Cutting health-care costs

Regarding the Opinion page article "Cut Health-Care Costs - But How?," Nov. 19: When Bell Telephone System appeared to have a stranglehold on telecommunications, the government broke up the monopoly. President-elect Clinton must recognize that soaring health costs are the result of a similar situation controlled at the top of the American Medical Association, including the pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of high-tech hospital equipment, lawyers, and the insurance companies.

Competition has not entered into the equation; if someone needs medical attention, he has little choice but to pay the high prices demanded. Insurance rates, including malpractice insurance, are high in most cases and coverage is not all-inclusive.

The author describes the complexities of the issue but offers no real solutions. If health providers continue to insist on profits out of sync with what people can afford to pay, government regulations must be brought to bear - even in a country that abhors government interference. Laurence W. Thomas, Ypsilanti, Mich.

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