In response to the June 5 story regarding the Affordable Care Act:
As a registered nurse for more than 20, years I look on in dismay as our health care system becomes more fragmented, inaccessible, and expensive. While the reasons are understandable, our problems have short-term fixes and long-term solutions.
Instead of embracing the achievements of the Affordable Care Act and improving it, our state leadership seeks the good old days of the 1830s when government had no involvement in health care financing and South Carolina ignored federal laws it did not like.
All industrialized nations, except ours, provide health care for their citizens. Our market based fee-for-service, coupled with private, for-profit health insurance, means that we pay twice as much as any other country, have 50 million uninsured and rank 39th internationally on quality of care.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) concluded that if we dropped the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to zero (Medicare for all) we could replace private insurance (30 percent overhead) with public insurance (3 percent overhead) and provide every citizen with all medically necessary care (including medication) with no co-pays or increase in taxes. A bill in Congress (HR 676) would do just that.
Until universal health care becomes politically feasible we need to make do. When one of the 300,000 uninsured South Carolinians receives emergency care, the bill is passed to everyone else. The care may be free to them but it is not free to us.
By expanding Medicaid, hospitals get reimbursed for the care they provide without billing the rest of us.
Taking issue with the Affordable Care Act is fine. As an advocate for eliminating profit from health care financing, I, too, have a bone to pick.
Appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court on constitutional grounds is legitimate as well. But when the law is judged constitutional, it is illegal to ignore it and flat out wrong to impede it. Having 300,000 South Carolinians suffer to score political points is cruel and unjust.
When we choose which laws to obey, or ignore the rulings of the Supreme Court, we discard our moral authority and trash what it means to live in the United States.
DAVID S. BALL R.N., MHA
Healthcare for All–SC
An extremely risky situation on June 1 endangered the lives of many citizens and could have easily killed people.
At approximately 8:10 a.m. on Bees Ferry Road, near the intersection of the Bees Ferry Landfill, a firetruck traveling at 50 miles an hour had 100 feet of hose dragging behind it. The metal end of the hose slammed under our car. It felt as if it had shredded our tire.
The metal coupling then shattered the back window of another vehicle. It could have hit the backseat passenger in the head and killed her.
I am thankful for the work of firemen. However, in this particular instance firemen put citizens’ lives in danger.
They should have been able to see orange construction barrels flying around in their wake and stopped to remedy the situation.
I request that this incident be investigated and that training be added so that this situation never happens again.
Here we go again
Just when I thought it was safe to turn on the TV again after the special election battle between Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, we’ll have another one on Oct. 1 for Robert Ford’s state Senate seat.
This is like “The Bachelor” TV show that goes on forever and ever. It starts the same way with a ton of candidates then dwindles down, soap-opera-like style, to the final two and a rose ceremony.
So let’s get ready to rumble. We’ll see who can file in time, put a bio together for the special election section of the paper, get signs printed, log on to dig-up-the-dirt.com, hire a campaign team, decide on a platform, ask me for money, buy a phone call list that knows when I eat dinner, round up some celebrities to endorse him, buy a nice suit for the debates and rent a room for the victory party.
Now is a good time to start checking grocery ads for buy-one-get-one-free popcorn. We’ll need it.
“This is a president so drunk on power, so dangerously arrogant, it makes the Nixon administration look like the humble monks of Mepkin Abbey.”
When I read that sentence in a letter to the editor, I had to wonder: Was the writer too young to remember Watergate, or did he just forget?
Watergate began with the arrest of a group of burglars breaking into Democratic headquarters. They had been paid cash from a slush fund from the Committee to Re-elect the President.
Investigations into the initial crimes led to the discovery of more White House actions during the Nixon administration. During hearings by the Senate Watergate Committee, the White House counsel revealed Nixon had a list of enemies.
A memo by counsel John Dean said, “This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our administration; stated a bit more bluntly — how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”
The list included three journalists, three congressional representatives, two union leaders and two philanthropists. Many on the list supported civil rights or opposed the war in Viet Nam.
In contrast, the leader of the IRS at the time of Obama’s “outrage” was appointed by the previous Bush administration — not exactly toadie material. If anything,
Obama’s fault seems to be neglect. What makes it harder to feel outrage is that the PACs scrutinized were set up to allow the rich to anonymously donate as much as they wanted to a political cause as long as they didn’t get caught coordinating with any campaign.
It’s wrong to single out conservatives, but I’m more concerned the rich will be able to influence the election to the point that we become a plutocracy.
Benghazi? Look up the secret bombing of Cambodia. Now there was some quality obfuscation.
Some people are so invested in attacking the president that truthiness is more digestible than truth.
Jean Wells Drive
Bike lane risks
A June 4 story told us that the T. Allen Legare Bridge over the Ashley River (Highway 17N) has enough capacity to convert one lane to bicycle and pedestrian use at a cost of $2 million. Two days later, we were told that the same bridge is one of the most substandard bridges in the Charleston area.
Each morning, traffic in the next-to-the-right lane can easily reach the center of the span where steel decking doesn’t provide the best braking surface. Taking away 25 percent of the available lanes will aggravate an already congested condition. I’m guessing that the local collision repair shops are strongly in favor of the bicycle lane.
There is no comparison to the Ravenel Bridge, where adequate provisions were designed in for autos, bicycles and pedestrians.
An objective study of a bike lane over the Ashley River should include assessing the potential for injury and death from worsening traffic congestion.
Through this Spoleto and Piccolo season, The Post and Courier published reviews and interviews written by students in the Goldring Arts Journalist program of Syracuse University.
For years my friend Dr. Louise W. Phelps headed the writing program at Syracuse, which earned an unmatched national reputation for its thoroughness and vision.
I don’t know if Louise is involved in the Goldring program, but these students’ fine work contributes to the reputation she helped establish at Syracuse. Their words have given me new dimensions of insight and added to my delight with the festival. I trust the students’ experiences were also positive.
Thank you, Spoleto and Piccolo; thank you, Goldring Arts journalists; thank you, Syracuse University.
Fix Harmon Field
For several months now Harmon Field, long a part of the African-American community, has been turned into something like a Martian landscape.
Recently the 1955 Cannon Street All Stars were honored at Joe Riley Field. Ironically many of those young men developed their skills on Harmon Field, and all of them played there.
Moreover, the eyesore is now fenced, denying access to the area residents who have few other options.
Tear down that awful fence. It demeans our neighborhood, and I have yet to see such substandard work elsewhere.
John C. Godfrey
While around several young adults, I hear almost identical word usage. Almost all of the women, all educated, cannot speak a sentence without using the word “like” in the sentence two or three times. “I was like,” “I’m like,” or the phrase “I know, right?”
Even a popular radio show host in Charleston uses “right” at least every few sentences.
Another overworked phrase is “Oh, my God.” The words “totally” and “awesome” are overused by many.
I’m not like a teacher or anything, but oh, my God, it would be totally awesome if these words were used like a little less frequently. I know, right?
North Edgewater Drive
As a fellow of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA), I am compelled to respond to some misconceptions presented in “Surrogacy exposed” in a recent column by Kathleen Parker.
Ms. Parker’s “women are being exploited” argument is stale and is based on two erroneous assumptions.
The first is that most surrogates use their own genetic material to conceive the child; this is untrue, as most serve as gestational carriers using eggs donated by the intended mother or an anonymous donor.
The second is that women are incapable of making decisions involving their own bodies, and thus will be manipulated into agreeing to become gestational carriers.
In my experience, gestational carriers are intelligent, caring, capable, and financially secure women who want to help, in a personal and meaningful way, a family that cannot bear a child.
Ms. Parker cites one example of a surrogacy gone bad, while totally ignoring facts and statistics that show that the vast majority of surrogate births (births using gestational carriers) proceed successfully.
Banning gestational surrogacy is not the answer.
Rather, the process and procedures should be regulated with reasonable medical and legal oversight, so that the rights of all participants, particularly children created by use of assisted reproductive technology, will be protected.
I have seen the faces of those cherished children and know that if they were able, they would ask Ms. Parker to rethink her paternalistic position.
James F. Thompson
Fellow, American Academy
of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys
E. Saint John Street
On a scale of five to one, five being he highest, I would give the 2013 Piccolo Festival poster a four and a half and the Spoleto Festival poster a one and a half.
A fifth grader with a compass and a rule could draw the Spoleto poster.
After saying this, both festivals provide wonderful entertainment and are great assets to Charleston.