Thursday, February 7, 2002
Pres. Bush: Tell the Truth
I fervently hope that the nation''s collective Attention Deficit Disorder does not allow President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to get away with their scheme to keep us in the dark about their dealings with Enron. They claim that confidential talks are necessary to "get good, sound opinions." If the opinions they got were, in fact, "good and sound," then they shouldn''t have any qualms about sharing them with the public.
While President Bush is filling the air with smoke about an "axis of evil" and "ticking time bombs" we must keep our sights on full disclosure of the administration''s dealings with Enron and on the need for campaign finance reform; both conspicuous by their absence from the State of the Union Address. It is time for the American public to become the proverbial bulldog, grab this administration by the proverbial pantleg and not let go until we get results, not rhetoric.
Helen V. Ogden/Pacific Grove
Buying Pool is Good Medicine
If you have had the good fortune of a healthy disposition count yourself doubly lucky because soaring prescription drug costs have taken all the fun out of calling in sick.
Last year, prescription drug costs rose 18 percent, which was largely responsible for a dramatic 11 percent increase in employer health care spending. For California''s 17 million consumers--a full 65 percent of the insured population--who receive health care from their employer, these cost increases mean higher co-pays and deductibles. As the economy tightens and revenues decrease, HMOs and other health insurers are dropping prescription drug benefits for seniors. More than 50,000 California seniors lost coverage last year alone.
A new proposal, Senate Bill 1315, will streamline the current state purchasing process and expand the ''buying pool'' by allowing employers, hospitals, and individual consumers to join the state-run program.
A ''buying pool'' is the Costco approach to prescription drugs. Perhaps the most compelling argument against this legislation is that it makes too much darn sense.
Indeed, the State of California itself is a major purchaser of health care--larger than most commercial HMOs--but isn''t fully flexing its buying power to leverage the kind of deep discounts that other large purchasers are able to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.
Simply, a prescription drug ''buying pool'' is good medicine for run-away health care costs.
Commies and Nazis Killed More than Christians
In a recent letter by Peter Hughes in his denunciation of Christianity with the unsubstantiated claim that it was "fair to say" that Christianity was responsible for 100 million deaths, far more than dictators etc., I must protest his lack of facts and obvious prejudice.
If he did his homework rather than make blind assumptions he would find that due to much lower populations during the Dark Ages and his references to the Crusades, he would see that since the Reformation, Christianity has brought far more good than evil to Earth.
The fact is that during the 20th century, Communism in Russia under Lenin killed untold millions, Stalin eliminated about 20 million, the Communist Chinese more than 20 million, Hitler''s agents 6-10 million, and many more too numerous to mention; so it is "fair to say" that godless Communism has killed more people than all Christian atrocities. Just thought he might like to know that inventing "facts" to support his opinions does not a fact make.
Christopher "CB" Maxwell/Pacific Grove
God Loves the Weekly
Christianity needs no apologist Mr. Hughes even though the things done in his name often do. I couldn''t help but think as I read your letter [Jan. 10, Letters, ''Putting the Christ Back in New Year''s''], "I just wish you knew the Jesus I know." To know the love of God and his mercy gives me hope and I too once was a scoffer. Shoot I even read the Weekly.
Dave Ross/King City
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