Health department is county's duty

Health department is county's duty

June 17th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Health department is county's duty

Dr. Cofer's June 13 letter is correct that cutting the public health department budget is a bad idea, but I must mention some issues he omits.

The so-called Homeless Health Center helps many working poor, who are not homeless, and should be more appropriately named a public health center. For those not influenced by humanitarian concerns, the argument should be made that the issue is not the private health benefits to poor people but the public health concerns of rich and poor alike.

Many public health department supporters fail to focus their appeals for money to Hamilton County government (not Chattanooga city government), which should solely fund in full all appropriate services that the public health department has been providing. Chattanooga's county-city taxpayers will continue to fund 58 percent of the public health department cost through their county property taxes. Tennessee state law properly makes the public health department a county responsibility. County government has ample resources to fund health services without raising taxes, but the county's broader tax base means that, if taxes needed to be raised, the county rate would have to be raised only half as much as if the city raised them.

DR. RICHARD WILSON

UTC political science professor

Remember GOP chain of events

(Gov.) Haslam and his legislators made photo IDs mandatory for voting - to reduce votes for Democrats. In 2000, our Westside polling place was relocated for that reason.

The GOP disregards what we dislike, namely dictators so remorseless they stun cynics. They also blind susceptible Americans to consequences of voting anti-government candidates into government. Listen: It's dumb to vote for anarchy.

A national downfall is possible now. Previously, we didn't believe it, so remember the GOP chain of commands:

(1) Election fraud by use of rigged vote-counting computers. (2) Invasion of a nation that hadn't attacked us or planned to, and (3) paying allies to help, followed by (4) a congressional vote to disallow International Court of Justice indictments for war crimes by any high-ranking American.

(5) Lax response to a grave natural disaster, and (6) removing environmental protections that led to (7) an exploding offshore oil rig, causing (8) ongoing coastline damage. (9) A planned Wall Street crash, worsened by (10) a Supreme Court muting of our rights by giving corporations more congressional influence, that can eventually destroy Medicare and Social Security.

No perpetrator was banished from government or denied further influence. That's clear weakness.

RACHEL WHEELER