Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for June 25

Government not known for efficiency

When a physician receives his degree, he takes an oath to “do no harm.” That oath is taken seriously by most physicians.

When physicians speak out about any health care organization, they may alter patient confidence in that health care system. And without confidence, patients have more difficulty in trust and healing.

My husband is a physician. While in the Army, he was in charge of training hospitals in the Army for family practice. He also had a supervisory position overseeing many Army hospitals.

Prior to that, he was in private practice and was also a county health officer and coroner for an Oregon county.

After retiring from the Army, he chose to work for a few groups. Any group run as a business has cost controls in mind. When my husband felt his ethics were violated, he chose to leave that particular organization and work for another.

Health care can be run as a business with cost controls more important than good health, which violates the “do no harm” ethic. This is why physicians prefer to work individually, with their own ethical guidelines.

I have not seen many things that the government runs efficiently. Yet the government wants to run health care worth trillions. Power corrupts. Ambitious political goals for power corrupt. Your health and welfare is in their hands.

The best way to reduce health care costs is to manage the lawsuits and the insurance companies which demand unnecessary and expensive tests to avoid lawsuits.

DOLORES COOLEY TODD, Olympia

Obama must listen to the public

If we don’t get public health care this year, it will be lost – just like it was when Hillary Clinton tried.

We need a plan with bargaining clout unlike the prescription program which has no reimportation, no bargaining on price, etc.

It must be publicly run and held to standards of accountability for both the people and Congress.

The people are ready for it. Don’t let Congress and lobbyists ruin it.

President Obama must listen to the people, not the American Medical Association and our spineless Congress.

SHIRLEY HARPER, Olympia

We need public health insurance plan

Congress should include a strong public health insurance option in reform this year, based on the following principles:

 • Available to all of us. A strong public health insurance option should be available to anyone who chooses to participate. If you like your current plan, you can keep it. If you want to participate in the public health insurance plan, you can choose to do so.

 • A national plan with real bargaining clout: In order to truly control costs and compete with private health insurance plans, a strong public health insurance option must be available nationwide.

 • Ready on day one: Every day we wait on real reform, health care costs continue to rise. A strong public health insurance option right out of the gate is key to building a competitive program that will help control costs.

 • A truly public plan: To ensure it’s held to the highest standards of accountability, a public health insurance option must be truly publicly run – accountable and transparent to Congress and to voters.

CHRIS WARMAN, Olympia

‘Climate of fear’ is what’s needed

So, the Olympia City Council doesn’t want to put red-light cameras at busy intersections because they are concerned that it would create “a climate of fear.”

OK, duh.

Isn’t that the point?

I want the people running red lights to be afraid of getting caught. Maybe they’ll stop.

BRIAN SIMS, Olympia

Don’t put Columns in roundabout

What folly!

Imagine distracting roundabout drivers on purpose with pillars.

It surprises me that the artist does not insist that those carved columns be displayed where people can stop and contemplate them – a park, for instance.

Although buying art is laudable, in these hard times when many face being laid off and foreclosure on their homes, it seems quite extravagant to spend $70,000 on non-essentials.

MARIANNE ELLIS, Lacey

Voters should know what they’re signing

I am appalled that The Olympian, long an advocate of transparency in our government and political processes, would be against a searchable database of Referendum 71 signers.

All initiative and referenda in this state should be published, with signers, for all to easily access.

If you are petitioning your government to change laws, it should not be done in secret. Maybe this would eliminate the tendency of uninformed voters to sign anything handed to them outside of a grocery store.

Maybe not.

But in this case it will definitely expose those who believe gay people are not entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals. And if they don’t want anyone to know they believe in discrimination, they don’t have to sign.

MICHAEL LYON, Olympia

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