Re "Scenes of deference and defiance," Aug. 12
The Times writes that the Obama administration must go a long way to "bridge the divide" between healthcare reformers and the gangs of angry people disrupting town halls all over the country. Well, I was at Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-Burbank) town hall Tuesday in Alhambra, and I don't think it's worth bridging any divides between them and me. They're not for anything except insulting President Obama, Democrats and liberals.
As for the need for reform, your photo of the Remote Area Medical Foundation working at the Inglewood Forum says it all. We can argue about what kind of reform, but there's no honorable argument that reform isn't needed quickly. Americans are dying and going bankrupt because of the problems with our system. It can't change fast enough.
As opponents of healthcare reform sharpen their attacks, I fear we might forget what really matters -- the estimated 46 million uninsured people in this country, including 21% of the women in California. Women and their families are being forced to choose between putting food on the table and healthcare. This is unacceptable.
At Planned Parenthood, we see women, men and teens every day who are seeking affordable, high-quality medical care. For 60% of the people we serve, we are their primary source of care and preferred provider of annual cancer screenings, contraception and STD testing and treatment. Reform must include access to these essential services at providers like Planned Parenthood. Anything less will be a missed opportunity to provide women and their families with the care they need.
The writer is president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.