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Gov. Leavitt has now given us the choice of endorsing his health-care reform measure. There are, according to Leavitt's press releases, 200,000-plus Utahns who do not have health insurance.

Really now, how many have chosen to not purchase health care or to not earn sufficient so they can purchase it? That's their choice.The facts are that all individuals can obtain health care, even illegal immigrants. Tax exemptions for hospitals are granted on the condition that they provide charity care. The majority of the increases in health-care costs shifted to the working population of Utah is due to the shortfall in current Medicare payments and charity care rendered by providers. So Leavitt wants to bring more on the Medicare rolls and shift that shortfall to insurers, who will pass it on to the rest of us.

This is done with the representation that there will be no tax increase. Instead it's called a premium increase, and since nongovernment employees pay for it with after-tax earnings, it's going to cost us double.

Leavitt's "Healthprint" provides "free" health care and creates a new entitlement, a new dependent class. And what choice do 80 percent of the families have that work now and choose to provide their own health care?

Market forces would contain costs if individuals were allowed to set up tax-deductible medical savings accounts or individuals were allowed tax deductions for health insurance purchases. Leavitt's plan puts these options on the shelf until 1995 and later.

If Leavitt is really a state's rights governor, is pro-family and for individual rights, then his health-care reform doesn't show it.

Allen Elggren

Salt Lake City