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Fam Pract Manag. 2000;7(9):15

To the Editor:

In the July/August issue, the article “Is Universal Coverage the American Way?” argues that universal health care coverage by the government is “the American way.” On the contrary, the American way is to have as limited a government as possible.

The Founding Fathers drew up the Constitution to deliberately limit governmental interference into anything except the proper spheres of activity, such as defense, police, courts, etc. Providing health care for the populace was the furthest thing from their minds! Government involvement in health care has led directly to higher prices, lower availability, ethical muddles, and less physician and patient autonomy. Increasing that involvement will bring only more of the same.

Unfortunately, now that medicine has gotten used to feeding at the government trough, we're addicted to it. I fear for our profession. Soon we will become faceless technocrats doing what the government says when it says to do it. Medicine will no longer be a noble calling; it will just be another cog in the machine.


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