Doctors take some blame for HMO messRonald Dworkin aptly...


September 15, 1998

Doctors take some blame for HMO mess

Ronald Dworkin aptly laments the increasing erosion of doctors' professional autonomy as a product of managed care interference ("Decline of the Mandarin class," Sept. 8).

However, Mr. Dworkin fails to detail the historical context of doctors' culpability in their dismal fate.

As early as 1948, the Truman administration proposed a universal system of health care, much like those established in Europe. The American Medical Association used its powerful lobby to force a rejection of universal care, whipping politicians into a frenzied fear that a hideous system of managed care would result.

Well, AMA, we now have that managed health care, but a management based on profit, not on an ethical concern for patient well-being. As recently as 1992, the AMA continued to fight against universal health coverage. Beyond the mere loss of prestige and control, doctors have lost the ability to care for patients in a humane fashion. HMOs now lead doctors around like bulls with rings through their noses.

I say to the failing Mandarin class: You are the bulls. Don't demur to HMOs. Organize a stampede against the ring leaders.

Joshua Bloomberg


Clinton has done enough to diminish presidency

Hearing and reading varied sources concerning President Clinton's sex scandals, I feel that the crux of the matter is missed.

Certain human failings (such as heavy drinking and swearing) may be pardoned as long as they don't interfere with the proper execution of the duties of one's office, but what is inexcusable and unpardonable is Mr. Clinton's blatant and deliberate lying to deceive the American people. This is unconscionable, leaving his character, integrity and leadership permanently flawed.

Definitely, the office of the president has been seriously damaged and will remain so as long as Mr. Clinton remains. Furthermore, his relationship and credibility in the public domain and with other governments remain fractious and relatively ineffective in these critical times.

Restoration of the damage done can be accomplished only by his resigning now.

Burke Lucas


Betrayal of the president has cost Glendening a vote

"Et tu, Brute." Betrayal should be a familiar word to Gov. Parris N. Glendening. How easily he forgets. He has pompously decided to kick the president while he is down and circle with the other vultures waiting for the kill.

President Clinton has done so much for Maryland and has done an outstanding job as president. For Mr. Glendening to feed his political ego on the president's mistakes is unsettling and not at all like the governor I have known. He has lost my vote.

Hettie Richburg


Attacking the messengers and ignoring Clinton deeds

I love it when people like Michael Olesker throw verbal tantrums and continue attacking the messengers -- Kenneth Starr and Linda Tripp -- and ignore Bill Clinton's seducing of a young employee, possible perjury, Whitewater, "Filegate," "Travelgate" and "Cattlegate."

It makes it so much more obvious to all Americans that many Democrats don't care at all about right or wrong, only about getting caught. The Joseph Liebermans are the refreshing exception.

I hope this will all help complete the Republican revolution begun with Clinton's presidency. I don't want Mr. Clinton to resign; I want him impeached.

Michelle Bauck

Hutchinson, Kan.

A president who needs too many second chances

President Clinton can't seem to get things right the first time, and the public continues to be dragged down by this inability.

I don't believe the public needs or wants another apology from this president. Enough. If he can't make a simple "I'm sorry, and I was wrong" the first time, how are the affairs of the nation and the world being carried out? Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Robert Kerry and Daniel Patrick Moynihan have taken the lead, finally, and are doing the right thing.

Annabelle Fisher


Impeachment impediment to Congress' real work

If Congress immerses itself in impeachment proceedings, it won't be doing the job it should for the country.

Mary O. Styrt


Nature has been good to Maryland black bears

Nature has produced an abundance of nuts, berries and forage foods in the forest this year. Thus, the black bear of western Maryland has received a gift from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It has rejected permits to farmers of that area to kill crop-damaging bears this year because bears have been less a nuisance this summer than last year, thanks to the abundant natural food supply.

Another season of sanctuary will go a long way to protect these "wonders of nature," as Theodore Roosevelt called them. He said: "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its melancholy and its charm."

Paul Inskeep


Ex-Iraqi arms inspector deserved better treatment

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