Best Care?Jeane Kirkpatrick claims in her March 29 column...


April 12, 1994

Best Care?

Jeane Kirkpatrick claims in her March 29 column that American health care is "the best in the world" because of "the incentives of the market system." Neither of these assertions is substantiated in her column.

By what objective measure is American health care "the best"? Is it life expectancy? Infant mortality? Satisfaction of Americans with their system? It cannot be any of these because the U.S. ranks poorly in all these categories.

Although I agree with her concerns about the bureaucratization of health care under the Clinton plan, I would take exception with her assertion that we presently have a market system.

Health care is the only market where the "seller" (i.e., the physician) decides what the consumers need and then "sells" it to them by collecting the payment from a third party. It is because of this that insurance companies have developed expensive bureaucracies to regulate health care.

Clinton's health care plan is not "socialism"; rather it accelerates the corporatization of health care that is already occurring.

We need to stop treating health care like a commodity. A national health program with a single, publicly-run insurance system like that in Canada would provide universal coverage with less expense and less need for the coercive bureaucracy that Ms. Kirkpatrick fears.

Darius Rastegar, M.D.


WBJC's Play List

As a recent resident of Baltimore, allow me to chime in on the side of letter writer Edward A. Riggio (March 10) with the opinion that WBJC-FM's constant diet of classical and romantic era warhorses, with an occasional baroque "Twinky," does get a bit hard to take.

General programming needs more diversity, and the total absence of vocal music is hard to understand.

It would be nice to get through two nights in a row without Mozart.

How about some lieder and songs by Mahler, Berlioz and Duparc, and an occasional choral work? Time could be found for zarzuela arias, and whatever happened to Gilbert and Sullivan?

I'd like to hear some Martinu, Honegger, Villa-Lobos, Ginastera, later Stravinsky and the great string quartets of Bartok and Shostakovitch.

Baltimore music lovers deserve more than classical top-40 and highbrow elevator music.

WBJC deserves applause for bringing us the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts.

The station's staff of announcers are, for the most part, pleasant, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. An occasional slip can be excused.

Recently Rossini's "Semiramide" was described as being a setting of the Cinderella story.

The announcer momentarily confused Semiramide, the hapless queen of Assyria, with Cenerentola, the Italian name for the abused stepdaughter with petit feet.

Ken Valides


Right to Hunt

I have made it a point to ignore Roger Simon's column in your paper for several years now, but the headline on his Mar. 20 column prompted me to read it.

As usual, Mr. Simon over-simplified and narrowed the issue to suit the point of his theme.

Hunter interference laws are designed to protect the rights of people engaged in a perfectly legal activity from being prevented from doing said activity.

I always thought that a right was something no one was allowed to take away or interfere with.

While freedom of speech is also a right, as the old saying goes, your right to swing your fist stops at the point of my nose. No one has a right to stop or interfere with a person while engaged in a legally sanctioned pastime.

Your editors and Mr. Simon have a right to write and print almost any trash their narrow little minds want. I have a right not to read it; I do not have a right to stop anyone else from reading it.

If Congress can find ways to link the rebuilding of the Pennsylvania Station in New York City to the earthquake in California, they should be able to link restricting a hunter's Second Amendment right to own firearms to his or her ability to legally use ones they are allowed to have.

David A. Titus


Church Concerns

Angela Winter Ney's March 27 article, "That new-time religion," quoted the Rev. Sandy Mason, senior pastor at Grace Fellowship in Timonium as saying, "Our foundation on the Bible is what keeps us from becoming a chic liberal church like the Unitarians."

The article underscores the phenomenal growth of non-denominational groups such as Grace. Close review reveals that several significant things are missing.

In the long article about those in the premium ages of the early thirties who are serving themselves at Grace through lip service to Jesus and the Bible, there was no mention of our children, our aged and other kinds of diversity of membership, nor the social responsibility of religion for addressing the major and aching ills of our city and country.

It was Hillel who warned, "Separate not thyself from the congregation and its concerns."

Robert L. Zoerheide


The writer is minister emeritus, First Unitarian Church.

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