Facts lacking in debate; more rules are coming
I am fearful the pending debate in our Legislature regarding a health exchange will be devoid of true facts, figures, and, what I would like to see, a weighted analysis of advantages and disadvantages between a state vs. a federal exchange.
After reviewing the 51-page task force report to the governor, I find it lacking substantive detail. Why? Because so much has yet to be promulgated by the feds.
Further federal mandates and regulations are incubating outside of the legislative process that no elected official has any control over. These will add to the cost/complexity mix and are question marks.
The governor has come down on the side of the Idaho DIY ethic and is rightfully putting the question to the voting public's representatives who will be asked to make a decision.
I would like to see all the "factual evidence" that Sen. Rice espouses in his Reader's View article put before the public so we can help.
I hate to see our legislators spend time away from other pressing needs.
My fear? A state exchange will shield and advance the ills of Obamacare and make it impossible to correct.
We are one to two elections away from true reform.
BILL EISENBARTH, Boise
People complain, but don't refuse benefits
I read that many Idahoans do not want to be in a socialist country.
How many of you that oppose "socialism" have, or know of anyone who is or has ever collected Social Security (originally created as the Widows and Orphans Fund)?
How many of you espousing the moral superiority of capitalism are on, or know someone who has ever been on, Medicaid or Medicare (created to assist impoverished families with children and the elderly)?
How many of you self-reliant hipsters are in, or have ever had, a group insurance policy (which is designed to pool resources of that group for the benefit of an individual group member in need)?
Are these not socialistic programs? Do you not benefit directly or indirectly from at least one of these programs that you say you oppose?
The way I see it, you have three options:
1. Be truly self reliant. Return all the benefits and entitlements received.
2. Be a true capitalist. Pay your own way as an individual, from cradle to grave completely out of your own pocket with no assistance from anyone.
3. Be truly yourself. Continue to gripe about the system you benefit from.
You'll choose number 3.
JAMES R. FRANCE, Boise
Commentary remarks are not constructive
Regarding the opinion by Mike Masterson, published Feb. 12. A true police leader does not make rash comments and judgments toward other respected police agencies and its leaders based only on news media accounts and "images" without further inquiry from those respective agencies.
Chief Masterson has questioned the lack of leadership from "experienced police agencies" in Southern California and its failure to "manage the mood of its officers" in order to prevent "hyper-vigilance" at a time when the police are searching for a dangerous killer. Masterson makes an irresponsible inference that calls on the very integrity of these police leaders.
Instead of his self-serving public criticism, Masterson would have better served his position as a police chief and the City of Boise by offering any help, support or assistance to Chief Beck-LAPD, Sheriff Baca-LASD, and the other true leaders of police agencies that searched for this killer, instead of making irresponsible suppositions of misconduct and mismanagement by police leaders in those agencies.
JERRY P. MCKAY, Eagle
Attorney general raises valid issue
In a recent letter, Mr. Duane Coates accused the attorney general's office of failing to recognize the real issue of child safety considering the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Why focus on a senseless tragedy involving 20 children when in Idaho there have been as many as 5,000 leads of children being sexually exploited by child pornographers. Of that number, 80 percent are victims of child sex abuse with up to 21 percent involving torture or sadism.; 83 percent of all reported cases involve children between the ages of 6 and 12; 39 percent between 3 and 5; 19 percent under 3. Thanks to the proactive and focused efforts of local law enforcement in the last two years, 51 children have been rescued from such abuse even though not previously reported.
As Mr. Coates referenced Sherlock Holmes in his letter, he should know that the famed detective would not have failed to see the logic of focusing on criminal activity that victimizes so many innocent and helpless lives in our local communities.
VICTOR DOMINGUEZ, Board Chairman, Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Coalition (IICACC), Boise
Focus on academics
Each day we read this newspaper and enjoy prominent coverage of BSU's athletic programs and their accomplishments. We digest volumes of information reporting game statistics and most every facet of the 20 varsity programs. We enjoy hats and bumper stickers for every sport and a very favorable national reputation.
But what of Boise State's academics? More than 30 percent of freshman don't make it past their first year. Fewer than 10 percent leave BSU with a 4-year degree. Idaho leads in few if any academic disciplines.
What of BSU's broader mission? We need a university with the academic prowess that matches its athletics. Our region's youth deserve the opportunity for a better education. Today's workplaces demand it. And a stronger, more prominent academic engine is what growing companies are looking for, too. This is among the best ways we can strengthen our State's economy.
Let's start funding academics like we do sports. Let's start celebrating the contributions of our inspirational professors the way we do for our inspirational coaches. Let's start cheering on our students the way we do our athletes. It is about time we value our education as much as we do the sports we enjoy.
Our future depends on it.
DAVID CAHN, Boise
Wages should be cut for administrative heads
I am responding to an article printed in the Idaho Statesman about "Medical CEOs earn about $800K."
Eleemosynary, for which the definition of is 1) alms, charitable, or 2) supported by or dependent on charity, or 3) given as charity, free.
That is the way it was in the old days. Administrators of nonprofit hospitals worked for relatively low salaries. Prior to the system where chief executors of hospitals prevailed upon its corporate boards to provide private corporate pay scales. Management of hospitals used to work that way.
The maximum pay for the chief executive of hospitals should be $200,000 for "nonprofit" operations. Other administrators should be compensated for less, of course. Obviously, hospital costs go up every year and should level off sooner or later, but they never do. A part of this venture is to reduce administrative cost of operations.
I sent a copy of the pay scale of chief executive officers of nonprofit hospitals to a former administrator of nonprofit hospitals and he had only one comment: "We didn't do it for the money." $200,000 for a year of work should be more than enough to satisfy many hospital chief executive offers who work in nonprofit hospitals.
RAYMOND E. BOWDEN, Emmett
No point to stories about former mayor
I was disappointed to see on the front page of the Feb. 10 Idaho Statesman yet another installment in the continuing campaign to vilify and shame former Boise Mayor Brent Coles for something that happened 10 years ago.
Can't you people give it a rest? What is behind the pointless and cruel fixation on keeping these events ever before the public eye?
I didn't know Mr. Coles then, but I do now. He is a humble man who serves the Lord by serving others, and I suspect that is somewhat more than can be said of his attackers. The latest article reeked of Popkey's style, but was instead penned by an unfamiliar name. It is not comforting to think that a new generation is being mentored by the old guard of predatory journalists.
In fact, it is largely because of articles like this, as well as columns and articles that regularly glorify and promote the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages that we recently decided to cancel our subscription. Because of that, short-lived teaser rates for new subscriptions, and the ever-increasing ratio of advertising to other content, it just wasn't worth it anymore.
NEIL PARKER, Boise
Factors of success
While I agree with Lois Morgan's letter "Catholic schools create useful model," which stated that 98 percent of Catholic school students go on to college, have top test scores and excel in sports. It is not strictly due to class size and personal attention. The students that can afford to go to Catholic schools come from wealthy homes, where most likely the parents are college educated and the parents put an emphasis on education and going on to college. Parental involvement and financial involvement also factor into the equation as to why so many in Catholic schools excel.
KAREN SWANSON, Meridian