Big Medical BillThe Clinton administration announced...


December 16, 1993

Big Medical Bill

The Clinton administration announced recently that it hoped to take the health care reform package ''off budget", which would mean that the cost of paying for any reform would not show up as an added tax to the citizens.

This doesn't discount, however, that the taxpaying citizens are the people in the end who must paying for it.

The Clinton administration believes it could convince the taxpayers that the financing of this program is not a tax increase but actually just a sizable ''donation'' given to their friend, Big Government.

Once the project is initiated as something other than a tax increase, the federal government is free to ask for as much financing as it sees necessary.

This nifty political maneuver also raises an interesting perspective on what the Clinton administration believes about the cost of this proposed reform package.

Mrs. Clinton, who is spearheading the president's reform package, has stated that very few people will have to pay more taxes due to the health care reform package. This means that there should be no worries by the taxpayers because only those who are most able to afford it would have to carry this new burden.

If this is all true, why is the administration so worried about getting this project ''off budget'' where it won't show up as a tax increase?

The answer to this question probably lies in the recent history of our country.

Any time that the federal government has become involved with any type of program, the cost has had a way of spiraling out of control and always far exceeding the proposed costs.

If you examine the projected costs of Medicare and Medicaid, you see that their present costs far outpace their initial expected costs.

With this kind of track record, why should any tax paying American believe that this social program's cost will fall any closer to the projections of our federal government?

Although I believe that reform of our health care is necessary, the Clinton administration causes great worry to me when it attempts to hide the costs that will come with its proposal.

I believe that the answer cannot be found by sending another blank check to the red ink capital of the world, Washington. Americans should know how much it is going to cost them and the figure should be obvious and not hidden in a political maze.

Thomas Kuegler Jr.


Essex History

I enjoyed Barbara W. Durkins' Opinion * Commentary recollection of Dr. Moses Koch and the early years of Essex Community College (Dec. 6).

However, I think Ms. Durkins' memory of ECC racial and ethnic diversity is slightly flawed.

In the 1965 to 1966 academic year, when I attended ECC, there were two blacks a student and a librarian among the hundreds of people there.

Neither of them was able to purchase lunch at the Read's Drug Store two blocks away on Eastern Avenue.

Stan Modjesky


Airline Business

Suzanne Wooton's Dec. 10 article on Frank Lorenzo was right on the money. Mr. Lorenzo has been blamed for every problem at Eastern Airlines. This simply was not true.

On Nov. 18, I sat in on the DOT's hearings as to whether Frank Lorenzo meets the criteria to operate an airline. It didn't take long to see that Judge Robert L. Barton's ''Court'' was only interested in hearing one side of the story.

The picture being painted was that all the problems at Eastern and Continental Airlines were caused by Frank Lorenzo. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Having been a flight engineer and pilot at Eastern for 17 years, I know that Mr. Lorenzo did not create all the problems that led to Eastern's demise.

Eastern had major labor problems and a near-strike by the IAM in 1983, a full three years before Mr. Lorenzo had anything to do with the airline. At that time, then President Frank Borman avoided the strike by giving in to the demands of the Machinist Union.

This put Eastern, already in a weak financial condition, on course to lose even more money. It also assured that Eastern would be unable to compete against American and Piedmont, both of which had contracts that achieved higher productivity of their work force.

During the negotiations in 1983, Charlie Brian, president of the Machinist Union, was saying the same things about Frank Borman that he would say about Frank Lorenzo years later. It is normal union rhetoric. The same things were recently said about Robert Crandall at American.

The FAA has safety rules and regulations an airline must operate within. It also has inspectors to make sure this is done. The public has its own inspectors, called consumers. They are usually tougher on companies than the government.

This is the U.S.A., land of free enterprise. If a man or woman has the money and know-how to run a business, then he or she shouldn't be prevented by political interests.

It is a free country (I thought). No one has to work for Mr. Lorenzo. He can't make customers ride his airplanes.

The market place should have the opportunity to dictate the success or failure of ATX.

Gary Leslie

Laurel, Del.

Media and Religion

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