Universal health insurance not universally liked

Regarding your Aug. 13 article "Many doctors call for healthcare system with universal coverage": The American Medical Association's president said, "A single-payer system would result in rationing of care, increased bureaucracy, and stifling of innovation. It would demoralize doctors and patients."

Has Donald Palmisano had any recent experience with bureaucracy, failure to cover necessary treatment, denial of payment for innovative treatment, or disappearing insurance under our current chaotic healthcare payment system? Many of us patients and doctors are getting pretty demoralized. The 8,000 doctors who signed the proposal for a national single-payer system are right. Our friends in countries with single-payer plans get much better care for less money.
Rachel Findley
Berkeley, Calif.

A one-payer system in the United States just like in Canada? I shudder at the cost. It would completely destroy our competitive economic advantage. I'd much rather see people take more responsibility for their health in a proactive fashion, rather than ask medical science to provide them with a "magic bullet."
Steven Deeley
South Pasadena, Calif.

Amend the recall process

Regarding your Aug. 11 editorial "Gray Days for Davis": The movement to recall Gray Davis began even before he was sworn in for his second term. This is a perversion of the process and could open the door to a series of recall elections in California and across the nation.

California should consider a change: The state constitution should provide that, in the event of a recall, the lieutenant governor would assume the office. Isn't that what the office of lieutenant governor is supposed to be? Voters already chose the candidate that they wanted to replace Davis had he not been able to perform his duties. This would prevent the current type of spectacle - which could result in a candidate with as little as 10 percent of the vote being elected governor.
Donald Lewin Nelson
Lakewood, Calif.

Arnold's honorable intentions

Regarding your Aug. 12 article "Politics as another rung on celebrity ladder": It's interesting that you discussed the motivation for Arnold Schwarzenegger's run for governor of California. I don't recall articles about the motivation of lawyers, doctors, clergy, or business people for jumping into the political arena. You propose that it must be about fame. Why not give him the benefit of the doubt? Maybe he believes he can do something positive for the state of California.
Bill McGraw
Zionsville, Ind.

Bush: 'All hat and no cattle'

Regarding the Aug. 13 Opinion "Lassoing Bush's reputation": I choose to believe that Rondi Adamson is being facetious and actually knows the difference between definition and connotation.

No one was comparing Bush to actual cowboys. We all know that, as the saying goes down in Crawford, he's "all hat and no cattle." He's a fake cowboy. Like a leather-clad, mustachioed "tough guy" who drives to a biker bar in his mom's Volvo.

It's funny, though, that you chose to argue in favor of Bush's "straight talking" manner, right after it just took the man two months to say that he takes "responsibility" for the words that come out of his own mouth. I, for one, would rather have someone like Bill Clinton in office who argues the meaning of "is" - when no lives are on the line - than a "cowboy" who sends people to war on the basis of sketchy evidence and then thinks it's good enough to argue that it was "technically accurate."
Terry L. Welch
Topeka, Kan.

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