Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2009

End bounty hunt in health care

No, patients should not have to relinquish their right to sue nor is “;tort reform by itself,”; to quote Mr. Wayne Parsons, a panacea for reduction of health care costs (”;Patients should not have to give up their right to sue,”; Star-Bulletin, Letters, Sept. 18). But in decrying a “;red herring,”; Mr. Parsons merely introduces two more.

In the current health care debate there is no responsible suggestion that patients be denied the right to sue or that lawsuits are the sole reason for high costs. In fact, there is far too little discussion of tort reform as a component of cost reduction, as the issue is intimately tied to that of unnecessary tests and procedures.

After talking with similarly retired friends who are physicians, and who now have no monetary stake in the issue, I would characterize the sum of their opinions on the issue as follows: “;Yes, I have ordered tests that I knew were medically marginal. However, I offer no apology as I knew that the maybe one patient in a hundred who might sue me could ruin my practice and maybe my life.”; Whether these doctors were correct or overreacted is irrelevant; this was the perception (and maybe visceral fear) that drove their actions and drives costs.

What people want to end is the legal bounty hunt, not the right to sue and redress legitimate injury.

John Medlock



I know racism when I see it

James Roller's letter lampoons the notion that racism is involved in Obama health care criticism (”;Bad policy at root of criticism, not racism,”; Star-Bulletin, Letter, Sept. 18). He labels it a “;backlash against bad policy.”;

At Washington, D.C.'s tea party two Saturdays ago, we saw signs depicting President Barack Obama as a half-naked African spear chucker; as an ape.

We saw signs calling the president a Nazi; signs that read “;Hitler gave great speeches too”;; signs saying, “;This time we're unarmed”;; signs saying “;I want my country back.”;

To call this nothing more than a disagreement over bad policy is one of the most ludicrous statements I've ever read in the Star-Bulletin. As a survivor of the effort to desegregate the South, I know racism when I see it.

Speaking of bad policy, there was a study just released stating that 48,000 Americans each year go to their graves prematurely because of inadequate health care. It is an American form of the Holocaust. How you could label any effort to stop this as “;bad policy”; is beyond me.

Rick Lloyd



Maui depends on water supply

In a perfect world, the Maui Department of Water Supply would take care of all our water needs well in advance.

Without a reliable water supply, how can our businesses grow and prosper?

How can we have new local housing for our young people?

Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world.

That's why we have to support the effort to build the Waiale water treatment facility. Without this water source, what will happen to our economy?

Ken Ota






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