Med savings accounts won't help the poorI...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Med savings accounts won't help the poor

I found the article, "Health benefit bill gains in Senate" (April 19) quite interesting. I am glad you brought this issue to the public's attention.

As a student who works part-time and was not offered health insurance coverage from my employer, I agree with the critics who believe that the medical savings accounts would not benefit the working poor and sick. These individuals would continually have to weigh one illness over another. And this proposal does not address individuals who are in situations like mine. How are ++ we supposed to pay the ever-increasing cost of health care?

As a future health care professional, I believe medical savings accounts will make it difficult for individuals who truly need medical services to receive them. The funds will be depleted before they receive the necessary services that will allow them to achieve a state of wellness.

I was delighted when I read that President Clinton and the Senate Democrats opposed this amendment. I hope all proposals are rejected that do not serve the interest of everyone under consideration.

Sheryl A. Hall

Baltimore

City in danger of getting like county

Eric Siegel's April 30 story and The Sun's May 3 editorial suggesting that, rather than raise taxes, Mayor Schmoke and the Baltimore City Council should dismantle the Baltimore Women's Commission, eliminate South Baltimore's School 33 art studio space, close neighborhood hubs and quit funding scholarships for city youths came frighteningly close to the anti-tax sentiment found in our neighboring counties.

These programs and others like them are the reason many city residents don't move to the suburbs.

If we were subscribers to the green-eyeshade, tax-quack mentality, we'd move to Lutherville.

Baltimore has enough problems without canning unique and valuable programs in a penny-pinching budget panic.

Patrick J. Smith

Baltimore

Baltimore needs more libraries

The Enoch Pratt Free Library system is one of the few institutions in Baltimore that still successfully fosters a sense of civic belonging and identity to the city. Such ennobling sentiments are rapidly disappearing.

Baltimore needs to encourage more cohesion and unity among a richly diverse population to counteract the seemingly dominant forces of social dissolution and fracture. Maintaining the Enoch Pratt system is one way to do this.

Mayor Kurt Schmoke's cost-cutting plan to eliminate libraries is wrong-headed and will prove detrimental to the city if carried out. During his last mayoral race he polarized the city with a racially divisive campaign. Now his library plan will further aggravate a sense of alienation and discord in the city.

As public purveyors of knowledge to individuals, regardless of income, libraries are life lines to a better informed and more responsible citizenry. Baltimore needs more libraries, not fewer.

John Bailey

Baltimore

All's not well with Social Security

The Opinion Commentary article by Mark Weisbrot regarding Social Security reform warrants a response. The "all's jake, leave Social Security alone" view he expresses is appropriate for current beneficiaries and those who will begin to receive benefits in the next decade or two if these beneficiaries have few altruistic concerns for those younger.

Coincidently, one day earlier I read the lead article by Martin Feldstein in a recent journal of the American Economic Association. Mr. Feldstein is a Harvard University economist known for his studies of Social Security. He says, "The rapidly deteriorating financial position of Social Security will eventually force politicians to deal with the problem of Social Security reform."

Which assessment of the long-term situation is most likely correct? Unfortunately, probably Feldstein's.

Douglas Lamdin

Baltimore

The writer is assistant professor of economics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Boorda led Navy crippled by feminist agenda

Following the celebration of Memorial Day, it seems appropriate to record the following concerning the late Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda.

Admiral Boorda's demise was a direct result of his profound respect for and dedicated service to the United States Navy. This seriously troubled chief naval officer could have manifested no greater love for his shipmates than to lay down his life, hoping to spare them further pain and embarrassment.

The U.S. Navy bequeathed to Admiral Boorda was not the finely tuned and well-disciplined Navy of 30 years ago when he entered its service.

Instantaneous forced sexual integration, homosexual XTC "accommodation," progressive erosion of previously strict naval discipline and conduct that resulted in huge increases in sexual harassment incidents and courts martial, increasing pregnancy rates at all naval facilities, more indictments for sexual harassment and rapes against U.S. Navy personnel at Japanese bases alone than in any other military area in the world, the sacrificing of pilot safety in degendering combat pilot training and continuing resignations by competent senior officials ensnared in pitfalls of political and social "correctness" are but a few such imbroglios experienced as world-wide deterioration in naval conduct continues.

Much, if not all, of this and more resulted directly from feminists and numerous other activists wielding a heavy hand in advancing their treacherous euphemisms for meritless quotas -- goals, set-asides, preferences, diversity, rostered entitlements, percentages, personnel "balance," incidental privileges, etc.

Legislators and politicians were largely responsible for the mediation of this monstrous "enlightenment" of naval conduct and discipline. Implementation of these liberal policies, however, was with the full consent of a succession of progressive CNOs, commencing most notably with Adm. Elmo R. Zumwalt.

Contrary to the activists' outcries, most of this decay in our naval force is reversible. Identifying those ludicrous and destructive directives largely responsible for the erosion of naval discipline and conduct and rescinding them promptly and completely would be a giant step in the resurrection of the once proud U.S. Navy.

Admiral Boorda was one of the Navy's finest. He served faithfully and effectively whenever and wherever so ordered. He was a sailor of valor and gallantry.

My heart aches for Admiral Boorda's family and friends. I wish for him nothing but red sunsets, a steady wind at his back, sparkling silver dawns and quiet seas as he courses in the waters of paradise. This man was a genuine hero, and I am proud to salute him.

C. Richard Bowers

Frederick

Pub Date: 5/30/96

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