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Legal fee cap would financehealth careThe Clinton...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Legal fee cap would financehealth care

The Clinton administration has a health care plan that is explained in 1,364 pages. It adds about 100 new taxpayer-funded bureaucracies to the government payroll.

All activities in our medical care will be regulated by a seven-member executive board that in essence will decide whether we live or die.

The government, not doctors, will decide. That doesn't sound good.

Here is another plan, in fewer words, that will solve two problems instead of just one.

Cap malpractice client fees for lawyers at $100,000, or 10 percent of the settlement. Not only will that clear our overcrowded courts, but the money saved in doctors' insurance premiums ($4 billion) and lawyer-imposed "defensive medicine" ($6 billion) will be more than enough to insure the 6 percent of the population uninsured chronically, not by choice.

Let's keep what we have that's good and put a leash on these lawyers. Socialized medicine is bad medicine.

Richard L. Frank

Cockeysville

Catch-22

Regarding the health care controversy, I find one fact extremely perplexing.

How, in a country where it is illegal to discriminate against people because of their race, color or creed did it become legal to discriminate against people who have health problems?

Because of legal exclusions in health care programs for pre-existing conditions, sick people cannot change jobs or relocate to another state.

They often are discriminated into a life of poverty if they lose their health insurance.

Many chronic health problems, such as arthritis, are much easier to live with in warmer climates (if you can move).

People who are injured doing heavy labor and who cannot return to that type of work are assisted in finding new careers by workmen's comp. But if they have any other health problems they become uninsurable under a new employer's health plan ..

Bradley Beach

Baltimore

Work praised

During the week of Jan. 17, the Baltimore area was confronted with snow, ice and below-zero temperatures.

This presented such challenges to all of as how to get to work; what to do to ensure our children were taken care of; how to deal with driving and how to avoid personal injuries.

Although this was true of just about everyone, it was particularly true in the case of postal workers.

Many streets and sidewalks were impassable and, despite the fact that most businesses were closed, the employees of the Baltimore Performance Cluster, United States Postal Service, showed their dedication and consciousness by continuing to report for work, sort, dispatch and deliver mail efficiently.

Once again, they proved that postal employees can meet and overcome any obstacles placed in their path when it comes to the performance of their duties, which impact everyone in the nation.

Unfortunately, some of our city rural carriers were involved in vehicle accidents or experienced injuries. However, with almost 3,000 carriers within the Performance Cluster, the overwhelming majority of employees were able to avoid any mishaps.

We would personally like to thank each and every one of our employees for their extraordinary efforts and express our appreciation for their contributions to providing the best possible service to the customers we serve.

We express our gratitude to our customers for their patience and understanding during these very trying times.

Your consideration made our job somewhat less difficult and gave us all a sense of accomplishment and pride for being able to achieve our goal of delighting our customers.

Richard W. Rudez

Peter A. Bernard Jr.

Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, district manager and plant manager, Baltimore Performance Cluster.

Eye for an eye

It never ceases to amaze how people like John Thanos can show wanton disregard for others by taking a life and still have their lives defended by people such as Louis P. Boeri (Forum, Jan. 12).

Mr. Boeri apparently interprets the meaning of the word "deterrent" to apply to everyone. Doesn't he realize that death to the perpetrator is absolute deterrence?

A public defender once questioned my definition of the word retribution as it relates to the death penalty and couldn't comprehend the idea of "paying back," "getting even" and "making the penalty fit the crime."

He and people like Mr. Boeri should consider taking each criminal case and resolving it as best the law and the people allow.

For the 265 million inhabitants in this country there will never be a totally equal playing field for justice. There are and must continue to be fair and equal laws.

There is no need to "play God," as suggested by Mr. Boeri. There is simply a need to have the will to punish those who take pleasure in punishing us.

Let's get off the righteous platform and broadcast the resolve to destroy those who have no regard for human life. Only then will those who commit heinous crimes "get it."

Eugene J. Daly Jr.

Baltimore

Gangsta rap demeans community values

Being a resident of Rep. Kweisi Mfume's district, I was compelled to write concerning the topic of his radio talk show that aired Jan. 23.

The topic was "gangsta rap" and its effects on the U.S. community. Since Representative Mfume seemed to take a noncommittal view on the subject, please allow me to speak more candidly about the matter.

During the program one young man on the panel, who was defending the artistic integrity of "gangsta" rappers, claimed that African-Americans have no medium in which to express their views. Although I am just an ordinary U.S. citizen, my humble opinion may perhaps find itself in a newspaper with a large circulation.

The pro-"gangsta rap" guests seemed to think that these rappers merely write songs that reflect the environment in which they live, even after musical success enables them to escape the ghettos.

Rappers are somehow forced to act as "bad" as their music and videos portray them, thus dooming these icons to be sources of disappointment. They also made an interesting point that the corporate music industry neglects to provide any guidance for the problems that instant stardom may have on young performers, solely on racial prejudice.

There may be some merit to the latter statement. However, to think that newfound wealth and power would not bring about a compulsion for one to better oneself and the community is an obvious sign of a people desensitized to economic stagnation and violence or of a gross neglect to broaden their culture's surroundings.

The "gangsta rap" advocates also complained that this country will put a young addict, Elvis Presley, on a U.S. stamp, popularize a white man's song that speaks of murdering a law enforcement official ("I Shot the Sheriff") and resist honoring the birthday of Martin Luther King in the state of Arizona.

Elvis never glorified drugs, violence, illegal gambling, or male dominance over women in his music -- all topics commonly mentioned in "gangsta rap" songs. (The long list of great performers who had drug problems knows no race, color or creed constraints.)

The song "I Shot the Sheriff" was originally written and performed by Bob Marley, a great black musician. Martin Luther King's birthday has been a national holiday for several years, regardless of what one sparsely populated state cares to observe.

The reason for my letter is not only to expose the fallacies presented in the aforementioned broadcast, but also to offer some possible solutions.

As Frank Reid said, we must make a change on spiritual, political, and economic levels. Spiritually, the black community must initiate a collective crusade to unite to fight the glorification of gangs, guns, drugs and violence, and to replace it with a strong belief and faith in their families and their creator.

Similarly, in the white community we must make the elimination of the lingering racial discrimination and bigotry a top concern in our cities, towns and religious communities.

Until the white man fully eradicates the deadly disease of racism, injustice due to racial heritage will surely persist.

A steady change in the mindless opinion of racists would hopefully have a beneficial economic effect by providing influential jobs that are still closed to many of our black brothers and sisters.

Paul E. Smith

Baltimore

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