Letters to the Editor: Issue of Aug. 29, 2013
So many helpful strangers
A few weeks ago Nancy Canfield wrote about the kindness of a stranger. Her letter inspired me to write about the kindness of the many strangers whom I have encountered here in the Rancho Bernardo, Poway and Escondido area.
Seven years ago I became paraplegic at the hands of surgeon who goofed. When I returned home, after three months in the hospital and a year and a half in a nursing home, I was timid. I felt like a freak in my big ugly braces, hideous shoes and a bulky electric wheel chair.
However, the behavior of everyone around me was something I did not expect. In almost every instance, if I am outside of a restaurant, somebody opens the door either from inside or outside. Everywhere I go, I am offered some type of assistance. In the supermarket people ask if they can reach for something on a high shelf. While in Costco, as I waited for my husband in the checkout, four customers and two employees inquired if I needed help.
I have been disabled for a long time, and have experienced some open mouthed staring, but here in Rancho Bernardo and environs I have had nothing but wonderful treatment. With this letter I want to say, “Thank you, everyone.”
Rosalie Kramer, Rancho Bernardo
Public-sector unions have value
This is in response to Dick Lyles’ Aug. 22 opinion piece “Public-sector unions have outlived usefulness.”
I guess my friends would label me, for the most part, a conservative Republican. But in the case of abolishing public-sector labor unions, I am strongly opposed to it. (For the record, I am not a member of my bargaining unit, SEIU, but with a past employer, I was an active member of the California School Employee Association.)
Unions are not just for employees that are trying to “milk” the system, but for those with legitimate gripes. You also have government departments that think they can do whatever and rule their department as an absolute monarchy, often ignoring their own agency’s labor relations department. Instead of abolishing them, I would like to see more power given to the Public Employment Relations Board. I’ve seen firsthand a government agency deciding to go against the ruling of an agreement. You just need to have one experience where an agency tried to abuse their power against an employee, innocent or guilty, and you’ll be a supporter of unions too. If you thinking I’m talking from personal experience, you’re right.
Roger Covalt, Poway
Health reform not perfect, but needed
Thomas Elias (Aug. 13) brings up the distraction of a doctor shortage to attack the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It’s an aging population as much the ACA that will cause it. Even if we didn’t reform the health care system, the shortage would still exist.
He asserts carriers are refusing to write policies. The Los Angeles Times said about small business insurance, “Rates in most of the state’s populous counties are expected to be significantly below premiums now charged by insurers for similar plans.”
Elias claims rules “could cost billions in fraud.” Federally operated exchanges still will verify such information beginning in 2014, state exchanges can wait until 2015. Someone caught falsely reporting their income or insurance status can face up to a $25,000 fine and have to pay back any ill-begotten subsidies through their tax returns.
He laments that the Legislature’s plans to expand the responsibilities of pharmacists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to serve patients. Today most HMOs and PPOs already maximize the utilization of nurses and physician assistants to minimize cost and increase the number of patients served.
The entire piece is filled with half-truths and fictions. There is a coordinated effort among interests vested in the status quo to roll it back.
Is it a perfect law? Probably not. It will continue to be the law. While a majority of people polled oppose the law, when asked about specific features of the law, 90 percent of people from both parties favor those features.
Neil Schneider, Poway
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