Ominous prospectsThe menace of a national health care system and President Obama’s plans for a national coordinator of health information technology is that your private medical records could be data-mined to determine if your illnesses are too expensive to treat based on inflexible cost-effectiveness rules and the political ideologies of the Obama administration, rather than your doctor’s recommendations and medical tests. You could be subject to early death or unnecessary pain and suffering by denials of medical care payments if your illnesses are caused by old age, genetic inheritance, accidental injuries, infections, bad lifestyle problems, mental problems or data entry health records mistakes. Worse, your health care providers will become government employees who would be protected from lawsuits for acts of malpractice, malice or accidents. Your health care and your life will be endangered if Obama’s national health care system becomes a reality. Allen H. Wise, Edmond
Louder than wordsPresident Obama claims his agenda "begins with jobs.” He said he "will not spend a single penny for the purpose of rewarding a Wall Street executive, but will do whatever it takes to help the small business that can’t pay its workers ...” Do his actions speak louder than his words? Small Business Administration lending is down by more than 57 percent. Conventional lending to small businesses nationwide has virtually disappeared. Yet Obama and Congress are devoting less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the "stimulus” package toward small business. Does that make sense? Small business represents 50 percent of the existing jobs in this country and 70 percent of new job creation. Small business is also the largest consumer of the products and services of big business. But despite this role as the major producer of jobs in this country, Obama and Congress devoted less than 1/1,000th of their stimulus to what they claim is their highest priority. If their agenda really begins with jobs, surely he would have acted to boost the biggest engine of job creation — small business. What Obama did was to devote virtually all of the attention to big business, big labor and (no surprise) big government. Larry Hughes, Oklahoma City Hughes is principal of The Hughes Group, a business broker.
Doesn’t add upSecretary of State Hillary Clinton says she wants to continue our strategic partnership with Israel. This doesn’t add up when we pledge $900 million to a Gaza run by Hamas, a terrorist organization with the goal of destroying Israel. Israel recently went to war with Gaza as a matter of survival and now we’re helping fund another buildup against Israel. Nothing’s been said about accountability for this money. I fear that it will get into the wrong hands and we will soon see another attack by Hamas. We must make it clear that before we make this commitment, another attack on Israel will be met with force by the United States and that Iran will be treated accordingly, since Iran is a primary supporter of Hamas and has the same goals in mind. Burnis Campbell, Choctaw
Tax credits urgedRegarding "Oklahoma House panel passes health care bills” (news story, Feb. 24): I commend lawmakers in the Oklahoma House for promoting consumer-directed health plans and health savings accounts. By encouraging insurers to offer low-cost policies that cover core benefits, and by granting employers tax credits to help cover the cost of insurance, legislators will ensure that health insurance is within the reach of nearly all Oklahomans. Lawmakers should also consider extending tax credits to folks who purchase insurance in the individual marketplace. Allowing individuals to buy health insurance with pre-tax dollars — as businesses currently can for their employees — would make health coverage affordable for thousands more and help people keep their policies if they switch jobs. Sally C. Pipes, San Francisco, Calif. Pipes is president and CEO of Pacific Research Institute.