Solving Medicare problems will take time
The content of the Oct. 21 Rejoinder by Rep. Ben Cardin, "Democrats have led on Medicare reform," -- was well-thought through and written by a knowledgeable individual who, indeed, had done his homework.
Should the Republican bill pass with its perks for the "got plenties," we seniors will suffer from this action for years to come; all because they are hurrying to meet a timetable regardless of the consequences.
The solution to the Medicare problem (and I admit there is one) is not to be accomplished hurriedly but, rather, it must be thought through carefully and slowly. Otherwise you will create a worse problem.
In Yiddish we have a word, "plunte," which means an entanglement from which there is no extrication. This is what the Republicans must not be permitted to do.
That is to create such a "plunte" in their haste that the seniors will not be able to extricate themselves.
Incompetent North Avenue
Teachers and support staff in Baltimore City can no longer be asked to assume the burden of the incompetent, arrogant mismanagement of the public schools. The blame does fester at North Avenue.
The idea of an employee furlough (to cover up Superintendent Walter G. Amprey's inability to manage the schools) verges on the obscene. Teachers and support staff work hard and have no power to affect the changes that are forced upon them.
We are supposed to be professionals, but are never really treated as such. Rather, we are looked down upon by those who do not want to be in the classroom and we are used as a scapegoat for all the ills of the system.
It is time for the state and the city to see us as allies and let us do our job.
Can't just give the 'dream' away
The people who live in the suburbs (or any other part of town being considered as a destination for the 1,324 poor households being relocated by the Baltimore Housing Authority) have worked to afford a better place to live for themselves and their families, thus creating their own American dream. When the government tries to provide the dream to everyone regardless of that person's effort, which is socialism, it undermines the work ethic that made this country great.
Schools have too many aides
Contrary to what many officials would want you to believe the problem with public education is not the lack of funds. The Oct. 21 letter to the editor, "Public schools are wasteful bureaucracy," written by David D. Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute, identifies the real culprit and it is an appropriate warning for taxpayers. In some of our schools today, everyone from teachers up has an assistant, sometimes three.
'Forrest F. Gesswein Jr.
Care of elderly is a commitment
I recently read in your newspaper some reports about reduction in what the government will pay for the care of the elderly in our nursing homes.
I think we sometimes forget how far we have come in this country. The care of senior citizens in their later years is a commitment that this country made through Medicare and Medicaid programs. It is a commitment that we should keep.
These citizens are the ones who have fought in two world wars to keep this country free. These are the ones who built the most democratic and diversified nation on the planet.
These people are the ones who made the economy of this country the largest in the world and the envy of nearly every nation.
The people who live in nursing homes today, though they may look frail, built the platform from which many of us reach for even greater heights today.
These are our parents, other relatives and loved ones. Are they too much of a burden for us now, when they need help the most?
Our commitment to them must be kept. This is the right thing to do.
The writer is administrator of Horizon Healthcare Corp.
Support groups help with cancer treatment
The Oct. 16 article, "Complications for cancer survivors," was of interest to all who themselves or through others have had cancer touch their lives. The disease is frightening. The treatments are scary. The future looks dismal.
The medical world reaches out with help.
Chemotherapy is simply chemical therapy. The chemicals are prescribed by a doctor who specializes in the treatment of cancer.
The patient (or the responsible designated person) must be aware of the dangers involved. However, there are plus factors, too. Some cancers go into remission and a recurrence of the disease is prevented.
Chemicals are sent into one's body to find and demolish any cancer cells. Unfortunately, these chemicals do not know the difference between good and bad cells.
Despite the nausea, mouth sores, fatigue, fright and loss of hair, etc., one must try very hard to build up one's immune system. Also one must struggle not to allow one's energy level to go to zero.
There may be other factors that are negative, too. The whole bit devours one (or so it feels like after one or two treatments).
Radiation is another treatment which completely wrings one out and can also have positive and negative factors.
Once begun, the battle does not soon end. The feeling of looking at the sky, smelling flowers, laughing and sharing with loved ones makes it all worthwhile.
Children are a different story. One is that the decision to allow cancer to pursue its course or try to fight it is made by parents. Children cannot fully understand the implications of the disease or its treatments.
With cancer treatments no one is 100 percent certain of the nTC results. Fortunately, new medical treatments seem to come at a steady rate. Length of life is now often prolonged.
Unfortunately, the medical profession cannot completely advise one of all the effects of treatments. Parents must understand that often in the aftermath of success, there may be trials and tribulations.
This is one of the features of support groups, where everyone's need seems to arise and be important to all. They share personal knowledge of the good and bad, that can lead to a better quality of life. We are all in a circle. What we give comes back. The strength adds to our life. One is not alone.