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GOP Plan for Patients’ Rights

Re “GOP Offers Patients’ Rights Bill,” June 25: Where were all these legislators during the arguments about President Clinton’s national health plan? Remember the “Harry and Louise” ads? Their themes were distrust of the government’s interference in health coverage and increased taxation. “We need the right to choose our doctors” was the repeated mantra.

Somehow, that sacred privilege disappeared under managed care; Harry and Louise did not protest. Years later, the politicians who voted against a national health care plan are responding to the demands of their constituents who were brainwashed by those ads.

How can the public be so stupid? Payment for private health insurance is defined as premium payments, but payment to the government for the same (or better) benefits is an increase in taxes.

HARRY SIMMONS

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Laguna Niguel

* On HMO reforms, I see that now the battle is between those who think patients should be able to sue HMOs for denial of treatment and those (the GOP, of course) who think HMOs should be protected from such lawsuits. How about simply passing a law that says insurance companies cannot deny treatment that a medical doctor has prescribed for a patient? Why are insurance companies still allowed to deny treatment that a doctor has prescribed just because they don’t want to pay for it?

Medical decisions should be made by doctors, not insurance companies, and until insurance companies are forced to get this message this problem will not go away.

FRANCES DEL RIO

Oakland


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