Letters to the Editor

Much talk of types of healthcare at debates

The Democratic primary debates this week set up a stark choice for voters between progressive Democrats and what I would call, “Republican Lite” democrats.

It’s time to address the charges made by self-proclaimed moderates, such as John Delaney, concerning the proposal for a national health care system. Delaney says such a healthcare system would take healthcare options away from Americans. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Under a single payer system every physician and every healthcare facility would be covered. This is in stark contrast to the current system, where your choice of physician and facility is dictated by the terms of your private insurance company’s policy unless you can afford to pay the costs of going out of network.

Delany further claims that a Medicare for all system would bankrupt hospitals. This is also untrue. Most contracts that hospitals have with private insurers provide for reimbursement rates that are about the same as the reimbursements paid by Medicare. The difference is that under the current system hospitals and healthcare providers need to take into account the provision of care for people who have no coverage at all. Keep in mind that emergency rooms can’t require evidence of insurance before providing care and cannot turn any patient away. Under a “Medicare for all” system, everybody would be covered, and healthcare providers would receive reimbursement for patients they treat.

Finally, there was mention of care to undocumented aliens. Every national healthcare plan, Medicare included, provides cards for those individuals permitted to access the system. With respect to emergency care, the answer is that it will need to be provided to people, regardless of status. The alternative would be to force emergency room doctors and nurses to demand to see papers from critically-injured people before treating them, or simply leaving people to die. This result would be unconscionable.

David A. Silk,

Boca Raton

Going after Joe

Round 2 of Debate 2 was disappointing. Instead of airing the interminable list of programs President Trump has instituted or demolished, candidates went after Joe Biden. And they did so by bringing up old legislative errors.

If the Democrats want to win this election, they must stop trying to grab headlines and train a laser focus on the lengthy list of grievances of the middle class. We will need more than bright, young liberals to win this election.

Candidates need to hammer home why Trump is not fit to lead and present what will work for most of us, the ignored middle class. Other candidates, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennett among them, are doing so. Cory Booker and Kamala Harris chose to attack Biden. As Marianne Williamson said, it was more “Yada, yada, yada.”

Mary K. Sullivan,

Miami Shores

Health plan idea

Yes, healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. Same for food, clothing and shelter. But that doesn’t mean that it must be free, and it isn’t necessary for everyone to have the same level of care. We need to have a true public option. This would be a system designed for cost effectiveness. It would have lower premiums than the private insurance plans. No deductibles. But there would be co-pays that are structured to limit unnecessary utilization of resources, while providing broad coverage for the most expensive services like hospitalization. There would be a focus on preventive care and the leveraging of technology.

The first point of contact would be triage, so that a clinical professional could direct the patient to the most appropriate source of care. Often, this would be guided self-care, which will save costs while speeding treatment. Eventually, artificial intelligence will be able to handle most of the triage function, saving even more money.

Because this public option would provide care at the right time in the right place with the right resource, access and quality would be improved substantially. No need to implement Medicare for All, eliminating by decree all private insurance. The public option will compete with the private sector, ultimately winning out thanks to better service at a lower price.

Joe Weber, Miami

Forget me ‘knot’

I find it hard to believe that a person can forget and leave a child in the back seat of a vehicle, exposing the child to terrible heat and death.

The solution is so easy. Just hang something on a string on the rear-view mirror, such as a tennis ball or a little toy, anything to remind a driver there is somebody in the back seat.

Parents, there is no reason for these terrible things to happen.

Stephen G. Zeitz,

Miami Beach

North Beach moves

July 31 was a historic day, not only for North Beach, but all of Miami Beach. Unanimous votes were cast on Ocean Terrace, mixed-use residential in Town Center, the NoBe Civic Center, and Rue Vendome public plaza. These votes capped off the prior Town Center FAR increase and creation of two MiMo historic preservation districts.

Kudos to the city administration and legal department, which created the solid foundation our entire community could believe in and commit to. Were it not for their hard work and careful diligence, it would not have been possible to build community and political support.

We are now on the verge of a renaissance for North Beach. We have done something that has been attempted several times over the past four decades but never completed.

It’s group hug time!

John Alemán,


Miami Beach

Keys’ living

How about this out-of-the-box suggestion to alleviate the low-income housing crisis in the Florida Keys? Retrofit a cruise ship to turn cabins into tiny living spaces available for month-to-month rental. Price point choices abound, from small inside cabins to connecting cabins that would provide a bedroom and a separate living room, all the way up to suites.

Restaurants and dining options — no problem; laundry — no problem; transportation to and from the mainland — no problem; medical services — no problem; entertainment — no problem; childcare — no problem; hurricane evacuation — definitely no problem.

One cruise ship could handle way more people than a trailer park ever could. It would be one more quirky thing to boast about life in the Keys.

Payback on the investment? Perhaps in as little as 10 years. Food for thought.

Betsy Sharp,


Search goes low

As a former chairperson and faculty member at Miami Dade College, I was sickened to watch the Board of Trustees meeting last week where it refused to name a successor for retiring President Eduardo Padrón, after a seven-month search process.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a staunch Trump supporter, recently appointed four of his cronies to sit on the college’s board. It was therefore obvious that this it has a political agenda vs. an educational one. Some members will take any measures they see as viable to prevent immigrants from obtaining an education and succeeding in our country.

For members of the board to say they did not have a qualified applicant in their search pool was delusional. Who do they believe would apply for this position after these shenanigans? Board members who do not understand education, should make the responsible decision to resign immediately. They are not doing any favors for the thousands of students who look to the college for hope, as they always have.

Gale Woolley,


Staying home

If we immigrants are so damaging for the country, I suggest that all of us stay home for one day and not go to work, shop, fly, drive, use our credit cards, our computers, etc.

Let’s see what happens.

Nilda Martinez,


Cyber pickpocket

Capital One asks: What’s in your wallet? Answer: A hacker.

Seth Hochman,


Wasted words

Precious minutes were wasted during the debates discussing decriminalizing border crossings.

Surely, while this president is in office, no such law will be passed. And once this president no longer is in office, it will make little difference. The new administration will not be separating families.

Mitchell Chefitz, Miami

Oh, grow up!

Would someone please inform the president that he no longer is in kindergarten, where, being the class bully, he undoubtedly had a nasty name for all his classmates.

Some may say he's still at that level.

Ferdinand Phillips,

Coral Gables