President Bush's proposed 2002 budget will zero out all federal funding for family medicine training programs under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act. These are the only federal programs that provide funds directly to medical schools to help support family medicine training.
The President claims that the nation has too many physicians. While the total number of physicians in this country may be large, there is not an oversupply of family physicians. In fact, there is a maldistribution of physicians - leaving many populations underserved in this country.
More than a third of all U.S. counties depend on family physicians to avoid designation as primary care health professions shortage areas. That's a federal government label for counties in which the ratio of primary care physicians to county residents falls below a standard of one to 3,500.
That's an awful lot of people to be served by just one primary care doctor. If family physicians were to be removed from our health-care system, the number of shortage areas would nearly double. Without family physicians, more than 50 counties in Ohio, including most of northwest Ohio, would not have adequate health-care options.
The Medical College of Ohio has approximately $1 million in grants under Title VII that support the training of family physicians in some fashion. Grants like these would be eliminated in the future under the President's proposed budget.
Federal funding for training family physicians and other health-care professionals is a small item in the national budget, but every dollar helps provide essential health care to Americans across the country.
If training funds are slashed, fewer medical students will choose family medicine, which will lead to more serious health-care shortages. Our representatives and senators should support continued funding.
KEN BERTKA, M.D.
As this World War II veteran learns of all of the names that people want to give the new bridge over our old muddy Maumee River, it is my opinion that once again we are seeing how little the public cares or even remembers that without those combat veterans who gave so much, they would not have the freedom that they enjoy today.
With what appears to be today's mental attitude, I am glad that we fought and won World War II 55 years ago, because today we would be losers in more ways than one.
CHARLES R. GINSBURG
South Detroit Avenue
In the July 31 Blade, two letters - “Enough whining about the election” and “Election editorial flawed and biased” - ironically display whiners who refuse to acknowledge that had it not been for the biased U.S. Supreme Court, with much help from Sandra Day O'Connor, and inaccurate, flawed ballot counting in Florida, George W. Bush would not have become President.
What, in effect, happened from these decisions was the appointment, not the election, of Mr. Bush as President. As the whiners know, Al Gore received considerably more votes in the popular vote count than Mr. Bush did. It is an outrageous thing to say that if the city of New York were taken “out of the equation” Mr. Gore would have lost by 500,000 votes! That is whining of the highest order.
Gov. Jeb Bush felt the political pressure from well-oiled Republicans to make sure that his older brother “won” the election even though it ultimately took inaccuracies in the balloting and legal maneuverings in Florida (quite noticeably by Secretary of State Katherine Harris) to announce a “winner” of Florida's electoral votes.
What a botched “win” that was! So “scream” and feel “disheartened” all you like, for The Blade can take pride in its “journalistic integrity” just as the New York Times can in its customary writing of fact-based and opinion-substantiated editorials.
WALLACE L. PRETZER
When I saw the main picture on the sports page (St. John's Jesuit football team) and the story (the Titans get ready for a big game against a powerhouse team), my immediate reaction was: How nice it would have been if you had featured the Rogers team, getting ready for their season after the death of their very talented player Dushawn Humphrey. How much more meaningful that page could have been!
JAMES J. HOLLIDAY
I'm baffled that The Blade equates national sovereignty with isolationism in a July 26 editorial. The Blade joins Gwynne Dyer in portraying the Constitution as antiquated and out of step with today's group-think mentality. That document is surely an inconvenience to Mr. Dyer and The Blade, as it grants “certain unalienable rights” to commoners.
Europe is again held up by The Blade as the ideal for the benighted Americans to emulate. The same people who brought you fascism, appeasement, and the Final Solution as national policies can be trusted to make decisions in the best interest of the United States. If you think your government is difficult to deal with now, try moving it to The Hague.
Of course, the editorial became a thinly disguised assault on the Second Amendment. The United Nations-sponsored drive to limit “illegal” arms sales won't stop there. How many “illegal” arms are purchased by repressed people struggling to stay alive against state-sponsored annihilation? Tell the Muslims in Bosnia how “dangerous” guns are, while the Serbs were raping and murdering them with great enthusiasm.
This country served Europe as both shield and sword for 50 years. The amount of blood and treasure we've spent on their freedom and security is immeasurable. Their lack of gratitude, spurred on by our own anti-American press, is shameful. Let Europe become a hive where they are “giving up their currencies, and the right to regulate them,” if that's their desire. Let America stand for freedom, free will, and the rights of the individual over the power of the state.
Can someone explain the logic of our city officials? They seem to have the funds for pay raises for themselves! We seem to have money for fancy fountains. We have money for flower beds with built-in sprinkler systems. We can afford to give large corporations huge tax breaks to stay in our town, who then lay off our workers.
But when it comes to taking care of our city employees' workplace ( the Albion Street Garage) we're told there's no money.
Give me a break! These people have been working in deplorable conditions for years and the issue just keeps getting pushed to the back burner. What will it take, one of our workers getting seriously hurt and suing the city to get this attention?
I do not understand how it is legal to have our employees working in an unsafe atmosphere. Any other place of business would have been condemned years ago, yet city of Toledo officials continue to have our people work in this building. I'm sure, as usual, when all the media attention subsides this will all be forgotten as it has in the past. The employees will be forced to go to work in the same conditions.
Just remember when the garbage truck picks up your trash or the street sweepers go by, or many other city vehicles pass you, someone from that garage has fixed them and keeps them on the road.
Let's make Bush our role model
As I struggle through 51 weeks of work, I see that the man who has the most powerful and important job in the world has found time for a month-long vacation. Hopefully the President is still a role model for this country. I could use the time off - with pay of course.