Letters to the Editor, March 7

Mar. 07, 2014 @ 06:40 AM

We need single-payer

In single-payer countries, once a citizen in need arrives at the medical treatment facility, typical first questions are: “Where does it hurt and how long has it been hurting?”

In the United States -- despite “health reform” -- typical first questions remain: “Who is your insurance company and did you know you’ll be responsible for whatever they don’t pay?”

Even though premiums have been paid-in-full, with or without the help of fellow taxpayers, the fear of the potential cost-sharing aftermath -- including associated EOB/billing snafus -- will still deter many policyholders from seeking proper care. Result? We continue suffering needlessly, doctors continue having their pockets picked and insurance companies continue laughing all the way to the bank.

Lew Borman, spokesman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, recently defended his company’s posted 2013 60 percent profit increase and CEO Brad Wilson’s more than $2.9 million pay package by touting the new products and services offered to meet their customers’ health care “needs.”

What we need is single-payer.

Lou Meyers

Durham

Laudable but perilous goals

I'd like to compliment John Heuer on his ideas for training for jobs and not warfare in his letter of March 4.  While these are laudable goals, Mr. Heuer glosses over the fact that the world has many very, very bad guys as well as many totalitarian regimes who hate the United States and will go to great lengths to harm or destroy us. 

Although I am sure he did not mean his letter to be comprehensive, we would adapt his Pollyannish view of the world at our peril.  There are many more pragmatic steps that our government has failed to take for more efficient job creation.

Philip Pearce

Durham

Get tough, Obama

We've heard the predictable bloviating and saber-rattling by the likes of John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin concerning President Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy and his reaction to Putin’s reoccupation of the Crimea.

As an aging, flaming liberal I'll have to agree with them. Obama has to get tough!

Using our "productive Congress" or executive orders I'll list the a few tough measures he needs to take standing up to Putin:

-- Cancel the multi-billion-dollar contract Exxon Mobil has made with Russia to extract oil from the Arctic. We can still sell Russia batteries for the emergency shut-off valves though.

-- Pull out Coke, Pepsi, McDonald’s and any other American junk foods that are making the Russian kids fat and sick. On second thought, maybe not.

-- Prevent Apple computers from building outlet stores.

-- Freeze all Russian assets in American banks and stop our banks from doing business with Russia making their top two percent wealthier also. I can go on and on but last and certainly not least -- stop exporting millions of pounds of tobacco to Russia where 47 percent of the public are addicted to deadly tobacco products. By the way, in 2013 Putin just signed into law the first regulations forcing tobacco companies to print health warnings on tobacco products. Hey -- Puttin ain’t so bad after all. So I'll end my rantings by saying lets get tough, it’s a start -- right? I think you get the point.

Bob Vasile

Durham