Cost containment is key ?in new era of health care

It seems the bad word of the day currently is "socialism" – scary, a real no-no in our country of free enterprise. However, no civilized country can exist without some government involvement in people's lives.

The dictionary defines socialism as "government ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods and services." This we do not have.

The involvement of the government in our lives is in accordance with our Constitution, which, in the preamble, includes the words "promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity …"

The idea is to be taxed in accordance with our ability to pay and services allocated in accordance with our needs. Except for the occasional deceit by both providers and users, I believe our system has worked well.

Now we are entering a new era of health care, revising the system from a personal/employer/insurance company decision to a more universal mandated system where everyone will pay in and receive benefits.

I believe this will evolve to a personal/government/insurance company system paid by taxes with no employer involvement. This only stands to reason since most international companies' prices do not include payment of their employees' health care, thereby allowing more equitable competition.

This leads me to the need of the patient being responsible to keep a rein on the misuse of this new "general welfare" by using these services as needed but frugally, rewarding those with a healthy lifestyle and penalizing those who disregard healthy choices, the most prevalent being smoking, poor diet and alcohol. The irresponsible patient would pay more for his or her poor decisions whereas the responsible one who uses common sense and takes the doctor's advice seriously would pay less. This is the only way I see to contain costs and improve our general health.

David F. Baker



No done deal yet on CSEA,? contrary to recent article

The repeated reference to the Erie County's proposal to Local 815 CSEA as a "deal" in the Aug. 4, article "County, CSEA reach tentative accord" is misleading and false. The negotiating team, which works for the membership, has agreed to conduct a vote and that's all. There is no "deal" until that vote is held.

In the same article the writer refers to the 2010 "agreement" struck during the Collins administration. Let me just say that a "deal" is not a "deal" until the membership approves it. A full two-thirds of the Local 815 membership voted against Collins' proposal. I fail to see how it can accurately be referred to as an agreement.

By working to place in the public mind the idea that the "deal" is done, and that the only thing standing in the way is that pesky union membership, is misleading and unfair (though I must admit consistent with The News editorial policy). As for the proposal itself, while reading it, I had to keep reminding myself that it was Poloncarz and not Collins who has made it. It looks pretty similar.

Kevin Connors



Obama has benefited? from blind devotion

The Aug. 4 story by Jerry Zremski, "Polarized Congress considered worst ever," asks a question that needs an answer. In my opinion, Congress might begin to be effective when the Democrats stop defending and excusing Obama's ineptitude and naive ideas on what this country needs to succeed.

The liberals and Democrats in general bought into a glib and specious slick-talking "community organizer" who read the tea leaves from the street, and who decided to dupe the whole country along with the Democratic Party into nominating him for president.

Unfortunately, too many people in the Democratic Party as well as those folks who were bombarded with years of negative press about George W. Bush bought into Obama's slick talk. The result of their "naivete" will cost our country for years to come.

Representatives like Brian Higgins, and Louise Slaughter and senators like Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer feel obligated to defend their bad choice of nominee, which is too bad because their party loyalty is going to damage the two-party system that has been, up until Obama, a functioning system.

The blind devotion to Obama by our African-American brothers and sisters is frightening. I would hope our African-American bothers and sisters were more discerning, than just relying on color to choose who would lead this country.

Frank A. Gugino Sr.

West Seneca


Spending on the Bills?is worth it for taxpayers

Although I do wish my tax dollars could be spent on other things such as bridge repair or road work, I feel the money the county and state spend on the stadium to keep the Bills in Buffalo is money well spent.

The Buffalo Bills are now and always will be part of the economic engine that keeps Western New York and New York State running. The money that Erie County and the state get in sales tax through ticket sales has got to be astronomical. With a cheap-seat ticket price of about $50 that's $4.50 in sales tax for just one seat. Multiply that by 70,000-plus, because I know most tickets are much higher-priced. Now factor in sales tax for food and beverage sales at the stadium, beer sales through halftime. The tax generated probably would feed my family for life. There's also income tax on the players' salaries.

During regular season it's a 53-man roster, all of whom are making six-figure salaries, most making high seven-figure salaries. Just think of the income tax Mario Williams is paying on his $100 million contract. Now include all the players on the practice squad, coaches, trainers, maintenance and front office personnel also paying income tax. Then all these people take their money to local restaurants, clothing stores and many other places and spend that money, keeping Western New York's economy running.

What I would like to see, rather than sinking $200 million into a 40-year-old outdated stadium, would be to have them spend $750 million or even a billion dollars for a state-of-the-art facility with a dome so that in December the players and the fans aren't freezing at the game. Maybe then the Bills would sell out their December home games.

James J. Trzaska

West Seneca


Tough times require ?out-of-the-box shopping

During this unfortunate economic downturn, I have noticed many people shopping at thrift stores, such as Goodwill, AmVets and assorted consignment shops. I am suggesting to real estate developers and strip plaza owners that now have empty stores, place all of these shops in one plaza or mall. Also, it would seem convenient to have a reasonably priced coffee shop or restaurant at one end of this plaza. A possible name might be "Bargain Adventure Mall" (BAM).

Rita Ganim

West Seneca