I was appalled that the article relating to the indictment of 11 individuals by a federal grand jury for insurance fraud was buried on page 5 of Section E, June 26. In my opinion, this should have been front-page news.
The public should be made aware on a constant basis of auto insurance fraud. This could help doctors, lawyers, insurance personnel and the public to be more aware of the problem.
If all honest and law-abiding citizens help to attack insurance fraud, hopefully we will not have to pay higher insurance premiums to compensate for this ongoing fraud.
State of Smoke
There has been a lot of publicity about studies which prove the harmfulness of passive smoking. Workplace smoking bans are meant to protect the health of workers, but may not be enforced. All the good intentions and efforts of setting up a policy are of no benefit unless the policy is enforced.
On the advice of a friend who works there, I recently took a walk-and-sniff tour of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene office building on Preston Street. (I was surprised that I could get in with no questions asked. This is not the case in the county and federal buildings with which I am familiar.)
The "health department" is supposedly non-smoking, yet I noticed more than a few clouds of smoke. In a sight becoming more common all over the city, smokers crowd the doors, creating the clouds which greet the visitor approaching the entrance, and the "breath of fresh smoke" when leaving.
The same smokers seem to be there all the time, making you wonder if anyone enforces a time limit to smoke breaks. Workers who are bothered seldom report the offenders. They either feel it useless or that the person who would break rules by smoking would also seek revenge on stool-pigeons.
Of all the government agencies, those which deal with health should be especially scrupulous in health standards. If not, how can we expect it of others?
Ken Hamblin (Opinion * Commentary, June 25) is correct in asserting that African Americans are more American than African. He totally misses the point in his implicit accusation of hypocrisy on the part of Black Muslims (whom he allies with "black-quota advocates, ghetto politicians. . . rap artists" and presumably anyone else complaining about the racial status quo) in their adverse reaction to the Bush administration's shameful treatment of Haitian refugees.
Satisfaction with the racial situation in this country is not a pre-condition for raising objections to the Bush policy on Haitian refugees. The salient point is that the president considers refugee status to be a benefit and is denying it to Haitians on blatantly racial grounds.
Finally, Mr. Hamblin is naive in his attribution of ultimate power to the ballot. Not one of the three major presidential candidates has articulated a program to address specifically the monumental problems of the inner cities, and it is clear that they have no intention of doing so.
Such a program would be a major political burden, sufficient in itself to defeat its proponent.
William F. Cooper
Cover the Children
Daniel Greenberg might insist that I'm one of the 65 percent of Americans who are contented with our own medical insurance and therefore an impediment to change, but he'd be partly wrong.
A lot of us who are "contented" with our own health insurance have close relatives and friends who would have no insurance without our financial assistance. We're not impeding "justice for all;" we, too, want national health insurance.
But what form should this reform take?
All agree on cost cutting. How to achieve reduction of the astronomical increases in medical care costs has been outlined by Rep. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md. These costs have spiraled without commensurate health results due to lack of incentives for reduction.
Once cost reduction becomes law, we will be able to afford to cover everyone in the nation.
Even if we can't do it all at once, let's extend coverage in affordable stages. In the first year, cover children. This could be an effective first step toward solving not only this country's medical problems but also our educational problems. Children ought to begin school as healthy as possible.
Diane Scharper's otherwise informative article, "Poet Laureate: to Create Art that Is Rooted in Love," states that Mona Van Duyn, the newly appointed poet laureate consultant in poetry for the Library of Congress "is the first woman to hold that title."
While Ms. Scharper's statement is technically correct, only the title, not the position, was changed in 1986, by which time four women had been selected to receive this honor, among them Baltimore's distinguished poet Josephine Jacobsen, who served fTC from 1971-1973.
Joyce S. Brown
Quality of Phone Service in Maryland