GOP AgendaThe Republicans in Congress, led by scowling...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 27, 1994

GOP Agenda

The Republicans in Congress, led by scowling Sen. Bob Dole and smirking Rep. Newt Gingrich, are not the party of the loyal opposition, but the party of negativism and obstruction.

The GOP has no programs or policies other than to protect the vested interests of the health insurance industry and the gun lobby.

Above all else, its primary goal is nothing less than to bring down the Clinton presidency.

Alfred S. Sharlip

Jessup

Health Reform

As a small businessman and a health care provider, I am offended by Rep. Ben Cardin being pictured with "business leaders" in your article about universal health care.

He has one of the poorest voting records concerning business of any elected official in Maryland.

These big companies want reform to enable them to trim their health care plans and allow them to no longer cover working spouses. Now who is being selfish?

As an employer on Main Street U.S.A., I see many businesses struggling to keep their doors open.

If they are required to provide health care, two things will happen. People will be laid off, especially part-time employees, and prices will increase. In the end, the consumer will pay.

As a health care provider, I am the first one to agree the system needs reform. Reform doesn't mean overhauling.

Change the things in the system that don't work:

1. Guarantee insurance for everyone, regardless of medical history.

2. Conformity of paperwork.

3. Reform of malpractice laws.

4. Portability and renewability of insurance.

After living with this for several years, we can then refine the system again. Let physicians provide health care and the insurance industry compete for contracts.

Small business cannot continue to match Social Security payments, pay unemployment insurance, workers compensation and now health care. At some time, employees have to start being responsible for themselves.

I realize this is a new concept in America, but who said business is responsible for health care? An incentive will have to be implemented to compel employees to buy health insurance.

It's fascinating that Mr. Cardin and big business felt small business was being "selfish."

Steven L. Pinson

Baltimore

Watershed Police

It was with great interest that I read the article in The Sun July 31 ("We have got to protect the water" by Howard Libit) about Baltimore City's Watershed Police Force.

These hard-working, caring employees of my Department of Public Works have the difficult and important job of protecting the metropolitan water supply. I was very pleased to see your article clearly portray that dedication to your readers.

I would like to correct a statement in the article that budget cuts were responsible for the reduced size of our Watershed Police Force.

In fact, our efforts to expand our police force have been slowed by state requirements that all police officers meet the Maryland Training Commission regulations requiring six months satisfactory attendance at the Special Police Academy and successful completion of yearly in-service training.

To date, only one new officer we have recruited has satisfied these requirements.

Baltimore will continue its efforts to expand the Watershed Police Force.

We will also continue to work with and educate the public enjoying these beautiful areas about the need to protect the watersheds lands. Your article has helped in that effort.

George G. Balog

Baltimore

I= The writer is director of the Department of Public Works.

Who Moved MTO?

MTO, which stands for the federal program Move To Opportunity, was passed by the United States Congress. Although both Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Sen. Paul Sarbanes are continually hit for having voted for it, legislative records clearly indicate and show that the entire Maryland congressional delegation did.

Contrary to many who claim that this program originated from the liberals, it must be said that MTO was proposed by then-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Jack Kemp in 1992. It was President Bush who sent the legislation to the Congress.

These are the real facts. In 1993, Baltimore City met with HUD to discuss bringing MTO to Baltimore. In 1994, funding for MTO was approved, $12.5 million earmarked for Baltimore.

I repeat, the entire Maryland congressional delegation voted for this program in 1992, even though some now running for re-election or other high office have amnesia when asked about it.

I must sympathize with many citizens and residents of areas that are opposed to the program being used in relationship to them. I cannot agree realistically with the concept that because a person opposes MTO he is a racist.

Every community-minded citizen should take the time to examine new programs -- especially if they will effect their community.

MTO was not presented to citizens properly. Far too many

rumors, both true and false, were allowed to spread without being challenged.

As a result, MTO is being challenged by citizens, community organizations and even those that voted for this program in Congress.

John A. Micklos

Baltimore

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