Wanted: Health-Care Reform That Makes Economic Sense

In the front-page article "Congress Gets a C, For Compromise," Aug. 5, a "C" is a rather high grade. Health care reform has been minimal. Allowing for unfettered Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) would have been true health care reform, but issuing a maximum of only 750,000 policies (less than 1 percent of the American work force) at firms with 50 or fewer employees will not be an adequate test. Furthermore, smart insurers will design their products for the self-employed professionals.

MSAs sustained an undeserved attack as tax subsidies for the wealthy and healthy. It shows a dearth of understanding of economics and of how wealthy people think, and it assumes that the wealthy put a high value on savings of less than $1,000 annually.

C.F. Baumgartner

Mercer Island, Wash.

Former President

Washington Medical Savings Account Project

'English only' sets bad precedent

Regarding the opinion-page article "Why English Should Be Official Language of US," Aug.14: We do not need a law to make English the "official" language of the United States.

It is apparent to both new immigrants and descendants of the pilgrims that English is our official language, and that English language proficiency makes possible full participation in the educational, social, political, and commercial activities of our democratic society.

As American Jews we understand that well. Yet the bond which holds our nation together runs deeper than the English language alone. We are the "melting pot" and the "beautiful mosaic," a diversity of individuals who are the American people. Our success stories are many, contrary to the author's assertion that "success stories are few" where multilingualism abounds.

If English-only became the law of the land, the next legislation could very well be American flags-only. Then what would the author do on the national day of Wales?

Abraham Foxman

New York

National Director, Anti-Defamation League

Who is draining government funds?

If the author of the letter "Deficit Reduction With a Green Thumb," Aug. 7, was truly concerned with government deficit spending, he would call on the government to stop giving outright grants to green advocacy groups such as his, and to stop reimbursing them for legal costs when they bring frivolous suits against the government. The government actually makes money with "mining, livestock, and logging" on its lands. It is "set aside lands" that are the drain on government funds.

Y. Leon Favreau

Shelburne, N.H.

President, Multiple Use Association

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