A fix for health inequalities

The Times article, "Women of color wait longer for breast cancer surgery," put another question in my head: How can ObamaCare contribute to eliminating health inequalities in vulnerable populations?

As a UC Berkeley undergrad pursuing a degree in Public Policy, I'm concerned. But I foresee that the Affordable Care Act will do the following:

  • Under the ACA, various organizations such as U.S. Preventive Service Task Force, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and Health Resources and Service Administration would be able to provide free or subsidized preventive care across all age groups. This would benefit people who normally cannot afford and, thus, do not get treatment in time.

  • The health reform promotes medical homes, which is basically a physician leading a team of clinical professionals in providing integrated, patient-centered care. This would reduce treatment discrimination because ethnic minorities and low-income populations are found to have less accessibility to primary care. Medical homes would mean having a team of medical professionals tailoring to the needs of the patient.

  • People are more likely to be treated with surgery if under Medicaid. The ACA gives states an option of expanding their state Medicaid program to include everyone up to 133 percent of the poverty level. This would enroll more people who were previously not covered, hence making sure that more people get equal access to the treatment they need.


    Advertisement

    Lizi Feng

    Berkeley

    Destructive path to ruin

    Socialism ends when there is no more taxpayer money left for the government to give to the non-producing consumers.

    We are fortunate right now because there is lots of production both from American companies and our farmers, in addition to imports. When we combine this with all the government payments -- food stamps, welfare, government programs, gigantic government salaries, benefits and pensions -- our retail sector is doing very well.

    People will spend all the money they receive. Great! We have a wonderful economy as long as we can collect taxes and print money.

    Will our great economy last forever? Maybe, maybe not.

    With the Obama administration's heavy attack on our family farms with taxes, permits, regulations and the death tax, we may come to a similar point that destroyed the Roman Empire 1,700 years ago.

    That empire was so strong for 400 years because they had plenty of food. Farmers were prosperous because they sold their food to the economy. When taxes and regulations became so tenuous, the family farms finally reached a boiling point and stopped producing food.

    It happened 1,700 years ago and it will happen again.

    Sidney Steinberg

    Berkeley

    Not fixing our problems

    The profit system forces us to be blind to how to fix our problems. There is a T-shirt that says: The system's not broke; it's fixed.

    So our legislators can only propose taxing us more to repair roads, ostensibly to repair transportation, so we slaves can get to our owners' jobs. No one looks at what would, in the long-run, produce a hugely less costly arrangement: bringing our jobs close to home, even within walking distance!

    Some will say it can't be done. But we all know it can.

    Forcing people to travel farther from home to get the increasingly fewer jobs there are is more favorable to the 1 percent because local jobs do not create the products that are most profitable for them.

    Norma J.K. Harrison

    Berkeley

    Sowell column is vague

    In his May 3 column in the Times, "Consequences of education system run amok," Thomas Sowell offers his typical fare by observing that our political interactions and educational system suffer from a lack of diversity or in his words, "a moral monopoly ... the antithesis of a marketplace of ideas."

    My problem with this essay, as usual, is that he sets forth concepts with vague intentions that are undeniably true and then interjects examples suggesting that those who truly exemplify these weaknesses are those people who hold views that oppose his own

    Sowell usurps and takes credit for what is progressive critical reasoning regarding the status quo and then uses it to suggest the problem resides with progressive values. Sneaky. This is a sly way of feeding the so-called conservative ego-identity with "stolen food."

    These attempts to influence through suggestion rather than direct engagement exacerbates what is a universal challenge that waits to be faced by every person. That challenge is the numerous conflicting values and desires that exist unresolved in our minds and hearts that thwart peace, happiness and harmony.

    If we would enhance education, both in school and ongoing, let us inspire one another to question everything (scientific, religious, historic, spiritual concepts) as to what is true and what is false, what is meaningful and valuable and what is not.

    Ron Greenstein

    El Cerrito

    Evolutionary theory

    On April 26, Peter Hess wrote, "If evidence were discovered that controverted either gravity or evolution, you can bet the theory would be vigorously challenged by scientists eager to claim a Nobel Prize."

    The fact is, many scientists are vigorously challenging evolutionary theory. This can be verified by an Internet search on "Dissent from Darwin." There, a list may be found of more than 1,000 distinguished scientists who have signed onto the statement: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." The scientific credentials of each signatory is listed.

    This fact will remain unknown to public schooled kids because, as I lamented in my original letter some time ago, public schools teach kids what to think, not how to think. Apparently there's a line that mustn't be crossed.

    Hess implies that the line is between science and religion. I know of at least 1,000 scientists who would disagree.

    Bob Humphrey

    Pleasant Hill

    Lobby for the unborn

    In order to keep another business from going belly up, its sounds more like President Barack Obama is fighting for the right of Planned Parenthood to exist.

    Wish he'd lobby as hard for the right of the premature, yet unborn, to exist.

    Is it convenient for a sitting president to involve himself in personal family matters other than his own?

    Anna Koepke

    El Sobrante