The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on September 13, 1999 · Page 82
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September 13, 1999

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 82

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West Palm Beach, Florida
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Monday, September 13, 1999
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Page 82
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THE PALM BEACH POST SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 1999 15A nr Who's really behind ads? Insurance, HMO lobbies t - S-f MSL m ls5 fT57V 5KKKS" t 1 .1: f f S 4 - c .. . : ... ... . Y I trust most of your readers are aware of the onslaught of recent paid media advertising urging our representatives to vote against the proposed Dingell-Norwood patients' rights bill. The closer we get to the vote date, the more intensified the advertising will become. V- v ;' " 4 V My concern is that most voters probably are unaware that these advertisements are in part lies that they are being totally paid for by lobbyist groups representing health- BRUCE BENNETTStaff Photographer After years of refurbishing, and a ribbon-cutting last November, the Spanish Courts Marketplace in Riviera Beach still lacks tenants. Spanish Courts looked great on paper As one who has been a member of Humana HMO for almost 15 years, I can only say, "Give us a viable alternative!" I don't mean those private insurance companies that charge outrageous premiums for questionable coverage. It is time we joined the civilized world of nations that cover all their people young and old with health care. Let your congressmen know how you feel. Jasper A. Brodsky West Palm Beach Create tax credits for organ donors Reflecting upon the recent on-line bid of $5.8 million for a kidney, it occurred to me that perhaps there is a solution to alleviate the demand for kidneys. I propose that the IRS grant a yearly $5,000 tax credit to any donor of a kidney to a matching recipient. The credit would apply only to the donor for the rest of his or her taxpaying life. Larry J. Schuler South Palm Beach Harold Lewis deserves better from GOP Columnist Tom Blackburn recently pointed out the despicable way the Republicans have treated Harold Lewis, former counsel to the Division of Retirement. Mr. Lewis is partly responsible for getting the settlement amounting to billions from the tobacco Yes, when the Port of Palm Beach reaches its potential, and when Riviera Beach is able to see the light of its own redevelopment plans, then will such a project have hope. Spanish Courts was a small dream sold way before its time. City Council Chairman Edward Rodgers said, "Someone has to be in charge of this." Who will this someone be? Nann Miller Riviera Beach (Singer Island) They had a dream: the Spanish Courts fiasco. Fiascoes and someone else's money (especially cash from local government and the taxpayers' buck) end up going down the tubes because someone painted an unrealistic scenario. Projects such as the Spanish Courts look great on paper. Developers assure city officials that the site will draw other business, will bring neighborhoods together and will act as a seed for city growth. It almost never happens. us safe from guns and their liberty-loving owners. Sorry, Charlie, but that's not my idea of freedom. George English Boynton Beach maintenance organizations under the guise of The Business Round-table" and the "Health Benefits Coalition," neither of which is listed in the local phone directory! I suspect that the "800" numbers you've been given in the ads are paid for by the lobbyists. Evidently, this is a bill the health organizations will do anything to defeat It obviously gives you "rights" they would rather you didn't have. Nathan Jurist Lake Worth Bill of Rights ad is a bill of goods By now, most South Floridians must have heard or seen those propaganda messages on radio and television, urging voters to petition U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, to vote against the Patients' Bill of Rights legislation pending in the House. While many of us have often disagreed with Mr. Shaw's voting record in Congress, if he favors this bill, he should earn our support. We voters should question who is financing this costly radio and TV blitz. We can only surmise that the money behind it comes from insurance companies and HMOs that see this legislation as a threat to the profits they earn by offering substandard coverage to policyholders and members. Passing the patients' rights legislation will be of great benefit to most of us. Bill Santo Greenacres HMO alternative: Universal health care It seems to me that HMOs are unjustly getting blame from many quarters. The politicians use them as a whipping boy. Some few patients with bad experiences are suing them. The insurance companies hate them for cutting into their enormous profits. companies awarded to Florida. He was not one of the lawyers who received obscene fees for the settlement. The Republicans are only too willing to spend the settlement money, but at the same time, wanting to curry favor with the tobacco interests, are looking for a scapegoat. So what did they do? They blamed Mr. Lewis by firing him. He was only Mr. Lewis that wide accessibility to guns has had on everyone's personal freedom. Immediately after the shooting at Columbine High, we were treated to a sermon from National Rifle Association mouthpiece Charlton Heston about the need to protect "our precious freedoms," meaning his constituency's unfettered right to buy and use guns. OK. So what has that "precious freedom" cost us? Schools that are run almost like maximum-' security prisons, where millions of dollars are spent on high-tech surveillance systems, ID cards and armed guards instead of education. Students whose first lesson in democracy is to submit to random searches and who are punished, suspended and even jailed for making smart remarks or wearing clothing that adults view as threatening. And now, in a bizarre case here in Palm Beach County, a school board attorney generates frontpage headlines for a casual comment about "going postal." In their selfish zeal to propagate a bogus interpretation of the Second Amendment, the gun lobby has created an America where the real freedoms guaranteed by the First and Fourth are constantly trampled as a bureaucratic excuse to keep ( Write us The Palm Beach Post welcomes letters from readers. All letters are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Even e-mail and faxed letters must include the writer's name, address and daytime telephone number. You may receive a phone call for verification. 'Open letters' or letters addressed to a third party will not be published. Our addresses: Letters to the Editor The Palm Beach Post Martin County Bureau 2101 S. Kanner Highway Stuart, FL 34994 Fax: (561) 287-0241 Internet: letterspbpost.com 18 months away from retirement and lives modestly, is elderly and in debt. What a crummy way to treat anyone. Politics is dirty, but this is the limit! Gov. Bush has the power to rectify this situation, but will he? Bettina Wetzel Boynton Beach Protecting 'precious freedoms'? Hardly It seems strange that in the gun-control battle, no one, especially columnists, ever discusses what ought to be the most salient issue the effect : ' f i If you're interested in keeping a low profile, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class-with its award-winning combination of performance, safety and style-might not be the best way to go. Starmark now available in Florida. Gulf Stream Motors, Inc. Star Motors Bill Ussery Motors, Inc. LP Evans Motors WPB, Inc. Autohaus Pompano West Palm Beach Ft. Lauderdale Coral Gables Miami Pompano Beach AIR BAGS ARE A SUPPLEMENTAL RESTRAINT SYSTEM, SO REMEMBER AIR BAG SAFETY: BUCKLE EVERYONE AND CHILDREN IN BACK! E320 AWD Sedan and E320 Wagon. 1999 The Complete Car Cost Guide, IntelliChoice, Inc., www.intellichoice.com Fqr more information, call 1-800-FOR-MERCf DES, or visit our Web site, www.MBUSA.com. ; 1999 Authorized Mercedes-Benz R?ailers

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