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Life, liberty, and a lawyer

Regarding the front-page article ``Health Plan Options,'' April 13: After this health-care business is settled, the next problem we should tackle on the domestic front is that of legal services for individuals. After doctors, lawyers are our most expensive professionals.

There are already a few groups offering legal services in return for a prepaid annual subscription fee, in the same manner that health-maintenance organizations offer doctors' services as needed.

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As with the Clinton and other proposed health-care plans, a person could still choose his own attorney, but at a higher cost. Poor people would be included in the plan at public expense, as they will be under the proposed health-care plans.

This system would reduce the cost to an individual of hiring a lawyer when needed, just as the health insurance plans will lower the cost of doctors and hospitals. No one would be without legal representation and the quality of such representation would not suffer - would it? Hubert McLoughlin, Gulf Shores, Ala.

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