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Follow the money

An MRI that costs $1,200 in the United States costs a little over $100 in Japan. The United States spends 18 percent of its gross domestic product on health care. Our economy cannot sustain that. Hence, a Democratic Congress passed and the president signed the Affordable Care Act to bend those costs downward without sacrificing care.

Those who complain about government waste need to take a hard look at private sector waste in health care. Layers of profit-taking fuel inefficiency. The uninsured have to go to the emergency room for care. The rest of us pay for it, but in the most inefficient system possible.

Those who profit financially from this system will scream anything to convince people the Affordable Care Act is evil and that it will destroy America. I want a government that practices consumer advocacy. Follow the money.

The screaming from the right may appear principled. But check this: Obamacare is very similar to a plan Republicans proposed in 1993. Why are Republicans threatening to bring down the house over a system that resembles their idea? Why do they hate the idea of compulsory insurance when it originated in a conservative think tank? Follow the money.

Larry Winters



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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.