News and Tribune


September 16, 2008

LETTERS: Sept. 17, 2008

Schansberg weighs in on health care debate

EDITOR’S NOTE: Schansberg is a candidate for the 9th District U.S. Congressional Seat.

Whatever the merits of David Ross Stevens’ reply to Kelley Curran, he lost me in the second paragraph by claiming that our health care system is “a free market system". I think I understand why he wants to put all of the blame on “free markets.” But completely ignoring government’s massive role in health care is neither accurate nor helpful for improving our country’s health care system.

How is government involved in health care? Let’s start with Medicare and Medicaid which are responsible for about one-fourth of all health care expenditures. Then, there are government restrictions on purchasing insurance and prescriptions, labor regulations that limit potential service providers, government regulations that mandate coverage of marginal services, etc.

And then there’s the biggie: the government subsidy of health care insurance purchased through firms — as a non-taxed form of compensation. The result? Ironically, too much “insurance” and far higher costs (for those who can afford it).

From here, the question is whether the role of government should be significantly increased or decreased. In my view, it would be a huge mistake to let the federal government conduct a single, highly risky, extraordinarily expensive experiment in this arena. It’s better (and constitutional) to encourage 50 states to try their hand at dealing with this complicated mess.

— D. Eric Schansberg, professor of economics IU Southeast

Reader upset with ‘Best in the City’ results

I agree with the letter writer Ms. Hope de Waardt-Jemerson, who wrote in the Sept. 5, 2008, edition of The Evening News about the poll that voted Clark Arms Apartments as “Best in the City.”

I wonder how many votes did Clark Arms receive? How many of those votes came from actual rent-paying tenants—not from me or the many, many other tenants living here? Did these alleged votes come from the Mayor’s “We Don’t Care What the Police Dept. Does” office? Did they come from The Jeffersonville “We Only Fight Crime When It Falls In Our Lap” police department? Did they come from from the “I Am Better Than Everyone” police department’s JHA Liaison officer? Or, the “Let’s Hide Our Head In The Sand And Claim Everything Is Just Peachy As Long As We Make The Outside Pretty” Jeffersonville Housing Authority? Or, our live-in building manager that gets free rent and salary, yet, only works six to seven hours a day, if that?

Text Only | Photo Reprints