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Rep. Karen Shepherd supports socialized medicine of the Clinton variety. As I have previously stated, I oppose any plan that forces in any way an individual or an employer to purchase health-care coverage mandated by the government. It makes no difference if it's called Foley Care, Gephardt Care or Clinton Care. There are too many failures in government health-care systems here and abroad to justify any such forays.

Medicare, as a source of health security for seniors, is the basis of medical rationing for seniors and cost shifting for the rest of us. When the budget well runs dry in Clinton's socialized medicine, rationing will hit seniors first, just as it does in Canada, England and Sweden. Would the hospitals in Rep. Shepherd's personal health care system close for three weeks because they are out of money? No, but they have in Canada and England and they will under the Clinton/Shepherd plan.In fact the Medicare system that Shepherd brazenly supports is the cause of most of the cost inflation all Americans pay for. Short payments to providers (60 percent to 70 percent of cost) are shifted to non-Medicare patients. The huge paperwork costs (25 percent of provider's time) of Medicare are paid for by non-Medicare patients.

Since Shepherd's and other government employees' personal health care is provided by the taxpayer, I remind her that most Americans, including seniors, pay for their health care with after-tax dollars. That means that they must earn from $1.50 to $2 for every dollar of health care that they purchase. The wickedly high tax rates voted for by Shepherd and her colleagues are the precise cause of the struggle all families have in surviving, not just covering health-care costs. With Clinton's health-care prescription, the cost of health care and taxes will leap to new heights.

Allen Elggren

Salt Lake City