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Voice of the people - a health reform referendum

Published November 21. 2009 09:00AM

Dear Editor:

If we accept the premise that democracy is a system of government in which the sovereign power of the state is vested in the people as a whole, and is exercised directly by them or their elected agents, and we also accept the reality that our elected agents in many cases are tainted if not polluted by "special interest groups", then it becomes obvious that "the people" need to speak directly to the issues. In health reform this can be accomplished through a national referendum on the subject.

Opinion polls show that the single payment system "Medicare for all" is preferred by most people. A national referendum on the subject would get our representatives "off the hook" with regard to pharmaceutical company and insurance company influence. Those representatives opposing a referendum to settle the matter could be election losers next time around, i.e. for attempting to thwart the voice of the people.

In general, politicians are a confused lot - pretending allegiance to their constituents while giving their vote to those who bankrolled their election, and then trying to convince their constituents that their position on a issue is due to a statesmanlike analysis. They need to be bypassed on major issues until "robust" election reform and tort reform is accomplished.

"Democracy is what democracy does - or stated another way, the democratic process in operation proves the existence of democracy." Ours is distorted by reasons expressed. Do we want it this way?

John Drury

181 West 13th Street

Jim Thorpe

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