Letters to the Editor

Costs weighing down the U.S. health-care ship
Comments on health care reform, from a 68-year-old concerned American:
The present U.S. health care system is broken. It is a leaking ship that is badly listing.
The system must be overhauled before it is expanded to cover additional people. Increasing the number of people on a leaking ship will simply cause it to sink faster.
The fundamental problem is that the cost of health care is excessive, and simply must be brought under control. I have lived most of my life overseas and know first hand that in most countries health care costs are approximately 15 percent of the cost of similar care in the United States.
Why?
The health care system is dominated by quasi-monopolies. There should be much greater competition throughout the entire system. In Lee County, a regional medical center dominates the entire region. Medical specialists are extremely limited, their service is restricted to referrals. With limited competition, there is little incentive to deliver good medical services at the lowest possible cost.
The medial profession should have greater protection from frivolous lawsuits, and liability for medical mistakes should be limited to less than astronomical amounts.
The element of cost rarely enters into the picture when determining medical care. The medical profession has absolutely no concept of cost-benefit analyses. After a recent visit to the emergency room and an overnight hospital stay for “observation,” I was presented a hospital bill of $13,000.
Solutions?
Support greater competition in all aspects of medical care – more medical practitioners, additional medical facilities, and preventative health care. Permit the importation of pharmaceutical products from qualified suppliers overseas.
Encourage greater competition among medical insurance providers; make it easier for individuals to change insurance companies, similar to changing telephone providers. Provide increased oversight over insurance companies to ensure that patients are fairly reimbursed for medical expenses.
If greater competition is not possible, the only viable alternative is greater government oversight and control over medical costs and medical services.
There should be a “Patient’s Bill of Rights” ensuring patients are provided better information on options for cost control.
Tom Easterling
Saltillo

Watch for the repos from the Clunker gambit
As was the end result for many who flocked to the come-one-come-all housing industry gambit, so will it be for many duped by the cash-for-clunkers ploy: REPO.
Jimmy Reed
Oxford

Government health care in U.S. is inconceivable
In response to Emily Coz’s recent column regarding her personal experience with France’s nationalized health-care system, I would like to challenge her to work as an insurance clerk in any physician’s office in the United States submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid. I have worked as an insurance clerk in my husband’s optometry practice for the past eight years and, frankly, these two entities have proven to be both unnecessarily complicated and hopelessly frustrating.
Medicaid repeatedly denied valid claims to the point that this office can no longer afford the cost of offering services to patients covered under the Medicaid system. Medicare’s practice of frequently changing the process for submitting claims requires superfluous effort in maintaining competency. It uses valuable time better spent in direct service to the patient and at needless cost to the practice. Both have often been slow in remitting payment for services.
While France may have figured out the formula for a successful nationalized health-care system, there are many more countries where citizens find themselves on waiting lists for the most basic diagnostic tests and treatments. There have been many stories of how Canadians have resorted to crossing the border into the United States to take advantage of our private health-care in order to get the care they need in the time frame necessary to avoid worsening illness and, in some cases, even death. As a Registered Nurse, it is frightening to think that under the government’s health-care plan I may have to stand by and watch the condition of my patients deteriorate while they wait for medical attention that may or may not be effective.
Although it seems encouraging that Le Coz was pleased with the care she received in France, I do not believe it is representative of the system that will be implemented in our country. I pray that our representatives will take a long, hard look at what is being put before them, perhaps even read the plan. I pray they will listen to the people who have elected them. And finally, I pray that both sides will be open to constructive discussion while remaining calm and respectful.
Lori Dickerson, RN
Tupelo

Kids are worth the wait involving bus safety
This is a respectful plea for the courtesy and respect for all school buses.
I accepted the responsibility of a bus driver as an employee of as well as a mother of two children on the bus. My number one goal is to get these students to and from school safely. Since the beginning of school, four vehicles have passed my school bus – either with the stop sign out and lights flashing or against the double-yellow line. This kind of activity is illegal and reckless pursuant to the Uniform Vehicle Code § 11-705(a). When this happens, it instills a false sense of safety in these children: they are expecting traffic to stop. The incredible hazard and distraction for us all is immeasurable. The children on my school bus are worth the wait.
Linda Kay Price
Tupelo

Journal criticized for Hull’s column
We seriously considered canceling the Daily Journal after reading the insulting column by James Hull (Aug. 22). That was the most racist article I have ever read. I heard the comment Saturday that the Daily Journal is very liberal. That is your right, but as a newspaper I would think you would give equal time to both.
I attended the Tea Party rally downtown on Saturday with our concerns about this ridiculous health care Obama and the Democrats are trying to shove down our throats. Needless to say Rep. Travis Childers did not show, even though he was extended an invitation.
I heard many people say they were going to cancel your paper. I will do so next time if you can’t be fair. Everyone has a right to voice their opinions.
Lynn and Vicki Fair
Saltillo

America’s way of paying for health care needs fix
It amazes me how paranoid so many people are over the proposed changes in health care. I am also amazed at how many people hate and fear our government. I must assume those of you who fear your own government and any change in health care must favor the private “for profit” health insurance system for paying for health care.
You oppose a system that you fear will lead to government rationing of health care yet support a system based on private health insurance that rations health care based on ability to pay. You oppose what you call “socialized health care,” yet many support Medicare and veterans hospitals.
I fail to see how anyone can think that our health care system is so great. Granted, we have great health care professionals but our method of paying for health care is ridiculous. How anyone can think poorly regulated “for profit” private health insurance is the best way to pay for health care is beyond me. Private health insurance companies’ first priority is to make a profit for their shareholders and CEOs, not pay for your health care costs. During the Bush administration profits for health insurance companies increased by 400 percent. Do you want your health insurance premiums going to company profits or paying for health care?
President Obama’s health care plan may not be the best solution to the problem, but it is a start. Those who fear and hate our government have offered no solution to the problem, if they think we even have a problem. All they have done is criticize and attack President Obama’s plan.
The right wing propaganda machine has been very effective in shaping the thinking of many. However, in a republic we must be able to see through propaganda from both the right and left in order to come to a rational decision. To quote FDR: “All we have to fear is fear itself.” Let’s stop fearing our own government. It’s not the great Satan many of you think it is. Research the health care issue for yourself and stop listening to the propaganda machines, then you can make decisions based on facts, not lies and myths.
David Summers
Tupelo

Nobody wants to be told how to run health care
The Axis enemy could not do it, but our Congress is very actively considering it!
I am happy with my insurance. It is not good or elegant as members of Congress have set up for themselves, but it works for me.
If they are going through with the ridiculous changes in healthcare as now being pushed by the president and the liberal disenchanted, then I propose that their coverage be canceled and that they are made to take it on the chin like the public will have to absorb.
During World War II, we, myself included, fought and won a war raging on two awful areas of battle. So now you want to take complete control of our medical needs and doctors by creating a czar to tell us what we are medically entitled to.
I do not want to change my healthcare program or my right to go to my medical provider with whom I have faith in their skill.
I know that there are approximately 23 million veterans in the U.S. You add, say, three members of their direct family, plus friends, and you will see one hell of a block of voters who do not want to be told by a non-trained czar what health plan the government has set up for them.
I advise Congress to shred all of the 1,400 pages of doom and sit down together and act on a health plan that considers all aspects of life that will be affected. Aside, I would bet a trip to D.C. that none have read all of what they are being pushed to accept, regardless of the consequences.
As a WWII vet, I didn’t like what the Axis tried to do to us then, and I don’t like what Congress is pushing. What is the hurry? Now that Congress has waked up the public to this future catastrophe, you forgot how America reacts to being pushed around. The healthcare bill is doomed, just like our WWII adversaries – this is a victory for all generations!
Thomas E. “Tom” Lucas
Pontotoc

Tupelo doesn’t need Sunday alcohol sales
Three of the biggest lies told include: “The check is in the mail,” “I am from the government and I am here to help you” and “A ban on cigarette smoking in Tupelo restaurants will kill our business.”
Well, now we have a fourth: “Sunday alcohol sales in Tupelo will have a significant economic impact on our economy.”
I suppose this is the city’s last hope for survival. It would appear that many believe that the sale of alcohol on Sunday will be the savior. I guess one day they will find out.
As a child, my father told me that just because someone else jumped off a bridge did not mean that I had to. He was referring to making the right decisions in life.
I am asking the other City Council members to join Mike Bryan and Willie Jennings and vote against Sunday alcohol sales in Tupelo.
Mike Coutoumanos
Tupelo

Judge DeLaughter wasn’t given a just, fair outcome
In your editorial “Scandal’s scars” (Aug. 4), I do not believe it is fair to put Judge DeLaughter at the same level with the sordid criminals ensnared in this scandal.
The only thing Judge DeLaughter has pleaded guilty to is lying about speaking to his former boss of 20 years, former prosecutor Ed Peters, about Wilson v. Scruggs before he knew Peters was secretly representing Scruggs. Yes, it is very bad to lie and obstruct justice, for which he will no doubt pay dearly.
Can you picture how overwhelming it must have been to Judge DeLaughter to deal with this case involving millions of dollars and how important it was to him to do it right? For 20 years he had discussed everything with Peters when he was his boss, who must have also become a trusted friend. Then imagine finding out how he must have felt when he found out Peters was representing Scruggs and what was going on. Can you put yourself in his place and picture how you would not have wanted to talk about how naive and foolish you had been?
Judge DeLaughter wanted a jury to see the lie detector test he had taken in which he said he was never influenced in the Scruggs case (July 25, Briefing).
Prosecutors have said Peters could have been indicted as a conspirator and for wire fraud for receiving $1 million from Langston for his help to influence DeLaughter (Feb. 13, 2009, p. 3A). Peters received immunity from prosecution.
Peters’ character is clear.
Susan Church
Tishomingo

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