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Contrary to Mr. Gaffney’s column, the OIC is a governmental organization with a membership of 57 countries, almost all of which have cordial and cooperative relations with the United States. By visiting the Islamic Center/Mosque Washington and announcing his intention to appoint a permanent envoy to the OIC, Mr. Bush has taken a good step in the right direction. It is a good investment to gain the hearts and minds of the Muslim world through dialogue and mutual understanding.

MAHA AKEEL

Managing editor

Journal Information Department

Organization of the Islamic Conference

Saudi Arabia

Health-care troubles

Decades of experience have shown that guaranteeing good, affordable health care in America is not about having a free, competitive health insurance marketplace. Rather, it is our free marketplace that has led to spiraling health-care costs and tens of millions of uninsured, underinsured and at-risk insured Americans (“Reforming health care,” Op-Ed, July 9). Exclusive reliance on private insurance has also led the United States to rank 37th in the world in health-care quality.

Americans across the ideological divide want a guarantee of good, affordable health care that gives them a choice of private doctors and hospitals across the country. In fact, people with Medicare choose their public insurance option 4-to-1 over private insurance and the public insurance costs the government less money.

If those in Congress and the administration were not so beholden to ideology and the big insurance companies, working Americans would not be forced to go without the choice of a public insurance option that guarantees them access to the care they need.

DIANE ARCHER

Founder

Medicare Rights Center

New York City

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