Voices From The Readers
What A Health Plan Needs To Accomplish
President Bush and other Republicans were thrown out of office because they were destroying the American economy. They ran up a $2 trillion national debt. Now that debt is projected to be $9 trillion. Furthermore, it will be driven up by a minimum of $1trillion more by creating the beginnings of a single payer national health plan, like those failing in England and Canadian.
I have read enough of the House plan to realize there will be little effort to truly reform the current health care system, just new ways for taxpayers to finance health care. Plus, it will ultimately reduce, not increase competition.
What I would like congress to do is:
-- Take the fraud out of Medicare.
-- Enact tort reform.
-- Increase scholarships to medical students who will go into Primary Care medicine.
-- Permit everyone to have Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Medical Spending Accounts. My church saved enough in premium by switching to an HSA to fund each employee's deductible without an increase in premium.
-- Reduce, don't increase the number of benefit mandates for basic plans. You cannot increase benefits and reduce costs.
-- Eliminate coverage for illegal immigrants and make it easier, not harder as in the current House Bill, to identify them.
Lastly, Congress should do a credible job in reforming Medicare before it even thinks of imposing costly •€˜reforms' on our private health care system and our economy. Soon we will run out of •€˜other people's money'.
Kenneth F. Waters
Keep CO Enforcement
Simple, Not Complex
My advice to the Ocean City Mayor and Council regarding the carbon monoxide enforcement situation is look for easy solutions for simple problems.
1. Every rental unit must have an occupancy certificate from the Town of Ocean City.
2. The Town of Ocean City will not issue a permit - Certificate of Occupancy - until the rental unit submits a certified document from a licensed inspector, that the rental unit complies with all codes and laws, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
3. The town will not issue a yearly rental permit unless the application is accompanied by a certified document from a licensed inspector, that the rental unit complies with all codes and laws, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
4. In one spring season, all operating units will have complied or closed.
5. If the owner/manager of the rental unit submits a fraudulent document, a mandatory jail sentence is in order.
The town knows that 70 percent are in non-compliance. Does that mean more dead tourists? More lawsuits and legal fees for the taxpayers to pay?
6. Hire off-duty volunteer firefighters or parking meter officers or even senior citizens who completed the police academy or the summer police officers to inspect these buildings.
Best To Be Educated
Now the anti-Obama/anti-health care reform/church-and-state-as-one/Tea Party folks want to go back to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Perhaps in honor of Constitution Week (Sept. 17-23), they should actually read the document.
Start with the Preamble, which spells out what we as a people want to accomplish by forming a democratic government. Think about the dominant words: justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, blessings of liberty. Nowhere does it say 'every man for himself' (21st Century translation: 'I've got my health insurance; too bad about yours').
Look at Article 1, Section 8. It's about collecting taxes to pay for our democracy, a Union of more than 300 million citizens. The section is another reference to those ideals of providing for the common defense and the general welfare. The Tea Party people think they are taxed without representation. The residents of the District of Columbia are taxed without representation, whereas these complainers simply lost the last democratic election.
Proceed to the Bill of Rights and the 1st Amendment. What is it about 'neither the establishment of religion nor the prohibition of the free exercise thereof' that people don't understand? If the religious political extremists who continue to protest against the President want a government where a Supreme Being rules, try Iran or Saudi Arabia (oops; wrong God, but same result). And that preachers sermonize about and pray for the death of the US President is not about disagreements over government policies, but simple bigotry and racial hatred, and most un-christian.
As the recipient of two degrees in political science, I'm dismayed by the continued use of the epithet 'socialism' to describe any person or issue the anti-everything people dislike. Instead of exploding in fear and ignorance, look up the definition and educate yourselves about the differences between socialism and capitalism (both economic systems). An educated and informed electorate is critical to the operation of a democratic society, as the Founding Fathers intended.
But More Work Ahead
Dr. Jon Andes, superintendent of Schools Worcester County, has taken another important step toward closing the 'educational gap' in the County. He recommended to the Board of Education that all students seeking to participate in high school athletics must have and maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in order to participate in High School Sports. The Board of Education voted unanimously, during its Aug. 18 board meeting, to raise the GPA from 1.75 to 2.0. This action will dramatically help improve the academic standing of the Worcester County School system.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Eastern Shore Branch Presidents Association met, May 19th, 2009, with the Eastern Shore Consortium of School Superintendents, representing the nine Eastern Shore Counties. The NAACP presidents shared with the superintendents a number of reasons why they believed the GPA should be raised to a minimum level of 2.0. An across the board 2.0 GPA, in all nine counties, would be an expectable standard for all student athletes participation in high school sports.
The NAACP presidents expressed views that 'high expectations are a prerequisite to a child's learning;' that 'we do not want to see young people engaged in gladiator sports and unable to perform well enough academically to graduate from high school and pursue meaningful career fields;' and 'that as leaders in our communities we want all our students to strive for excellence and be able to achieve on par.'
The NAACP is faced with the monumental task of focusing attention on the academic disparities between black and white students (the achievement gap) in our public school systems. While we fully support and encourage student involvement in sports, far too many black students attend school for sports and not education. Far too many parents revel in the achievements of their gladiators (students) and attend sports events, but do not attend their Home and School Association or School Improvement Associations meetings where decisions are made concerning the quality of their children's education.
The Eastern Shore NAACP Presidents believe that by setting GPA standards, it provides a valuable tool to motivate students and encourage parent participation across the spectrum in their children's education. If we are to succeed in closing the achievement gap our black students must be maid to understand their role, and our parents must become more involved in the quality of education that their children are receiving.
On behalf of the NAACP, I want to commend Dr. Andes for his leadership in raising the bar for student athletes in Worcester County. He fully understands that we still have much more to do before the educational gap is closed, but we are encourage that with his demonstrated leadership, and the support of the Board of Education, Worcester County will continue to lead the way in closing the gap on the Eastern Shore.
Edward S. Lee
(The writer is the president of the Worcester County Branch NAACP.)