America's Health-Care Debate

The author of the article "Winners and Losers in Clinton Program," March 23, says that the present plans to reduce the cost of medical care in the United States are wishful thinking. I believe that the United States' medical bill could be brought down dramatically with simple legislation that could be implemented almost immediately.

In 1987 the administrative cost (mostly due to paperwork) of medical care in the United States was an outrageous 24 percent. I am sure that figure is higher today.

In Canada, which has a semi-socialized system, it was 11 percent; most European countries are 7 percent to 9 percent.

Legislation limiting administrative costs to 10 percent for each hospital, health clinic, or health facility would not only save 14 percent but, since these administrative costs are reflected in each X-ray, blood test, hour in the operating room, and overall hospital charge, the savings would undoubtedly double.

This would reduce the medical bill in the United States by close to 30 percent.

American medicine no longer exists for the benefit of health care for the people; it exists to provide jobs to a small but very vocal bureaucracy of health-care administrators. Yale J. Berry, Boston

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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