Canada health planThe Evening Sun (May 3) and other...

the Forum

June 14, 1993

Canada health plan

The Evening Sun (May 3) and other sources have reported that government experts predict that President Clinton's health care plan may cost between $100 billion and $150 billion annually.

Although health care reform is certainly needed, increased spending is neither desirable nor necessary.

The United States already spends far more per person on health care than any other country in the world, and yet we are the only industrialized nation except South Africa that doesn't guarantee universal access to health care to all citizens.


Furthermore, there is no evidence that the president's "managed competition" plan will even work; it has never been tried on a national level.

Fortunately, there is a practical alternative that can provide health care to all Americans, without increasing spending, that has been proven effective in Canada.

The American Health Security Act, (S.491, H.R.1200) introduced in the Senate by Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., and in the House by Rep. James McDermitt, D-Wash., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., is modeled after the very successful Canadian program.

The American Health Security Act would radically simplify the organization of health care financing and delivery by establishing a publicly financed, single-payer system.

The U.S. General Accounting Office and other respected authorities have estimated that the dual reforms of eliminating private insurance "middlemen" in health care financing and eliminating individual billing by hospitals and other health care organizations could have saved about $90 billion in 1993 alone.

That is enough, by itself, to pay for health insurance for everyone currently not covered and to eliminate all the holes in current private insurance policies.

With the American Health Security Act there would be no coverage restrictions and no financial barriers in the form of co-payments or deductibles that currently tend to limit access to care for the working poor.

For the first time, everyone living in the United States would have true health care security, and it wouldn't cost any more than we are now paying.

I urge all readers of The Evening Sun to ask their congressional representatives and the president to support the American Health Security Act as the best proposal for reforming the U.S. health care system at a price we can afford.

David W. Fouts


Sensitive site

Your May 28 editorial is adamant that a community like Charlestown should not be built on the cornfield at Falls Road across from Greenspring Village.

You are right that "there is a pressing need for affordable senior housing in Baltimore County." And you are right in noting the exceptional desirability of this "magnificent" site. It is next to the Beltway, and less than 1/2 mile from where I-83 merges into Falls Road.

Imagine how many people from Towson, Timonium, Cockeysville, Ruxton, Lutherville and Parkville would be comfortable retiring in a community so close and accessible to friends and family.

If you think the county's master plan protects this piece, look again and you will see that the broad, sweeping plan actually protects every viable parcel of land we have ever found that is close to these seriously underserved communities.

The master plan has preserved farms and woods that I, too, enjoy observing as I drive home each night on the Beltway. I wonder if the many Baltimore County employees who were fired this year for lack of revenue (the first time that has ever happened) equally appreciate a plan that has virtually stopped growth in the county where they once felt secure.

The retirement community we are proposing for Falls Road would generate $2 million a year in county taxes. And our residents use very few county services. They are past the age where they use schools. Indeed, many of them no longer drive.

More important than revenue is the matter of location. You did not offer an alternative location in your editorial. However, Greenspring Valley representatives advised us to look at lightly populated growth areas or to marine terminals and abandoned factories in Dundalk.

If you're going to make room for retired people where they presently live, you're going to have to give up an occasional sensitive piece of property.

John Erickson


The writer is founder of Charlestown.

Honor all vets

The Hanover Street Bridge was re-named to honor the Vietnam vets.

There is a wall in Washington inscribed with thousands of names dTC of Vietnam vets. Why isn't there a wall for World War II and Korean vets?

There were thousands who died in those wars, too. Why aren't they ever remembered?

World War II vets fought not only in Europe but also in North Africa and the South Pacific. They are due the same distinction as the Vietnam Vets.

Bob Crooks


Hail, Schaefer!

The Roman Empire is not history; it is alive and living in Maryland.

While Emperor Schaefer rules from his palace with an annual salary of $120,000 . . . a carpenter is expected to work for the state for $16,735 -- and furnish his tools and transportation.

But as long as the Coliseum (Camden Yards) is sold out, who cares?

ieter K. Halle


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