Bartering is effective in many instances


To the editor:

Jay Leno recently made fun of U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden's remarks that one possible solution to help control the cost of health care is to encourage physician-patient bartering. As a family physician in my rural community of Smith Valley for more than 26 years, I can state from personal experience that bartering works.

Mr. Leno laughed and said bartering would work only for the Amish. Although my community is not Amish, we in rural America share their work ethic and respect for the American spirit.

Bartering can also mean negotiating a price. That is already in practice in many aspects of the health care industry. Managed care companies negotiate what they will pay physicians. Cash-paying patients frequently negotiate what they will pay not only their physicians but also hospitals.

And yes, Mr. Leno, I have bartered with patients -- for alfalfa hay, a bath tub, yard work and horse shoeing in exchange for my care.

The health care bill recently forced on the American people by President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi has many undisclosed costs, but one of the glaring issues is it takes away our ability to make decisions for ourselves.

I have many patients who choose to self insure, live healthy lifestyles and keep their health care costs down. Their rights have just been infringed on. Thank you, Ms. Lowden, for being willing to think outside the classic, politically correct box.

Robin L. Titus, M.D.

Wellington

The writer is a former Republican candidate for U.S. Senate who ended her campaign in January.

On the border

To the editor:

Your poll to assess the opinions of Nevadans on immigration reform ("Immigration reform divisive," Sunday Review-Journal) mischaracterized the components of legislation that we, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a majority of voters support.

The poll asks whether voters would support a bill that "gave all of those who are living here without legal status the opportunity to stay and become citizens." Nevada voters were split on the outcome. But the policy outlined in this poll is not on the table.

Our vision for comprehensive immigration reform includes a program to register undocumented immigrants who meet certain criteria, such as working and living here for a defined period of time. It requires them to go through background checks, pay taxes, study English and keep a clean record in order to work their way toward citizenship.

The proposal is supported by strong majorities of voters of all political affiliations, according to numerous other polls.

For policymakers and your readers to truly understand where the people are on the immigration issue, pollsters need to ask the right questions.

Frank Sharry

Washington, D.C.

The writer is executive director of America's Voice, which advocates comprehensive immigration reform.

Get serious

To the editor:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Sunday reply to your April 13 editorial about immigration reform only goes to prove how entirely out of touch he and his party are with real-life America.

The only thing that will turn the tide in this assault against our nation is to enforce existing immigration law and turn off the gravy train of benefits being afforded to these people. Employers who hire illegals need to be heavily penalized and prosecuted. Treatment at our local hospitals should require legitimate identification. No free education and "English Language Learner" courses. No food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security for illegals. No more anchor babies. No more printing of government documents in multiple languages.

I have no dispute with legal immigration and never have. The politically correct will scream and stamp their feet and demand we grant amnesty. I am not willing to sacrifice our nation so Sen. Reid can create a new voting bloc.

Hard times demand hard decisions. No amnesty, no benefits, no jobs. Only when we make this country uninviting to illegals will this assault on our nation stop.

Cheryl Flathers

Las Vegas

No stick

To the editor:

Security policy analyst Stephen Herzog of Washington, D.C., states that President Obama's nuke summit was for the good because 47 nations agreed to "comprehensively secure their nuclear materials within four years" (Monday letter). I have a few questions:

For example, what does "comprehensively" mean? Add another chain link fence? And what nations are involved? Probably the ones we don't have to be worried about in the first place.

How about Russia, China, North Korea and Iran?

Four years should allow Iran and North Korea plenty of time to go online with their own nukes. And lastly, what does this pact have to do with our own safety? How does it protect America other than by reducing its own protection?

We are a nation that no longer walks softly and carries a big stick. Mr. Obama wants us to throw away our stick altogether. He has sacrificed our missile defenses to the extent we have to hitchhike in space. Does the president really believe the Russians or Chinese won't develop military space technology?

Mr. Obama would rather sacrifice our brave members of the armed services than actually win a conflict.

Ron Moers

Henderson

 

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