Excellent reporting about hospital deal

The recent front-page article by Ashly McGlone, "Patients, doctors excluded from new facility at Fremont's Washington Hospital," was great reporting.

It's appalling that the CEO and board of directors of our tax-supported hospital manipulated the system so that only two doctors can perform joint replacement surgery in the new $42.7 million facility and only their privileged patients admitted. News flash to Washington Hospital: Bond revenue is public money. Therefore, all of the hospital's orthopedic surgeons should be able to operate in this publicly funded facility.

This is just one more example of Washington Hospital misusing public money. In the past, the paper has reported that hospital CEO Nancy Farber's total compensation is close to $1 million, making her the highest paid public official in the county. Even some of the hospital's own doctors and nurses have publicly denounced the CEO and administrators for putting self-interest above providing for the public health.

Is there any agency in California that can investigate and audit the actions of Washington Hospital? Please keep up this excellent investigative reporting.

Carol Alverson

Fremont

Story about doctors was a biased report

One of the things that makes a good reporter is nonbiased reporting. I found the recent article on Drs. Dearborn and Sah very biased. Perhaps the paper should have contacted a couple of their patients before writing the article.

For almost three years, I have been in a lot of pain, not been able to travel long distances, and had a complete change in my life because a doctor, who claims to be a top orthopedic surgeon, who botched the procedure of replacing my knees.

Since Dr. Sah revised the replacements, my life is changing each day. Do I think a higher level of training, criteria and care should be mandatory? You bet I do.

I am in no way a wealthy person and a lot of doctors are no longer taking Medicare because of funding cutbacks. My Medicare was taken by Dr. Sah with no problem. I am only sorry I did not go to him the first time and saved myself a lot of pain and my insurance company a lot of money.

Phyllis Swallow

Hollister

Solution is to grow the economy

The sequester has shown the government can tell us blatant lies and issue gross exaggerations about the sequester's impact.

It has started people wondering why they have to cut costs when payroll taxes go up 2 percent but government spending of $15 billion more this year than last is a draconian cut. They wonder why the House of Representatives has passed a budget every year but the Senate has not passed one in four years.

A 1921 law requires the president to present a budget to Congress by the first Monday of February; this has not been done. We have never collected as much in income taxes as we do today but the federal budget is running an annual trillion-dollar deficit.

We see the White House closed to all visitors, when just the cost of President Barack Obama's weekend with Tiger Woods would have kept it open for three years.

Countries with lower government spending have better economies. National income has been stagnant for four years. The solution to sequester is to grow the economy.

Gregg Manning

Clayton

Ranked-choice votes should be replaced

Day after day, we read articles and letters to the editor regarding Oakland residents' disapproval, disgust and dismay with Mayor Jean Quan.

I cannot stop thinking about ranked-choice voting. Had it not been for what appears to me to be an unconstitutional process (remember one person, one vote?), we would not have Quan for mayor.

Fully understanding the desire to save money by not having runoff elections, I still cannot help but wonder how things might have been were it not for ranked voting. Maybe it's time to do away with ranked voting, even if it costs more to have a runoff.

Who knows what we might save in the long-run, getting someone in office who will actually do something for our city.

Amy Altschul

Oakland

CalPERS' increase is untenable cost

The board of California Public Employees Retirement System has recently decided to increase the premiums of the long-term care program by 85 percent. In my case, my current payment of $465 per month will be escalated to $860.

Needless to say that such an astronomical increase will cut severely into my budget. Another option is also offered, namely, a 10-year coverage at the same rate; the details have not been spelled out yet.

It is regrettable that the public employees of this state, who planned ahead to provide for their later years, find themselves in this untenable situation.

Eugenia V. Nomikos

Berkeley