August 17, 2009 11:13 AM

Commentary: Ignore the vitriol in health care reform debate

What's happened to the debate over health care reform? Why are some people so angry? Do they actually believe that health care reform will include "death panels" to refuse care to the elderly and disabled? Do people who rail against "socialized" medicine realize that we already have government-run programs, most notably in the form of Medicare? How many seniors — despite the problems we have in Alaska — want to give up Medicare because it's "socialist"? Are people really happy with the status quo: the escalating costs and a system that rations care depending on the quality of the coverage you, or your employer, can afford, the fine print in your policy and the availability of doctors and nurses?

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