Letters to the Editor Aug. 23, 2009

Private health care system already rations
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 company’s 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

HealthWorks! 5K opens eyes of a veteran runner
Several months ago I ran the inaugural Tie-Dye Invitational 5K cross country run benefiting HealthWorks! A long-time runner, I thought this was just another little 5K benefit run, but intrigued by the fact that it was all trail, I signed up to run. What I found was something much more than just another race.
With the new administration the long standing, much repeated debate over what to do about providing health care services and how to pay for same is heating up again. At one extreme is the position that it should be accomplished by a government-run, taxpayer-funded, single-payer, national-health-care system. At the other extreme is the position that it should remain strictly in the hands of lightly regulated private enterprise. Neither of these polar opposite views would succeed and somewhere in between is the sweet spot. However, even if our elected officials are wise enough or lucky enough to find that spot, I still believe health care may be doomed to be as financially failed as it is today.
The root cause for that failure is a cultural predisposition toward cure and maintenance rather than prevention. With this predisposition the statistical big three disease groups in terms of cost: circulatory, metabolic, and malignant cancers, will continue to force a large and ever growing percentage of the nation’s GDP to be applied to health care, regardless of the plan.
So back to the Tie-Dye Invitational and HealthWorks!. HealthWorks! in general and this race in particular get to the core of the matter, that is, getting kids of all ages to focus on disease prevention through a healthy lifestyle. Many thanks to Helen Boerner, Donna Loden, Nathan Hall and all the other organizers, the many volunteers and the financial sponsors for a well-organized and entertaining race and for what I believe is a giant step in the right direction.
Frank Boettcher
Belden

Congestion at THS slows commuters
The Natchez Trace Parkway is an asset to our area. I truly appreciate its beauty through the seasons and its historical significance. For those of us commuters to a job in Tupelo, however, it serves as the shortest distance between two points. I get on at Highway 32 and there we are each workday morning, like a train, working our way to Cliff Gookin Boulevard or exits beyond – and always with those who join the train at Highway 41, Pontocola Road and the various Lee County crossroads that feed the artery of the Trace.
Each year, at the beginning of school for Tupelo High, I once again adjust my “leave- home time” by about 10 minutes or so to compensate for the backed-up congestion on any school morning at the malfunction junction of the parkway and Cliff Gookin.
For two mornings recently, I’ve been the 14th vehicle in line, waiting to merge with east-bound traffic on Cliff Gookin. This east-bound traffic is made up of one of two drivers – those who are in the outside lane in order to deliver their child or themselves to school. The inside lane is running wide open for those lucky enough to have another destination. Unfortunately, those who have already exited for the campus are often as not backed up past the Trace exit ramp while whatever required procedures are being done that allow the vehicles onto the school campus. There we sit.
The Hancock family did a wonderful thing to give this land to the school district. However, the designer of campus access was obviously someone who never traveled in this area during school and never witnessed the morning snarl.
I’m asking for relief for all of us folks south of Tupelo who use the Trace to get to our jobs. Is it a concern for the City Council, the School Board, or perhaps the City Police? All of the above?
I’m sure that parents who drive their kids to school and students who drive themselves have been ensnarled in this congestion. They, along with we commuters, would really appreciate some relief.
Ruth Kendall
Van Vleet
ruthkendall@wildblue.net

Common sense absent in Tupelo’s decisions
Enough is enough! The city attorneys had ample time to prepare their case. They presented their defense, and Mr. Hardy’s attorney presented his case. The jurors ruled in favor of Mr. Hardy on the merits of the case.
Jurors or citizens make decisions based on their perceptions of justice and fairness, not on technicalities. It is time for the present administration to draw the line and close the books on this unpleasant chapter in the history of Tupelo. If the courts overturned the verdict, it would be a miscarriage of justice, based on legal technicalities and not on the verdict rendered by the jury. Citizens have a strong sense of freedom of speech. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to get a jury to focus on limitation of speech as legal grounds for deciding against an individual.
It is significant that in the failed annexation effort, city attorneys tried to minimize the inaccuracies of the maps, so that concerned citizens were unable to determine whether they were or were not within the proposed annexation borders. Now they are trying to argue that minor issues are major issues. That is inconsistent.
It is also significant that in the city’s failed effort to keep at-large council representatives when common sense would show that the courts have rendered decisions where there seemed to be any indication of discrimination. Whether the previous elected officials pressured the city attorneys to act, or the city attorneys presented a false sense of certainty to elected officials should be determined by the present administration. Somebody has been wasting city and county taxpayers’ money instead of acting in a wise and prudent fashion.
Ken Pickens
Tupelo

Give us health system Congress members have
After listening to all the obnoxious, loudmouth jerks on both sides of the health care debate scream and yell at each other for the last month, I’m fed up with all of them.
I have a proposal to offer. The main problems seem to be that health care costs are so high, most people can’t pay for it without help from insurance, and insurance companies have so many ways to weasel out of paying that they take people’s money and give nothing back. Also, so many people have been laid off these days that they can’t afford any kind of insurance because they’re trying to pay bills and feed their families on little unemployment checks. How do we fix all this? I say let’s blow the whole thing up and start over.
Shut down all the insurance companies, every last one of them. Lay off all their employees, shut their doors, cancel all existing policies immediately, and then rebuild the entire insurance system from the ground up. Maybe we can get it right this time. Who needs 500, 600 or 1,000 different insurance companies? Would five or 10 really good ones be enough?
The problem with all the different Republican and Democratic plans to revise or modify health insurance is that it’s like trying to repaint a flood-damaged Katrina house without ripping out and replacing the moldy walls first. It may look good for a while, ‘til the smell comes back, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
So what do we replace it with? How about the same health insurance that all Republican and Democratic congressmen use to protect themselves and their families?
It’s time to stop yelling and start talking. Here are some questions to answer: 1. What do we want from health insurance? 2. If we can’t get what we want, what are we willing to settle for? 3. If the current system is broken beyond repair (and it is), what do we replace it with? 4. Who lives and who dies? Do we let people who can’t afford health insurance do without and die off? If not, what do we do about them? Who pays and how much?
Richard Wilkinson
Amory

‘Mother Mary’ didn’t tell the whole Mary story
The Aug. 15 religion page article titled “Mother Mary” didn’t present some deeper reasons why some disagree with the Mary dogmas like the “Immaculate Conception.” Galen Holley wrote, “In 1854, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the church’s belief that Mary lived an entirely sin free life, a dogma termed ‘The Immaculate Conception’.” A doctrine made over 1,800 years after the birth of Christ?
Did Mary need a Savior? In Luke I: 46, 47, Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Also, the Lord Jesus said in Luke 18:19, “No one is good but One, that is God.”
Mary’s virginity was only important until the birth of Christ. As Matthew 1:24, 25 said, “Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called His name Jesus.”
Tim Holland
Marietta

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