Tim Macaluso's probing questions and Rene Reixach's cogent responses on health insurance (Say What, November 2) seem to lead down a path that has only one solution: we must disengage business from the financial responsibility of health care.

Whether they are public or private, profit or not-for-profit, we as a capitalistic society demand that businesses remain fiscally healthy. That is the basis of the economic security of our families, our communities, our country. To burden business with the crushing and rapidly increasing costs of health care is ultimately going to hurt us all in every arena, from local to international.

There is an answer, and that answer is universal health care. No, not "socialized medicine," but health care for all --- including the 40 million currently uninsured Americans --- paid for by a single payer but delivered largely in private offices, similar to the health-care delivery supplied by Medicare.

From my point of view as a physician, our current medical system is full of contradictions and inefficiencies, and our current federal administration's attempts at pharmaceutical-coverage options only further confuses patients caught in a system that is inefficient and intimidating.

As one of the richest nations in the world, it is a travesty that we view medical care as a privilege and not a universal right. We are the only developed country that does not supply its citizens with health-insurance coverage. And lest we think that our health care is so much better than other developed countries: statistics show that even though America spends considerably more per capita on health care, as a population our outcomes are worse. High technology does not guarantee a healthy population. Have MRI's stemmed the devastating tide of obesity and diabetes that this country is facing?

We need to let businesses like Kodak and ViaHealth tend to business, and we as citizens need to realize that the "government" is us. We are the ones who must demand a national health insurance. When put to the task, today's federal government can create efficient and workable systems: witness the dramatic improvements in the postal service and VA hospital systems over the last couple of decades.

Only when Americans decide that we are a community and establish a single-payer national health insurance can we come to accountable, efficient, and ethical medical care for all.

Cynthia Reddeck, Moraine Point, Victor (Reddeck is a cardiologist in private practice.)


You kinda picked a bum week to go after Libby/Rove, what with your boy Tom Tomorrow bad-mouthing Judith Miller and the New York Times ("Scooter's Not the Problem," Urban Journal, and "The Modern World," November 2). So which is it? Was the White House lying, or did the Times and Colin Powell pave the way for the gullible public to follow W into war?

What's a lib to think?

Was it bad form for Maureen Dowd to call Ms Miller a slut? What a catfight that was, right there on the op-ed pages of the paper of record. Man, it's tough to be liberal these days. Let's just kick out all the reporters and get to the bottom of this before we say another word to the press. Oh, wait; that's just what Harry Reid did! He won't have Tim Russert testifying against him, will he?

So I guess liberals can't trust the liberal media anymore; gotta go straight to Michael Moore and Tom Tomorrow. (Well, their websites are linked, after all.)

Joe St. Martin, Penfield


In her review of "2046" (October 12), DaynaPapaleo comments on the several beautiful women in the film. That's fine, but her throwaway line, "But no man could really be worthy of these stunners" got under my skin. I suppose it seemed harmless to her, meant to go scarcely noticed and certainly not questioned.

Although I have no evidence that Ms. Papaleo is a hardcore male-basher, that is the nature of the sport: to seem natural and benign, nurtured by a kind of "Duh, we all know women are superior to men" mentality. Male-bashing, the debasing and insulting of men, thrives in the media, content with the knowledge that most people, including men, will probably not take the time to oppose it. If the shoe were on the other foot, of course, women would be up in arms, organizing rallies and protests and shrieking their indignation.

Luckily, men are not without support in this matter. There are a number of men's organizations that address offenses against men, and at least one women's group: WOMB: Women Opposed to Male Bashing. Good going, ladies.

Harold Jewell, Alexander Street, Rochester


Regarding the fast ferry: rather than bankrupting Rochester into oblivion and further straining our relationship with Canada (which had to be arm-wrestled into accepting it), why not just sell the albatross to someone who could use it?

Joan M. Fox, Winchester Street, Rochester


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