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POSTED: Friday, April 02, 2010

Health care is today's snake oil

Our politicians remind me of stories I've read about slick snake oil salesmen of long ago. They tell us that health care reform will cost us a trillion dollars but will reduce the deficit by more than a hundred billion dollars. Half of that cost will come from waste and fraud recouped from Medicare, a program that is already considered bankrupt. It's like making car payments with the money you've set aside for your home mortgage. What have you gained?

Also, does anyone know how much of this so-called waste and fraud has been recouped so far? What happens if we don't find $400 billion in waste and fraud? Where do we find the trillion dollars needed for the second 10 years? Will we be able to fix Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid in the meantime?

If history calls us the greedy and selfish generation, I'll bet you won't get any arguments from the young Americans who inherit the mess we're leaving behind.

Warren Fukushima

Pearl City

 

               

     

 

 

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Rafael del Castillo also running for Congress

In his March 24 “;On Politics”; column, Richard Borreca argues that there are two candidates from the Democratic Party.

In fact there are more, and I wish Mr. Borreca and others would look seriously at Rafael “;Del”; del Castillo, who is also running for Neil Abercrombie's former seat.

Mr. del Castillo's distinctions include the fact that he is a working health care and civil rights lawyer, and therefore expert in an area where Hawaii needs such expertise in representing our unique health care situation in Congress.

He is not a professional politician, as Ms. Colleen Hanabusa and Mr. Ed Case are, and he sees himself as a “;citizen legislator”; in the way Thomas Jefferson viewed membership in Congress.

And he lives in the district he would be representing.

I hope in the future that reporters will examine seriously Mr. del Castillo's credentials.

Bob Joseph

Honolulu

 

Rail will save drivers millions in gas costs

A number of letter writers like to complain about the cost of the new rail system. Do they ever consider how dearly Oahu will pay if we do not get serious about fighting traffic congestion by building rail?

The Texas Transportation Institute's latest study calculated that Honolulu burned an additional 7 million gallons of gas in 2007 from needless traffic delays. Those wasted gallons of gas became greenhouse gases that harmed our environment by accelerating global warming.

Roadway congestion burdened Honolulu's businesses with nearly $200 million in extra costs in 2007, according to the institute. That money didn't go to worker salaries, or buying better equipment or improving customer service.

Individual commuters felt the pinch in their bank accounts, too. The institute figured that Oahu drivers paid about $500 more a year in vehicle maintenance, fuel costs, parking and other expenses because of congestion.

Kathryn Acorda

Honolulu

 

Roths deserve thanks for supporting gay son

In “;Catholic policy toward gays misguided”; (Star-Bulletin, Island Commentary, March 29), Susie and Randy Roth declare their love for their son in the face of the misguided prejudice of the church.

I, too, was fortunate to have Catholic parents who like the Roths supported me when I came out to them, and always accepted my partners as a part of the family.

The pity is that so few Catholic parents have the courage to come out and support their children — who were after all, according to their beliefs, a gift from God.

Thanks to the Roths for leading the way.

Nathan Leo Braulick

Honolulu

 

Military's gay policy reveals hypocrisy

Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon does not want “;Don't Ask Don't Tell”; repealed. This shows his true hypocrisy. This man knows he is serving with gays in the military; he just does not want to know who they are.

The military code of conduct does not condone lies or liars, yet this general is living a lie and prospering from it.

Gen. Mixon was ordered not to talk about this issue and yet he violated that direct order. Had a private done so, he would be given an Article 15 and possibly be expelled from service.

Does anyone see the double hypocrisy besides me?

Robert Lloyd

Ewa Beach

 

Small increase in GET may be best solution

I am writing to ask you to please understand why working citizens support raising the state general excise tax — just a small increase may be the best solution for Hawaii.

I read what the local economists recently said, and I agree that a small tax increase will help boost our economy, while continued cuts to social service programs only harm our economy, not to mention the people involved.

I make a modest income and the small tax increase comes out to one more penny for every dollar that I spend. I can bear this small increase as a taxpayer; I cannot continue to bear seeing more jobs lost and public services cut — that hurts everyone in Hawaii.

Jennie Whitlock

Honolulu

 

Double-dipping into gift of Easter eggs

Aloha. I was moved by the egg company that donated more than 100,000 eggs for Hawaii's needy at Easter time so that during these tough economic times, they could color eggs with their families.

While it was a very touching gesture, my first thought was: Wouldn't it be nice if these same families could cook these eggs to meet their nutritional needs? I found it to be a good intention, but a huge waste of food.

Claire Woods

Kailua