Denying health care only costs us more

There is much talk about creating fair immigration policy so that millions of people who reside permanently in the United States without "permission" can regain a modicum of basic rights that we have deprived them of.

Both political parties echo the mantra, yet Gov. Jerry Brown has declared he will take away state funding from counties -- funding that provides health care for the indigent. Among the more than 20 million people not eligible for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), the undocumented make up about half.

Brown knows that Congress removed the undocumented from insurance coverage under the health care reform. In California, these folks rely upon county-funded clinics. Like the removal of driver's licenses, Brown's intention denies common sense, as it will create greater risks to all.

People denied coverage get sicker and end up at emergency rooms. California will have to reimburse hospitals, at higher cost, under the Hill-Burton Act.

Does not our nation's founding declaration read: We hold "that all men are created equal"?

Marc Sapir

Berkeley Dr. Sapir provides primary care at a public clinic in Alameda County.

County must negotiate contracts in good faith


Advertisement

In 2011, Contra Costa County middle managers agreed to a contract that included significant cuts in compensation. That agreement acknowledged the severe fiscal crisis facing the county. Since then, the county's fiscal health has increased significantly.

During a recent negotiation meeting, County Administrator David Twa admitted to having an unrestricted "Teeter Fund" of more than $120 million. Twa stated his intentions were to spend this money on facility upgrades, refusing to spend any of it to restore salary and benefits that our members gave up to help the county through difficult times.

Our members are not the individuals who retired with 200 percent of their salary. We are regular people trying to provide for our families. Our members deserve a contract that recognizes past sacrifices and our ongoing commitment to county service.

A strike by middle managers will cripple the county and operations will cease. Unfortunately, county negotiators have continued to stall for more than a year, making a strike very likely.

We don't want this to happen. The county must negotiate in good faith.

Michael Voss

Concord

Despite faulty bolts, new bridge is safer

The Times' May 26 editorial, "Safety concerns mounting over bridge project," is an ideal example of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

When you insist that "This (new) bridge must not open until independent experts rule that it's safe," what you are really saying is that we must continue to use a known less safe bridge -- it has already collapsed, for heaven's sake! -- until the new one is raised from an "A" status to an "A+++" status. That's crazy!

Also, "amateurs," those outside a given profession or field of expertise, tend to see things in a simplified fashion. Depending on the "experts," whoever they may be, they demand undefined conditions, such as "safe" -- without having any idea what they're asking for. There is no open discussion, just rigid demands, which help no one, least of all the public.

In my opinion, the new bridge, despite faulty bolts, is nonetheless safer than the existing bridge.

Ralph Hueston Kratz

Richmond Kratz is a structural engineer.

IRS clearly involved in misconduct

The IRS is a part of the federal government that touches all of us. There is no escaping the IRS. Its reach will be further enhanced when Obamacare is up and running and the IRS is given more power.

I do believe that misconduct was committed by the IRS. However, I do not believe the office in Cincinnati was the only office involved in misconduct. Nor do I believe the misconduct involved only a misguided underling or underlings.

Targeting a group or an individual based on their beliefs has the ring of World War II Germany.

The Obama administration has failed to truthfully report on the killings in Benghazi, guns to Mexico, and the wiretapping of newsmen. Allowing this administration to continue to mislead and to go around the Constitution and laws of this country can be blamed on our complacency and the complacency of our media.

How would it have been if Enron had investigated itself?

D. C. Rentz

Walnut Creek