Neither presidential candidate has yet to recognize the root cause of our economic mess ["On the attack," News, Oct. 17]. The cost of health care is the single biggest detriment to economic growth. The candidates' proposals have some important components, but they don't address the one that matters most. What will they do to bring down the cost?

I have some suggestions. One would be to ban consumer advertising for prescription drugs. About 20 percent of health insurance premiums goes toward drug coverage. The massive cost of all those TV ads drives up the cost of drugs.

Another huge driver of costs is malpractice. Doctors pay six-figure insurance premiums, and their fees reflect this expense. They are forced to practice defensive medicine, running excessive tests in case of a suit.

I suggest a law requiring that a losing plaintiff pay the defense costs for the defendant. Lawyers would think twice about taking a questionable case if they might be on the hook for the other party's defense costs.

Richard Birns, Jericho

Editor's note: The writer is a life and health insurance agent.
 

Why do we need Obamacare or Romneycare? Why can't we just update Medicare? I'm concerned that it will be cheaper for small businesses to pay a fine than to offer health insurance to their employees.

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I pay for the health care of police, local government workers and teachers, as well as their pensions, on top of what I pay for my own health care and pension. I'm in the middle class, and I'm tired of paying for someone else.

Josephine Budway, West Babylon
 

The debate at Hofstra University may have resulted in plenty of confrontation inside the theater, but barely any on the outside. This was due to the extraordinary effort of the Secret Service, the Nassau County Police Department, the New York State Police and the Hofstra Public Safety Department.

Successful security requires planning, coordination and cooperation. This all happened seamlessly.

Oftentimes when bad things don't happen, we take it for granted. In the post-Sept. 11 world, we should never take security efforts for granted, and we should take our hats off to these security professionals.

Sign up for The Point and go inside New York politics.

Michael A. L. Balboni, East Williston

Editor's note: The writer is the former state homeland security adviser for New York.
 

It is a privilege to host a presidential debate, but when Nassau County is in deep financial trouble, whose idea was it to spend as much as $600,000 in county police overtime ["Tighter security for this showdown," News, Oct. 15]?

This is like asking an unemployed person to take a wealthy person out to dinner at a high-end steak house, and please pick him up and drop him off, with not even the offer of gas money.

As a taxpayer and longtime Nassau resident, I find this ridiculous and insulting. This was an event that we can't afford.

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James Federlin, Wantagh