To the editor: As a physician, I feel I must write to you about the healthcare debate (“Healthy Debate,” July 29, 2009).

First, for-profit health insurance companies are just that: for profit. They make more money and satisfy their investors by insuring only healthy people and dropping coverage on chronically ill persons who have individual policies or work for small companies with little leverage power to negotiate. I myself have been blacklisted from obtaining health coverage because of a condition I had more than 12 years ago. I’ve had a clean bill of health since then, but that incident appears on my records in a database that all health insurance companies can access. The underwriters will not even return my phone calls. It is absurd to believe that for-profit insurance giants are concerned with the health and welfare of the average citizen.

We need a government-sponsored option to even the playing field and to cover those whom the giant insurance companies refuse to insure. Those who wrongly believe that a government-sponsored program is a communist ploy should forfeit their Medicare benefits when they turn 65. I urge everyone who cares about their health to view Bill Moyers’ interview with Wendell Potter, a former head of corporate communications for CIGNA. The link is

Knockouts 300x250 Tiffanie

David Lancaster


To the editor: I attended U.S. Rep. Joe Barton’s town hall meeting in Arlington recently. Most of the crowd looked to be over 60. Barton made two points about healthcare reform before answering questions. His points, about a mandate for end-of-life counseling and paid-for abortions, were both deceitful and untrue. But the crowd stood up and cheered as he brandished these known falsehoods.

I’d read some media accounts of extremist groups spreading fear among the ignorant, but I didn’t realize that the extremist groups are members of the Republican Party and that the ignorant are their elderly constituents until I saw and heard it for myself.

Even if you’ve never before taken part in a public forum, those who want the debate to be about the facts — and not the fallacies spread by those opposed to healthcare reform — must get actively involved. It’s horrible to see elected officials manipulate the elderly so blatantly, especially in a public forum. What must they be doing behind closed doors? I felt like I was at an offshoot KKK meeting.

It’s enough to make you sick, but your health insurance still won’t cover it.

Candace Ferrante


Another Houston?

To the editor: The repercussions from Peter Gorman’s “The Big Takeover” (Aug. 26, 2009) should have hit 9 on the Richter scale. Legislators and others in power need to read this well-written cautionary tale.

When 10 head of cattle succumb within an hour of drinking “frac” water and seven more die in the next three hours, there has to be more action taken than compensating the owner. This is criminal negligence — and the pasture is still contaminated.

Now they want to build gas wells near a grammar school? First cows, now maybe children will be the collateral damage from these intrusive, polluting wells, all for the sake of money.

Thanks to Don Young for releasing the footage revealing hydrocarbons escaping into the atmosphere, something the gas companies don’t want you to know about and are attempting to cover up with greenbacks.

Our mayor is a recreant, letting the drilling companies have waivers and variances. The companies don’t even want to do minor retrofitting that would reduce poisonous emissions. Heck, let’s give the keys to the city to this pack of wolves.

Young said, “In just three years we’ve gone from being a nice city with a small-town feel to a city on the way to becoming another Houston.” That’s what greed does.

Eva Hoffsettz

Fort Worth