Replace current health care law with better one
People of good will agree that good health care available to all is a moral imperative. How to achieve that ideal, or as close to the ideal as is humanly possible, is where there are differing opinions.
There are those who like the recently passed health care law. They may have a strong disagreement with the abortion language, and may even object to the rationed care seniors will get. On the other hand, they believe the poor will get more equitable care and perhaps hospitals will be able to reduce costs.
However, just as with similar laws passed in other countries, this law could result in rationed care for many; older seniors may only be given the hospice option, money for health improvement research will be reduced, and there will be high costs for the majority. While the poor will get more equitable treatment, it will be poorer care as the good doctors quit and qualified individuals seek other professions.
The current health care system needs improvements, which I don't have space to go into now. But as the law, when fully implemented, will take us in the opposite direction from the moral imperative we agree on, we should oppose it. Efforts to repeal it should be vigorously supported.
Come a long way
I see the fire department and other organizations taking kids to Wal-Mart and buying new clothes and even bicycles, and God bless them; that is a wonderful thing.
But where were these people when I was growing up on the creek in Perry County? I would have passed out if someone had bought me these things. I didn't have a nice coat or bicycle until I was old enough to work and pay for them myself.
People who lived in Connie Creek, Buckhorn, Red Bird or other charity places had it a lot better than our neighbors. We were lucky to get a little candy and fruit for Christmas. There were people who had plenty in Hazard, as did the coal operators who lived in New York and other places, but they seemed not to care about kids outside of their families.
Oh, well, enough of that. I am glad that a lot of kids today had a nice Christmas, and maybe there were just too many poor people back then. Most of us made out all right, went to Detroit or Cincinnati and made a good living, retired and moved back to our homes. So, God bless us all.
Pass on the alcohol
Those planning to offer free rides home for intoxicated drinkers of alcoholic beverages on New Year's Eve are providing a valuable service to them and to others who might be injured by a drunken driver.
But wouldn't it be far better if people chose to celebrate without getting intoxicated?
If they need to become drunk to be joyous and happy, they may suffer from problems that alcohol can't cure. They may wake up with a hangover as well as other problems — assuming they don't fatally injure themselves or others.
Folks, please do not overindulge. And servers, please do not serve any patron enough alcohol to put them over the 0.08 percent legal blood-alcohol limit.
Believe it or not, there are millions of people who can relax, have fun, and live joyous lives without consuming alcoholic beverages at all.
Who knows? Maybe avoiding the consumption of alcoholic beverages for non-medicinal purposes can be a worthy New Year's Resolution for many. Happy New Year everyone.
James E. Gibson
Good move on infections
I was pleased to read in the Your Health section of the paper that on Jan.1, U.S. hospitals will begin to report the number of patients who contract a bloodstream infection following treatment in intensive-care units.
The article stated that catheters are one of the main causes of bloodstream infections, and are commonly used in hospitals. My mother was hospitalized in 2005-06 for a year with an ineffective lung transplant at the University of Kentucky hospital. She endured many infections and I am sure this didn't help in her recovery.
It is imperative that the people taking care of our loved ones, especially the nurses, use proper procedures and maintenance of these catheters to avoid hospital-acquired infections.
It is unfathomable that 90,000 deaths occur annually from these preventable infections. Also, Americans paid $6.5 billion for the extra treatment that these infections caused. I think the hospitals should have to absorb that cost.
Hospitals have to do better than this. And, by having this information available on a government Web site in 2011, the public will be able to make an informed, wise decision about where to go for the safest health care.
What happens now?
President John F. Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Those words ring in my ears every time I pick up the paper and see the partisan fighting going on in this once-great country.
I say once-great because now it's "What can I do for myself or my party?" not "What is right for my country?"
Prince John, we truly need your kind to get through the times ahead. President Barack Obama is such a man, but he has not been given a chance. In this age of instant gratification people expect it to be done now.
It took George W. Bush eight years to get us here and you expect Obama to undo it quickly. People voted with the Tea Party movement and what we will get is slashed taxes for the rich, no health care reform, a dismantling of safety-net programs like Social Security, Medicare, and education on a national level.
The Republicans promised to do the same thing that got us here today and you voted them back in. May God help this republic.
It is with great disgust that I view the blackmail compromise concerning the irresponsible and economically ineffective Bush-era tax cuts.
The blackmail used by the Republican Party in its newfound spirit of "fiscal responsibility" was to deny extending unemployment benefits to the most needy Americans because the $30 billion was "not paid for." They failed to mention the $600 billion added to the deficit to support the tax cuts for the uber-rich is "unpaid for."
Kentuckians must remember this for the 2012 elections. The Republican Party in Kentucky enjoys an advantage of an electorate that continually shoots itself in the foot to support failed Republican policies that do the average Kentuckian no good.
We live in an impoverished, ravished state politically controlled by special interests. The coal/mountaintop removal industry, the greedy financial service industry and the so-called Chamber of Commerce have their hooks deeply imbedded into the workings of the Republican Party. Kentuckians, I hope, will vote in favor of their true interests in 2012.
It is doubtful that they will.
Polk S. O'Neal