Letters to the editor published in the October 28, 2009, edition of The Explorer.
Important to vote 'yes' on Amphi issues
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of "Yes" votes on Propositions 403 and 404 on the Nov. 3 ballot.
We feel that these two propositions are vital at any time, but their passage is especially important in this current economy.
Proposition 403 continues the override for operations approved by the voters in 2005. Proposition 404 is a capital override which will help Amphi keep pace with our educational needs in today's high technology economy by maintaining the district's present standards in many areas and be ready for the future.
As a taxpayer, we are very glad to hear that neither proposition will increase our taxes.
Al and Marilyn Cook, Oro Valley
OV mayor's 'experience' not needed
In last week's Explorer, Mayor Loomis stated that, "My experience is definitely an advantage to the town." I am shocked, considering the fact Mr. Loomis's ego actually thinks that he deserves another term as mayor.
Here is an example of the "facts": The Explorer stated that the town government spends approximately $4,600 per resident. This is almost three times more than what was spent per resident in 1998. This does not include fire services, which we pay in our tax bill.
It appears that Mayor Loomis looks upon Oro Valley as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
The Mayor spent $11,000 of unbudgeted town funds to take a trip to Europe for a three-minute speech.
He voted against suspending sales tax subsidies to developers, which the Goldwater Institute stated was against Arizona statue.
The Mayor voted against creating a volunteer sustainability commission, after stating the need for one at last year's State of the Town Address. He also voted to raid the town's contingency fund, which was for an emergency, to balance the town's budget. He voted against the creation of a volunteer economic development commission.
The Mayor, as per The Explorer, was instrumental in removing, one of the best, and fiscally responsible city managers in the State of Arizona, costing taxpayer hundreds of thousand of dollars in severance and replacement costs.
Mayor Loomis is now voicing support for double the utility tax and create a primary property tax.
This kind of "experience" we don't need.
Geri Ottoboni, Oro Valley
Health officials soaking public must be stopped
Government at any level should be of, by, and for the people, but large campaign donations from special interests pose a threat to democracy which sometimes causes our statesmen's attention to turn away from the public's vital needs.
According to Wendell Potter, former executive of Cigna, and more recently a whistleblower, when Wall Street asks the insurance industry to divert a higher percentage of their profit to shareholders, health insurance leaders salute and snap to it. Such unjustified obedience to special interests leads to deprived policyholders; health care is denied, resulting in pain, bankruptcy and even death. In short, we the people end up paying higher premiums for what can turn out to be partial or even complete denial of coverage.
Any one of us, when faced by a major illness, can be turned down due to a supposed "pre-existing condition" or a simple declaration that our prescribed treatment is "experimental." Health officials who are soaking the public and cheating us to the hilt must be stopped.
It takes a few minutes to write to our legislators to remind them that they do not belong to any industry or to Wall Street. Each of us, no matter what our demographic, has a vote and therefore we have the power to put the bloodsuckers of the health insurance industry where they belong.
Let's take the time to request a strong public option from our Congress, a public option that will challenge the healthcare industry to offer and deliver affordable, dependable coverage. It will be our best guarantee of quality care.
America has countless fine hospitals. Our doctors, nurses and other professionals are the best, so there is no good reason why we cannot have health care second to none.
Kathy Pastryk, Oro Valley
Mongers using the critics to do their dirty work
This letter is not intended for executives of Fortune 500 corporations. It is for those writers who express obtuse anger toward our president and his supporters and are subconsciously acting against their own best interests.
Clearly they have some need which isn't being satisfied. Perhaps is a subconscious fear of all who may have authority over them. They would be the last to acknowledge any fear, since we all naturally tend to take responsibility for our lot in life. But right-wing fear is evidenced in many ways. Many bought guns and ammo after Obama's election and demanded more police for protection. Their politicians are afraid to take on the big problems of our country. Their congressmen abdicated their rolls in 2000; went on a 30-hour work week; dismissed the ethics committee; and turned the government over to the executive branch for fear of losing their jobs.
President Bush, after lowering taxes for the rich and giving away the budget surplus, promptly turned the government over to a few incompetent cronies, Wall Street, and big political contributors.
It's easy to blame our troubles on someone else, relieving us of responsibility. I understand I can't convince you "blamers" that you are being used by the power mongers to do their dirty work but, truth is, you are. Your natural fear of authority (or whatever) is being manipulated into anger by clever actors like Limbaugh and Beck. These actors are only interested in the power and the ratings you bring them. They will say anything, regardless of the consequences to our country, to keep you coming back. You get the high blood pressure and they get the big bucks.
For example, health care for all citizens should be a right, not free, but accessible. Regardless of your present mind-set, if you are injured or too old to work, you will need affordable care. So, why are you "carrying water" for the wealthy insurance lobbyists and intractable politicians who want to deny our constitutional rights? Think about it; while progressives try to insure your rights and keep the hospital doors open for you.
Benjamin Love, Oro Valley
In response to Sen. Kyl's health reply
I recently asked Sen. Kyl a simple question: Why can't we Americans have the same health care system that you enjoy as a member of Congress? Here are some excerpts from his answer.
Sen. Kyl says we have the best health care system in the world, enabling Americans to live longer. It does, except for those without health insurance. According to research by Harvard Medical School, 45,000 Americans die each year because they lack health insurance.
The senator echoed the rants of his "tea party" brethren about rationing, withholding of coverage, and delayed access to care, but admitted, "You will not find these words in the bills!" In reality, the proposed public option will keep the insurance companies honest through competition. All Americans, like Congressmen, will have a choice of health insurance plans.
Kyl says "The argument that a government-run plan would provide a better range of choices" has been refuted by the Lewin Group, a subsidiary of the United Health Care Company, hardly a well-respected, independent analysis.
Kyl insists that a public option would run up the deficit, but the Congressional Budget Office issued a report stating that a public option would reduce the deficit by billions of dollars.
His alternative, medical tort reform, is refuted by a study released in May by the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Risk Management Foundation, wherein 1,452 medical malpractice lawsuits were examined. More than 90 percent of claims showed evidence of medical injury; 60 percent resulted from a physician's wrongdoing, and in 25 percent, the patient died. That's hardly "frivolous."
His next alternative is to remove the barriers that limit consumers' ability to shop for quality coverage across state lines at a more affordable price. Insurance companies would rejoice, as they could then operate without state controls.
Finally, Kyl's contention that "medical decisions will be made by politicians and bureaucrats, not patients and doctors" is nonsense. Under the public option we will be able to choose the doctor, hospital and insurance plan of our choice. Insurance companies have denied this right, not the government.
Phil Gibbs, Oro Valley