Government-run system won't cure health care's ills
I agree with the writer of the letter "Health insurance for all" (Feb. 16) that making sure that quality health care is both available and affordable must be a top legislative priority. But a government-run system would not reduce costs, and it would deny care to those who need it most.
In countries where such plans have been implemented, patients wait months for medical procedures routine in the United States and are denied access to the latest medical technologies.
Government-run systems also often short-change physicians and other health care professionals, and contain hidden administrative costs that negatively impact patient care and coverage.
We should focus on measures that help more Americans obtain coverage while preserving the free-market system. A tax credit that preserves both the employer-based and individual health insurance markets is something we should consider.
Stephen J. Salamon
The writer is a past president of the Baltimore Association of Health Underwriters.
It's prosecutor's duty to exercise discretion
Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra O'Connor argues that seeking capital punishment whenever it is statutorily permitted is the only impartial method of administering the death penalty ("County's killers deserve death," Opinion
Commentary, Feb. 21).
However, Ms. O'Connor's strategy actually circumvents the legislature's (and thus the public's) will. The law delegates to each jurisdiction discretion about when to seek the death penalty. Ms. O'Connor's blanket policy of "no discretion" abdicates this pivotal responsibility.
The heinous crimes committed by Baltimore County's nine current death row inmates all appear to warrant the state's ultimate punishment. However, future cases may not be so straightforward.
Edward Q. Liu