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Letters to the Editor

Moral duty

August 19, 2009

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To the editor:

We need the same sort of restructuring of health care that led to the creation of Medicare and Social Security. I accept the necessity for a tax increase to help pay for this. So would many others. Jesus, speaking in Matthew, says that harming the least of our brethren is the same as harming him. So failing to address the inequities in health care access isn’t just a political matter. It’s a moral obligation.

We need more than health care reform. We need individuals to take more responsibility for their health. Required physical education has been eliminated from the curricula of some schools. Given the obesity problem, how can this be? Clearly, health depends on collective and individual responsibility, so health and physical education are key.

The fiscal impact of reform could be offset if spending on war were reduced. I’m nearly 63. Except for the first years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, my generation has lived continually in fear of this or that enemy. We have spent enormous amounts in pursuit of security. Doesn’t work; we’re still anxious.

We don’t choose to whom we’re born, or where. Initial conditions, including parenting and intelligence, influence powerfully what kind of men and women we become. Some of us are extraordinarily fortunate. Others aren’t. I hope that as leaders ponder health care reform, they remain compassionate toward those whose endowments, compared with theirs, are relatively few and whose troubles are many. I hope those leaders will share from their abundance.

Comments

porch_person 4 years, 8 months ago

Bottom line is that people are getting older and are going to get sick more frequently and with greater acuity than earlier.

No matter if you're Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, Canadian or American, sick people (and more of them as time goes by) is going to be the one constant in the situation.

How are we going to deal with this problem? By not applying more resources to the problem?

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sunny 4 years, 8 months ago

Always looking for a handout and wanting others to pay for it! Take care of yourself!

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Bob Hechlor 4 years, 8 months ago

Nothing like a bogus stereotype of people belonging or voting with the democratic party. Must be a repubnothinklican.

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Roads_Collar 4 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou wrote: "“For I was hungry and you said 'get a job!' I was thirsty and you said 'you'd probably just spend it on alcohol!' I was a stranger and you said 'ew get away from me!' I was naked and you had me arrested. I was sick and in prison and you said 'you should have made better choices!'”

Prissyboy (Meand fannielou) apparently has so little use for the Bible that he can only use it in a mocking and derogatory way. There is a quote that may be more useful to him: ""Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."(Matthew 7:1-2)

Prissyboy - what you misuse so arrogantly is what many conservatives and Republicans do actually take to heart. You apparently labor under the assumption that you can take that which you so obviously despise, and either misquote mockingly, or extract out of context, to try to use against those who actually believe the Bible.

Further, from your misquote, I take it you feel it is better to keep the hungry on the dole and NOT help them back on their feet (i.e.: jobs). It would definitely be so much nicer if we would just keep them dependant on the system, right? And the heck with being careful stewards of our money when an alcoholic or drug addict asks us for money. After all, we are not being enablers when we just fork it over, right?

If I read your misquotes correctly, you apparently are among the liberal left who believe those in prison are there because it is somebody else's fault, and since it isn't fun to be in prison, we should let them all go, put them on a massive entitlement plan (paying for it with more taxes), and wish them well, hoping the whole time that society doesn't do any thing else to aggravate them into committing their crimes again.

There is such a thing as social justice. It is a whole 'nother thing to create more and more entitlement programs and entitlement attitudes. There IS value to being a self-supporting, hard-working American - other than being an easy mark for tax-and-spend liberals. There IS value to working for what you receive and paying your way.

Early Americans did NOT come to America with entitlement attitudes - they came here with a pioneering spirit, a can do attitude, and yes, even, a "Yes we can" attitude. They made do with what they had, what they earned, what they grew. There was no government entitlement plan to take care of them - and yet they came here in droves, willing to work hard and do for themselves.

What happened to that attitude? Oh, right - some of them got tired of working, became Democrats, got drunk or high, and held out their hand expecting the rest of society would feel sorry for them and put them on an entitlement program.

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 8 months ago

jafs (Anonymous) says… "I don't understand this “Republicans pay” nonsense. ...Don't Democrats pay taxes as well?"

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh, yeah, right, because Democrats don't pay taxes - I forgot about that!"

Thank you for the reminder; here are links that back-up your assertions that Democrats don't pay their taxes:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2009-02-05-solis-husband-taxes_N.htm http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/31/another-day-another-obama-nominee-with-tax-problems/ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/03/obamas-taxing-nominees-the-pattern-of-tax-avoidanc/

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Sigmund 4 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh I see, because Democrats are all poor people and Republicans are all rich people. No Democrats would be subject to higher taxes and no Republicans would benefit from any social programs."

I said none of that, just "And I was just pointing up Democratic greed and heartlessness" to your "I was just pointing out Republican heartlessness.” But at least your off of your Marxist deconstructionist of the Gospels, something you don't even believe in. Gospel that is, not Marxism.

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh I see, because Democrats are all poor people and Republicans are all rich people. No Democrats would be subject to higher taxes and no Republicans would benefit from any social programs.

Thank you, I didn't know that.

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Sigmund 4 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh, yeah, right, because Democrats don't pay taxes - I forgot about that!"

No, because they envy those that make a dollar more than they do and insist that the dollar be taken from who earned it and then spent on them.

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

"The Evolution of God" by Robert Wright "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart D. Ehrman

To name two sources off the top of my head.

But of course, anyone I name you'll probably just dismiss out of hand as a "far-left loon."

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh, yeah, right, because Democrats don't pay taxes - I forgot about that!

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bankboy119 4 years, 8 months ago

"Actually, Jesus didn't say half of what was attributed to him in any version (republican or otherwise) of the New Testament. He mainly went around predicting the imminent apocalypse."

Haha please, go on....I would also say that The Crusades never happened, Rome never existed, and witch hunts never took place....but I think the evidence speaks for itself. If you want to post false information the least you could do is post some reference to the comment backing up your beliefs.

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Sigmund 4 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "I was just pointing out Republican heartlessness."

And I was just pointing up Democratic greed and heartlessness.

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farfle 4 years, 8 months ago

If you want health care reform you'll have to reform the political system first. Big Pharma, the AMA and the insurance industry fund the politicians-both Democrat and Republican. This is where they get the money so they can buy yor vote.

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, Jesus didn't say half of what was attributed to him in any version (republican or otherwise) of the New Testament. He mainly went around predicting the imminent apocalypse.

Separation of church and state? Hell yeah, I'm all for it.

I was just pointing out Republican heartlessness.

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BuenaVista 4 years, 8 months ago

We have moral obligation to set up a wasteful bureaucracy and insurance scam funded by taxing the earnings of workers? I am not making the connection.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 8 months ago

i wouldn't be so afraid of the government reforming a program, if i didn't have so many examples of how they will end up raping the program and creating more bureaucrats.

This 1 trillion dollar fix will end up costing 3 times that much easily. they've never fixed anything, they merely sustain a problem for maximum profitability.

and no, i do not support paying a little more in taxes. for anything. ever again!

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slappedyomomma 4 years, 8 months ago

Roger,

go back and read your Bible some more. it appears that you haven't understood the true meaning of Jesus' teachings.

if you make a "good deed", like paying for someone's healthcare, mandatory, where is the glory for God? it loses all credibility as everyone does it because it is required, not because they want to. Christ said to do those things so that his followers would be recognized as a light in the darkness.

requiring everyone to do something like this could actually remove any glory that Christ might get from good works. He wants us to do good things because we want to, not because we are forced to.

if you feel led by God to provide healthcare for someone else, then by all means do so. but to assume that God works in someone else's life the same as in yours is ignorant. go pay for someone's insurance and let the rest of us follow God's instructions in our lives, not yours.

too many Christians are worried about other peoples actions and not their own.

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staff04 4 years, 8 months ago

*page...

Lest Kevin appear and tear my post apart by defining and then deconstructing the definition of the word "book" and giving us the entire etymology in his argument that books are clearly the liberal media's tools to control us. And Bill Clinton.

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BuenaVista 4 years, 8 months ago

Jesus would oppose large government like he opposed Roman Rule in Israel. He would encourage doctors to give their time, and people to give their money. Dems seem to think he would be an overpaid bureaucrat like they are.

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slappedyomomma 4 years, 8 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

Only shareholders,medical insurance industry employees and politicians who are likely shareholders and receive political campaign money are wanting to protect the most corrupt and expensive medical insurance in the world. ..........................

wow, thats news to me. considering i am none of the above and i certainly don't want any part of the government sponsored fiasco that Obama & co are suggesting.

i am a non-smoker and turn 30 this year. my insurance costs $145 a month, and this is w/ a $250 deductible and through a major insurance provider. my wife's costs a bit more, but is quite managable. this whole myth of "unaffordable health insurance" is out of hand. the simple fact is that many of the uninsured in this country can afford to purchase insurance, they just don't. i know, because i used to be one of them.

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staff04 4 years, 8 months ago

Turning to the morality argument is reform supporters' way of saying, "we grossly overestimated the intelligence of our fellow Americans."

Facts and reason didn't work, so let's pull a book from the 1996-2008 Republican playbook and tell 'em what god wants them to do.

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Pilgrim2 4 years, 8 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says…

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs. About $225 per month.


And once again we will ask, were those figures put together by the same folks who estimated the costs of the Cash for Clunkers program, Richard? The same guys who said there wouldn't have to be a middle class tax increase to pay for “health care reform?”

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Sigmund 4 years, 8 months ago

MeAndFannieLou (Anonymous) says… "Oh dear, Roger, haven't you read the new, revised (Republican) edition of the New Testament?"

Let be clear no where did Jesus say you should have government force everyone to follow his teachings. He clearly said, if YOU believe in Him, YOU should do those things, not force others to do them for you.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

This is how Rep John Conyers perceives HR 676 aka Medicare Insurance for All. Which is the most comprehensive,fiscally responsible and would be a great help in making millions of jobs a reality in america.

So what would the new HR 676 Medicare For ALL Insurance offer to americans? 365 days a year,24/7,employed or not,moving on to a new job or not,single mom or not,struck down with cancer or not?

What would a new HR 676 Medicare Insurance Plan cover 365 days a year 24/7?

A family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs. About $225 per month. Today the below insurance coverage actually costs about $1,100 per month going to about $1,500 in 2010.

  • long term care such that cancer would require
  • prescription drugs
  • hospital
  • surgical
  • outpatient services
  • primary and preventive care
  • emergency services
  • dental
  • mental health
  • home health
  • physical therapy
  • rehabilitation (including for substance abuse)
  • vision care
  • hearing services including hearing aids
  • chiropractic
  • durable medical equipment
  • palliative care

Again a family of four making the median income of $56,200 would pay about $2,700 in payroll tax for all health care costs. About $225 per month. Today the above insurance coverage actually costs about $1,100 per month.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. If a deductible and/or co-pay policy is in effect this usually indicates under-insured.

HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead of the private health insurance industry and HMOs. The privatized medical insurance industry is anything but efficient.

HR 676 contains costs and saves about $350,000,000,000 annually.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

While UK may have socialized medicine the USA has that available in the military. Socialized medicine is NOT a topic of discussion or on THE table. The problem in the USA is very very expensive medical insurance that politicans/shareholders are trying to protect at OUR EXPENSE.

How many medically insured believe that this is good use of medical insurance dollars? In the end won't this actually INCREASE the cost of insurance for 2010?

INDUSTRY LOBBYING AGAINST MEDICIAL INSURANCE REFORM AT A RECORD BREAKING $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE INSURANCE DOLLARS A DAY

PART OF THIS $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE/INSURANCE DOLLARS A DAY IS LIKELY FUNDING THE VOCAL DISRUPTIONS SO PEOPLE ARE GETTING PAID TO DISRUPT.

THESE SAME $1.4 MILLION HEALTH CARE DOLLARS A DAY COULD SUPPLY 519 FAMILIES OF FOUR FULL COVERAGE MEDICARE INSURANCE EACH DAY THIS RECKLESS SPENDING TAKES PLACE. BY THE TIME THIS RECKLESS SPENDING IS OVER APPROXIMATELY 20,000 FAMILIES OF FOUR COULD HAVE FULL COVERAGE INSURANCE UNDER THE NEW HR 676 MEDICARE INSURANCE FOR ALL

Why is the health care industry buying MORE POLITICIANS and why are legislators selling out?

Health Care Industry and Congress -- We're on to You, and We're not Going to Take It Anymore

Former Lawmakers and Congressional Staffers Hired to Lobby. The hirings are part of a record-breaking influence campaign by the health-care industry, which is spending more than $1.4 million a day on ANTI INSURANCE REFORM lobbying.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/05/AR2009070502770.html

http://www.commoncause.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=4773613&ct=7146131

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2009/06/diagnosis-reform.html

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Sigmund 4 years, 8 months ago

Where did Jesus say the government should take over health care and force their religious beliefs on non-Christians to pay for Christians health care? What other biblical commandments and Jesusisms do you want force upon non-believers?

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MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh dear, Roger, haven't you read the new, revised (Republican) edition of the New Testament?

"For I was hungry and you said 'get a job!' I was thirsty and you said 'you'd probably just spend it on alcohol!' I was a stranger and you said 'ew get away from me!' I was naked and you had me arrested. I was sick and in prison and you said 'you should have made better choices!'"

Matthew, 25:35-36

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Liberty_One 4 years, 8 months ago

The "moral duty" line is what was used to sell increased socialization of health care in other countries as well, albeit in different forms. In the UK the line was that it was inequitable that the wealthy could afford better care and thus live longer. Of course socialized medicine was brought in to cure this issue, but it has actually only gotten worse.

The poor are stuck with the low-quality, rationed government health care while the wealthy can opt-out by going elsewhere for treatment or pursuing other options. While the life expectancy for is close to 80 for the population as a whole, in some poorer areas life expectancy is 28 years lower than their wealthier neighbors down the road! So while the intention was to remove disparities and lessen the LE gap between the wealthy and the poor, the gap is actually widening http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/29/un.life.expectancy From the article: "[The UK] has undertaken to narrow the gap in life expectancy and infant mortality between rich and poor by 10% by 2010.

We haven't closed the gap, in fact the gap has widened" ...

"A boy in the suburb of Calton, Glasgow, can expect to live 28 years less than one brought up in Lenzie, a few miles away. One born in Hampstead, London, will live around 11 years longer than a boy from St Pancras, five stops away on London Underground's Northern line."

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Liberty_One 4 years, 8 months ago

foodboy (Anonymous) says…

"I'm glad this public vs private debate didn't occur when education was being considered."

And look at the awful public schools we got because of it.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 8 months ago

Only shareholders,medical insurance industry employees and politicians who are likely shareholders and receive political campaign money are wanting to protect the most corrupt and expensive medical insurance in the world.

The medical insurance of today is no bargain it is only a big profit tool at the expense of others misfortune.... now this is about as insensitive as it gets. Yes cancer is a big profit item and does this stink or what?

How many feel their medical insurance money should support: high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

What will HR 676 and ONLY HR 676 Eliminate? Eliminates high dollar medical insurance spending on what 2,000 health insurers add to the actual cost of providing care: • its bureaucracy • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders ! are the primary clients of for-profit insurance companies, not patients • Special interest campaign dollars • Golden parachutes

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jafs 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't understand this "Republicans pay" nonsense.

Don't Democrats pay taxes as well?

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Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 8 months ago

Considering what is wrote on some of these posts I don't think someone should have a hissy fit because someone wrote about Jesus. There are problems besetting our society that are very complicated, very diverse, and we must take into account individual responsibility for their actions and their lives, insofar as that person is mentally and physically capable of doing.

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barrypenders 4 years, 8 months ago

According to progressive democrats, Christianity has destroyed and is killing the country. But progressive democrats want rebublicans to pay for their health care so they now look to Christianity and Jesus to promote their health care demands. Democrats will say anything to get rebublicans to pay their way.

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Phil Minkin 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad this public vs private debate didn't occur when education was being considered. No public schools, state universities or military acadamies.

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blessed3x 4 years, 8 months ago

"We need the same sort of restructuring of health care that led to the creation of Medicare and Social Security."

Geez, I didn't even have to try to provide proof of the governments complete inability to properly manage any social service, Mr. Martin did it for me. Thanks, Rog!

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75x55 4 years, 8 months ago

"Jesus, speaking in Matthew, says that harming the least of our brethren is the same as harming him. So failing to address the inequities in health care access isn’t just a political matter. It’s a moral obligation."

Error - "isn't just a political matter"

I'm sure there are some Larryvillians that will notice the insidious idea here of using moral instruction (or propaganda, for those of the unbelieving bent) that always refers to the individual's response to coerce a collective political response.

Horrible tactic on two levels - one, it preys on the ignorant (however you care to view that term) and instills a false sense of guilt, and two, it strips away the real benefit of the original teaching by allowing the individual to avoid the personal obligation by palming it off on everyone else.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” — C. S. Lewis

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 8 months ago

The first sentence of this thoughtful letter refers to Social Security. Two of the most groundbreaking pieces of legislation enacted in the 20th century were Social Security in 1935, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). As was emphasized recently in a national column published in this newspaper, each had the solid support of large numbers of both Democrats and Republicans. In the case of Title VII, it was supported by many Republicans and opposed primarily by Southern Democrats. The current proposal for health care "reform" being pushed by the hard left in Washington is repugnant to a great number of Americans, primarily because they don't want to create the possibility that government will ultimately dictate the medical procedures that they will be able to obtain. As was stated a few days ago by Dr. Anne Doig, the incoming President of the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian system is "imploding." Most Americans don't want to begin the long walk down that road. Until reform proposals are put forth that do not directly contain or quietly enable a "public option" down the line, they will not garner the necessary support of the constituents of those who are considering (and, hopefully, reading) the proposed legislation. Reform the availability and delivery of health care insurance? You bet. Single-payer government health care? Fold 'em.

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macabebe 4 years, 8 months ago

"So failing to address the inequities in health care access isn’t just a political matter. It’s a moral obligation."

Yes, but why is it big government's moral obligation? Should big government also provide us with our food? After all, food is more vital than health care. Vital and vittles come from the same root.

"We have spent enormous amounts in pursuit of security. Doesn’t work; we’re still anxious."

Well, let's just shut down our military and see if that works. I'm sure we'll be much less anxious then.

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Bowhunter99 4 years, 8 months ago

What???? Take Personal Responsibility for your own health and Pay Taxes so YOUR health premiums are funded with your own money??? Surely you must be some 'talking head' of some 'greedy corporation'....

Exercise... how dare Mr Martin imply people need to do that... You silly man! and PAY taxes to offset your portion of the cost? Are you insane? That goes against everything the White House and the Democratic party is working so hard for!

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