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EVERYBODY'S COLUMN

Health care reform law neglects real problems

With the revived debates surrounding the so-called health care reform bill, I am once again aware that this would more appropriately be described as health insurance legislation. Admittedly, I have not read this verbose bill personally, but the provisions being discussed seem to evade the issue of health care itself. It's my understanding that health care institutions and professionals are already required to provide treatment under any circumstances, regardless of ability to pay, so why are we devoting countless pages and hours of debate over the issue of access to health care?

Where are the provisions challenging the proverbial one-dollar (each) aspirin charges in hospitals, exorbitant prescription costs or the fact that infections have become so rampant as to be "expected" in a certain percentage of hospitalizations? Does this bill address the fact that patients are subjected to lengthy delays in doctors' offices, or deal with the high cost of a simple 10-minute consultation? On a personal note, will this legislation do anything to prevent what happened to my own father, who was admitted for a minor ailment and deteriorated so severely, due to insufficient care, that after months of hospital and nursing home treatment he never came home alive?

No one can argue against making reasonable health care available to all Americans. But until, and unless, legislation is proposed to seriously address care and costs among health care providers, our government should regroup and address the real problems at hand. Perhaps if provider costs and care were truly reformed, the issue of health insurance would be of far less concern.

Melissa Cumming

Hamburg

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Where are Japanese looters in the aftermath of disaster?

The effects of the 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan are unprecedented in magnitude and devastating in scope. The immediate aftermath finds the Japanese people engaged in search-and-rescue operations while trying to acquire fresh water, food and makeshift shelter. Compounding their plight is the fear and anxiety over the uncertain crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

However, what does appear to remain intact is a sense of responsibility and moral order -- this in stark contrast to the events in New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. The Japanese people are remarkable for their cultural sense of honor -- honor to the society, to family and to oneself.

Gandhi said, "we must not lose faith in humanity." While this epic struggle unfolds against a world backdrop filled with acts of violence, the Japanese people offer a rare example of true humanity.

Martin E. Mutka

Williamsville

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Require NFL to help renovate each stadium

The NFL generates $9 billion in annual revenues. As I read the offers from each side in The News, nowhere did it mention any money for the stadiums. When all is said and done, the next thing will be the citizens' cost to improve each stadium to accommodate these new billionaires.

I propose a 15 percent slush fund from this $9 billion to go toward each stadium improvement for these prima donnas. It need not be spent each year, but will accumulate. If the team leaves town, this money then goes to reduce the debt that the county must now eat.

Michael Teleha

Williamsville

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Davis' suggestion makes perfect sense

Political correctness has finally reached the insanity level. Why are we offended by Jack Davis' suggestion to have city youth bused to farms to work for a decent wage? In the late 1940s and early 1950s, I and many other teens worked the farms in the Southern Tier to earn money. We were boarded on trucks at our street corners. As many as 20 people sat on benches or in the truck bed, and we arrived on the farms to pick crops in season. We started work at 6 a.m. and returned home after 5 p.m.

Looking back now, 60 years later, these were some of my happiest teen summers. Work was hard and the pay was little, but money was had for clothes and little necessities. Many mothers also worked with their children. Years later, my own daughters spent summers working these farms. I am sure this experience enriched our lives and built character along with a solid work ethic.

Politicians have lost sight of common sense. Any solution to a problem comes under criticism. Why not be angry with those bringing in illegals to work for low wages when our own people need decent-paying jobs? Our youth today need direction, and honest labor is a good start.

Mary Kowalick Villar

Boston

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New York City mayor has nerve mocking us

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is right to feel outrage for the remarks made by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as he used Buffalo as a doormat to wipe off the typical downstate elitist trash often picked up while simply walking the streets and sidewalks of New York. Bloomberg said that New York City's problems are a result of its success, for which I agree. New York City is a success in erecting the biggest and best rodent silos, called buildings, in the world.

They say that the rats outnumber the citizenry by 4-to-1. If you deduct the politicians, lobbyists, special interest groups, Wall Street money men and bank executives, you still maintain a healthy 3-to-1 ratio of rats to people. So before anyone from New York City starts a food fight of words extolling the virtues of the Big Apple, he should check that apple for rats, worms and bedbugs.

Matthew R. Powenski

Buffalo

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Wisconsin protesters are crossing the line

There has been a great deal of coverage given to the recent legislation involving the state of Wisconsin and its dealings with public service unions. Regardless of one's feelings on the legislation, I find it surprising that not more is said to express displeasure with the action of both the Wisconsin Democratic senators and the antics of the protesters.

We live in a nation of law. If I were a senator and did not agree with the bill, I would show up and vote against it. I would clearly state my concerns and then work in future elections to get the law changed. Not showing up is not democracy. It is, instead, a subversion of the democratic process.

As far as the protesters, the mob-like behavior of the crowds with intimidation, threats and shouting is in direct contrast to the calls for decorum that have been called for by many. Once again, we live in a nation of law, not mob rule.

Make your points through the established political and legislative systems and work through those in an attempt to reach your goals. That's America. Mob rule is not.

Martin F. Brownsey

West Seneca

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