U.S. health care

is all about greed

If you don't subscribe to Time magazine, take $5 out of your pocket and buy the March 4 edition and read Steven Brill's article, "Bitter Pill." Once you've read it, if you can listen to a politician saying the United States has the greatest health care system in the world without gagging, read it again.

The sad fact is, the driving force behind American health care is not health but simple greed.

The insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies and the health care delivery industry spend huge amounts of money lobbying Congress to maintain our current broken system and ensure the longevity of their golden-egg-laying goose. And their investments pay off. Profits and salaries in the health care industries are - in a word - outrageous.

The elephant in the room is the fact that the United States is alone in the so-called "developed world" in not having some form of universal health care. As a result, we have a wildly overpriced, inefficient, and - in terms of outcomes -inferior health care system.

Brill, probably correctly, dismisses a single-payer universal system as "unlikely" given the overwhelming power of the insurance/health care/pharmaceutical complex. That's just sad, and something that we, as individuals, can't do much about. But there is one small thing we can do. Our congressman, Rep. Frank Lobiondo, R-2nd, has repeatedly joined his bought-and-paid-for Republican colleagues in their attempts to maintain the dysfunctional, but lucrative, system we have now. Let him know it's time for a new approach to health care.

GUS SCHICK

Millville

Hospice program

is a godsend for us

I must take issue with the Feb. 22 letter, "Euthanasia a better choice than hospice."

We have been blessed to have Holy Redeemer Hospice in our life.

My husband has been on hospice care since November. Every person on the team that has been assigned to my husband's care has been a godsend. The nurse, home health care aide, psychologist and chaplain have been there for both my husband and me. Never once has it been suggested to stop feeding my husband.

If he is alert and wants to eat, then we safely feed him. Medication is used only for his comfort. I feel so blessed to have this hospice team in my life at this most difficult time.

FAYE TIERNO

Ocean City

Christie robs poor

to give to the rich

Gov. Chris Christie is a Robin Hood in reverse. He takes away from us seniors and gives to the rich and corporations.

Bill Holland's Feb. 25 column, "Christie has stymied growth in N.J.," notes that Christie has doled out $2 billion to large corporations, including Prudential. Revel's developers will get a tax break, too. Meanwhile, he's stolen from seniors by cutting and delaying our property-tax rebate checks.

And all this is to foster growth? According to Holland, New Jersey ranks 47th in economic growth.

LUDWIG JAROS

Mays Landing

Obama is wrong

on minimum wage

When President Barack Obama urged Congress to raise the minimum wage, he explained the proposal as a straightforward way to "raise the incomes of millions of working families." Research will show that the working poor cannot be lifted out of poverty simply by asking the employers to pay more. If that were true, Congress would have legislated away financial hardship years ago.

David Denslow, a University of Florida economist (and a registered Democrat), told The Palm Beach Post that raising the minimum wage is a misguided policy and a "blunt tool" that misses its mark of helping workers at the bottom of the wage scale.

It becomes more obvious each day that, as Thomas Jefferson said, "My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government."

Every businessman knows that the mandate as proposed by the president will be completely absorbed by small-business owners who are operating on small profit margins. The idea is inflationary and will ultimately affect pricing of all products.

LOUIS C. RIPA

Ocean City

Conservatives like

to have demons, too

The Feb. 25 letter, "Sequestration 'cuts' are a phony issue," was very enlightening. The letter writer cites Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and the admonition for them to always have a crisis and a demon to fight.

Well, the letter writer apparently has a crisis and a demon, too - the nation's debt and President Barack Obama and his political allies.

ED DEAN

Somers Point

Commentary page

insightful, entertaining

What a super Commentary page The Press had on Feb. 22. Every columnist on the page was so right-on with his or her message.

There was the insightful article by Alexandra Petri about the millennial generation and the inspiring column by Donald Rumsfeld about the International Olympic Committee decision to eliminate wrestling from the Olympics (surely an article we could all take a lesson from). And Richard Cohen, whom I am not normally a fan of, had me laughing out loud with his column, "Enough with the hugs, kisses and 'love'".

What an intelligent, entertaining and thought-provoking page.

If you haven't enjoyed it, go back and read it - absolutely one of The Press' best.

VICKI WOLF

Avalon