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Mailbag: Health care reform will reduce costs

July 28, 2010

Your recent article about forthcoming health-care insurance reform ("Clinic digs in heels for health reform," July 15) pointed out one area of reform not specifically discussed in the article: cost reduction.

Under the new reform, over time, medical records will be automated and reduce the need for the duplication of procedures for the same outcome. Through the example of Sonia Munguia's breast cancer treatment, she went to Tijuana for a mammogram, and when she returned to Huntington Beach, she was required to have another mammogram.

This is a duplication of procedures that drives up costs. Having electronic medical records avoids unnecessary duplication of procedures. Another cost reducer in the reform is the emphasis on preventative care, which will drive down costs of the uninsured presenting themselves to emergency room treatment for illnesses best treated in a clinic or doctor's office.

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The care that Munguia received was funded by several sources: a foundation, a fundraising event in the community, the patient and Medicaid.

Sure, I support the reform on the principle that the insured pool is greater and will lead to people living healthier lives. The health-care reform begins to meet both a moral and fiscal imperative.

Pat Goodman

Huntington Beach

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State code leaves Sunset in the dark

There is a thread of malcontent about to be sewn into our community. On Monday, at a regularly scheduled meeting, the Huntington Beach City Council will be discussing and taking action on a most irregular issue: the annexation of Sunset Beach.

Despite the citizens of Sunset Beach's efforts — organizing a majority opinion in favor of incorporation, raising more than $100,000 toward this goal and entrenching themselves in the arduous process to do so — the council has not ruled out the possibility of annexing (taking over and governing) Sunset. In fact, it appears that they will be doing just that Monday night.

Did you know that there is a law buried deep in the hundreds of thousands of pages of the California State Government Code that denies each of the 1,200 citizens of Sunset Beach their right to vote if they want to be annexed? This denial of voting rights is based on acreage of land. No vote for mayor or council; policy and procedure imposed. No vote for who governs because Sunset Beach is less than 150 acres.

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