THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
The Nation has published lists of courageous and cowardly elected officials many times. It is time now to applaud the seven House Republicans (Ron Paul, Roscoe Bartlett, Wayne Gilchrest, Walter Jones, Steven LaTourette, James Leach, Jerry Moran) who voted against the “enemy combatant” bill (HR 6166), and condemn the thirty-four (!) Democrats who voted for it (Robert Andrews, John Barrow, Melissa Bean, Sanford Bishop, Dan Boren, Leonard Boswell, Allen Boyd, Sherrod Brown, Ben Chandler, Bud Cramer, Henry Cuellar, Lincoln Davis, Artur Davis, Chet Edwards, Bob Etheridge, Harold Ford, Bart Gordon, Stephanie Herseth, Brian Higgins, Tim Holden, Jim Marshall, Jim Matheson, Mike McIntyre, Charles Melancon, Michael Michaud, Dennis Moore, Collin Peterson, Earl Pomeroy, Mike Ross, John Salazar, David Scott, John Spratt, John Tanner, Gene Taylor).
JOHN M. SHAW
EAST OR WEST, BOSTON IS BEST
Trudy Lieberman writes that Massachusetts hospitals spend 44 percent more than other states [“No Rx in Massachusetts,” Sept. 18]. I say, thank God. Our son sat in a New Orleans hospital, before Katrina, waiting for a cancerous testicle to be removed. For ten hours, while he lay in pre-op, the hospital’s insurance department denied coverage for his surgery, because it did not like the way his insurance carrier worded its contract. After surgery, neither the doctor’s office nor the hospital could get his treatment together. A month went by, and we encouraged my son and his wife to leave for Boston, where she was beginning a post-doc. Arrangements for our son’s treatment were made before he even arrived at Massachusetts General. Everyone deserves this level of care.
New York City
Sally Rychert implies that quality medical care is connected to spending more money. Nothing is further from the truth. The United States spends more money on healthcare than any other country and yet our health statistics are abysmal when compared with other developed countries and some that are less developed. Medical errors, insurance snafus and delayed care occur every day in every state. The financial incentives are misaligned everywhere, not just in Louisiana. Poor care, which Rychert’s son experienced in New Orleans, can occur in Boston, New York, Miami or Los Angeles, where spending on medical treatment is high. The US health system is in dire need of reform, but more money thrown into the pot is not the solution.