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Letter to the Editor

By Daily Bruin Staff

January 10, 2010 9:21 pm

Pherson’s claims unfounded

There are many flaws in Alex Pherson’s argument against the health care bill in his Jan. 7 column, “Flawed health bill wins by foul play.”

First, he argues that the bill forces insurance companies to accept all applicants, even high-risk patients, which he says would destroy insurance companies. He says that all other industries have the power to pick and choose, so why shouldn’t insurance companies? What Pherson is forgetting is that people aren’t cattle or products and should not be investments. Lacking insurance can be a life-or-death situation for many people.

Now, for something that was no fault of my own, it will be extremely difficult to find an insurer willing to accept me in the current market, and if I were to find insurance, it would be exorbitantly expensive. I ask Pherson to imagine being turned down by insurer after insurer for having pre-existing conditions that he was born with.

Second, Pherson argues that government-sponsored insurance exchanges, or as he said, “heaven forbid” a public option, would kill private insurance. Conservatives always argue for the power of the free market. But if it is so powerful, why can it not compete with the government? Isn’t the free market all about competition, the more competition the better, and lowering prices and improving quality? By the way, there are examples of companies that directly compete with the government: UPS and FedEx. Both these companies compete with the United States Postal Service, and they both are doing just fine.

Finally, I would like to add that health care is not a monetary issue but a moral and ethical one, and I think it would do Pherson and many other conservatives well to remember that.

Matthew Hartman

First-year undeclared student

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