Poor definition of 'single payer'

This is in response to the Nov. 8 column by Thomas Sowell, "Health care plan is age-old thinking disguised as new." Sowell should be ashamed of his confusing definition of a "single-payer" health system.

Single payer refers to how health care could be financed. It would be a system similar to how the current Medicare system is financed. It does not mean doctors would be employees of the government or that there would be a "government monopoly able to impose its own will on everybody," as he states.

He queries: "Why would anyone want that for something as crucial as medical care?" Perhaps he should ask the millions of Americans who are very happy to have Medicare at this time and would be devastated to lose it.

Supporters of a single payer system would like to expand Medicare to everybody and reap the huge cost savings this would bring to this country. Even Sowell admits that the cost of insurance company paperwork only increases the cost of medical treatment.

I encourage everyone to become better informed about single payer health care by going to healthcareforall.org.

Jonee Grassi

Richmond Grassi is a registered nurse.

There's stupidity in White House

President Barack Obama needs to go -- and he needs to go now -- before the damage to our nation is permanent and irreversible.


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To say "sorry" for Obamacare that was forced down our throats is just inexcusable. Since he works for us, I think it's time for him to resign and crawl back under the rock in Kenya where he came from.

There are just too many unanswered questions to allow this guy to continue to run our country. Obama did nothing as a senator to prove his worth as a future president. And as president, he has done nothing that should allow him to stay in office.

It's time for him to go now.

John Walker Jr.

Pleasant Hill

Get facts straight on charter schools

As a site administrator at Clayton Valley High before it became Clayton Valley Charter High, I take issue with Ray Triana, who is woefully uninformed about it and charter schools in general.

The school gets the same amount of funding per student as the other Bay Area public high schools. Actually, it receives slightly less in categorical funding.

Public charter schools have to follow all public school regulations. They cannot discriminate against students in their applications to attend. CVCHS accepted any student who applied and hasn't had one expulsion since its opening.

Before reopening as a charter, it served as the special education autism magnet for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. The number of special education students served at CVCHS has only increased. Its special education fund encroaches on the general fund of the school by 4 percent.

As for the Times parroting what the school officials say rather than investigate, I can say with confidence (I checked with the school director) that no one from the Times ever contacted the school or spoke with any administrator there.

I suggest Triana take his own advice and investigate before making erroneous statements that might harm a hardworking school's reputation. He shouldn't just parrot what he has heard.

Evie Groch

El Cerrito

State's increasing downward spiral

Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing illegals to obtain California drivers licenses -- while nationally, 68 percent object.

Perhaps Brown thinks he can sneak these illegals onto the voter rolls. Maybe Brown realizes the genuine U.S. citizens of California are preparing to clean house in Sacramento.

People are angry at the nearly highest state taxes in the United States, questionably balanced budgets and spending on high-speed rail no one wants.

People are angry about twin tunnels to drain the Delta, excessive gun control that attempts to abrogate the 2nd Amendment, Plan Bay Area's attempt to squeeze people into rabbit warrens, and the fact many high school graduates cannot read, write or solve simple math problems.

Additionally, they're angry about the $26.9 billion of short-term borrowing expense, $45.5 billion shortfall in public employees' retirement system, $70 billion shortfall in California teachers' retirement, $64 billion California retirees' health benefits shortfall, California unemployment fund shortage of $10 billion, and annual $5.6 billion highway upkeep shortages.

The total is $222 billion and growing as the Democratic Legislature ignores it all.

Time for a big change? You decide.

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg