The right of seniors to choose physicianA little noticed...


November 04, 1997

The right of seniors to choose physician

A little noticed provision in the 1997 budget agreement makes it effectively illegal for doctors to accept private payments from patients over the age of 65.

As a health care professional and a prospective patient, I am outraged. This new law is a profound violation of the individual rights of both doctor and patient.

If a patient wants to obtain treatment outside the Medicare system, he has every moral right to seek it and the doctor has every moral right to accept the payment.

The government, which has no business in the health care field in the first place, certainly has no right to force people to take part in the bankrupt, inefficient Medicare program.

Does the government forbid parents from sending their kids to private schools if they choose?

A new bill moving through congress, the Medicare Beneficiary Freedom to Contract Act, seeks to restore the right of individuals over 65 to contract privately with health care professionals of their choice.

Americans should support this and any legislation which weakens government control of medicine and strengthens individual freedom.

Even in Britain, where socialized medicine is still the law, a senior citizen is allowed to contract privately with a doctor of his choosing.

Yet President Clinton so strongly opposes private contracting for senior citizens that he threatened to veto the entire 1997 budget if the provision were left out.

This makes one wonder: Is the government's motive really to provide health care for all, or simply to control people and make it impossible for them to live in freedom?

Michael J. Hurd

Chevy Chase

The writer is a psychotherapist.

Global market leads to panic

I would like to commend the Oct. 28 column, "Global market blues" by Gwynne Dyer, a London journalist.

It is brilliant, and hits the nail on the head. Of course, people in our administration, the White House and the Treasury department must know all this. Why not tell it to the people? Instead, they are letting us wallow in the fears of an impending market crash.

And now the Asian bubble has burst. What is so interesting is that all this -- the crashing of a so-called healthy economy -- comes right on top of the political ''entertaining for access'' accusations. Looks suspicious?

It would be so healthy if the government will admit that the big U.S. tiger is having its tail wagged by the manipulative, puny Asians.

Only when the government faces this, and admits it, can we begin to clean our house and put the fears of our people to rest. We are told our economy is sound. Let's enjoy it.

Rose B. Isaacs


Covenant marriage builds strong society

Sandy Banisky raised an important issue in her Oct. 20 article,''Altering the way to the altar.''

Legislators around the country are debating how to cut the divorce rate; covenant marriage licenses are the solution to this rampant problem.

Failed marriages contribute to societal downfall. The breakdown of the American family is directly related to the emotional and social downfall plaguing our children, clearly demonstrated by our society as a whole.

This covenant marriage license focuses our attention toward building strong, traditional family relationships and values, similar to those found in our grandparents' generation. Maintaining a strong family bond gives our children an increased chance in having a successful life.

Upholding traditional family values is perceived to be unrealistic in today's society, but can be accomplished with covenant marriages.

These new licenses ''force couples to slow down and act cautiously,'' says Ms. Banisky. Focusing our attention on the couple's commitment, not on extraneous situations, will likely cause the divorce rate to decline.

Kristen E. Saxon


The cloud behind the silver lining

I was reading the brochure about the new Ravens stadium at Camden Yards.

It pointed out that a permanent seat license transfers control of your seating location to you forever.

While reading it, a thought occurred to me.

If you have some jerk sitting next to you at the new stadium, you will need to put up with him forever as well.

The brochure didn't mention that.

Howard Cobry


County's cable deal bad deal for consumer

Baltimore County Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, chief negotiator in a cable-TV deal with Comcast Cable, announced Oct. 28 that Comcast would give 5 percent of all its future revenue to the county. He then proudly proclaimed,''This is an unprecedented deal in favor of the county."

The next day, I opened my cable bill to discover it had increased from $49.37 to $52.33 -- a 6 percent increase. Attached was the alibi,''Your November statement now reflects the new rates for service and equipment."

Thank you, Mr. Kamenetz.

Why is it so hard for politicians to realize that any business tax or franchise fee is simply passed down to the lowest denominator on the totem pole -- the taxpayer.

Frank A. Sume


Pub Date: 11/04/97

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