Letters to the EditorSocialism to some, humanity to others
July 29, 2009
I think that we can all agree that our health-care system must be repaired. The rising costs of medical care and insurance premiums are unsustainable. Doing nothing is no longer a viable option.
I’m not suggesting that our entire system be scrapped. Many folks are satisfied with their current health-care plans. Unfortunately, there are way too many uninsured in this country. This can create a huge financial burden for those who are uninsured. It also creates problems for those who are insured. When folks who have no health insurance become sick, they very rarely can pay the bills. These unpaid bills are passed on to those with insurance in the form of higher premiums and medical costs. As more folks join the ranks of the uninsured, this burden becomes larger and costlier.
A national mandate for health insurance is a step towards solving this problem. This would require everyone to purchase health insurance. No one would be able to opt out. Clearly, insurance premiums would have to be affordable or the mandate would mean nothing.
The end result of this requirement is that roughly 45 million newly insured would be added to the pool of insured risk, perhaps even diluting it. It could eventually result in lower health-care costs for all of us.
A public option is necessary if our system is to be repaired. Private health-insurance companies are not competitive and have done little to keep insurance premiums affordable. A public option would essentially force these private insurers to become competitive. They would have to offer health plans with lower premiums to stay in business.
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Even with the reforms mentioned above, our health-care system will never be perfect. Everyone will need to compromise a little. It may become necessary to ration medical care if everyone is to be covered.
This approach may sound like socialism to some. I prefer to call it equitable and humane.
The professor who cried pig
Once upon a time there was a professor who cried, "Pig!" A venerated sage of alabaster vestment and one long entrusted with the keys to the ivory tower, the professor had rightfully earned an enviable social status founded on a laudable career marked by exemplary demeanor and accomplishment both personal and professional. The simple villagers presumed him to possess a wisdom he was honor-bound to convey by example and parable to the realm’s youth. They obediently chimed in with choruses of "Pig!" to help spread the alarm provided per the perilous porcine presence professorially proclaimed.
"Nasty pig! Vile albino porker! Begone thy lard-laden visage from the good professor’s doorstep!" chanted they. Twas a slow and quiet day at the castle perhaps, as even the king could be heard to echo "Bad pig!" from afar.
"Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!" protested the striped pale pig of azure hue. "I was just rootin’ around benignly as is my daily calling. Nothing to see here. Move along please, and pray do carry a civil tongue towards a harmless pig in search of the occasional acorn, one of which was recently rumored to have perhaps been seen rolling into the fine professor’s abode."
But the professor carried neither himself with comportment nor a civil tongue in his gob as he pursued the retreating pig with shaken fist and immoderate harangue, indulging an ancestral beef with pork.
"Fine," retorted the pig. "May your ivory’d home be infested with bushels of acorns rolling in from the dark oak forest yon and may it be befouled with fungal truffles from the depths below. See if I care!"
Time passed until came the day as the esteemed professor did indeed sense the ominous presence of perhaps a peck of acorns pelting at his portal, and again he cried, "Pig! Pig!"– yet this time of a tone borne not of anger and laced not with venomous curses and gratuitous invective alleging canine maternity and oedipal proclivities, but voiced an octave higher as a plea for the pale pig and his sty-mates to feast upon the professor’s unwelcome bounty.
The pig had both a long memory and a full belly distended of sweet, sweet nuts-of-dough and responded not, other than to mockingly snort, "Yeh . . . I’ll get right on that."
Moral of the story: Pretentious jerks can come in all "collars."
The liability of being helpful
Fellow Summit County residents, be warned about what it could cost if you help a friend or neighbor by caring for an animal in particular a dog or dogs. I speak from recent and expensive experience.
My son was looking after some friends’ dogs while they were on vacation and the dogs broke through their electronic fence and harassed a neighbor. My son was cited and fined $900 as he was "in custody" of the dogs. I will pay the fine as he is a college student and I am responsible for him.
I am not complaining about the legal status of this incident. My concern is that I would suspect many dogs are taken care of in this way by helpful friends and neighbors who are in complete ignorance of the liability they have assumed.
The consequences could be very large indeed should the errant animal cause damages, an accident, or injury, and I’m assuming the person "in custody" would be liable. I’m not wishing to dampen neighborliness or stop a young person earning some money dog walking, but as I see it, the consequences are high, should some unfortunate incident occur.
Thanks for the front-page coverage
This letter is addressed to Greg Marshall. Greg, I received the July 18th Park Record and enjoyed your article, "Heart of Main Street." I enjoyed reading about my tour and am boasting that I made the front page of a newspaper. I didn’t have your email address so thought I would thank you via your editor and commend you on the story. Thank you again.
San Clemente, Calif.
Intersection on mine road needs a light
I am the owner of a condo at Ridgepoint on Woodland View Drive in Deer Valley and spend considerable time there each year.
For the safety of everyone who uses the mine road to the Silver Lake area of Deer Valley, there is a switchback from State Route 224 to Royal Street that should be illuminated. This is a very dark intersection at night and, with the increased traffic from the development of Empire Canyon, becomes an accident waiting to happen. So far our pleas for a street light and safety have not been answered.
One does not wait for an accident to happen on a stairway before a railing is installed.