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The federal government mandates that certain items must be included in every new car that is manufactured in America, even the cheapest, bare-bones car — things like seat belts, air bags, headlights, windshield washers and mufflers. Sane people recognize that this is a good thing; it is government for the people.

Now the government has similarly mandated things that even the most basic health insurance plan must include: free annual check-ups, pregnancy coverage, reasonable co-pays and, after years of paid premiums, not dropping you for a pre-existing condition.

These, too, are good things. Such minimal regulation is what we expect from the government, just as we expect that it require meat or spinach to be safe.

People who complain that their existing lousy insurance plan can't be renewed because it doesn't meet even the minimum standards are like people who want the right to buy a new car with a proven bad brake system.

America is coming around on universal human rights for gays (the right to liberty), maybe soon there will be a universal right to health care for everyone, even the poor (the right to life).

Matthew Gunther

Salt Lake City

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