Government intervention in health care will mean higher taxes, worse and rationed care (except for members of Congress, who are exempt), and outrageous deficits for generations. If the Obama administration and Congress think Americans believe reform will be deficit-neutral, with costs borne by the rich, perhaps they will consider another line of work — hawking stuff on late-night television.

A good start to reform is to limit out-of-control lawsuits, which increase everyone’s costs, by capping awards and assessing court costs on the losing party. Insurers also should be allowed to offer coverage in all states.

Everyone should be able to choose insurance they want and not forced to pay for unwanted coverage.

Insurance should be available for those who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions, but at higher premiums to reflect the added costs of care (or perhaps be subsidized by the government where needed).

Private insurers cannot compete with government-run insurance because government has unlimited capital (from taxes) to offer lower rates than private insurers, giving them a great advantage. Government involvement in anything increases costs and decreases services.

Proponents cannot (or won’t) explain how reform will only cost the rich. Repeating the same statements endlessly is no explanation. I want concrete proof how proponents expect “reform” to be deficit-neutral. Medicare savings will take place … how? Recovering money from fraud and abuse? Unlikely.

Susan Longley, Norway

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