Who's responsible for high healthcare costs?

In response to your March 4 article "Healthcare tabs hit the wealthier": Every time this issue is covered I get so mad because I never hear the idea of reducing costs discussed. Why is it never mentioned in the range of solutions?

It is as though the thought of finding a way to reduce healthcare costs is so blasphemous to the medical, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries that everyone just takes it as a given that costs will remain high or go up from there. The solutions mentioned always have to do with finding ways to pay those higher costs, rather than saying the costs are unacceptable and must be reduced (not subsidized).

I wish the experts who know the industry would start talking publicly about ways to reduce costs so that the rest of us can begin understanding what the options are, beyond just agreeing to dump more and more money into this mess.
Steve Dahlberg
Lawrence, Kan.

In response to your fairly comprehensive article about the healthcare crisis,
I only have one question: Why doesn't some sane journalist out there realize that the reason people are losing health insurance is because health-insurance companies are greedy? As healthcare costs go up, health-insurance companies raise their premiums. In fact, health-insurance companies raise their premiums threefold compared to rising healthcare costs. Is healthcare a commodity, or a human right?
Jonathan Hanemann
Hoboken, N.J.

I wonder why healthcare prices are rising so much when we are in an economic recession with people already struggling to pay regular costs. It is obvious that companies raising prices are doing so in an effort to help their own economic status. Doctors and hospitals are making higher wages while numerous people who need care are going into deep debt. From my perspective, doctors and hospitals are taking advantage of this economic elasticity, which is immoral.
Benjamin Willsea
Elsah, Ill.

Bring on the brie

Regarding your March 4 article "Americans who eschew brie and Beaujolais": Once again, some Americans feel the need to "send a message." Here it is: We will prove to the world that we are petty, childish, and just plain stupid. You don't like our war? We'll pour out bottles of wine and dump the Dijon.

Why not grow up? When you feel like crushing baguettes with armored vehicles (boy, that one really takes the gâteau) or wasting Côtes-du-Rhône simply because someone does not want our war, try to remember that while our Constitution allows you to express yourself freely, other Americans aren't carrying around a giant chip - potato or otherwise - on their shoulders.

Why not allow other countries to oppose the United States without renaming or destroying their food?

Who knows - they might be saving us a lot of trouble.
Ross Parcels
Stephenson, Mich.

It seems to me a waste of time to dump out French drinks and remove brie and camembert from grocery shelves as an act of protest. That is a close-minded response to false frustration with the French. Like any other country, the French have a right to their own opinions.

This is a difference of opinion over the choice of war as a tool of foreign policy. It should not be used as a scapegoat to eschew all things French, thereby ignoring the many similarities and years of goodwill our two countries share. Those truly hurt are American consumers.
Lena Hagelstein

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