Don't rush into reforms of health careOne of the problems...

the Forum

January 11, 1993

Don't rush into reforms of health care

One of the problems facing the incoming administration in Washington is how to control the escalating cost of health care in this country.

For many years there has been talk about having a national health insurance whereby every citizen in this country would be covered for all types of sickness and hospitalization.

Obviously, government-controlled medical care is also known as socialized medicine.

In other countries, such as Canada, Great Britain and most of those in Europe, the system is based on the fact that they are top-heavy with family doctors (general practitioners). Even then, as we all know, their level of medical care leaves a lot to be desired.

Before we consider a program of government-controlled medicine in this country, we need to think about this aspect of the situation.

R.M. McLaughlin, M.D.


Gun auctions

I realize your reporter didn't write the Los Angeles Times article on California's firearms auctions ("Calif. cities are criticized for auctioning off guns," Dec. 20). But your credibility could suffer if you don't correct its obvious faults.

One authority quoted, Dr. Reed Tuckson, is the president of a medical school that is so obscure that none of my L.A. friends have heard of it. Hardly a "public health official."

Lt. Springs of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says that reselling firearms would increase street violence. Perhaps he forgot the L.A. riots last May, when police told Angelinos that they were on their own, and store owners used firearms to hold off the mobs.

If national averages hold true for the auctioned fire arms, 32 percent will be bought for protection from crime, 11 percent will actually be used to stop a crime and less than .2 percent will be criminally misused.

Karl Hayhurst


Riley for Education

President-elect Bill Clinton's appointment of former South Carolina governor Richard Riley as secretary of education appears to be a good choice.

Under Riley, South Carolina became the first state in the nation to enact comprehensive education reform legislation -- the Education Improvement Act of 1984 -- and it funded that reform package with dedicated revenue.

Mr. Riley persuaded business leaders to support a 1 percent sales tax increase to pay for his school reform package, calling the campaign "a penny for their thoughts." What a creative way to raise needed revenues.

With Richard Riley's confirmation we will realize a champion and strong advocate for America's public school students.

Paula Baziz


Mission to Somalia

Mike Royko's column "Bush's noble, albeit incomplete, plan to help" (Dec. 21) was excellent.

Royko explained very thoroughly why George Bush's heart may have been in the right place when he decided to send the Marines to Somalia -- but, alas, not his brain.

Betty D. Edlavitch


Changing WITH

I want to add my voice to the letters in The Forum protesting the upcoming change of format at radio station WITH.

Remember all the letters of disappointment when WLIF changed its format? In doing so, the station lost many a listener, including me. It also dropped from second place to fifth or sixth in the ratings, and it hasn't improved since.

WITH plays music that you can call music, not the loud noise and yelling that other stations play. What a pity it must change.

How many children listen to the radio anyway? They would rather watch the flood of cartoons on TV.

R.J. Babylon


Hats are healthy

Bill Bishop's article "Hats that tell" (Dec. 4) gave us a real shock. It was a biased, opinionated, pugnacious and fallacious conception of one man's opinion regarding hats. It did not belong in a Baltimore newspaper.

Baltimore was a city known for making straw hats and was the world's largest supplier and maker of such items during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

During that period, it was befitting for a man never to be without a hat or cap while outside. In fact, Baltimore is still on the map for the headwear industry nationally because of a Baltimore-based company called Park Royal Hats and Sportswear Co., Inc.

The company has been located in Baltimore City since 1947, and we definitely dispute the statements made in the article by Mr. Bishop. We feel Mr. Bishop and The Evening Sun owe an apology to the hat industry.

If you do not wear a hat or cap, you can catch a cold. So for health sake, wear a hat.

William Baron


The writer is a former president of Park Royal Hats and Sportswear Co., Inc.

Taxed to death

A recent Associated Press article stated that Maryland taxes were the sixth highest in the country, citing the example of a family earning $77,094 annually whose taxes were $8,568.

I question how the AP arrived at this figure. Even without any deductions or exemptions, such a family would pay only $6,168 in income taxes. Of course, they also would pay some sales taxes, but on what part of their total income?

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