Printed letters, Feb. 9, 2011

City’s acts worrisome regarding industry

We are very concerned the way that the city of Grand Junction is conducting business lately. City Council members made the unilateral decision to have the fire department handle the ambulance business in town. Then, after they purchased numerous ambulances and trained personnel, they decide to put the ambulance service out for bids.

What is going to happen to the ambulances and personnel if a private company wins the bid? This seems like a big waste of taxpayers’ money if a private company gets the bid. The city wanted to extend its control over our lives and now, for some unknown reason, the council has decided to have the city government act like it is supposed to act and possibly let private industry handle business it was designed to handle.

The same situation is occurring with the food-service program at both city golf courses. City officials want the city to handle what private industry was doing and doing very well.

We would like to ask the city to think ahead, consider the long-term effects of its actions and also how long the city wants to do private industry’s job.

BOB AND MARY KLINE

Grand Junction

Medicare for all is answer on health care

Dr. Michael Pramenko recently lamented that only three courses were possible to save Medicare: raising taxes, cutting benefits or duplicating efficiencies of our own renowned local system. I say a fourth course, Medicare for all is the only way for the United States to salvage Medicare and resolve our myriad health care problems.

Recent legislation mostly kowtowed to the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries and their 25 percent waste of U.S. health care dollars for their own financial self-interests. Much of the rest of the recent federal legislation’s 1,800 pages of gobbly-gook aren’t worth more than lining birdcages.

Medicare for all would get the for-profit insurance companies out of basic health care. Employers, employees, self-employed and even unemployed individuals could then put their dollars and health conditions into a giant American pool. No more discriminations, inconsistencies and voluminous different paperwork and administrations for everyone. Individuals would have basic health care covered regardless of where they work or reside. States could transfer some of their crushing Medicaid liabilities to the Medicare pool.

Medicare isn’t socialism. Health care providers operate their own enterprises with prices, methods and services they see fit. They just know what to expect and are guaranteed payments for basic care. Medicare contracting, as with our own local non-profit system, would save Medicare huge sums, ensure appropriate care and give localized service. Providers would be very unlikely to engage in Medicare fraud if corrupt practices cost them their entire patient base from losing their Medicare authorization.

If we don’t implement Medicare for all soon, there is almost no likelihood that we can actually curtail thousands of more bankruptcies and deaths, industry manipulations or bureaucratic nightmares. We can no longer prop up the failure of decades of for-profit insurance dictated basic health care. Republican politicians’ solutions to be able to buy insurance policies across states’ lines and tort reform are akin to delivering a box of band-aids to a head-on auto accident scene.

JOEL PRUDHOMME Grand Junction

Palin’s appearance was to help military families

Regarding the cancellation of Sarah Palin’s scheduled appearance this May in support of “Patriots and Warriors Gala” in Denver: So much for free speech and the right to assemble.

I am not a rabid fan of Mrs. Palin, but I am a fan of our Constitution. This was not a political event, but an effort to help a very worthy cause. How can anyone be offended by a group effort to raise funds for at-risk youth and survivors of military families who have lost loved ones?

I wonder what the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice and provided these progressives and leftists with their constitutional rights would think about these individuals’ behavior.

Maybe their deities; i.e., Bill Ayers, Michael Moore, Ariana Huffington and those of their ilk, should consider offering to write a check assisting the families of these heroic men and women who have sacrificed everything for these offended people’s right to exhibit such reprehensible behavior.

THOMAS ASHWORTH

Rifle

Wait staff should not be demanding tips

In response to the letter about appropriate tipping for restaurant service, I hope the author isn’t a marketing representative for Grand Junction tourism. Demanding a 20 percent tip isn’t exactly the right approach in her attempt to educate those who haven’t had to rely on tips for a living.

First, there’s this thing called recession. It forces people to stretch every dollar available. I’d thoroughly enjoy dining out more often, but unemployment means making wiser spending choices. Second, having worked in the business, I know there is a large percentage of hospitality operations offering more than the bottom $4.26 per hour wage.

Lastly, identify another job that relies on the honesty of the individual worker in reporting income, i.e. tips. Not all servers “fix” the tip reports, but it is a regular practice in the hospitality industry.

Due to the economic climate, good service isn’t good enough. We all need to click it up a notch to get noticed. Besides, instead of demanding 20 percent, wouldn’t 10-15 percent be better than 0 percent?

ANN HONCHELL

Delta



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