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Just don't get sick

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With the cost of doctor visits, surgeries and prescriptions skyrocketing and the economy going south, more and more people are without medical coverage. Our health care system is a house on fire.

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Gretchen Gresham
Old North End

Teacher

How important is it to overhaul our health care system? It's crucial. We're a rich enough nation to provide health care to everyone.

What's your worst health care story? I was in such pain one time that I went to the nearest emergency room instead of the one on my health plan. I got hit for a bill of over $2,000.

What if your employer dropped medical coverage? I have three small kids, so I have to have it. To buy it, we'd need to eliminate everything but the barest necessities: no swim lessons for the kids, no nights out to the movies, no going out to dinner.

Would you be amenable to government-run health care? I would. When I lived in France, I saw how everyone there gets health care.


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Ann Pinney
Cheyenne Caon

Management consultant

How important is it to overhaul our health care system? It's critical. Costs are too high.

How do you get medical insurance? I'm self-employed and own my company. I have group insurance of one through my business.

Would you consider government-run health care? Government-run health care would be like the post office, where practitioners get paid whether the service is good or crappy. Would you want your medical care provided by the post office?

Give an example of how it would be like that. When I worked in Canada, I heard stories about people waiting so long in line for surgery with the rest of the crowd that they went to Europe to have it done.


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F. R. Pamp
Palmer Park

Attorney

Should we revamp our health care system? Health care is becoming astronomically expensive. People who deserve health care aren't able to get it.

Relate your worst health care story. Divorce left one of my clients without medical coverage. She had to rely on emergency room visits for one of her kids who had a serious, ongoing health problem that wasn't an emergency room kind of thing.

How do you get coverage? My wife's job covers both of us. I'm 62, though, and she's 57 were she to lose her work coverage, we'd probably go uninsured and cross our fingers.

Would you be open to government-run health care? Not in the sense where everyone involved is employed by the government. I would be open, though, to a government-facilitated system that helps independent practitioners treat the uninsured.

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