Regarding doctor complaining about Medicare (front page article, Sept. 29). After expenses, U.S. doctors typically make $150,000 to $450,000 a year. So forgive me when I doubt claims that doctors are "losing money" with their Medicare patients. Economists tell us the American Medical Association creates a shortage of U.S. doctors by limiting enrollment to medical schools. This shortage allows U.S. doctors to charge higher fees. Doctors in other industrialized nations make a fraction of what U.S. doctors are paid while providing superior service. Thousands of qualified medical student candidates are turned away every year. We need more medical students so we'll have more doctors serving more patients with better care at a lower cost per patient.
I would like to draw everyone's attention to the fact that there is a highly subversive organized crime operation under way in the Lookout Mountain judicial jurisdiction of Georgia working under local and federal law enforcement agencies violating state statutes, federal laws and civilians' civil rights. It is the federally funded local division of Internet Crime Against Children/Innocent Images Task Force that posts ads on Craigslist disguised as legitimate adults pursuing a casual encounter with another adult, but when someone replies to the ad the detectives then say they're under the age of 17 and continue to try to persuade the responder to meet, asking them to bring condoms, wine coolers, and graphically detailing all the illegal sexual activity they want to have with their responder until he's overcome by seduction.
Who do these guys think they are, framing people to look like child molesters when they're actually the ones causing property value to decline and breaking up families? It violates our Fourth Amendment.
It's a constitutional outrage that must be dealt with immediately!
JEREMY HILLEY, Twin City, Ga.
Dr. Carl Vollberg, the local doctor featured on your front page (Sept. 29), claims he must turn away Medicare patients because he's "losing money" and because he "feels ... abus(ed)." Vollberg complains that "Medicare ... pays him to treat people for diseases" instead of "focusing on keeping them healthy." (One wonders what part of "doctor" Vollberg did not understand. Did he think he was in med school to become a personal trainer?) Thus, he's dropping his elderly, sick patients, since he can make more from a few rich, healthy people paying an annual subscription.
My parents and my in-laws worked all their lives, are middle class, and in good health. Nonetheless, they suffer from the inevitable ailments of age: hearing loss, shingles, benign tumors, high blood pressure, etc., and they absolutely depend on Medicare to supplement their insurance. Until I hear that M.D.s are leaving medicine for job retraining programs, I will continue to worry more about people like them than about Medicare's "abuse" of their doctors.
Meanwhile, I hope - and believe - that most doctors, however overworked, maintain a deep fund of compassion and of pride in doing their duty that makes up any balance they incur by accepting Medicare.
In the Sept. 29 paper, there is an article in the business section titled "Newspaper war."
I've read the Times Free Press for 30-plus years. This short email is to commend the Times Free Press surviving the "war." Thank you.
And as the "newspaper war" continues, I pray you succeed in keeping the Times Free Press alive and well.
As a current student at UTC, it seems that the political efficacy of my peers is quite low. Voting is a crucial part of being a United States citizen, but what shocks me the most is that so many people around me do not feel as though their vote will matter. It is this mindset that is horrifying. So many people don't seem to understand that one vote can change everything.
Perhaps the problem is simply that people feel small, useless and insignificant with respect to the bigger issues. However, this is why we elect representatives. The candidates that have similar views and ideas as you are the ones you should vote for. Your vote represents a simple contribution that might just make a major difference in your life.
You can't talk quality into a product, yet our silver-tongued, TelePrompTer president is hard at it. And talk "ain't" cheap, as he spends more than any other president.
Who has been more successful in the real world? Obama never created or held a private-sector job. Romney has created thousands. Spotless background, self made. Donates millions of his own money.
Obama's career was spawned in a Chicago machine producing more political convicts than any other major city. He appears driven by political favoritism, government "subsidies," mandates and taxpayer underwriting.
Foreign policy is non-existent currently. Let's speak softly but carry a big stick; not apologize and cut national defense. In the face of 8.1 percent unemployment, 100,000 to be discharged equates 29 percent, largest since WWII. As China, Russia and over 20 countries openly rearm, our embassies are defaced and our diplomats are killed. It is obvious we are in dangerous times and need competent leadership, not self-indulgent accolades.
JOHN J. SPITTLER, Signal Mountain
The number of people dependent on government programs is nearly to the point where it's almost impossible for a candidate to run on a platform opposing these programs or wanting to cut them in any way. Why would anyone depending on government want to vote for a candidate who wants to cut their livelihood? This isn't just about welfare, food stamps, and other government handout programs, nor is this about Social Security or Medicare, because both of those programs will remain regardless of who is elected. This also is about millions of Americans employed by government agencies who collect generous salaries and benefits, significantly higher than private-sector counterparts, and pay into generous pension programs.
Very few private-sector employees have a company-funded retirement plan. As Ben Franklin said, (paraphrased), "Once someone learns they can vote themselves a paycheck, our republic is finished." This is frightening and true today. If Obama is re-elected, our government will grow to the point where well over 50 percent of the voting workforce will be dependent on some government agency. At that point, our political system becomes impotent, our republic form of government collapses and there will no longer be any checks and balances on government spending.
ROGER BARTMESS, Ooltewah
The requirement that voters must present a government-issued picture ID in order to vote is a poorly disguised ploy to disenfranchise poor and elderly citizens who are less likely to have such picture IDs and are more likely to vote for Democrat candidates. The number of fraudulent votes that are supposed to be prevented is miniscule compared to the number of people who will be prevented from casting legitimate votes, and everyone knows that this is a fact.
Hopefully, court challenges similar to that in Pennsylvania will ultimately eliminate these blatantly discriminatory voter requirements across the country and they will go the way of the poll tax, which was designed for a similar purpose.
FRED H. COATS JR.