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Re: Book review; health care reform 

Sincerely engaged

I just want to send a sincere thanks to the Indy, to Culture Editor David Fellerath and to writer Rick Cornell for the positive review of my book, Let the World Listen Right: The Mississippi Delta Hip-Hop Story ("Songcatching," Dec. 9). It's a generous and well-written piece. I am overjoyed to find that my first book review was both so sincerely engaged and published in a still-independent weekly publication. Thanks again; it means the world.

From one committed print journalist to others—

Ali Colleen Neff
Durham


M.D.s on health care reform

Had he had a few more column inches to work with, Bob Geary ("Health care reform: Better than you think," Nov. 25) may have told us not just what Marcia Angell opposes (the House version of health care reform), but what she supports. Even a single-payer advocate like Angell might support less than single payer if the bill dropped Medicare eligibility to 55, increased reimbursements for primary care and reduced those for specialty care, reduced the Medicare reimbursements of M.D.s who habitually order more tests and procedures than their colleagues, subsidized medical students who enter primary care (especially in underserved areas), and repealed the Medicare Part D provision that prevents the government from negotiating bulk rates for drugs with pharmaceutical companies.

Instead, we have a Hobson's choice: The weakest compromise Congress has to offer—a bill that diverts more public dollars to the very entities that brought the health care crisis crashing down upon us—or nothing. It isn't about the public option, which is so limited as to be meaningless. It is about politicians and lobbyists asking us to postpone yet again real health care reform (reform that actually saves money at the same time as it increases quality and access) for the sake of the estimated 35 million Americans who might be covered (in some cases, against their will) by the bills under consideration in Congress. Meanwhile, health insurance premiums for small businesses and individuals will rise, and the total cost of health care will continue to spin out of control. Is the trade-off worth it? We don't think so.

Elizabeth S. Axtell; Jonathan Kotch, M.D.; Peter Kussin, M.D.; Dennis Lazof, Ph.D.; Gustavo Montana, M.D.
Health Care For All North Carolina

Chapel Hill

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