Those who oppose a public option say they do not want the government making their health care decisions. Do they not understand that currently a worker at an insurance company is making those decisions?

Doctors and patients do not control health care. When you need a drug, procedure, or test, your insurance company must first give an authorization. In many cases, insurance companies will contact doctors to change from one drug to another.

Workers are forced to stay in jobs to keep insurance. A new company may not provide insurance or the person could be excluded because of a pre-existing condition.

Insurance executives have testified they will not stop the practice of dropping patients who become ill and will continue denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.

Health care deals with people and their lives. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. The more they pay in claims, the less profit they make. They have every incentive to deny care.

Administrative costs under Medicare are 3 percent. Under traditional insurance plans, the cost is 16-18 percent. Many people could have health care with that extra 13-15 percent.

Every insurance company uses a different format for their cards and claim forms. This wastes money in increased costs to doctors, hospitals, and other providers.

Those who oppose a public option should present well-reasoned alternatives and not disrupt public discussions by not allowing others to speak. Many of the disruptions are because they have nothing constructive to add to the discussion.

Sten Tetenman, Poland

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