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The Baltimore Sun

Arundel Co. program cares for thousands

While the "Healthy Howard" editorial (Oct. 6) lauded Howard County's health care plan for the uninsured and recommended it as "a model for other local governments," Baltimore Sun readers should know that Anne Arundel County's REACH (Residents Access to a Coalition of Health) program has been successfully providing care to thousands of uninsured people for nine years.

REACH is a collaboration between the local medical society and the county Health Department. It provides a safety net to low-income working people unable to afford employer-based insurance or qualify for federal or state programs.

It focuses on prevention and reduces unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

Since its inception, REACH has served more than 6,600 county residents and provided donated care worth more than $15 million.

While the Howard County plan charges a monthly premium, Anne Arundel's REACH program arranges for deeply discounted fees to be paid by the enrollee at the time of service.

Removing the administrative burden of collecting premiums and billing saves money and is a welcome relief for overworked doctors' offices.

John R. Leopold, Annapolis

The writer is the county executive of Anne Arundel County.

Attacks on Ayers avoid the real issues

I have a question for Sen. John McCain's campaign: What does the constant mentioning of William Ayers do to help the economy or help put food on my table ("Candidates favor attacks on behavior, character," Oct. 10)?

Steven M. Clayton, Ocean, N.J.

Difference in rallies defines candidates

I have been amazed at the differences between the rallies for Sen. John McCain and those for Sen. Barack Obama ("Candidates favor attacks on behavior, character," Oct. 10).

The McCain rallies are mean-spirited, and with the shouted angry comments, they are starting to resemble rallies held in the South in the old days.

Mr. Obama's rallies, on the other hand, look like United Nations conventions, and are upbeat and full of hope.

Jeff Thorssell, Ocean Pines

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