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Health-care access will suffer

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

I read with interest your editorial noting that the Senate's passage of the health-reform proposal was a good gift to many people because they will now supposedly have health insurance ("A Historic Vote: The Senate's Health-Care Support Is a Good Gift," Dec. 22).

I have worked in the health-care industry for more than 30 years both as a nurse and as a hospital CEO. I have seen all of the changes to Medicare and Medicaid over the years. Most of those changes have been to cut payments to hospitals and physicians because the government could not afford to pay for its promises.

I would suggest to you that, given what is in this bill and the government's performance in the past either on the payment side (we've seen more than a thousand hospitals close in the past 25 years), the regulatory side or the unfunded mandate side, all of these people who will now have insurance are going to be hard-pressed to find access when another thousand hospitals close due to underfunding and tens of thousands of physicians opt out as so many have with the Medicaid program and others have with Medicare.

This is a bad plan developed on bad assumptions and lacking significant honesty and insight from many who know from past experience what the future under government-run and -regulated health care will hold.

MICHAEL FALATKO
Cass City, Mich.
The writer grew up in the New Castle area.


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