Sorry, Rep. Altmire, I'm not buying it ("Why I Voted No on Health Reform," Nov. 20). You state that your two main goals were slowing spending and improving quality. You fail to mention that the current system -- the one that will be perpetuated if your vote and others like yours hold up -- has done neither. In addition, under the current system, tens of thousands of people are going bankrupt and losing their lives every year. It seems to me that the first priority should be to prevent all those people from dying, don't you think?
I wholeheartedly agree that health-care costs should be contained. Have you noticed that in Canada health-care costs are 10 percent of GDP (compared with 16 percent in the United States)? Have you noticed that overhead costs for Medicare are substantially lower than those of private health-care insurers like your former employer?
Maybe a Medicare-for-all system that takes advantage of considerable buying power to negotiate optimal prices and quality-control measures from drug companies and other health-care providers might be the way to achieve your two goals and, even better, prevent people from going bankrupt and dying. How about that, congressman?