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February 18, 2009

Cal's Column Untrue

by Janice Markham
Pasadena Star-News 2/18/09

I was stunned to read the latest column by Cal Thomas ("Democrat healthcare reform inserts government between doctors and patients," Feb. 17).

The number of missteps, hyperbole and out and out lies in that column are too numerous to address in this forum.

However, let me begin with Thomas' misunderstanding of what the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology is set up to do. Here it is:

"The AHIC is a federally-chartered advisory committee that makes recommendations to the Secretary of HHS on how to make health records digital and interoperable, encourage market-led adoption and ensure that the privacy and security of those records are protected at all times."

The idea is to create digital medical records to promote accuracy, security and lessen the amount of environmental waste. But there is a deeper problem here I must address:

Thomas is demonizing the government's role in the realm of healthcare at every turn in this article. Why? Because the private sector has done such a good job? It is no mystery that healthcare in the United States is at a crisis point because costs are so astronomical and because so many people are not insured or are under-insured. And why is that? Does it make sense to have a healthcare system in which the success of that system is predicated on not providing care?

Crazy, right? But that's what we have. And, until we push for a single-payer healthcare system, a plan that puts the insurance companies out of business, we will not be able to provide all citizens of this country the healthcare they deserve.

And, Cal? If you think that a single-payer healthcare system is socialized medicine, you have not done your homework. But, I will help you out. Go to:, Physicians for a National Health Program. They will explain it all to you.

Pasadena Star-News 2/18/09