Dear Editor:

For over 35 Years (after serving in the US Army during the Vietnam mess) I was a Registered Republican. Due to the Republican Party's refusal to promote true health care reform, I switched to being a Democrat. Now it appears as though even the Democrat Party is allowing our Nation's True Need for health care reform slip away!

To correct this Health Care Reform at this time, before it is again too late, we must succeed with the following course of correction:

1 - Open The Health Care Conference Committee To Public Scrutiny (H.Res.847).

2 - Include a strong public option. This would be real competition from a righteous, low overhead public program, just like we have in "Medicare" right now. This would force some honesty. and fairness from the private insurance industry, who will be reaping a fortune, due to the legislation's mandate that everyone be forced to purchase health insurance. Without this strong public option, we Americans would, then, be be forced to buy health insurance from the ruthless health insurance companies, who would be able to charge us higher and higher premiums, along with other hidden costs such as increased deductables, and increased co-payments whenever they wanted to do so.

3 - Include a mandate that requires employers to pay their fair share of health care benefits.

4 - The Medicare buy-in option must be put back in the bill.

5 - There should be "NO" taxation of employee health care benefits. This taxation only increases the cost of health insurance, because employers would only force this tax onto the employee, who will be: "A" - forced to pay higher premiums to insurance companies, "B" - cause employees to pay higher deductables and co-payments, "C" - cause more employees who presently have health insurance, to lose their health insurance due to these increased costs, and "D" - cause some employers to not offer health insurance coverage to their employees.

6 If the above corrections are not made to this Health Insurance Reform Legislation, then there is no Health Reform. "A" - We would be better off without the farce of accepting this Health Reform as it now is being offered, especially the extremely flawed Senate version of the Health Reform Legislation. "B" If true / real Health Reform can not be passed, then all the Legislators who prevent this true / real reform, within the Senate and House, no matter what political party to which they belong, should be voted out of office for new legislators that will give us Americans the required necessary Health Reform that the great majority of us really need and want!

Please, Congress, pass true/real health care reform now. We will never have a better opportunity to succeed than we do at this time. If we do not, our children and grandchildren will hold us all responsible. They would be correct in condemming you and the rest of us Americans that allowed this opportunity to be wasted!

Walton Smith

1776 Upper Nis Hollow Drive

Lehighton