Wednesday, April 16, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Response to Bill Kirkpatrick’s letter

EDITOR:

In a recent letter Bill Kirkpatrick criticizes me for sharing memories of life in the Soviet Union to warn of the severe shortages that invariably result from government control of health care.

While all Soviet citizens were “insured,” every one of them suffered in long and miserable lines for “universal care” rationed by a bureaucrat. The result? Hospitals bereft of such bourgeois luxuries as bedding, anesthesia and especially antibiotics, the lack of which nearly killed my mother after I was born. Good doctors were equally as scarce since they were paid as much as janitors, and calls to the 911 system were greeted with the cold and callous catchphrase of “How old is the patient?”

While Mr. Kirkpatrick’s concern for the uninsured is appropriate, his solution of consigning every American to experience the brutal system in which I once lived is exactly the wrong prescription.

IGOR BIRMAN
Chief of Staff, Rep. Tom McClintock

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 4 comments

  • Phillip VeerkampOctober 04, 2012 - 12:21 pm

    THANK YOU.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • cookie65October 05, 2012 - 4:52 am

    Igor, in this country we have seriously strayed from teaching history as it happened. We have replaced it with "the new history". Many in America have been indoctrinated with this "new history" and will never allow what they have been trained to believe to ever be questioned. They will witness the same exact failures that you lived thru and still deny that it is a failure. As long as someone else is paying for what they want.

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  • CatherineOctober 05, 2012 - 11:16 am

    Comparing the conditions of the Soviet Union in collapse with an effort to have better health coverage in this country is just silly. Americans *already* experience rationing in many areas due to the lack of insurance company regulation. The ACA is an extremely small step, but it's a step in the right direction.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • William HeymanOctober 06, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    I took a few courses in the military and civilian colleges, back when people studied the closed Soviet Union. I turned in my first paper on "Occupational Choice in the Soviet Union" and got a "see me" from the prof. I had used some UN statistics and found out that there was no such thing. They just used whatever figure the country gave them. So the Soviets reported a bunch of figures for people working (and they had full employment!) in a bunch of jobs. Other people, apologists for the communist system, completely ignored this. As one of the supposedly employed put it, "They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work." Anyway I learned that the sons and daughters of the communist elite got into all the universities and jobs that they wanted. The dachas on the banks of the river went from the favorites of the czar to the favorites of the politburo. One gang beat out another gang.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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