Readers write, Nov. 7

INFRASTRUCTURE

We need to get smart about water systems

The recent water main break in Gwinnett County (“Water restored at Gwinnett school,” ajc.com, Oct. 31) is a red flag that our current water management systems need to be overhauled.

If we don’t make changes like including more competition in how the area’s water systems are managed, taxpayers and ratepayers will end up paying exorbitant utility bills and huge liabilities in the future. A recent study by the National Taxpayers Union found nearly a half-trillion dollars in government expenditures could be saved over the next four decades if processes like the adoption of open procurement for pipe materials (and better asset management) are incorporated.

It’s time for our leaders to become more proactive in supporting fiscally responsible approaches to water policy — both here and across the U.S.

PETE SEPP, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION

HEALTH CARE

Why is insurance so hard for government?

I can detail our citizens’ health care on one sheet of paper — not 2,000 sheets.

Insurance companies compete across state lines for the best rates. Those people with pre-existing health problems go into a pool. The larger the insurance company, the greater the percentage of folks in the pool.

However, this is not a new idea. The automobile insurance industry has been using a similar system for decades. So, why did it take 2,000 sheets of paper for Congress to produce a complex health care bill that nobody seemed to read before they voted it into law?

JOE ORR, ALPHARETTA

MISTREATED KIDS

Child abuse problems go back years in state

I read about the most recent spate of child abuse and neglect stories from starvation and beatings, followed by the inevitable calls for reforms in the systems we have in place in Georgia to prevent this from happening again.

It saddens me to know that our children and youth are still so vulnerable to damage and death at the hands of those who are charged with their caretaking. But it saddens me more, and angers me more, that these cases are reported and reforms, called for as if this has not been happening for decades.

I came to Georgia more than 20 years ago to head up a child advocacy organization (now defunct) that was formed partly in response to AJC articles documenting the need for better systems of prevention, intervention and accountability regarding the injury and deaths of hundreds of children. I hope it will not take another 20 years to actually turn this appalling and tragic situation around.

MARTI KELLER, DECATUR