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IQ: Critical mass 

Medical costs are soaring dramatically, unemployment is approaching 10 percent nationally, and according to a U.S. Census report last week, the number of Americans with health insurance dropped for the first time in 23 years. What do we do?

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Mark Shipley
Carefree and Powers

Semi-conductor plant worker

On a scale of 1 to 5, how important is health care reform to you? Five. I have chronic health problems.

Do you know anyone who lost health insurance and then got sick? Me, several years ago.

Do you prefer our system to the universal-care system of Canada? The single-payer system has its problems, but it's far preferable to what we have here. Canadian friends tell me they sometimes had to wait longer for elective procedures, but not for emergency ones.

Do you have any hope things will get better? Not given the way our legislators think and work.

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Katie Larson
West side

Medical company employee

On a scale of 1 to 5, how important is health care reform to you? I'd give it a three. I don't have kids and I don't go to the doctor much. I don't really need health insurance.

Would you rather have universal health care, as in Canada, or the system we have here? I'd rather have the universal care, definitely.

Why is there so much opposition to current reforms? A lot of people can't afford health insurance. It's a free country and they shouldn't have to have it.

Do you have any hope things will get better? They'll always stay the same.

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Tom Knobeloch
Rockrimmon

Software developer

How important is health care reform to you? The rising cost of health care is a concern, but I don't want government in my health care.

Why are so many opposed to health care reform? They don't oppose reform, they oppose the government getting into health care.

Would you rather have our system of health care or the universal-care system of Canada and England? I absolutely prefer our system. I don't want nationalized health care. It would mean higher costs and less overall care.

Do you have any hope that things will get better? Not under this current administration, no.

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Nora Duane
Manitou Springs

Teacher

How important to you is health care reform? Extremely important. Without health insurance in this country, you're screwed.

Why are so many people resisting health care reform? I suspect they're repeating what they hear elsewhere. We had state-run health care when I lived in Vermont, and it was amazing. The nearby Canadians seemed mostly happy with their nationally run system, too.

Do you have any hope things will improve? It's just too depressing to think they won't.

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