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Rage in the Health-Care Debate

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I agree with Kathleen Parker that the rage on display at the health-care town halls is genuine ["Anxiety Attacks," op-ed, Aug. 9]. But that doesn't make such anger well reasoned.

If Ms. Parker's friends are anxious about their unemployment, our current system, in which health insurance essentially depends on employment, can't be easing their anxieties. If the Florida real estate appraiser knows five couples who have lost their homes and cars, wouldn't it be nice if they weren't also losing their health care? I would think that the closer we can get to universal coverage, the less anxiety people will feel. And that's before we get to the retirees who are on Medicare yet claim to be totally opposed to government involvement in health insurance.

Suggesting that we must have regard for people's feelings, regardless of how disconnected to facts those feelings are, strikes me as exactly the sort of thing for which conservatives normally mock soft-headed liberals.

PALLAVI GUNIGANTI

New York

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After decades of highly organized protests by liberal groups, we now find the left and the many media sources complaining that the recent protests against the Obama administration's plans for health-care changes have been orchestrated, as if this makes the protests wrong. Tom Toles even had the gall to show this in his Aug. 7 cartoon. I didn't see any complaints from him that antiwar protests were not spontaneous.

PETER McMAHON

Washington

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Regarding the Aug. 9 editorial "An Unhealthy Debate":

At one time, I naively thought that Americans, especially elected officials in Congress, wanted to have a civil debate about health care. I was obviously wrong, and your editorial brought to light at least some of the destructive elements manifested in the debate, especially by those ("Republican lawmakers and conservative activists") who have "fanned the flames of uninformed opposition."

But then the editorial contributed to the unhealthy debate with this statement: "But if health reform passes and starts bringing down costs, it is going to pinch some patients who have become accustomed to getting every test or procedure they want." The question the editorial should have raised is: Will patients be getting the tests and procedures they need?

That is the key issue regarding health reform. The editorial seemed to imply that if patients do not get everything they want, then they have somehow not received the quality of health care that all should receive.

ROBERT STEWART

Chantilly

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