Prescription drug bill is poor way to thank veterans



Prescription drug bill ispoor way to thank veterans
EDITOR:
The Medicare Prescription Drug Bill recently passed by the thinnest of margin was an indication that it contained "hidden threats" that will soon cost the seniors dearly and ultimately destroy traditional Medicare. Here are some threats: It forces privatization of Medicare, drives up Part B premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles; some $12 billion will go to managed care plans; and finally, it bars Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices. The sad part is that this bill was supposed to be all about making prescription drugs affordable for seniors.
The 38-year-old Medicare program, which was a safety net for the seniors, will no longer be there when this bill becomes effective in 2006. For the first time in two generations, seniors will be told "you will be on your own."
This administration does not believe in universal health care and wants to dismantle both Social Security and Medicare. Yet, we consider ourselves as the richest and strongest nation. I take exception only to being the richest. Give us universal health care, leave Social Security and Medicare for what they were intended to be, then we could call ourselves the richest and strongest nation.
The Pentagon indicates it may impose a $10 fee for each generic prescription and a $20 charge for brand names for drugs the retirees now receive free at military hospitals and clinics. This, they claim, would ease the burden on the defense budget. That is an odd way to thank the veterans for serving their country.
I am a World War II veteran and participated in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. I was awarded five Bronze Stars for five major campaigns and the Purple Heart.
CHARLES M. TEREK
Campbell
Adequate parking is crucialto success of arena project
EDITOR:
It is good news that the city is finally getting its act together and is getting ready to finalize plans for the proposed downtown arena. But I want to make sure I read the article in your newspaper correctly. I believe this arena is supposed to seat approximately 5,500 people. Your article said that they are only going to provide 350 parking spaces for the arena, and the rest of the attending public is supposed to find parking elsewhere downtown to generate pedestrian traffic and hopefully spur some additional downtown development. Assuming two people per car, that means a sold-out event will generate 2,750 cars. Even if you assume three people per car, that still means about 1,800 cars. If there are only 350 spaces at the arena, where does the city expect to park between 1,500 and 2,400 additional cars? What world do the planners live in? And what happens if there is also an event at Powers Auditorium on the same night?
Ask any of us who used to office downtown, and we will tell you that the No. 1 reason we left the city was parking. If the planners think that people attending an arena event will walk from perhaps as far away as Powers Auditorium to get to the arena, the entire project will be doomed to failure. It isn't going to happen. This is even more critical as the arena location has now been moved further east. There is a limit to how far people would be willing to walk, especially in bad weather.
I also read that the building is being built in a flood plain. But don't worry, the water from last summer's rains & quot;only & quot; came within a few hundred feet of the building. Are the planners serious? How many of the coveted 350 parking spaces will be under water in heavy rain?
I hope that the city fathers rethink this. Inadequate parking will be the death knell for this project, and its success would mean so much to this community.
Atty. MARK G. MANGIE
Youngstown
Strickland, Ryan and publicneed to back House measure
EDITOR:
It was embarrassing for a senior and for the president of the National Honor Society to be sent to detention hall at my high school. My infraction: missing home room.
But I'm not at all embarrassed to be sent to federal prison in a few weeks. Along with 26 others who were found guilty of criminal trespass onto Fort Benning, we find it's a necessary and honorable way to remind readers that Congressmen Tim Ryan and Ted Strickland still have not co-sponsored HR 1258, the resolution to withdraw authority for the Operation of the "School of the Americas (SOA, renamed WHISC since 2001)
Unlike co-sponsors Phil English (R-PA. Erie), Jack Quinn (R-NY, Buffalo), Mike Doyle (D-PA, Pittsburgh) and 102 other representatives, Reps Ryan and Strickland have not heard from enough of their constituents that history is on the side of those who insist that atrocities committed by graduates of the school cannot be simply written off as "incorrect," but need an independent congressional commission to investigate and assign responsibilities to those who taught terror techniques there.
The Amnesty International Report (2002) Unmatched Power/Unmet principles spells it all out. HR 1258 would begin to implement their proposals.
Information about the SOA Watch movement, including my class "graduation picture" is at: www.soaw.org.
Rev. BERNARD SURVIL
Penn, Pa.
XThe writer has celebrated Holy Week Masses at St. Rose of Lima Church, Struthers-Coitsville Road, preached at St. Luke's, Boardman, and is likely to return to the area again soon.
There is only one limiton how high taxes can go
EDITOR:
Taxes, taxes, taxes ... when will it end?
I have a small business and pay caregivers for my 92-year-old mother. I just recently paid the taxes on these employees and sent in the various government forms. Fifteen different forms to 15 government offices and nine payments.
By my calculations, Americans pay about 60 percent of their income to taxes. The only good news is that taxes will never exceed 100 percent, not because the politicians would mind that, but it is a physical limit.
DONALD BUTLER
Warren
CBS exercised poor taste inSuper Bowl halftime show
EDITOR:
I am among the viewers who were shocked and dismayed about the overt sexual overtones of the halftime show of the Super Bowl -- a performance that was viewed by millions of families. I am sure that many have either called or e-mailed CBS to voice their protests. I, too, have decided to let the network and its local affiliate, WKBN, Channel 27, know my feelings.
I am CEO of England Custom Furniture Direct, which opened our first England Furniture store in Boardman in December. Our company purchased advertising on Channel 27, which ran in & quot;Survivor, & quot; immediately after the game. However, because of this unacceptable use of the public airwaves, I have notified the station that I am ceasing all advertising on WKBN-TV.
I am surprised and saddened that the network would have allowed such performances to occur. Think of how much better all of us would have been served if CBS used the halftime show to honor America's armed forces overseas.
LAWRENCE S. HENDRICKS
Canfield

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