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Published: Wednesday, 9/9/2009

Profit goals plague U.S. health care

I received a letter recently from one of Toledo's major insurance providers. It told me how financially draining it would be to have a major illness with no insurance, and why this company could be trusted with my health and peace of mind.

The irony was that I already have a relationship with that particular company. I had their coverage during 2008, when I had a cancer scare.

Upon my doctor's advice - and after checking with the human resources department at work - I scheduled an MRI.

The good news: no cancer. The bad news: a $4,000 bill that's been hanging over my head ever since because of a denied claim.

These are the same people who now want to sell me peace of mind.

Thanks for the concern. Let me get back with you once my appeal is resolved.

This is the problem with America's insurance system. Regular people like me get stiffed on a regular basis because the profit motive outweighs concern for anyone's health. And yet I'm lucky to have a job that provides insurance at all.

The United States needs to catch up with every other industrialized nation and provide reliable health insurance to every citizen. Period.

Peg Morrison

Wendover Drive

Is there a solution to save our South Branch YMCA? Absolutely! Robert Alexander and "his followers" need a KISS plan ("Keep it simple, Stupid).

Just show us the money, and all records and all transactions. Oh yeah, there's no reason for refusal - or is there?

Equally important is Mr. Alexander's choice - to stay at the YMCA or to leave.

Sadly, if he stays, a new mission statement will have to be written. It's his choice.

Darleen Shepard

Schneider Road

In regard to The Blade's editorial in opposition to the 18-year-old drinking age, I disagree with your view. Here's why:

1) One can join the Army/Marines and carry an M-16 rifle, range 300 yards plus;

2) Get married and have children;

3) Buy a car;

4) Buy a house and other freedoms.

Do you at The Blade realize that a 16-year-old can hunt on his or her own? Yes, an adult must offer supervision but not actually be present. So, the state of Ohio trusts a 16-year-old to hunt with a 12-gauge and slug, but not an 18-year-old to drink?

I'm fairly sure that teens in Italy and Spain and elsewhere can have a glass of wine with their parents, but young adults in America can't be trusted with a beer. Maybe there is a question for a sociologist.

A little history: 18-year-olds weren't given the right to vote until the chant, "Old enough to kill, old enough to vote" gained enough respect to change the law.

I challenge you to print this letter or at least echo my views so that the public may think and act.

David Reinders

Perrysburg

It's outrageous to read about the $570,000 paid to University of Toledo administrators while they are reducing the campus work force by 300 employees. Nowadays, there is much criticism of socialism and socialized medicine while it seems that society in general ignores the excesses of capitalism and capitalistic bonuses.

When budgets are tight, it does not make any sense to honor administrators' bonus payments, said to be part of UT's compensation policy.

Dr. Lloyd Jacobs' comments about stability, retention of administrators, and significant talent sound anemic in a time of budget cuts.

Apparently, Dr. Jacobs also strongly believes that these administrators' bonus payments signify the university's "pursuit of excellence," whereas layoffs, program cuts, and tuition increases do not.

It will be no surprise to us if there will soon be a Blade article on bonus payments paid to administrators at Bowling Green State University.

Socialism focuses on the needs of a whole community (in this case, universities) whereas capitalism focuses on the wants of specific groups (in this case, university administrators).

Diane and Wallace Pretzer

Bowling Green

At first, I was appalled upon reading University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs' comment, "If I have a longevity bonus in my contract, that tends to keep me there."

This makes it sounds like Dr. Jacobs' primary loyalty is to his pocketbook, not UT. After all, I've remained a professor at UT for 20 years without receiving a single penny in longevity bonuses.

Dr. Jacobs' comment made me think UT administrators must be mercenaries, selling their loyalty to the highest bidder.

But then a further comment put my mind at rest: "The person receiving [the bonuses] takes all the risk."

Now I realize how fortunate I am in not having to face the risk of getting a five or six-figure bonus at the end of each year.

I would like to publicly thank the UT administration for sparing me and my fellow faculty members the dangers of having to receive bonus pay and, more importantly, I wish to applaud the courage of those UT administrators who are willing to shoulder the onerous burden of getting such big bonuses on top of their already generous salaries.

Where would UT be without such brave and selfless administrators?

Stephen Christman

Sylvania Township

Our forefathers came to this country for freedom of religion. We have allowed all forms of religion to be free in our nation. We have not gone to the home of atheists and made them go to church.

So, how can someone from Wisconsin come to Toledo and see we cannot start Toledo City Council with prayer?

Our country is a Christian nation. Let us be free.

Shirley Baker

Seaman Street

The United States has always been a mix of capitalism and socialism. Increasingly I am hearing the term "socialist" used as a negative term to describe our new President and his agenda.

I wonder which of these current federal (socialist) programs his critics are suggesting we dismantle and discontinue: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC nutrition, national parks, the military, postal service, public schools, public libraries, police and fire departments, garbage and sewer, public highways, public transit, port authority, public health, veterans benefits, Pell grants, subsidized housing, and the FDIC, to name a few.

And how about the Medicare prescription plan, put forth by the former President George W. Bush. Was he a socialist?

Who will be the first to decline these benefits based on your outrage? Would our country be what it is today without these programs? Can we be reasonable and not fall victim to fear-mongering and name calling?

Carol Pankratz

Perrysburg

Isn't it ironic that most members of City Council are opposed to the “Nine is Fine” issue, or is it just job security? To me “Six is the Fix!”

NEIL BLAKEMAN

Maplewood Avenue


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