Letters (Aug. 12, 2009)

Thanks, firefighters, for your effort at fair


Much appreciation to the Marion CountyFire Chiefs Association for the work, time and effort they put forth in this year?s Marion County Fair, organizing Fire Jam 2009.

We were at the Friday night concert and all the musical talent and ability the performers exhibited was truly amazing.

Looking forward to next year?s, and hopefully we can all really be supportive of these firefighters.

Mary J. Funk

Irene Bezdek


Many people made the fair a success


The Marion County Fair Association would like to thank everyone who helped make the 2009 Marion County Fair such a success.

Among them: The wonderful sponsors who, even in tough times, donated generously; all of the volunteers who helped get everything done and went above and beyond the call of duty (considering the health restrictions of our fair manager); the city of Hillsboro for everything they provided, incuding assistance with arena work; the Marion County Fire Chiefs Association for all of their help and support; and certainly not least, all of the people who came out to enjoy the shows and the fair in general.

With the help of everyone mentioned, and then some, we were able to put on as good a fair as we've had in years. With your continued support we hope to do even better next year.

We also would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous contribution to the 2009 Marion County Fair Demolition Derby: Lang Diesel, Prairie Land Partners, Straub?s and Wendy?s. Our sincerest apologies for omitting their names in the demo derby program. Without sponsors such as yourselves, the fair would not be a success.

Chuck McLinden, president Marion Co. Fair Association


Health-care reform is a necessary goal


Health-care reform seems to be the hot political topic recently. Unfortunately, the debate is now being driven more by emotion and misleading information than by reason.

I currently have health insurance through my employer, for which I am grateful. However, for much of my life I was self-employed and had to purchase insurance for my family on the open market. At times I came close to being unable to afford the rapidly escalating premiums. Today many families are in that same situation.

Fortunately, in this country, most of our hospitals will not turn away someone who is sick because they lack insurance. However, the care they receive is more expensive (emergency room) and less effective in the long run.

To be sure, most uninsured patients are hounded by collection agencies, but in the end much of their bill must be written off. This cost is then passed on to the rest of us in the form of increased insurance premiums. This can have a devastating effect on many businesses that provide health care to their employees. With this system everybody loses. Surely we can do better.

Our present system has been effective in promoting new therapies and technologies. The companies involved understandably hope to maximize their profits from each new innovation. Ideas that are less glamorous with lower profit potential, but that may benefit a larger population, are ignored.

The result is a very advanced health-care system that is unaffordable.

I read Congressman Moran?s column on health care reform in last week?s paper. He had some good ideas, all safe and noncontroversial. He certainly shows no appetite for regulating insurance companies. I?m not surprised. The health insurance industry is the single most powerful player in health care today. It is vital that they be held accountable.

I understand the reluctance of many people to have more government involvement in anything. It is the common belief that government is inefficient and incompetent. Often that is proven correct.

However, sometimes the government can act effectively. When Medicare was first proposed it faced fierce opposition from many powerful interests. Now, even for all its shortcomings, it is difficult to find anyone who would favor repealing it.

It is true that it will be expensive if government takes responsibility for making sure everyone has access to health insurance they can afford. However, we are all paying that price and more. The cost of subsidizing the uninsured permeates every aspect of health care.

I believe every American citizen should have access to quality health care at a reasonable price. Tax credits alone will not achieve that goal. It will require something bolder. There are several alternatives being considered: health-care co-ops, a public insurance option and others.

Bringing down costs while encouraging innovation will be difficult, controversial and necessary.

Mike Brandt


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