Editor: Roger Simon in a Jan. 8 column wrote about the millions of dollars spent every time Ocean City is devastated by a severe storm.
The worldwide climate change probably will cause more severe storms than ever on the shore in the future. Is it worth wasting taxpayers' money to constantly bail out Ocean City for the benefit of the affluent few?
The bottom line is that there always will be a sea of red ink as long as Mother Nature has her final say in matters of severe storm conditions. It is better to allow the ocean to have the sand and stop spending millions to replace it.
Editor: I agree with your editorial of Jan. 2 concerning Maryland's helmet law, but Larry Harrison's views, though correct in theory, obviously cannot work in real life. In his Jan. 6 letter to you he states that lawmakers should pass legislation that withholds tax dollars from injured motorcyclists for medical bills.
That's a great idea, but try telling the doctor who is trying to save the life of an injured cycle rider to stop working on that person because he didn't have insurance and we taxpayers aren't paying the bill, either. In real life, that person's life must be saved if at all possible, and we will pay that medical bill through our tax dollars.
Obviously, the only way to try to combat high medical costs is to legislate safety. It worked with the seat belt law, and it will work with the helmet law. Some people may be uncomfortable wearing seat belts, but it has been proven to save lives, thereby keeping our tax dollars lower. The same will be true of the helmet law.
I am all for freedom of choice just as Mr. Harrison is, but a helmet law is for the common good of the people. That's what laws are for, for the collective good of everyone, not just a single individual. Cycle riders should show some social conscience by encouraging a helmet law and stop being so selfish and thinking only of themselves. Every time a rider is involved in an accident while not wearing a helmet, it costs all of us tax dollars.
Reform for Health Care
Editor: The battle has begun for the best method of reform of our health-care system.
The Health Insurance Association of America, by way of a newspaper advertisement, has arrived at its best method, which is to fix the holes in the present system -- a Band-Aid here, a suture there. By any chance, the insurers wouldn't be thinking of saving themselves by the possibility of losing a most lucrative business?
The people of America demand a complete new system of health care to encompass everyone, and the only true fix is to have a national health-care system.
Editor: Health care reform is an issue of hot debate at both the national and state level.
On Jan. 9 and 10 the Maryland General Assembly addressed the issue of health care in a two-day summit and on Jan. 14 various national representatives held town meetings on health care reform.
Of the several proposals being discussed, I believe a Canadian style universal health care system is the most cost effective, equitable and far-sighted. Under this system every person has access to full health care coverage. There are no out of pocket payments. Because everyone is covered under the same system there would not be the division between those with private and those with public insurance that there would be under the "play or pay" plan. Individuals would still be free to chose their doctor and hospital while all fees would be paid by the national health insurance. Since funds would be allocated on a state level, costs could be contained and resources more efficiently used than at present.
Health care, like the police and fire departments, should be publicly provided.
A universal health care plan would provide coverage for all, while allowing individuals the freedom to chose the kind of care they think best.
Editor: Why should Maryland increase taxes?
Maryland taxes are the fourth highest in the United States. It is obvious that either Maryland has too many unnecessary expensive programs or that the implementation of many programs is inefficient and wasteful.
Some of the waste is mandated by state law. Why, for example, should state law require that construction workers receive higher pay on government projects than on private projects?
There is much that the legislature can do if it would demonstrate more statesmanship and cater less to special interests.
Richard K. Eberts.
Farewell, Great Lady
Editor: The death of Dame Judith Anderson, "Great Lady" of the theater at age 93, recalled memories of our luncheon together some 50 years ago on the Galapagos Islands. Ms. Anderson was appearing with a USO show and my commander invited her to dine with my Air Force squadron.
I was seated opposite this wonderful woman and foolishly asked about one of her movie roles, "Lady Scarface."