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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 19, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Health-care reform

It’s a time of excitement and outrage for doctors

This is a time of both excitement and outrage for physicians.

Excitement, because finally we have a chance for meaningful health-care reform that increases choice for patients, forces private insurers to compete on a level playing field and provides everyone the security of affordable and accessible coverage.

Outrage, because of the massive amount of disinformation and selfishness attempting to block this civic necessity. I am offended by the American Medical Association, which despite representing less than a third of American doctors, had the audacity to boo the president this week when he addressed their concerns.

I am frustrated by “protesters,” such as one I saw at the recent march through Seattle for health-care reform, holding a sign reading “Hey Patty [Murray], I want your health-insurance plan.”

This is exactly what I and my colleagues in the National Physicians Alliance and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly support — giving patients the choice to enroll in private plans or a public-health-insurance option like the one Sen. Murray enjoys. I hope, when the final congressional vote is tallied, the excitement wins.

We can all benefit from the security and choice that a public-health-insurance option will provide.

— Rupin R. Thakkar, M.D.

County health care makes healthy habits

The Times, Larry Gossett and Julia Patterson are to be commended for the publication of the guest column “County’s no-premium health plan is an effective and frugal approach” [Opinion, June 17].

The health plan curbs the county’s needs and health-care costs by focusing on efforts from each of our citizens, you and me, making a habit of healthy choices in eating, drinking and exercise to lead longer, healthier and happier lives.

— C. Henry Heckendorn, Bellevue

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