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Corporate Healthcare Costs for Workers

It is appropriate to criticize both President Bush and the Democratic candidates about cutting healthcare costs, not to speak of the self-absorbed members of Congress (editorial, Jan. 23). One consideration that is never discussed is how corporate healthcare costs for workers make American products more costly compared to either European countries, where government provides healthcare (Boeing planes versus Airbus), or less prosperous countries, where employers provide little or no benefits (India, China, Indonesia). Has anyone in leadership ever considered this as a force spurring the export of jobs? No, I guess not. They are too busy avoiding any reference to dirty words: national healthcare, or general welfare, or social contract.

Jim Hoover

Huntington Beach

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Re “Bid to Sell Hospitals Stirs Fears,” Jan. 29: Ever since the word “profit” began to be associated with healthcare, the system has crashed and burned -- never more obvious than now. Paying obscene bonuses to executives and outrageous amounts of money for marketing, combined with unnecessary procedures and illegal kickbacks, leads to the current scenario, in which the likeliest possibility is that even more hospitals in L.A. County will close. I left my career in healthcare because I hated the direction it was taking: everything for the corporation, nothing for the patient.

Patricia L. Firestone RN

Santa Monica


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