Union Democrat staff

Disastrous proposal

To the editor:

Everyone should be entitled to health care coverage.

A government health care program sounds right on the surface, but it will be disastrous cost wise. It could break this country. No one will truly benefit by it because of the abuse in the health care system in general.

There is so much fraud taking place in Medicare and MediCal alone that it is costing the government millions of dollars. Imagine everyone being on a government-run health care program. You won't be able to get medical care from a doctor for months or check into a hospital. Everyone will be using the system for minor health issues because they have that right.

Even today, with so many uninsured people not seeing doctors, it takes anywhere from a month to three months to see one. Think how overburdened the medical field will be with everyone having the right to medical care. There aren't enough doctors for people insured now.

Though I wish everyone had some sort of coverage, I hope a government health care program doesn't happen. The government will definitely have to step in and tell you what you can be treated for because of the abuse that will take place. People will go to a doctor or check into a hospital with a minor illness because they have coverage.

No one seems to have touched on these issues. I have good health coverage and don't want it jeopardized by higher taxes or it being reduced to what a government run program for everyone will be. Clearly, it will have to be limited coverage because of so much abuse taking place.

Norman Reed


Look to the past

To the editor:

When planning for the future, look at the past.

Just reflect on the presidency of that Rough Rider, Theodore Roosevelt (Republican, 1901-1909). Before living on Pennsylvania Avenue, this great man had traveled our magnificent country and continent, North America.

By then most land east of the Mississippi River was privately owned. Before the American Revolution, mining was already under way in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our continent proved rich in minerals that fueled great innovations. A hundred years later, as the Industrial Revolution moved into full swing, the impact of this growth began to take its toll. Strip mining in the Appalachian, the Allegheny and Smoky mountains was grinding these places down. Most large factories were built on major waterways. This allowed ships to bring materials directly to their doors. And where did their factory waste go? Straight into those same lakes and rivers.

Roosevelt saw the future. He put a map on the White House floor. In the West were vast commons, land owned by all Americans. The public domain that the U.S. government acquired during Jefferson's presidency, the Louisiana Purchase.

Teddy had visited these beautiful places. He learned that he had the authority to create reserves to protect them from devastation. He drew lines on that map. And so our national parks, national forests, wildlilfe sanctuaries were born, magnificent places that we own in common.

This land is your land, this land is my land. Thanks, Teddy. To learn more, go to our public library, a Ben Franklin invention.

B.Z. Smith


Coastal turbines

To the editor:

In fairness to reporter Walt Cook, he tried to digest a great deal of information presented at the Natural Resources Summit.

In fairness to your readers, some additional information should be provided. Walt failed to cite my credentials, which were given before I spoke. I have a PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco. My training allows me to analyze data collected from original sources. The work I presented allows people to draw their own conclusions.

Regarding renewable energy, you can decide for yourself if it is realistic or not. Here are the numbers: To generate 20 percent of California's electricity using wind power would require 20,000 1.5 MW wind turbines covering 2,500 square miles.

Walt said "thousands of acres." Actually, it would be 1.6 million acres. Walt's statement was wrong by almost a factor of 1,000, and extremely misleading to your readers.

Since the California Energy Commission maps of wind speeds indicate there is not enough land area with sufficient wind speeds, the turbines must be built off shore. That means 500 miles of wind turbines, from shore to five miles out to sea, from the Oregon border to the Channel Islands. Ignoring the fact marine wind power is far more expensive than conventional power, does anyone believe the people of California want our entire coastline choked with wind turbines?

Joseph P. Day


Time is now

To the editor:

President Obama, it is time to stand by your campaign promises. We have all been waiting for "change we can believe in." The time is now; do not let your constituents down. We need health care reform, not health insurance reform.

Sheila Doyle