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Your Views: Medicare proves US can manage health care well
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Isn’t it amazing that so many people are up in arms over a health care plan that has not seen the light of day? Nobody knows what plan will finally be passed by Congress. We have seen the House version but the Senate plan has not yet passed. Then the two have to be reconciled. The president’s plan still awaits, and will influence the final version.

In the meantime, let’s think about what we know and what works. I start with Medicare because I have been on it for years, and it works. There is no question about it. Ask anyone who is on Medicare and I’d bet that’s what you will hear.

Medicare is a government-run system, paid for with our taxes, that covers anyone over age 65 (it used to be 62). Private doctors do the work. Hospital care comes with it, and the overhead cost is minimal and a very small percentage of the total. Notice that nobody profits from it. Doctors say it barely covers their cost.

It’s very close to Canada’s system which covers everyone from cradle to grave. Canadians go to their choice of doctors and hospitals but their taxes cover the bills, totally. Yes the system works best in cities and towns where most people live. Some waiting may be needed for optional surgery, not for emergencies.

Have you ever waited for optional surgery? I know I’ll get emergency surgery when it is needed. And so do Canadians.

As for our medications, Americans who live closest to Canada generally cross the border to buy their pills in Canada where they cost a lot less. Their government negotiated prices with the pharmaceutical companies, the same companies we know. But our government is not allowed to negotiate, by law.

Would you suspect that the pharmaceutical companies are lobbying very hard not to let this happen here? Would you suspect that insurance companies are doing the same? You betcha.

The lobbying cost runs into high millions every time a new Congress takes on health care. These companies pour money into our congressmen’s campaign funds, because campaigns cost a heap of money.

Figures are available on the Internet. Just put your congressman’s names into Google’s "Search" for sources and amounts of funds. You can also phone members of Congress at the switchboard, 202-224-3121. I wish we could include all our people in the Medicare system, Medicare for all.

Adele Kushner
Alto

President shouldn’t target a message toward students
I am outraged by Gainesville schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer’s lack of knowledge concerning the uproar about Tuesday’s presidential speech to our children in the classroom environment.

According to The Times, Dyer said she was not aware of any parental concerns regarding Obama’s address. She said she supports any president’s message to kids that relates the importance of education, individual goals and completing high school.

"I think a president of any party — his work is to plant the seed for the next generation," Dyer said. "... It appears to be a shame adults’ political differences have entered into this."

Shameful adult political differences: your words!

As the superintendent, you are supposed to be informed about the consciousness of the populace. The controversy had gotten to such a fevered pitch that the president removed his request to have our children write a supporting letter.

President Barack Obama’s decision to address school children is a flat-out bad one. No matter the content of the president’s speech, no matter how well-intentional, innocuous, or nonpolitical it may be, he is setting a precedent that I personally take issue with.

As a parent, I dislike the idea of any president, Democrat or Republican, overstepping their bounds and speaking directly to my child. If he wishes to speak to the nation, he can do so in any number of forums. I can then choose to allow my child to listen, or not. The public schools and my children are not fair game for his agenda, no matter what it is.

Shame on you!

Glenn R. Fried
Gainesville

Boats creating large wakes are destroying our docks
The letter from Leroy Wenger of Oakwood really hit home with me. We live on Wahoo Creek, which until this summer was fairly quiet. We also have boats coming at a high rate of speed within a few feet of our dock. The resulting large waves make the floats of our dock jump up and down and we have had to replace one of them. The shaking has caused us to lose bolts from our hoist.

These repairs are expensive. I do not believe these people are aware of the laws about making a wake this close to a dock. Perhaps publishing these laws would help.

Joyce Harlin
Gainesville

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