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SCSQUARED halfBy Duncan Merritt, San Clemente

In a recently aired episode of “Downton Abbey,” the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) and her granddaughter debated whether it would be good for the village if the local charity hospital was taken over by the government-run county hospital.

The Dowager said, “For years I’ve watched governments take control of our lives, and their argument is always the same: fewer costs, greater efficiency. But the result is the same, too. Less control by the people, more control by the state, until the individual’s own wishes count for nothing. That is what I consider my duty to resist.”

“Mama, we’re not living in 1215,” the granddaughter said. “And the strength of great families like ours is going, that’s just fact.”

“Your great-grandchildren won’t thank you when the state is all-powerful because we didn’t fight,” the Dowager said.

I was reminded of our issue in San Clemente over the potential loss of our emergency room, at least partly dictated by Obamacare and other legislation that puts more emphasis on urgent care outside hospital emergency rooms.

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