MAILBAG

Views on health care disappointing

The commentary by Rep. Adam Schiff (“Health-care reform is due,” July 27) leaves me baffled as to why he feels compelled to jump on the scare tactics bandwagon being used to rush through legislation that, it is reported, few members of Congress, the administration or the public, for that matter, have read.

The legislation, consisting of several hundred pages, has been put together by bureaucrats following a political agenda directed by a limited cabal of top congressional leaders as to just how it is to be structured. It is potentially rife with unintended consequences that are being ignored to rush through legislation with the objective of vesting complete, final control of America's health care system by bureaucrats.

The stance taken by Schiff is disappointing. He otherwise does an even-handed job representing this district in Congress. Evidently toeing the political line, in his mind, now trumps legislation that has been thoroughly vetted and is thought to be good for all Americans.

GENE GUSTAVSON

Glendale

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Who doesn't have health insurance?

Adam Schiff (I know the proper address is Rep. Adam Schiff, but since I'm a little right of center I don't feel that you represent me) I've heard the left-wing rhetoric of “there are 40 to 50 million Americans without health care insurance,” yet, not you or your comrades on the left have ever said who these people are (“Health-care reform is due,” July 27).

Would you please, sir, confirm or dispute, in writing, my understanding that they are those individuals who decided early on to not take advantage of the free education offered in this country (read: drop-outs) or immigrants?

Also, I would like to point out that the majority of my working life (I'm 75 and still working full time) I have not very often had “health insurance,” as all major employers only provide a “benefit of health coverage” and are self-insured through a “health insurance company” on a cost-plus basis.

Your employer sets the rules and the “health insurance company” administers the plan for a percentage of the cost fee. If you don't believe that, then take out your insurance benefits card and read the disclaimer on the back. So that is really what this is mostly all about, in a year or so, your employer will say the federal government has a wonderful medical coverage plan so we are going to add a few bucks to your pay check and you can go out and sign up for that plan.

As Tiny Tim (not the treasury secretary) said, “God bless us one and all!”

DAVID S. BROWN

Glendale

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Current system gives us a choice

The problem with Sharon Weisman's argument for a “single-payer” scheme (“Single-payer is the way to go,” July 27) is that she ignores the central question: Should we be free to select our own doctors, free to decide how much (if any) health insurance we want to buy, or should these decisions be delegated to a bureaucratic apparatus in the interest of “fairness?”

If there were some way for Weisman to give up her own freedoms, while leaving everyone else's intact, I suppose she should have that right.

But the truly insidious thing about all of the various proposals floating around Washington and Sacramento is that their advocates demand that we all surrender our right to make those decisions for ourselves and our families. You don't get a choice.

Our current system is far from perfect, but there is no other place in the world where ordinary, middle-class families can obtain the sort of top-flight medical care that Americans have come to expect.

Improving the deficiencies of the current system must not come at the price of surrendering our freedom to make our own decisions regarding the medical care that we and our families receive.

DOUG ROBERTSON

La Crescenta

? Carwash taking lead in conservation

Recently much has been written, talked, and discussed regarding the recycling of water in Glendale, all of it to the good. The city of Glendale has been recycling water for many years and is now expanding its use (“Schools seek recycled water,” July 15).

The latest potential recipient of recycled water is a complex of schools, including Hoover High School, Toll Middle School and Keppel Elementary School. This is contingent on receipt of a grant requested by the city of Glendale of the stimulus funds. In August, all of us, homeowners and businesses, are to take water conservation seriously. We have received an extensive list of suggestions from Glendale Water & Power as to how to lower our individual water usage. I would hope all of us read the suggestions and then put them into practice.

There is a business on Foothill Boulevard, in the La Cañada area, that has taken water conservation very seriously since 1975 when it opened for business. The Foothill Car Wash Lube Oil & Detail Center has been recycling the water used in its car wash operation for 34 years. I have been a patron of this establishment for most of those years, and I recently asked the younger owner, Steve Berkman, what his car wash was doing to cope with the water shortage. It was at that time that Berkman told me about the recycled water that Foothill Car Wash has been using all these many years.

Foothill Car Wash handles an average of 210 cars a day, and the water used for their car wash has always been recycled at their premises. They have a series of catch basins that filter the water and re-pump it for reuse. It is not a new and exotic technology. It is simply an astute business practice, and it not only benefits the Foothill Car Wash, but also its many patrons.

According to the July Auto Laundry News, only 37% of car washes nationwide use recycled water. There should be many more car wash installations that convert to recycled water, especially at this time.

Berkman and his dad, Marvin, have obviously taken a leadership role in their business approach. I believe they are an example of not only being ahead of the times, but also setting the bar high for others and using what resources they have with a sense of value and foresight. They are to be commended and emulated.

CARL W. RAGGIO

Glendale

EDITOR'S NOTE: Raggio is a former mayor of Glendale.


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