Health care focuses on cash, not on healthThe Sun's...


December 18, 1997

Health care focuses on cash, not on health

The Sun's well-done investigative report of Senator Larry Young's financial relationships with the captains of corporate health care merely confirms what citizens have long suspected about for-profit, manged health care.

Enabled by such well-moneyed lobbying, what began as a conceptually well-intended effort to curb waste has become an empire-building, power and money grab disguised as "reform." Money and power talk; need and professionalism walk.

Corporate money and influence shot down any substantive moves toward patient protection in both the Maryland legislature and the U.S. Congress. Regarding the interface of corporate America and the political process in the supposed interest of Americans' health, no matter how cynical you become, it's never enough.

Steve Shearer


The writer is director of behavioral science training at Franklin Square Hospital.

Misguided grousing about Villa Julie

I'm responding to a letter written by a reader on Dec. 3. The reader listed all the evils of having Villa Julie College in the Brooklandville area.

Does she understand that Americans are allowed to move freely and develop their property as permitted under the law?

The reader seems to contend that Villa Julie, a college that has been in the area for more than 50 years, is not allowed to develop and grow to fit the needs of its students and the community.

I hope that people who feel the college is infringing on their territory understand that this college is also developing tomorrow's leaders. The same ones who criticize the college for existing may also benefit from it. The next time you receive help from a nurse when in pain, an accountant when in financial trouble, or a computer programmer when the system at work goes down, an alumna from Villa Julie could be the one who saves your day.

Michael J. Werdin


Fuming over smoking Santa

I was at the Dec. 7 tree lighting festival held in Essex with my children. To my shock, Mrs. Santa was smoking as she was waving to the children.

This is not the picture of Christmas I want my children to see. My youngest daughter asked why she was smoking when it's such a bad thing. I had to explain that sometimes adults use bad judgment around children. What will they do to top this next year, have Santa ride on the Budweiser Clydesdales beer wagon, handing out samples to the kids?

Jacklyn Harris

White Marsh

Playing with fire to close stations

Engine Company 25, Engine Company 7, Aerial Tower 111, Truck Company 4 -- these are some of the many firehouses that have been closed forever in the inner city of Baltimore.

All of the aforementioned companies were in the same first-alarm district where the 7-year-old Madison Park girl lost her life in a fast-moving fire on Nov. 27.

Fewer firehouses in busy areas have been pushed to the limit with medical assistance and fire calls. The city persists in the closings, which have spread fire protection very thin. It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind the reduction of vital fire services in high-risk areas.

William Henick


Judge, letter writers blind to rape reality

Far from "telling an ugly truth about the persistent cycle of domestic violence that fills courtrooms across the country," Judge James Dudley swept this truth under the rug.

His explanation that he wasn't blaming the victim, "just trying to show that she should have had the resources to feel she could leave safely," is patently absurd. The woman was working to support herself and two children when the man sharing her domicile raped her.

The real ugly truth is that women are still second-class citizens. Although women's lib promised emancipation, it failed to provide the means required to make it in a man's world.

The two letters in the Dec. 7 paper demonstrate just how far women still have to go to reach parity even in the halls of justice. One man insisted that Judge Dudley's comments were justified since rape can be charged by women married or single, even after being in consensual sexual relationships. "It could be a true event of simply vindictive fiction," the writer says. So, the little woman gets mad at her mate and seeks vengeance, he suggests.

And even if the poor guy is driven to extremes and does actually rape her, it's her fault for living with him in the first place. What's a little rape between cohabitants anyway?

The other writer states that Judge Dudley's un-PC remarks may work to benefit women in the long run by causing them to leave abusive relationships. Sure, just say no. And if he won't take no for an answer, just pack up your kids, whatever, and leave.

But we're not exactly talking Ibsen here, folks. Most women in abusive relationships can't just take off "out there" and slam the door on their doll's house, leaving the kids behind in the care of competent servants. If the guy is abusing her, how can she trust him not to abuse her children? Finding a place to live with children is hard enough. Being able to afford it is virtually impossible if child care is also required.

The good judge could have made it clear that this is not a benevolent society, without adding insult to the woman's injury.

Ingrid Krause


Pub Date: 12/18/97

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