Union Democrat staff

Public insurance

To the editor:

Tuesday the insurance industry and its allies promised President Obama that they'll cut health care cost inflation by 1.5 percent a year. However, health care costs are actually rising by more than 6 percent a year, and the industry is only promising voluntary efforts to trim that, which we all know won't happen.

The only way to make reform work for patients and payers is to allow the option of a public insurance plan. President Obama and many congressional leaders have committed to that in the past, but insurance companies are trying to talk them out of it.

Congress and the President should not listen to the insurance companies. They should listen to voters who overwhelmingly want the option of an affordable single-payer (public) plan and be included at the planning table.

Carol Keltner


Avoid detention

To the editor:

Hope House is a noble program but ... wouldn't it be better to change the system so as to avoid the problem altogether?

"Detention is one step below addiction." Alternatives to detention include: Shared Family Care, where rather than detain the children, the entire family is moved into a residential setting. There, the family is mentored, monitored and enabled to do the right thing.

Check out the University of California, Berkeley's study on the program at: aia.berkeley.edu/information_resources/shared_family_care.php.

My twist would be to do a "Super Nanny"-type monitoring system in the client's home.

Paul McNaul

Cedar Ridge

All that jazz

To the editor:

Those of you lucky enough to attend the Columbia Big Band Jazz Concert enjoyed the usual superlative music of the 20-plus musicians ably led by Rod Harris.

This group has developed a polished, professional sound that has consistently entertained foothill jazz fans over the past several years.

The presence of sax-great Ernie Watts at the final concert made this truly a unique event, as he brought over 40 years of professional experience to share with the big band, who also performed brilliantly.

Congratulations to Mr. Harris and band members for a wonderful night of jazz in Tuolumne County.

Pete Steinmetz