Postrel on Health Care

In response to "Health-Care Truths and Consequences," Column Right, July 1:

Do I feel like a fool. Virginia I. Postrel tells me my life insurance premiums have been going to subsidize the families of old people who die. She exposes casualty insurance as a cruel hoax because my house never burned, and I never had a car accident. And my elders have duped me into waiting more than 45 years to collect Social Security benefits.

I've also learned that the reason for rising health care is because more people are going to use the system. It's foolish to deny that those who previously couldn't buy or pay for medical services will undoubtedly flood the system once we offer the means to pay the cost of doctors and medicine and hospitals.

With alarm I hear the government is planning to ration health coverage. However, because I have a pre-existing condition, am unemployed, not eligible for Medicare, and can't afford my own insurance, I'm relieved to see it doesn't threaten my current plan.

I am grateful that Postrel, who obviously has an ax to grind, is using it to cut through the truth to get right to the rhetoric. Partisan politics has become the substitute for principle, integrity and commitment and has obscured the search for truth. It's there but we can't find it if we're only pretending to look for it. It's time to tell our representatives to cut the crap and get to work.


West Hills

* The article by Virginia Postrel, the editor of Reason magazine, contains so many sophistries that it requires refutation. While there are selected points in which I would concur, the gist of the argument seems to be "why should healthy young people be taxed to contribute to Medicare for which they are as yet ineligible?" Many of the Medicare beneficiaries have spent a lifetime in productive work and have no income to pay medical bills. Many are not able to work and some, such as the undersigned, are able to work at his profession but have been victims of age discrimination. Virtually all industrialized countries save the U.S. seem able to take care of their elderly but these countries did not blow their fortunes on unnecessary armaments.

As for the argument that medical costs should rise unchecked because this is necessary to supply funds for research, just what fraction of costs above the inflation level go for research and just how much is just plain greed?



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