LETTERS: British health care far from exemplary

To the editor:

Dennis Crawford’s letter (“GOP will pay for opposing Obamacare,” Dec. 13 Review-Journal) reminds me of an article titled “By Rocking Chair Across Russia,” from the British magazine Punch. It was an insightful report of a man who’s never been to Russia. He prattles on about how things are in a place he has not lived.

When the Clement Attlee-led government forced national health on Great Britain through parliament on a straight party vote, it caused chaos. When it took effect in 1948, almost 40 percent of British doctors left the system. Eventually they were replaced by midwives, practical nurses and a flood of poorly trained foreign doctors.

It has never worked as promised. It merely rations health care, replacing health professionals with bureaucrats. I could bloviate endlessly about my parents’ problems with this system. Few Americans realize that the wait times are extraordinary: five years for a knee replacement and up to two years for hip surgery. I do know that 85 percent of British people are worse off under this system. This is not a good formula.

Mr. Crawford is correct about one thing: Although this turkey called Obamacare won’t fly, once fully implemented, it will never leave.



Channeling Jefferson

To the editor:

Is House Speaker John Boehner channeling Thomas Jefferson? Is Mr. Jefferson playing the role of Mr. Boehner’s “Ghost of Christmas Past?” In Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural address, citing differences between Federalist and Republican beliefs, he said, “Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.”

By criticizing the deplorable tactics of the far-right members of the House, maybe our current speaker is realizing that disagreement is OK as long as it does not violate the basic principle of our republic: guarding the overall health and welfare of the American people.



Minimum wage

To the editor:

After reading Bob Gatewood’s letter (“Higher minimum wage, fewer jobs,” Sunday Review-Journal), I had to make some assumptions, because he left out a lot of detail.

My first assumption was that I would love to use his services (although he never said what his business was), because he hasn’t raised his prices in 20 years. He started his business in 1993 and he “must have asked 100 clients to pay me more, but without even one exception, they refused to pay more.”

But then I looked at the details that Mr. Gatewood did include. He only hired temporary workers for a week or two at a time (hardly employees) and he mostly paid them minimum wage. When he asked his clients to pay more for his services (even accounting for inflation?), they refused.

And then I made another assumption. When you provide a service to your clients with poorly paid temporary workers, there is a reason those clients won’t pay more than they did 20 years ago. If your business model relies on not paying workers a living wage, maybe the economy is not your forte.



Rodeo and animal abuse

To the editor:

Let me see if I have this right. A scared-to-death calf (some people refer to it as a baby cow) is forced to race out of a chute into a large arena. A man on horseback races after the calf and throws a rope around it to capture the ferocious creature, proceeds to jump off the horse, runs quickly to the roped calf and twists the calf’s head so it will fall to the ground.

The man then ties the legs of the calf together as fast as he can to prevent the calf from standing up. One must assume that the calf is dangerous. The man on horseback then stands, removes his hat and smiles to an adoring crowd. This process is then repeated again and again to everyone’s delight. At first glance, one might deduce that this form of entertainment qualifies as animal abuse.

But as I was reminded by the Review-Journal’s coverage of the National Finals Rodeo, we don’t refer to this as animal abuse. We call it the “rodeo.”



Bishop Gorman

To the editor:

I almost choked when I read Patrick Casale’s Sunday letter (“Bishop Gorman’s presence boosts other teams”). Mr. Casale wrote, “Plain and simple, coaching is the key,” regarding the Gaels’ athletic success. The key, as Mr. Casale well knows, is all about recruiting from all over the valley, like a college team.

I would be curious to see who is paying the tuition of Bishop Gorman’s star athletes. It is such an unfair and ludicrous advantage.



Supreme Court justices

To the editor:

It’s time to end the nonsense. Although the method of selecting justices for the U.S. Supreme Court was a great plan and fairly served the people long ago, that method has strayed from common sense. It is plain to see that political appointees for those positions have poisoned the noble purpose.

If anyone, even a politician, stood back and examined the fruits of our current selection process, there would be no question that this coveted position is flawed. Having a president select someone as a justice to rule in the highest court of our land is ludicrous. This position has become a political pawn for Democrats and Republicans. A new system needs to be implemented, however complicated that would be, because the current system has lost credibility.



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