Letters to the Editor

September 19, 2009

Protests against health care reform are misdirected

To the editor:

By this time, we should all understand that the Obama bashers and the TEA partiers believe that only rich people deserve health insurance and that everything private is better than anything public. And, of course, they are right.

We should all send our kids to private schools. All public roads and highways should become toll roads, and Hagerstown's City Park should be sold to the highest bidder. If we want to hear the municipal band, we can buy tickets. "Public" is bad.

But most of all, health care should remain exclusively in the hands of private companies. Good health is a privilege, not a right. If you can afford it, you should be allowed to live. If not, you should die.


Insurance companies should be able to charge whatever they want. Why, just today (Sept. 14), Pennsylvanians were given "public notice" by Highmark Blue Shield that their insurance premiums would increase Jan. 1 by 26 percent to more than 30 percent for comprehensive major medical and high deductible PPO plans for nongroup individual direct pay subscribers. The monthly increase for their HIPPA low-option plan will be $157, or 30.2 percent. That's just the increase over the current monthly premium of $520. Now, it will cost $677 per month.

They can charge whatever the market will bear, and the market is telling them that we'll pay an additional 30 percent next year for the privilege of health care coverage.

At that rate, the price will more than double in just three years. Would you pay it? Could you pay it? Would you prefer to die instead? Will that be the price you pay for getting laid off from work?

In truth, most of us appreciate public schools and could never afford private school tuition. We appreciate driving on public roads for free, instead of paying tolls. And we love our public parks. We rely on public police instead of private security, and send most letters through the public post office instead of private delivery services.

Two "public" programs nearly all of us rely upon are Social Security and Medicare. Without them, many of us would die long before our time, just as our ancestors did 100 years ago. This isn't "socialism." It is life itself.

And that is the kind of public health care program you've been protesting against.

Mike McGough

County, city need to move forward on 'local stimulus' programs

To the editor:

I wrote recently about national issues surrounding the Obama economic stimulus efforts and commented about the current national effort lacking the creation of jobs for American workers. I suggested that in a similar situation, President Franklin Roosevelt stimulated the 1930s American economy during the Great Depression by creating jobs. As you might have determined, my thesis is that creating jobs, not spending money on giveaway programs, is the better solution to our economic dilemma.

To bring this national issue a little closer to home, the Washington County Commissioners and the Hagerstown mayor and city council have been discussing "local stimulus" programs. I encourage the two bodies to limit the discussions and move forward on any local program that will help create jobs for local residents. Incentive programs, fast tracking development, property tax forgiveness and/or deferment, cash payments or tax credits for jobs in and around our regional airport and other tracts of land within Washington County - any or all make sense when local unemployment is in double digits. Like business, sometimes the government has to spend a little to make a little.

Speaking of lengthy discussions, a couple of our current commissioners seem to want to mumble and stumble their way out of efforts to put a local stimulus package in place. This "delay by discussion" or "put off by pontification" reeks of the "playing to the Channel 6 cameras" by the previous city council. Three members of that council no longer hold elected office. In the case of some of our commissioners, their delaying efforts look like political positioning for a run for a higher elected office rather than genuine concern for our local citizens. The citizens of Washington County want action, not talk and mumbling/stumbling when it comes to putting people back to work.

In less than 18 months, the voters of Washington County will have a chance to select between talk and action. My guess is they will vote for action.

Eddie Lake

Wilson's comment to Obama shows what he is not

To the editor:

I do not know what U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina is, but I do know what I believe he is not.

By his own actions, Wilson has demonstrated that he is not a Christian, he is not a gentleman and he is not a patriotic American.

Our Father who art in heaven, please bless President Obama and these United States.

J.A. Hatcher

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