s
s
Sections
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, nearly 1.5 million people used their mobile devices to visit our sites.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Wow! You read a lot!
Reading enhances confidence, empathy, decision-making, and overall life satisfaction. Keep it up! Subscribe.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
Until next month, you can always look over someone's shoulder at the coffee shop.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
We don't just cover the North Bay. We live here.
Did You Know? In the first 10 days of the North Bay fire, we posted 390 stories about the fire. And they were shared nearly 137,000 times.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Supporting the community that supports us.
Obviously you value quality local journalism. Thank you.
Already a subscriber?
iPhone
Oops, you're out of free articles.
We miss you already! (Subscriptions start at just 99 cents.)
Already a subscriber?
iPhone

Vegan facts

EDITOR: In reply to Mark Ferguson (“Got Meat?,” Letters, Monday), being vegan is not a religion. Dietary and lifestyle choices are, of course, up to each of us to decide. However, it is my hope that if you had found a way to enhance your own health and well-being, as well as that of other humans, animals, and the environment, that you would feel encouraged to share it with others as well. Please consider investigating the many reasons to be vegan before throwing the idea out.

SYLVIA GILMOUR

Fort Bragg

What are best interests?

EDITOR: The United Kingdom case of baby Charlie Gard is more complex than suggested by Dr. Roger Delgado (“Individual rights,” Letters, Sunday). In the UK, disagreements between doctors and parents over treatment may go to a court of law to decide what is in the best interests of the child. The decision is entirely independent of the government, and the court only considers the best interests of the patient without concern for the cost. The UK High Court will now consider fresh evidence about the proposed experimental treatment and reassess the balance between the chances of securing meaningful brain recovery, against the pain, suffering and distress it is likely to cause to Charlie. We all sympathize with the predicament of Charlie and his family, but sometimes it is kinder to accept the inevitable rather than impose further suffering.

STEWART HODGES

Kenilworth, England (and Santa Rosa)

Finish the job

EDITOR: “Uncle!” I give up! “Throw in the towel!” and “Wave the white flag.” This is from a libertarian who believes in the dictum “that government is best which governs least.” I lost this battle 52 years ago, and now I finally admit it. You see readers, that is the month in 1965 when Lyndon Baines Johnson signed Medicare/Medicaid into law and launched this country onto the inevitable path of single-payer health insurance. A little bit of research tells me that more than 138 million Americans on Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP are provided health care by “We the people.” The latest population numbers tell us that there are more than 321 million in the United States, which means that more than 43 percent of us are on a single-payer system. Not only this, just add to these numbers the combined number of federal, state and local workers of almost 22 million whose premiums or insurance is paid by the collective. Then the number becomes 50 percent of the population for whom the rest of us provide.

So, while we debate the replacement of Obamacare, we are already, indeed, a single-payer health-care nation. What’s left of private insurance is a bloody mess. Why don’t we just admit it and finish the job. Let’s find a way to finance and implement Medicare for all on a sustainable path because the current “fee-for-service model” cannot continue as it is.

CHRISTOPHER SORK

Santa Rosa

Israel and anti-Semitism

EDITOR: As I read Rabbi George Gittleman’s Close to Home column (“Ode to the Jewish-American experience,” July 2), I reflected on the experience of my Jewish grandparents, all of whom immigrated to the United States to escape the rampant anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and Russia shortly after the turn of the 20th century. However, I was saddened to see the rabbi equate anti-Semitism with criticism of the state of Israel. Is it anti-Semitic to criticize Israel for continuing to occupy the West Bank and Gaza? Is it anti-Semitic to criticize Israel for the denial of basic human rights both within Israel and the occupied territories? Growing numbers of American Jews are questioning the actions of Israel. Does that make us anti-Semites? I think not. Rather I think it situates us squarely in the Jewish tradition of seeking justice and fighting for human rights.

SAM TUTTELMAN

Petaluma

Medical costs

EDITOR: Bret Stephens’ Thursday column (“The price for the GOP’s health care insanity) highlighted the real problem with health care: excessive costs. Instead of Obamacare-light, Republicans need to expose the current system for what it is — an overly expensive doctor-hospital-insurance monopoly that is both ineffective and inefficient.

For starters, we need more doctors. But medical schools cap their output. We only turned out 18,000 doctors last year, up from 15,000 in 2003, an increase of less than 1 percent per year.

This paltry increase was concurrent with a populous baby boom generation swiftly entering the danger zone. It is no wonder the U.S. is the 52nd rated country in doctors per 1,000 residents. We’re at 2.3. Lowly Cuba has 5.9. Italy, with similar figures for life expectancy as ours, has 4.2.

Moreover, the approach (office visits with a Marcus Welby-type) is so 20th century. Sophisticated Watson-like databases and Big Data web techniques give anyone access to doctor-like knowledge, allowing intermediate professionals to fill new medical roles.

Other cost-efficiencies await, but the medical-industrial complex will need to get out of the way.

Ultimately, it’s the only choice we have if we want to afford unlimited medical care for the oncoming hordes.

KENNETH SANTORO

Santa Rosa

Moral turpitude

EDITOR: Donald Trump’s behavior is an excellent example of moral turpitude. He campaigned on a promise to be a voice of those left behind but instead created a hierarchy that favors the very wealthy over the common citizen.

Even the GOP lacks the integrity to embrace its promise that it is the party of the middle class. The entire country of 340 million should not be held hostage by the 65 million-plus who voted for a con man, a conceptual liar, a narcissistic egomaniac who is, quite frankly, unqualified for the high office of president of this once long ago United States.

J.W. HALE

Petaluma

Show Comment