Readers Write 8/30

Government

Response to “Mayor: Atlanta $6 million in black.” Metro, Aug. 21

If Atlanta is $6 million in the black, how come our property taxes were raised enough that I will more than likely lose my house (after 31 years), because I can’t afford to pay them?

What was the big emergency, mayor? Does this have anything to do with an election year coming up, and a possible successor who may thoroughly examine the city coffers?

Allyana Ziolko, Atlanta

HEALTH CARE

Make coverage portable, keep government out of it

I see the need for health insurance reform, but prefer to see employer-based programs strengthened so people with pre-existing conditions are not excluded. I feel strongly that a person’s health insurance coverage should follow them from job to job. Coverage for the uninsured can be done through tax credits or direct payments of premiums below a specified income level, and/or by mandating basic coverage for all, to address those who can afford it, but choose not to get coverage. I oppose a government plan. Government, in my opinion, should not intrude into health care more than they already have.

Dr. Michael Haberman, Atlanta

Living will can provide peace of mind for family

With all the talk and print about health care, it’s refreshing to see Charles Krauthammer calmly refute the notion of death panels (“Let’s be honest about death counseling,” Opinion, Aug. 21), reminding us each person makes health care decisions for him or herself until death, as cognitively able. He goes on to state his family used their own judgment making decisions about his father’s end-of-life care.

There is another way to look at living wills. When your loved one loses the capacity to drink or eat, with no hope of functioning past a comatose state, a living will can be a godsend. It gives the family permission to say “no” to hydration and/or feeding tubes with their loved one’s assent. Standing at a loved one’s bedside and saying “no” is hard under any circumstance. A living will gives family peace of mind in this situation. I know, it happened with my mother.

Ellen Slack, Decatur

Why didn’t Linder’s party do something?

Re “Linder: Health care bills off base” (Metro, Aug. 21): my congressman, John Linder, made his points criticizing the five health care reform bills floating in Congress. While reading this article, it struck me that he and the Republican Party had the Congress, the presidency, and the Supreme Court for several years, yet did nothing to improve our health care finance system (Medicare D is a blessing, but doesn’t improve the health care finance problems). One could wonder how interested Linder is in improving the system.

William Chester Smith, Grayson

What few ‘rights’ some people think we have

So, there are really people in this country who believe that children, the elderly and the poor do not have the right to food, shelter, or health care? After reading the first five graphs of Kathleen Parker’s ”Earthy, crunchy and certain to give liberals fits” (Opinion, Aug. 19), I had to stop when she mentioned John Mackey’s assertion, “health care isn’t a right, any more than food or shelter.” Are you kidding me? What about the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? I have the right to live. Therefore, I should also have the right to food, shelter and health care.

What a greedy society we live in. No wonder there is so much corruption. How embarrassing. And we call this country the land of the free and home of the brave. Right.

Veronica Delaney, Marietta

Real prevention means

personal responsibility

Although I usually admire and respect Charles Krauthammer, he is clueless about prevention (“Prevention saves lives, but not money,” Opinion, Aug. 14). Dr. Dean Ornish and many alternative medical doctors routinely prove that with real lifestyle changes, you can prevent most of our chronic diseases (such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis), and reverse many of them as well. Real prevention does not involve frequent medical testing, but getting out of the system completely, and taking responsibility for your own health.

Unfortunately, even prevention could turn into a costly bureaucracy with Obamacare.

Diane McCutchen, Peachtree City

Can we talk? On health care bill, no, we can’t

I can truly say we have come a long way since the 1960s, when the country was divided over the Vietnam war — or have we? A wise woman once said, “Can we talk?” Well, can we? We need to know as much as possible concerning the health care bill. There are pluses and minuses to every bill and law passed in America. Americans need to know these to make informed decisions. I thought the town hall meetings were supposed to be about questions and answers, so Americans could obtain insight into these proposals. The sad truth is, most Americans will never know or understand this bill, whether it passes or not. Health care appears to be dividing this nation. I guess the answer to Joan Rivers’ question is, “No, we cannot talk.” So much for freedom of speech.

James Sturgis Sr., Douglasville

GOVERNMENT

Lawmakers don’t do job

We elect our federal legislators to positions of great power, and expect them to serve their terms responsibly. Why is it they complain they can’t possibly read the bills they sign off on, given the more than ample staffs they/we maintain? Anyone with a “real” job knows this type of lame talk would find them in the unemployment line very quickly. Why should we expect anything less from elected officeholders? If a bill is more than 25 pages, it should be automatically sent back for a rewrite, or trashed. Bills over 1,000 pages are simply a hiding place for costly mark-ups (pork) so popular with too many Washington legislators. If you are tired of the double standard, speak your mind in the voting booth in 2010.

Ted Paquette, Big Canoe