Your Jan. 28 editorial “Disaster by rail” noted three train wrecks that involved crude oil. But in the United States since 2000, according to the National Wildlife Federation, there have been more than 200 pipeline spills, with at least 28 pipeline leaks reported in 2013.
Even though freight carriers have maintained and improved rail infrastructure, we are a long way from where we should be. More and better tracks with separation of freight cars from passenger train cars would increase safety and go a long way toward preventing rail accidents.
Rail accidents should not elicit fear; they should instill a determination to improve our rail infrastructure to diminish the probability of derailments.
Northwest Ohio Passenger
Columnist’s plan would add to debt
Eugene Robinson shows his liberal leanings in his Jan. 15 op-ed column, “Democrats asleep on the job.” He says that government should reinstate emergency unemployment benefits for a year, which would cost taxpayers “just $25 billion.” He states that this amount is “little more than a rounding error in a trillion-dollar federal budget.”
Thinking like this will cause trillion-dollar deficits. We already have a national debt that is more than $17 trillion and growing.
Emergency room service is tops
Your Jan. 13 article “Emergency rooms try to free doctors to aid urgent patients; Many nonserious issues seen in local hospitals” gave a glimpse of a misunderstood area of medicine.
The specialty of emergency medicine, in one generation, has grown from an obscure and maligned profession to a successful endeavor that attracts some of the brightest medical students.
Most emergency-room visits are appropriate. We do see people for minor complaints, and we cater to them well. Many of these patients have insurance, but find it much more convenient to use the emergency room instead of going to a doctor’s office.
I am an emergency room physician at Wood County Hospital. In my 24 years of practice, I have probably given away more than $2 million worth of free care. This has been and always will be part of being an emergency physician.
The Affordable Care Act will do little to improve the situation. Insurance coverage and access to care are not synonymous.
Would it be better for everyone to see a primary-care doctor for his or her nonemergency health-care needs? Of course. Don’t look for this anytime soon.
DR. DAVID BAEHREN
McGuire got what he deserved
In response to the Feb. 10 Readers’ Forum letter “Execution was torture, revenge”: Dennis McGuire got what he deserved. A person loses his or her rights upon entering prison.
Ohio let McGuire live longer than it should have. Did taxpayers like paying to keep him alive all that time?