, to advise the state legislature.

California has such a group. California Health Decisions, now in Sacramento, Orange and Los Angeles counties, contacts thousands of Californians in its small group meetings, public forums and health care parliaments. For more information, call (213) 451-4045 in Los Angeles County and (714) 647-4920 in Orange County.

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ARTHUR U. RIVIN, M.D.

President

California Health Decisions

Santa Monica

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