Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Wednesday

March 5, 2014

Letters to the Editor: 03/05/2014

Better than backroom

I much prefer Charlie Renny’s approach to governing than I do the backroom “deals,” and threats (face-to-face and by phone) practiced by county commissioner Christine Maxbauer. Being one who was personally attacked by her, I find it to be reprehensible behavior. The question is, do citizens of the county prefer open government or “closed-door deals,” and threats?

Max Binkley

Williamsburg

The writer is a former Commission On Again board member.

The goal is profit

Private enterprise isn’t appropriate for delivery of health care, as has been made amply clear in Elisabeth Rosenthal’s 2013 New York Times series. The goal of for-profit enterprises is to make a profit, the bigger the better. For health care this means the main goal is not customer health, but instead selling as many procedures, drugs, hospital stays, and at as high a price as possible. The result: our health care is about 18 percent of our gross domestic product, almost twice as much as in the rest of the developed world, with no better outcomes (June 2).

The series has many examples of overcharging. Here’s one: colonoscopies done routinely, frequently and expensively where a stool sample may provide an equally effective, much less expensive test for colon cancer.

Notice all the TV ads for hospitals, medical centers, doctors and drugs? Those ads, which we pay for, are expensive (especially for 5 to 8 p.m.) and they aren’t making anybody healthier.

The summary article (Dec. 21) states, this nation “is fundamentally handicapped in its quest for cheaper health care: All other developed countries rely on a large degree of direct government intervention, negotiation or rate-setting … That is not politically acceptable here.”

Thanks, Republicans.

Barbara Abbott

Lake Leelanau

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