George Silver's plan for "reforming" health care ["Health Care: Beyond Markets," op-ed, Nov. 11] would kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

The United States, thanks in large part to the free market in medicine that Mr. Silver derides, is the world leader in creating more effective medications. Imposing more stringent regulation on the industry -- in addition to the harsh restrictions enforced by the Food and Drug Administration -- would deny health care companies the chance to create more low-cost medicines.

In addition, many of Mr. Silver's proposals have been tried in Canada and deemed failures. Study after study of its single-payer health care system has found long waits for care, with outmoded equipment. Rationing is the inevitable result of such a scheme.

The only way for a sick Canadian to avoid this mess is to cross the border into the United States, where, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs, only 14 percent of 65-year-olds have to wait more than six months for hip replacement surgery. Compare that with the abysmal 97 percent reported by Canadian hospital administrators. To add insult to injury, Canadians must pay for their poor care with some of the highest tax rates in the world.

What is needed is not more government interference but less.

LOWELL RUDORFER

Potomac