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Help group make rosaries for troops

In April, St. Michael the Archangel Rosary Makers of Plains lost its founder and dear friend, Helen Parduski.

Helen started making rosaries for the missions, but when the tragedy of Sept. 11 occurred, she turned to making them for the armed forces personnel when they went to war. The task of making brown, black, white and blue rosaries was begun in earnest.

Wanting to let the troops know they were not alone, a small group of people gathered in the basement of St. Francis Church each week to make these “weapons for peace,” as they were called.

As of this date, more than 69,000 rosaries have been made – all with private donations. Each rosary is placed in a small plastic bag with a note from us, instructions on how to pray the rosary, a holy card and a few other items.

We have received many letters from our soldiers (of all faiths) telling us how comforting it was to know that people were praying for them.

A group of the makers has decided to reorganize and continue this work. Many organizations ask for donations in these difficult times, and it is hard for many people to give. But we want to see the work begun by Helen continue.

Without continued financial aid, we might be forced to discontinue our efforts; but with your aid we can continue our efforts to strengthen the spiritual side of the armed forces facing the horrors of war.

If anyone would like to join us in making the rosaries, please drop us a note at this address:

St. Michael the Archangel Rosary Makers

P.O. Box 1504

Wilkes-Barre, PA 18703-1504

We are very grateful for the donations we have received in the past and we hope and pray it may continue in the future.

Doctor highlights reform problems

I am writing concerning the health care proposal from our government.

I am an emergency department physician. The new proposal almost certainly would increase my income, as emergency department physicians treat a great number of patients who are non-payers.

In spite of this, I am against the government proposal.

Under this proposal, there would be a committee established to decide what care will be given to anyone in the country, with a few exceptions such as high-ranking government officials. Every country that has tried this approach has limited health care by not allowing certain types of care for certain people. Age and severity of illness limit what the doctor is allowed to do for you. We will be no different. Oregon Medicaid already is limiting care in exactly this manner.

New counseling standards will be forced on doctors and patients without any evidence that they actually promote health or save any money. A prime example is the end-of-life counseling, with the first visit at age 65 and additional visits every five years. The mathematics of this is quite disturbing.

According to government census estimates, between 8 million and 10 million patients per year will need this mandatory visit. This will take 500,000 physician days each year. The benefit, if any, will be small. Most of this counseling will take place with people who are relatively healthy and have no need for it. Although not perfect, physicians do a reasonable job of counseling about end-of-life issues at an appropriate time.

I, and others, also have noted that everyone will be required to have health care insurance. I am curious: When you get so old that you receive practically no benefits/treatments, will your premiums be refunded to you?

The most disturbing issue of national health care is the total lack of judgment on the part of our government. We frequently hear about the shortcomings of Medicaid and Medicare, not to mention the veterans system. The same government that runs all three of these programs now believes that it will be able to create a fair and equitable health care system for everyone when we have 40 years of evidence that it is not very good at running health care.

A few insiders have been chosen to write this bill and forever change health care in the United States.

The above problems are only a start on the extensive problems and pending disasters that are built into this very complex bill.

Physician supports health reform idea

I am very tired of hearing untrue statements regarding how there will be no choice and care will be limited if government takes over health care.

People seem to forget that the government-sponsored Medicare program has served the elderly and disabled citizens of this country quite well since 1965. Although far from perfect, Medicare not only allows, but demands, choice of physicians, hospitals and other health care facilities. In fact, it is the private insurance industry that limits access to participating physicians and facilities.

Private insurance companies spend up to 40 percent of the health care dollars in administration and in attempts to limit access to health care services. Conversely, 95 percent of the health care dollars spent by Medicare finances actual health care.

In my experience as a physician, only Medicare has any concern about the quality of care rendered to its subscribers and attempts to monitor that quality. Believe it or not, the Medicare program is not evil, is not limiting and does not restrict choice.

This leads me to believe that a comprehensive universal health care system, a system based on the Medicare model, would not necessarily be the evil and draconian entity that some people urge you to oppose.

In fact, in my opinion, your health would be in better hands with a Medicare-type program than with private health care coverage. It would be much easier and far less expensive to improve the current Medicare program and to make this program available to everyone than it would be to reinvent the wheel by developing a new comprehensive program.

Government control not the way to go

I am a 30-year-old man, so talk of death squads, which is partisan rhetoric, doesn’t affect me very much.

What does affect me is that since I’ve been old enough to have health insurance on my own, I have seen both good policies and poor policies from companies that have been around for decades. So if a company that has been around for decades can still manage to provide poor coverage, then what kind of coverage will the U.S. government be able to provide? The same administration that has screwed up bailouts, Cash for Clunkers and national security.

Why does Congress feel the need to make sure a half-thought-out plan should be rushed into effect. Why, so that in 2010 they can say, “Look what we did, we got health care coverage for everyone”?

That’s nice, but what kind of coverage? Does the American public truly think that bigger government is the way to go? If that’s the case then the middle class will surely see the consequences of this when their checks are lighter after Barack Obama finagles the word “tax” into a cuter, less-offensive word.

My largest concern is for doctors who already get paid poorly. It’s not worth it to go to school to become a doctor these days. Without tort reform, then what do doctors have on their side, a government set out to control their profession and decide what should and shouldn’t be used when treating patients?

Who can truly say they trust government over their doctors? If that’s the case, good luck; I’ll stick to private insurance. Oh, if that’s still around, since the Congressional Budget Office already has put out a statistic that said 3 million Americans will lose their private insurance by 2016 because companies will not offer it anymore.

I hope you and I aren’t part of that 3 million!

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