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Your two editorials on health care (Aug. 18) were from the same school of economics: government is always the worst way to manage any social/economic problem. Choice via the market always produces a better result. Private enterprise that produces products for a profit always is superior as the result of competition.

That Mr. Ossowski searches for the magic ingredient of choice (even though he never identifies which plan he is panning,) identifies him as an economist who disdains government. It is enough to him and other devotees of social choice theory that there is real health care when the only plans offered the public are private plans. Someone has to make a profit; public funding is not competitive so it's got to fail. Ask current Medicare patients if they like their Medicare.

Choice is not evenly or fairly distributed. Nor is wealth. That might make a difference in outcomes and access between different economic classes. But his emphasis is on choice as the primary criterion.

Mr. Miller plays economics on the same team: he disdains "unsteady hands" of government. This is laughable since his American Enterprise Institute has been churning out policy for the current GOP for almost 50 years, so our unsteady hands and current system failures lie at their feet. The magic elixir is still individual choice without the government interference; we have a right to a health care plan that we can pay for individually.

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Nasty facts emerge when we examine how many Americans are legally bankrupt because of medical bills. Poor people should just choose not to get injured or sick, because they can't afford to pay for their health care. This makes me sick.

HARRIET YOUNG

Flagstaff

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