Reform health care with less specialization
Sixty percent of our medical professionals are specialists, and 40 percent are in general practice. To promote health care reform, the numbers should be reversed. More services ought to be provided by nurses and other types of technical support staffs.
Hilary Clinton's task force is working on a "managed competition" program which should guarantee coverage for everyone and control costs with competition among insurers. "Managed competition" is an experiment that will take years and a huge amount of money to reach this potential.
We seriously need administrative reform and malpractice reform. When a patient visits a physician -- under any new health plan -- the individual should be required to pay a small fee in order to discourage people from going to a physician when it is not necessary.
During the last 30 years, health costs have doubled in each decade. The Congressional Budget Office warns us that if this trend continues, the federal deficit will get out of control.
We have to find the best way to ration health care, because the demand will always exceed the supply.
In reference to the Baltimore Teachers Union claim that Legionnaire's disease exists in the school system, perhaps they should take a look at themselves first.
Ever since BTU took over in the 1970s, the disease of greed has spread over a large percentage of teachers. Unfortunately, devoted teachers got caught up in this political football.
During these years, class sizes grew, except where state funds were provided. This year, in response to class size, Tesseract attacked the student-teacher ratio by providing interns -- college graduates, most of whom are interested in becoming full-time teachers.
The BTU has been against the program because of the low pay for interns, and supposedly extra work for teachers. BTU fails to look at benefits received by teachers because of an extra person in the classroom.
As a retired city school teacher, and as a re-hired intern working at the Sarah M. Roach School, where they claim this disease has broken out, I say that the BTU is simply trying one more method to attack Tesseract.
May it be known that, ever since the suggestion of Legionnaire's disease coming from the Sarah M. Roach School, officials from Tesseract and all other proper organizations have joined together to monitor the situation. To date, Health Department reports have shown no negative data.
May BTU give Tesseract a chance. Much more would be accomplished if they stopped fighting Tesseract.
John Hollister Davis
Left and right
In his letter April 14, Werner Furth seems totally unaware that there's a difference between conservatism the attitude and conservatism the ideology. Can he imagine that if a lover of authority like Sen. Jesse Helms had been born and raised in the Soviet Union, he would be an advocate of glasnost?
I must also wonder where he got his description of conservatism. It seems to have as little relation to reality as Reagan's pledge to raise defense spending, cut taxes and balance the budget by 1984.
He says that wanting more government interference is a "hallmark of the left." So why didn't Reagan want the government off the backs of women who wanted abortions? It is not because he respected life, unless you believe that personhood ends at birth.
Mr. Furth says that "self-centered government bureaucracy" is "the characteristic of the left." Who supports Star Wars? The only way he can claim that it once did something beyond perpetuating a Pentagon featherbed is if the Kremlin generals are just as gadget-happy as our own. Either way, Mr. Furth loses.
He claims conservatives want improvements while liberals cling to the past. If he had bothered to look, he would have found plenty of liberals with a vision, and multitudes of conservatives clinging to a dead past.
He says that collectivism is the "antithesis of the Republicans." In fact, the GOP has far more authoritarians than the Democrats. He accuses liberals of abusing parliamentary procedures. Reagan and Bush tried to pack the Supreme Court.
He accuses liberals of disastrous approaches. The biggest disaster of the recent past was the Vietnam War. While its leader, President Johnson, was a liberal, most of its supporters were conservatives . . .
I am deeply outraged at the Republican senators' blockage of President Clinton's job-creating stimulus package.
How can a handful of filibustering senators be so uncaring as to the desperate plight of millions of unemployed Americans?
And to top it off, they are led in their efforts by Senator Bob Dole, who unceasingly continues to push for sweetheart legislation to further enrich America's largest agribusiness corporation, Archer-Daniels-Midland.
It is enough to drive anyone to cynicism.
Gifted, not elite
The "gifted and talented" student program does need reviewing, and I think Superintendent Stuart Berger of Baltimore County is right in studying all aspects of it.
What some parents and teachers don't realize is how much bitterness this program has caused among many parents. I have heard resentful remarks throughout my own family and friends for years about how the GT program has become a snobbish clique that makes other children feel like failures because they don't belong to this select group.
There are many smart kids with good thinking skills who are not GT students and who later go on to win awards and scholarships. Other children do poorly on tests and they just get lost in the system.
I am all for programs that encourage children to do better. When the GT program was first formed, it was designed to encourage students with a special skill to work and develop it, aiming to keep kids in school.
Let's not do away with such good ideas as GT. But let's not make exclusive clubs out of them, making other children feel inadequate.
Doreen A. Griffin