Durham News: Opinion

What you’re saying: Paul Brunswick, William Hooper and Michelle Kretzer

The only way to reduce crime

Regarding “Leaders discuss crime-reduction strategies after trips to Kansas City, Boston” (DN, http://nando.com/32p)

None of the things they are talking about is going to reduce crime. They don’t want less crime. The only way to reduce crime is to put police in the areas where the crimes are being committed. This has been proven in every major city in the USA. However, this is not acceptable because it is profiling. How stupid can we be?

Paul Brunswick

via thedurhamnews.com

Health care too costly

Thanks for printing Matthew Aitken’s Dec. 6 Point of View “alance billing and the USThe health care swindle” (N&O, http://nando.com/33e). He touched on a very important topic, and I urge The N&O to do more in-depth research and reporting on the current economics of systems delivering medical care to consumers.

We have reached the limit of people’s ability to cross-subsidize other patients who cannot pay. The whole medical delivery system needs to be re-engineered to give people incentives to stay healthier and to much more cost effectively deliver top-notch care when it is needed.

Simple examples abound.

A patient needs a routine thyroid ultrasound. The doctor refers the patient to the local hospital ultrasound department. Patient schedules a nonemergency, routine ultrasound that takes five minutes. Gross billing is $750 before insurance discounts if the patient has insurance.

Instead, why didn’t the doctor advise the patient to go to an outpatient facility where the same ultrasound gross billing would be $250 before insurance? Why didn’t the EMR system prompt the doctor on the alternative facilities and costs?

Again, thanks for printing Aitken’s article.

William Hooper

Durham

Why kill ’gators?

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s plan to consider an alligator hunt is an ill-conceived notion all around.

According to news reports, the basis for the commission’s consideration is that when biologists went looking for alligators by taking boats through the swamps in the middle of the night, they saw a few more than expected. So if we see some animals, we must automatically kill them? Alligators are a threatened species in the state. What will killing them accomplish?

Furthermore, the commission wants people to kill the alligators with harpoons, bows and arrows, and wooden clubs. That kind of cruelty harkens back to the ancient Roman Coliseum when men tortured animals to death for public amusement. The proposal is for nothing more than unimpeded cruelty exacted on animals whose only “crime” was being spotted in their natural environment. And let’s not play ignorant of the obvious: Stalking alligators through the swamps and attempting to kill them will undoubtedly result in human injuries, and possibly even casualties.

Alligators seek to avoid contact with humans. But if we go looking for trouble, we shouldn’t be surprised if they give it to us.

Michelle Kretzer

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Virginia

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