Letters to the editor published in the September 9, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

It's cruel to profit from pain, misery

Now I love comedy as much as anyone, but there is a farce being played out here that would be funny if its consequences weren't so serious.

It is almost hilarious that this argument that private sector and free market forces can solve our healthcare crisis is still being tossed around. It's not hard to see that this doesn't work — here is how I know; it's already been tried. We've tried it for years, and it doesn't work. Millions are without coverage, untold thousands declare bankruptcy because of medical bills. It's an act of hysteria to plead for more of the same, when that state of things has led us to where we are now. Recent history is all we need to know on this matter.

Also, how can we say that free market forces will solve healthcare when we see what a fine job they did during the banking crisis that ripped through Wall Street last year? Wall Street proved just what it could do in a state of deregulation, with risky lending, creative accounting, credit default swaps, derivatives and such. They did such a fine job that a massive government intervention was required to keep our banking system from crashing.

We have to take off the blinkers and realize that Wall Street has a loyalty only to the notion of profit. Nothing more. It will pursue profit right over the edge of the cliff if need be. Then it will ask the government to throw it a rope. The same government it wants to stay out of its business. And these are the people we want to trust with our healthcare?

Profit may be the American way, and I am as much for it as anyone else. But let companies profit from selling cars, dishwashers, ipods, computers, lawn mowers — any of those things — however, profiting from the pain and misery of sick people is cruel. If we don't yet understand this, we are not as kind and humane a nation as we have believed ourselves to be.

Neil Myers, Oro Valley

Americans do not want HB 3200's reforms

The public is well informed on HR 3200, Health Care Reform.

A task force session held on Thursday at Dove Mountain Heritage Highlands Clubhouse was a waste of time. Arizona's House of Representatives Assistant leader Kyrsten Sinema LD-15 was not honest in answering questions from the audience regarding health care coverage for illegal Mexicans. She sidestepped the issue and spoke on three other topics.

Nancy Young Wright LD-26 was just as dishonest because she was screening the questions asked by the audience. These two so-called Arizona Democrats representing LD-15 and LD-26 are left-wing socialists and should be thrown out of office next election term.

Evidence from thousands of town hall meeting across our country shows strong opposition, against HR 3200. The American people do not want this legislation.

Lee Ewing, Tucson

Visitor to ER clearly had a bone to pick

I've never written a letter to the editor; however, I find the fact The Explorer chose to publish John M. Ross' rant about his experience at Northwest Hospital (“We'll be paying for the same abuses” (Sept. 2) to be outrageous and irresponsible.

First of all, I am shocked to read (if true) that Northwest Hospital's intake is so unsecure as to allow personal and private information to be observed (then published) by an overt busybody. How was he close enough to check whether a patient had a picture ID? Having been a patient in emergency and urgent care myself, I wonder what kind of person stalks and spies on sick or injured people seeking care, and why he was wandering around outside the appropriate waiting area.

This, of course, supposes that Mr. Ross' report is accurate and unbiased based on unsubstantiated conclusions of marital status and his inventory of the parking lot. I've taken both my sons to Northwest's emergency room without my wife. We don't have a “clunker” and we have private health care. Am I a single parent on AHCCS?

Mr. Ross is also able to coordinate the patients seeking care with cars in the parking lot.  Did he follow people to their cars after the received care, or is he making assumptions?

Obviously, Mr. Ross had a bone to pick before he ever arrived at Northwest's emergency room, made unfounded claims or fabricated evidence to substantiate his personal prejudices.

Rob Jewett, Oro Valley

Giffords' stand on single, public options confusing

It seems to me that Rep. Giffords' position statement on health care reform is confusing.

On the one hand she states that she “does not support a single-payer option where government would control all the country's health insurance” On the other hand she is quoted as being “a strong advocate of a public option for coverage.”

I tend to think that these two positions are contradictory, because if the public option is implemented it will most certainly lead to the elimination of private health insurance, and there will be a de facto single-payer system.

Lloyd H. Ostrom, SaddleBrooke

Writer does not live in OV; he's in fantasy land

After having read Rick Cunnington's last letter to the editor, I now realize he doesn't live in Oro Valley. He lives in fantasy land.

He makes up facts to support his idol Cap't Al while ignoring the truth about Rep. Giffords' representation of her constituency. Cap't Al has never attended any event in which knew in advance that Democrats would outnumber whiny heartless conservative Republicans; why is he so afraid to hear from almost half of his constituency? While Cap't Al does not speak out while those with opposing views speak, he sits simmering with anger and glares with oblivious contempt for those who dare disagree with him. But, follow Cap't Al out of the hearing range of his constituency and he belittles them and calls them vulgar names; seems that Rick has learned a lot from his idol.

Dave Safier once said of Republicans, but it is most fitting of Cap't Al and Rick Cunnington: “They support government spending to help themselves, their families, people who give money to their campaigns and rich people in general, but they stand proud and strong against government giveaways to anyone unfortunate enough to have problems they can't relate to.”

Greg Steed, Oro Valley

Paper letting both sides air their opinions

I read in the September 2nd issue of the Explorer an opinion by Diane Peters that is critical of the constant venomous remarks by a Mr. Rick Cunnington that The Explorer continues to publish.

However, I commend The Explorer for allowing both sides to air their opinions in a public forum and having the good sense to know that people must be allowed to make up their own minds as to who they believe on any given issue that will affect us all.

I feel that poor Rick has taken a drink of the Republican Kool-Aid and knows only how to recite the party line verbatim, but as with everyone that is his right as an American to express those beliefs in a public forum. Although I do not agree with anything he says, I respect his right along with Ms. Peters' to express their opinions.

“I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” — Voltaire.

David Berry, Oro Valley

GOP inaction is dire for the Arizona people

Re: “Bully For Al; He Sits And Takes Lumps,” letter Sept. 2:

As our state faces a burgeoning budget deficit, the Arizona GOP legislators continue to push for more state tax cuts for businesses and top-income earners. State tax collections are far below previous years. State money could run out as early as next month.

State Sen. Melvin, as vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, along with the GOP party have approved after the deadline the permanent repeal of the state equalization property tax. Thankfully, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the repeal of the property tax, reinstating a projected $250 million in much-needed annual tax revenue to the state of Arizona. As we face poor economic times, state expenditures have increased.

Let fellow concerned citizens in District 26 that includes the Foothills, Oro Valley and part of Marana do everything in their power to stop the re-election of those GOP legislators in the State Legislature who refuse to finalize a state budget that Gov. Jan Brewer can sign into law. The inaction by these elected officials will result in dire consequences for the residents of Arizona.

I attended one of Sen. Al Melvin's town hall meetings at the Oro Valley Town Hall, and found the Sept. 2 letter to the editor perplexing. Far from being cordial or polite to those opposing his extreme right positions, I found Sen. Melvin ignoring audience members and being dismissive of alternate viewpoints whenever possible and even turning his back or not calling on individuals who seemingly oppose his voting record on public education. At one point, Sen. Melvin began to pack up to call the town hall meeting to an early end in order to stifle any opposition.

Sen. Melvin's town hall meeting was anything but an exchange of viewpoints, with Sen. Melvin intent on making time for his own monologue and allowing little time for comments from the audience. Southern Arizona residents deserve better. I will be voting for Cheryl Cage for State Senator District 26 in 2010.

Milani Llorin Hunt, Tucson

Giffords takes her lumps, too, and stays polite

Re: “Bully For Al; He Sits And Takes Lumps,” The Explorer, Sept. 2.

It must pointed out that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords held three health insurance reform town halls, where she took plenty of lumps from some very rude people. Through it all, she remained composed and polite.

As for Al Melvin's gentlemanly behavior, he has made several insensitive, condescending and rude comments during his local events. Such as when a vice principal emotionally spoke on having to “pick slip teachers” because of his budget cuts, Melvin said, “it's not that bad.”  He saw her shaking her head in disagreement and said, “You can shake your head all you want, there is an urgent care down the street.”

When he got tired of answering probing questions, he abruptly ended an Oro Valley town hall. When he was challenged that the meeting, as advertised, had more than a half hour to go, he backed down.

Mr. Melvin has shown through his legislative voting that he does not have the best interests of Southern Arizona in mind, but is following a strict predetermined ideology. As vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he bears a great responsibility for our state coming to Labor Day without a budget resolution.

A pragmatic lawmaker, Gabrielle Giffords is one of the most accessible, hard-working members of Congress. We are very fortunate to have her representing Southern Arizona. We are not so fortunate with Al Melvin.

Lena Saradnik, Pima County

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