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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | MAY 11, 2009 7:26 AM

Look to other side of health debate

The journalistic debate surrounding a national health-care plan seldom addresses the chief problem with government-controlled health insurance, that being the inability of the government to pay-in-full for physician services.

Currently, a doctor who chooses to see a patient with Medicare coverage will only get a $25 reimbursement on a $100 visit. The word “choose” was used quite deliberately because an alarming number of physicians are becoming increasingly reluctant to accept Medicare patients.

Primary-care physicians are in highest demand in rural Iowa counties. Unfortunately, these physicians bear the largest burden from the government’s inability to pay for services. Primary-care physicians working independently are being forced to join a group practice, move to a city with a hospital, or deny patients with Medicare coverage.

The discussion of government-controlled health-care coverage has failed to address the realities of health-care deliveries. Doctors who choose to accept Medicare patients are vastly underpaid when compared with their peers who only accept patients with private insurers.

Government-owned health-care insurance does not address the inability of the government to pay for physician services. Insuring more citizens under a government-owned plan would further exacerbate the problems facing health-care providers. Ultimately, a government health-insurance plan will harm patients because doctors will choose to deny services for government insured patients.

Tyler Rasmussen
UI graduate student

Later finals hassle students

Finals week is upon us. Students here at the UI have finals from Monday until Friday. The last scheduled final for the semester is at 7 p.m. on Friday. This can be very aggravating for many students.

Dorm residents are supposed to be out of the dorms by Saturday. So, say people live far away in Illinois, for instance, and their last final is at 7 on Friday evening. This makes it very difficult for them to get out of the dorms at the specific time that they are supposed to be out by. Many don’t have cars, and their parents have to drive to Iowa City, which could be hours away, and pack up all their belongings and go home.

Having a final at 7 p.m. on Friday could also be aggravating to seniors who are supposed to graduate. Most have family coming to town and the last thing that they want to do is take a final that late. And who really wants to take a final on a Friday, anyway?

The UI is the only Iowa public university that has scheduled finals on Friday. Northern Iowa and Iowa State have finals Monday through Thursday and have makeup finals only on Fridays if needed. This gives the students a chance to get done and have a day where they can have their family come get them and move out in time.

Having finals done by Thursday would be beneficial for both students and faculty. Teachers can get their grades in earlier, and students could be done with finals in four days instead of five.

Abby Klopfenstein
UI student

Bar restriction won’t cut drinking

There should not be a bar limit for the downtown area. Disallowing new bars downtown will not change the atmosphere of the downtown Iowa City nightlife. Students will still drink, regardless of the proposed ordinance. If the city is so concerned with the reputation its downtown has acquired, then maybe it should not have allowed bars to be downtown in the first place.

As a student and resident of Iowa City, I personally do not believe that this measure will cut down on the drinking or change the reputation Iowa City has attained. The new bars which have been established recently in the city have been 21 and older, which to me, means the establishments are trying to cut down on underage drinking. Officials in Iowa City should be more concerned with the assaults and violence that have been taking over the city instead of worrying about the reputation downtown has obtained.

Angi Napier
UI student

Community should readily accept new tax

I strongly agree with the idea of a 1 cent tax increase in Johnson County. If it can generate more than $18 million a year solely to help flood victims and prevent another tragedy from happening, it is hard for me to think that is less important than me saving 1 penny on every dollar I spend.

Whenever tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina or the recent flood happen, everyone is supportive and calls for the much needed help for these victims. But when push comes to shove and it is their money on the line, the same help is not found.

The people that think this is just a burden for students who get nothing out of it are not looking at it ethically. The idea that helping victims of this community, making Iowa City safer, and preventing another disaster like the one that shook the city this past summer has no advantage to students is just crazy. It was difficult but the city pulled together and that is what needs to happen again now.

I think it would be selfish and hypocritical to reject a temporary 1 percent tax increase, especially because the revenue can only be used for flood relief and prevention. Thousands of kids go out every weekend and drop $50 at the bars in one night. If 1 cent out of every dollar I spend can go toward helping the flood recovery, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

Adam Baumhover
UI student


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