Should health care be an entitlement?As we bend over...

the Forum

August 22, 1994

Should health care be an entitlement?

As we bend over backward to prevent a "two-tiered" medical delivery system, we can contrast with our legal system, which purports to dispense justice in a "blind" manner.

O. J. Simpson, whether he is guilty or innocent, is bringing to bear more financial power to manipulate the legal system than could be brought by all but the fewest Americans. Is this fair? Or just?

"If you don't have a lawyer and cannot afford one, the court will appoint a lawyer for you . . . " This appears to offer the poor an equal voice in our courtrooms. Does it?

The public defender, with huge case loads and limited time, can provide basic, competent representation. O. J. Simpson is paying hundreds of dollars an hour in legal fees to guarantee his voice. Yet no one is screaming about the "two-tiered" legal system, or proposing "universal legal care."

Still, with all the health care proposals, institution of a plan modeled after the legal system makes the most sense.

Those without medical insurance would by necessity or by choice receive care in a public-supported clinic. They would receive competent, basic health care from well-trained, hard-working physicians and paramedical personnel.

Yes, the wait for service might be longer, and all studies and procedures might not be available or covered, but there would be universal access to basic care.

The state of Oregon is trying to institute this type of program and zTC is meeting tough resistance from numerous government departments.

We live in a very generous country. The American people do care about the underprivileged, but middle America, who will have to pay for any reform, simply cannot afford to add another entitlement to a deficit that is already so monstrously large that it has condemned my generation, my children's and their children's generations to debt and interest payments killing our standard of living for the foreseeable future.

The authors of our Constitution attempted to ensure the type of justice that all people are entitled to.

Yet we tolerate a flawed legal system (though perhaps the most fair and compassionate in the world) and instead are debating the reformation of a health system working for the majority of America.

Hillary Clinton, in speaking out against her opposition, made a statement to the effect that these people were standing in the way "of the kind of health care the American people were entitled to." Is health care a true entitlement, or a gift of a compassionate society?

Jeremy Weiner


How the GOP takes a bite out of crime

In order to bend to the wishes and resources of the National Rifle Association, a majority of the Republican Party is willing to .. sacrifice additional policemen on our streets unless the ban on assault weapons is removed from the crime bill.

Thus the Republican Party's present stance on crime is for more guns and fewer police officers on our streets. That should really take a bite out of crime.

Fred Davis


MTO threat

Residents of eastern Baltimore County aren't the only ones concerned about the MTO (Move To Opportunity program).

Residents of northeast Baltimore City -- including neighborhood groups such as the Northeast Community Organization and Harbel -- also are very concerned about what is going to happen once MTO participants are mainstreamed into their communities.

These concerns include a potential increase in crime, loitering, sanitation issues, disruption in schools, lack of respect for other people's property, etc.

Residents of the northeast area already are fed up with high property taxes, high car insurance, poor schools and the threat of being crime victims. This new development will only cause more residents to flee the city and cause more homes to be on the market.

The Schmoke administration needs to look at ways to encourage preservation of neighborhoods in the city, not their deterioration.

Margaret Neipert


Want daffodils?

Beautiful Baltimore, Inc. is faced with a troubling situation, challenging its very purpose for existing. To plant or not to plant daffodils is the issue.

We as a group have planted over 100,000 bulbs in the city of Baltimore over the last two decades.

Our list of locations is compiled for this fall's planting (of 10,000 bulbs), but we have been advised not to plant.

Why? Daffodils need five to six weeks after they bloom to die back. This time period can cause things to look unkempt, creating the temptation to "neaten up."

Mowing these areas weakens the bulbs and ultimately defeats our purpose of beautifying Baltimore.

We need response from the public, yea or nay, in order to go on. Is it worth the effort to plant the bulbs, enjoy their blooms, wait five to six weeks and then cut them back?

Who ever said getting something for nothing was easy?

rances Donahue


The writer is secretary of Beautiful Baltimore, Inc.

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