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Everybody's Column

>Federal health care plan will be mired in paperwork

The recent cash for clunkers program required car dealers to complete a 22-page document to apply for the $3,500 or $4,500 rebate for which their customers qualified -- 22 pages multiplied by the nearly 700,000 vehicles sold under the program. That equates to 15 million pages of data that some government office is required to plow through before the checks are cut to the dealers. In addition to the dollars the federal government is spending to administer what the future may indicate was an ill-conceived initiative, many dealers are experiencing cash-flow challenges while waiting an inordinate time for their rebate checks.

Now let's turn our attention to the prospects of a federally administered health care program. If it found it necessary to generate 22 pages for a simple vehicle rebate, can you imagine the number of pages of documentation the government will require for each medical procedure? The life expectancy of human kind is not sufficiently long to wait out the reimbursement cycle. Hospitals, doctors and aging patients will languish in a sea of administrative mayhem while awaiting a distant decision. "Your call is very important to us. Press 9, 4, 5 and then 3." Stay tuned, folks.

Stuart H. Angert
Amherst

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>We should discuss ways

to achieve universal care
The main objective in this health care reform debate should be achieving universal health care, health care for everyone. There is no way that can or should be controversial. There is no way we as citizens can achieve the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution without good health. While our elected representatives are accountable to voters and popularly elected, at the end of the day the common good is supposed to be paramount to the will of the people.

How universal health care can be achieved should be what is being debated. A public option run by the government does not appear popular. So why aren't Republicans offering private, market-based universal health options? Such as a public option mandating universal health care but privately administered. Or transferring the concept of charter schools and vouchers to the health care system. Increasing the use health savings accounts and walk-in clinics. Then there is also the option of just expanding Medicaid. With these options there should be a healthy robust debate happening, not this nonsense we're witnessing. If I am wrong or am misunderstanding something here, please correct me.

Maximilian Loeb
Hamburg

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>There's no reason not to serve and thank God

The findings of a social scientist stating there are growing numbers of Americans who profess no religious affiliation are disappointing. Yet contrary to the social sciences, it is clear the physical sciences now gravitate toward the existence of God, belief in an intelligent design.

The social fabric of our culture is underscored by materialism, consumerism, special interest and self gratification. Many of our government representatives no longer uphold the high ideals of their office and seem to forsake all morality. This kind of culture breeds Godlessness.

Why not worship God? The evidence even outside the Bible is astounding: The human body with its mind to think and communicate, the vast universe with its order, food, water and atmosphere for our protection. The list is endless. Nature alone couldn't supply these and much more for our comfort. I see no reason not to serve and thank God. His commandments and principles are of love and edifying for all mankind. The gift of eternal life should be pondered deeply. A non-believer would say there is no God, no salvation, while the faithful would counter; if there is a God then I have gained everything while you have risked all.

Maybe some people have to reason God out inversely? If you can't believe in God today, surely you can believe in evil.

John Vinti
Orchard Park

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>Homosexual Christians should not be ordained

A Sept. 4 letter ignores an obvious distinction to argue that, because we no do not stone homosexuals as the Old Testament prescribed, and do not use it as an "instruction manual" in such matters, a purportedly Christian church should not be criticized for ordaining practicing homosexuals. By such faulty logic Christian churches should also ordain unrepentant adulterers, sorcerers and persons who curse God, for all of whom the Old Testament prescribed stoning.

That those harsh penalties, evidently deemed by God as necessary for those times, are no longer applied is not because the condemned conduct is no longer sinful. Showing mercy to hardened sinners is one thing, but sainting them is quite another.

Jesus Christ loved sinners for he came to call them to repentance, and even died on the cross to prove his love for them. However, he taught that we must avoid sin in order to inherit the Kingdom. Christ would not have us stone unrepentant homosexuals, but neither would he ordain them.

Laurence D. Behr
Buffalo

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>Build a truck bridge farther up the river

Hopefully no final commitment has been made to start building a new bridge over the Niagara River. There are more and more people against putting it next to the current Peace Bridge.

I have not heard any argument against building a truck bridge near the railroad bridge. Recently returning from Canada, I counted 50 trucks in a line at the Peace Bridge. Why hasn't there been more discussion on this issue?

A rest area for truckers there would allow for them to perhaps stay here, rather than going on to Batavia.

The Peace Bridge should actually be listed on the National Historic Register. We wait until it's too late, like we did with the Central Terminal.

Gertrude Christ
Hamburg

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>Why are road projects just popping up now?

Here it is September, and it seems only a few weeks ago, construction projects popped up all over Western New York. Every Thruway, expressway and main thoroughfare had lane restrictions and was lined with orange cones.

Why must they wait until schools are about to start to undergo the repaving, repairing and rerouting? Especially when there are more students and teachers driving to school, and school buses dominate the roadways. It is not only dangerous but just plain dumb.

Where were the road crews all summer, when the roads and streets were less congested? It's bad enough we put up with slow-moving traffic due to the less-than-ideal snow plowing, but now we can plan on slower traffic through the fall season also.

Robert Wachowiak
Lackawanna

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