Money MachineEditor: The Baltimore City real estate tax...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 08, 1990

Money Machine

Editor: The Baltimore City real estate tax situation is out of control, the school system needs funding as do many other institutions and services.

Why not legalize gambling in Baltimore and turn the Power Plant and Fishmarket into gambling casinos?

Can you imagine the revenue?

Edward Newhard.

Ellicott City.

What If?

Editor: When the voters of Arizona chose not to establish a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, the National Football League decided to punish them by canceling a scheduled Super Bowl game. This action has special significance for Maryland in light of its pursuit of an NFL franchise.

What if a future ballot contains an abortion question, Maryland goes pro-life and the NFL decides it is pro-choice? Goodbye franchise?

What if the NBA, which is also making noises about punishing Arizona, decides it is pro-life to the NFL's pro-choice? Would Maryland get punished no matter which way it voted?

What if Maryland goes Democratic in the next election and the NFL thinks it should have been Republican? What if General Motors or the Red Cross decide to have a try at punishing?

Carroll L. Jenkins.

Towson.

Throwaway Whale

Editor: The way a dead whale found drifting at the mouth of Curtis Bay was disposed is all too symptomatic of our throwaway society. Landfills are being closed for lack of room. Responsible citizens are recycling household trash. But the Department of Natural Resources decides to dispose of the carcass in a landfill.

If the whale had been hauled out to sea, it would have degraded naturally. The Coast Guard's claim that the carcass might sink and endanger a cutter hauling it seems remote. But the problem of adding another 16 tons to an already overburdened landfill is very real.

The next time a large, biodegradable marine animal's carcass is found in the bay, let us hope that clearer heads prevail. A little common sense would go a long way in solving the problem of solid waste disposal.

Alice K. Reid.

Monkton.

No Comparison

Editor: First, I want to thank you for the editorial compliment you paid to the insurance industry in Maryland, when you stated ''there have been only two insolvencies in 20 years.'' The primary reasons for this are that the insurance industry operates a re-insurance program in Maryland and the Maryland Insurance Division does a good job on periodic inspection of the companies.

However, I think it was outrageous for your paper to compare the insurance industry with the practices of the thrift and banking industries in the early '80s.

The company that I am associated with did not sock premium dollars away, but billed policy-holders for what was necessary to take care of claims and operating costs plus a small surplus in order to keep the company in good financial condition. This type of operation has kept the company in business since 1870.

If the capital and surplus requirements are increased, as suggested by the governor's commission, several companies will have to go out of business, leading to less competition.

Preston L. Hale.

Manchester.

TF

The writer is president of the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

Health Care Cuts

Editor: It is tempting to accept the proposed cuts in the Health Department outlays for a few ''minor'' programs as a reasonable response to the current state budget deficit, particularly in light of the recent election results and their obvious message of no new taxes.

These are not expensive programs, however, and are very worthwhile. Their elimination will not save much money and may be an excessive response to a temporary budget problem.

One of the three programs targeted for elimination on Jan. 1 is the Kidney Disease Program. This program is unique to Maryland and is a model for other states to emulate ` Virginia comes to mind. It is for the benefit of people with kidney failure who require chronic dialysis treatment.

The purpose of the program is to fill the gaps between Medicare and Medical Assistance for those who need this very expensive, life-sustaining treatment. Its loss will cause real hardship to many who are least able to defend themselves because they suffer from a chronic debilitating illness.

It has been suggested that these people will be covered by Medical Assistance but this will happen only after they have exhausted their savings and become poor enough to qualify for it. Many beneficiaries of this program presently work full or part-time and are financially partially self-sufficient.

The loss of the program would force many of them to quit working and accept welfare. Wouldn't the state be robbing Peter to pay Paul?

Apart from the dubious financial benefit of this proposal, do we really need to increase the burdens on the most disadvantaged segments of our community ` dialysis patients, paraplegics and victims of AIDS?

Cedric Bryan, M.D.

Baltimore.

The writer is medical director of the Downtown Dialysis Center.

Facts on Insurer Solvency

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