When we listen to some politicians, we get the impression that repeal of health-care reform and a return to the competitive market of two years ago is just a critical vote away. If we elect them, we will get the government out of health care and the free market will cure all of the problems.

What an insult to all of us that the politicians think weíre that stupid.

The health-care system is terribly broken, and there are no quick fixes. While the government may or may not be the solution, it has been the source of the problem for decades. Letís consider these reforms that go to source of the problem:

Insurers have an antitrust exemption granted to them by the federal government. This allows them to legally divide up markets and openly discuss prices charged to the public. We need to repeal this exemption to have any prayer of competition.

The second tier of anticompetitive measures protecting insurers are state laws that are so different state to state that selling policies across state lines is often impossible. We need to set federal coverage and operational standards and abolish these laws.

We need international competition for prescription drugs. Europeans are not dropping dead from their blood pressure and diabetes medication. The Food and Drug Administration needs to embark immediately on a program to certify foreign drug producers and open our shores to competition.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Act prevents the federal government from negotiating prices with drug manufacturers, so the largest buyer of prescription drugs in the world canít negotiate prices. In effect, Medicare and Medicaid are engaged in price-fixing. The government needs to negotiate pricing on a national and international level, which will help save Medicare and reduce our deficits.

To receive adequate affordable care, one now has to work for the right employer, be a wealthy individual or be on government assistance. The reforms passed two years ago have proved beneficial in addressing some fringe issues, but they have permitted the existing broken system to continue for years to come. Since politics is a profession practiced by lobbyists and campaign contributors, it is unlikely real reforms resulting in true market competition are possible. One thing is clear, the government has created this broken-down system, and it is the money and corruption in politics that are protecting it.

John J. Purdon

Wadsworth

When the choice ?involves another life

I have no problem with people making choices as far as their bodies are concerned. However, when that choice involves another personís body, that is another matter. Abortion takes the life of another person. I think it should only be allowed when the life of the mother is at risk.

Before you say that a fetus is not a person and entitled to the right to life, I think a person should seek out the medical evidence. When does human life begin? I suppose that could be a point of debate; however, conception is the only safe conclusion.

As to a womanís right to her own body, she has the right to use birth control, and that can mean a condom instead of oral contraceptives. Women have options that do not destroy human life.

The body that is destroyed by an abortion is not her body, it is the life of one unable to speak out. Please protect the unborn. Do not use abortion as a form of birth control.

David Sachs

Stow

Strain of war

If we are to remain in a perpetual state of war, perhaps we should seriously consider restarting the draft.

Duane March

Kent