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June 10, 2009

Inbox — June 10, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Unhealthy LEO

Yo, hipster dudes at LEO — what’s the deal? For the second year in a row, LEO gave no ink to another rally (in front of Humana headquarters) for healthcare justice. On May 28, about 150 folks marched in support of HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act that is currently in the U.S. House of Representatives. The single-payer plan would scrap the current healthcare-for-profit system and provide universal coverage that’s publicly financed and privately delivered.

LEO founder and current 3rd District Congressman John Yarmuth gets it — he’s one of the 
79 co-sponsors of the legislation. The bill’s primary sponsor, U.S. Rep John Conyers (D-Mich.) gets it — he was the stirring keynote speaker at a May 30 healthcare conference attended by 200 at IUS. Again, no LEO.

It seems LEO has a blind spot when it comes to healthcare policy coverage. I don’t recall any LEO coverage when our Metro Council passed a resolution in support of HR 676. No LEO mention when the Kentucky House of Representatives passed their resolution in support of the bill. The Kentucky AFL-CIO gets it. The Metropolitan Housing Coalition gets it. The local UAW gets it. The list of supporters/endorsers for HR 676 is long, and support is deep.

Not surprising, status quo moola is currently crafting “the fix” to be rolled out, fast-tracked big time. To be rolled by big bucks (again) on this would be really sicko.

So, Mr. and Ms. LEO — it’s time to lose the laryngitis: Talk to Dr. Garrett Adams (Physicians for a National Health Plan-Kentucky) and Kay Tillow (Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare). See kyhealthcare.org. It’s time to write the story. Yarmuth would.

The pitchfork is by the door.

Mark McKinley, Schnitzelburg

Editor’s Note: LEO dispatched a reporter to cover the protest, but when she arrived in the early afternoon to find some 20 people marching in a circle, we decided not to run a story.

Everybody’s Problem

Thank you, George Halitzka, for your timely and moving story, “What is Homeless?” (LEO Weekly, June 3). How refreshing to read an article that depicts Louisville’s most vulnerable residents as more than a potential eyesore in our precious historic neighborhoods.

And shame on us, Louisville, for failing to throw our arms wide to those in need. Shame on us, East Downtown and Original Highlands, for slamming our doors in their faces. We would rather have our boutiques, our condominiums, our parking lots. No room for them here.

Well, everywhere is someone’s “here,” dears. Shall Wayside’s family shelter close its doors for good and send 120 women and children back to the abuse from which they fled? May our own mistakes and hardships never be held against us so severely.

Kristen Miller, Germantown

Idol Matters

I’m responding to Kate Welsh’s column on “American Idol” in the May 27 LEO. I agree with Welsh that Adam Lambert was the best vocalist, but I voted for Kris Allen. Kris was the underdog. We didn’t even see his audition at Churchill Downs. We really didn’t hear him during Hollywood week. When he made the final 24 and I heard him for the first time, he caught my attention.

Actually, I liked all of the final four, but Kris had a calming style I liked. Playing the guitar and piano didn’t hurt either. Adam’s vocals were great, but I found him over-the-top at times.

On the final voting night, I knew Kris was getting a lot of votes because it took over two hours to get my vote through on his phone line. I also think Kris got a lot of third-place finisher (Danny Gokey) votes since Danny said he was voting for Kris on his blog.

I’m going to buy Kris Allen’s CD the first day of release. Hey, I might buy Adam’s CD as well.

Kate Welsh was unhappy Adam didn’t win, but she never mentioned she voted for him. Maybe that’s why Adam didn’t become the “American Idol.”

Tom Hawkins, South End

Get A Job

In promoting freedom, entrepreneurship and opportunity, former President Ronald Reagan once remarked that his greatest hope was “that this country remains a country where someone can always get rich.” Perhaps, 20 years after the Reagan reign ended, we should be saying we hope America remains a country where someone can always get a job.

Some say it is the rich who create the jobs. Don’t employers need workers as much as workers need a job? Obviously, jobs don’t get done without willing workers who are paid a livable salary or wage, and big business employers and their stockholders don’t get rich unless workers do their jobs well. There has to be a mutual, respectful interdependent relationship between management and labor.

Capitalism is failing right now because of the greed that sent what were once American jobs overseas. Our working class who are suffering the most did not create the current economic crisis. It is time for those at the top of the economic pyramid to begin to turn away from greed and put workers first. Profits will trickle upward.

Main Street workers all over America who collect and dispose of our mountains of garbage each week are contributing more to our well being than Wall Streeters sitting behind a desk and computer.

Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews

Single Payer HealthCare For All - HR676

By Single Payer HR676
RE: Unhealthy LEO June 10, 2009 - LEO gave no ink to another rally (in front of Humana headquarters) for healthcare justice. On May 28, about 150 folks marched in support of HR 676, the National Health Insurance Act that is currently in the U.S. House of Representatives. -~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Editor’s Note: LEO dispatched a reporter to cover the protest, but when she arrived in the early afternoon to find some 20 people marching in a circle, we decided not to run a story. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Sad when 20 people marching in a circle do not matter – But by all accounts from other news outlets, the count was around 150 people. LEO might want to send someone who can get there on time, since the protest lasted from 11:30 - 1:00 – by early afternoon most people had gone home. If LEO’s reporter had stayed and talked to someone, there might have been a story the LEO could have run – Like the heartbreaking story of the blind man in a wheel chair, without insurance, who can’t get the prescriptions he needs. It would have been enlightening, for LEO’s readers who have insurance to see what life is like from the other side. LEO’s story did that for the homeless with the article “What is Homeless?”– LEO June 3 reporter - George Halitzka – There are stories out here the you are missing. Next time send George.

Single Payer HealthCare For All - HR 676

By Linda M
Editor’s Note: LEO dispatched a reporter to cover the protest, but when she arrived in the early afternoon to find some 20 people marching in a circle, we decided not to run a story.------I cannot imagine anytime at the rally that only 20 people were seen marching. The television stations and the Courier Journal certainly saw enough to include the rally--including live reports. I believe the number was closer to 150. I do not understand why LEO would ignore this event. I haven't spoken to anyone who was aware of a reporter from LEO, so I wonder if she went to the wrong rally. That certainly doesn't sound like ours. Did she mention the music and singing? The stories from people without healthcare? The signs? How could a reporter ignore a group the size of ours? Single-Payer is a very important issue to many of us. Many people in our country and our community are without health insurance. Many have health insurance, but it doesn't cover pre-existing conditions. Many have insurance, but the deductible and copays are so much that they still can't afford medical care. Many can't get a job, because their medical problems would cause the employer's insurance premiums to increase. We deserve coverage--health and news.