Union Democrat staff

Health care issues

To the editor:

Everyone should be entitled to health care coverage, Norman Reed started his Nov. 6 letter. Quite a decent proposal.

What follows, however, gives me the chills: a stream of reasons Republicans and their mouthpieces in the media drum into the heads of Americans, apparently not without success.

That the government will decide what treatment you get and, consequently, how long you will live. Ludicrous as the argument is, does anyone prefer insurance bureaucrats to decide?

Mr. Reed alleges unspecified "fraud" in Medicare and Medicaid and "abuse" in the health care system in general that would make coverage for all just too expensive. Right, we can only afford so much fraud and abuse and no more.

Never mind the facts, as the county's health officer, Dr. Todd Stolp, recently explained at the Sonora Senior Center: Medicare is run efficiently (The Union Democrat reported). He went on to say that 97 percent of Medicare premiums go directly to patient care, and only 3 percent goes to administration.

Compare that to the private health care premiums, where 75 percent goes to patient care, and 25 percent goes to administration - and profits, he should have added.

Think how overburdened the medical field will be with everyone having the right to medical care. Mr. Reed has good health coverage, and doesn't want it jeopardized by a government-run program for everyone.

To conservatives, it all smacks of socialism. What about values, what about compassion? All I hear is "me, me, me."

Klaus Kraemer


The Rock says thanks

To the editor,

Our restaurant, The Rock of Twain Harte Pub, sustained a fire on Nov. 12 in the early morning. It is devastating to us, since The Rock has been our life for the past eight years. We have met many friends through the restaurant and enjoy being part of this community. There has been such an outpouring from our community wishing us well, and thank you all for that. It has helped us get though the first week.

We want to thank the firefighters that saved The Rock; we are told that if it was a few more minutes, it would have burned to the ground. After the restaurant is re-opened we will have some party.

We have hired Klingberg Construction as our general contractor. We are hoping to open in 12 to 14 weeks in our original building. The bar was saved and will be restored.

Meanwhile, The Rock is looking for a temporary home in Twain Harte. We will keep you posted. All of us need to work, including our employees.

The Rock has been in Twain Harte for 18 years. Many locals and tourists have fond memories. All of us at The Rock look forward to opening soon and creating more memories.

Jim and Diane Dunigan

Twain Harte

No more coffins

To the editor:

Maybe I am dumb and maybe I'm not. What I would like to say is that after the fiasco in Europe and Germany was over done and settled (World War II), we as a country with a good world-wide reputation should have said no more flag draped coffins should be shipped back to the U.S. from some other country.

The way I see things here in America, we could use all the able-bodied men and women of the military to come home and help fix all the problems we have here at home. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you have your head in the sand.

I think the Jerry Springer program during the afternoon hours gives a hint as how things are materializing.

If his program is attempting to exemplify and lend insight to what's happening to our country, it does an excellent job

Larry Johnson


Smart and right

To the editor:

The constant criticism of the law and justice land purchase is crying for a simple explanation.

To begin with, Tuolumne County now has an opportunity to acquire a large piece of land for the purpose of consolidating law and justice facilities in one easily manageable area. The enthusiasm for this plan by all entities involved ( ie., the courts, CHP, sheriff, etc.) should be evidence that this is not a frivolous acquisition. Moreover, each entity will build its own facility with its own funding sources and not impact the county's general fund. Having the land however, is a prerequisite to getting this funding. The reality is, that if the county does not make this purchase, the money offered to these various entities would go to other counties and we would lose this unique opportunity.

Each facility will either lease or purchase their portion from the county. The CHP lease alone could cover much of the long-term debt. Overall, the county can expect to receive a return on this land which should easily reimburse it for the original cost.

If, in addition, builders and developers could partner with the county for remaining portions of the land, this could become an ongoing revenue stream to the general fund.

So, from every aspect, this is a good move on the part of the county. The negotiations to accomplish this purchase were long and complicated, since there were many family members involved and all had to be consulted and convinced to sell.

As a financially responsible undertaking by the county, this will be looked upon in years to come as the smart and right thing to have done.

Janet Maffei


Such passion

To the editor:

Re: Lori Welsh's Nov. 17 letter, titled "Unbelievable."

You go girl! Well said. I'm surprised The Union Democrat would allow such passion in a letter to the editor.

Sam Elkins