The Opinion Shop

Bonus letters on health care, Shaw, Trump, GOP and UNC

Letters that got overrun by other issues before they could see print:


CON keeps health costs down

Regarding the July 22 Point of View “ Lowering costs through competition”:

North Carolina’s Certificate of Need laws ensure that residents have immediate access to health care services, especially when emergency care is needed. If the Senate repeals CON, patients will experience higher costs, longer wait times and less access to critical care services.

Additionally, utilization of medical services will increase with the proliferation of ambulatory surgical centers statewide. This includes more surgery, more imaging and more cost – not less.

Competition is not the solution for all of the problems with American health care. Government payers (Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare) pay fixed fees. Competition will not change that. Medicine is a constrained market, not a free market.

Hospitals are transforming the state of health care. They are innovating and maximizing efficiency to provide better treatment options for patients. Furthermore, the evidence shows that CON regulations have not restricted the development of ambulatory surgery centers in North Carolina. While only three ambulatory surgery centers have been added to the state since 1996, CON cannot be blamed, as regulatory agencies have authorized 72 unique ASCs in the same time period.

This proves that market forces – not regulations – are limiting growth. I hope legislators recognize that eliminating Certificate of Need will not create a free market .

Kevin M. Cregan

Past president, North Carolina Radiological Society



Can Dubroy succeed at Shaw?

Regarding the June 2 news article “ New president takes reins at Shaw University”: Shaw appointed Dr. Tashni Dubroy as the school’s 17th president. The question that is being asked by alumni, faculty and some members of the board of trustees is whether her appointment is a good fit for Shaw.

Shaw has struggled for several years in search of the right person to head the university.

Dr. Talbot O. Shaw was president of the university from 1988 to 2003. During his tenure, he turned the university around from a $5 million indebtedness to a fiscally and academically sound institution. Dr. Dorothy Cowser Yancy during her two terms as president also put Shaw on sound financial and academic footing.

These were progressive and visionary leaders who brought leadership stability and effectiveness to the day-to-day operations of the university. Today Shaw is in dire need of that kind of leadership .

The question is, can Dubroy provide that kind of leadership?

Julius H. Cromwell



Trump a refreshing voice

All the media are at arms with Donald Trump and doing all they can to disarm him because he does not fit their ideal person to run for office. There was a time in this country when we could believe what a leader said whether we agreed with it or not.

Today the media seem to force political correctness upon society as if it is their job to do so. That is the same mentality that has gotten our country into such sad shape. It is time to have honest discussions on many subjects even if it hurts or offends many – which is what Trump is doing.

I know he cannot win since he is running against the media and his own party, yet he has changed the conversation, and we can only hope the “career politicians” will take note, which is doubtful.

I think it is great for the country, and he should be praised for offending those who deserve it. If they would simply do their jobs, this would not be an issue. What a refreshing character entering such a corrupt and incompetent field. Notice, no other billionaires have spoken!

Ron Driver



ID required for many things

Regarding the Ruth Marcus July 19 column “ Another civil rights struggle in North Carolina”: I say phooey!

When the Republicans took control of the state legislature, was there a discriminatory voter ID law? No.

When Democrats used gerrymandering while in control to solidify their re-election chances, did Marcus complain? No.

As a person who uses logic and facts to prove his point, I resent the constant whining, without merit, of the liberal media. Cashing a check, getting on a plane, applying for welfare, Social Security, food stamps, etc., all require photo ID. The list of transactions that require photo ID numbers in the hundreds.

I don’t hear minorities or their so-called leaders complaining about this simple requirement when they’re doing any of the above mentioned things.

Therefore, come up with some hard facts to support the argument or put a sock in it.

Dominick Ferraro



Christian persecution

Regarding the July 20 letter “ Vocal hypocrisy,” the writer stated that “freedom does not include the right to discriminate against or persecute others.” This is correct, but Christians are not the ones discriminating and persecuting others.

A Christian baker who refuses to make a cake for a same-sex marriage is simply following God’s commandments and has the protection of the First Amendment to do so. However, it really is persecution when a baker is sued for choosing not to be involved with a same-sex marriage.

Religious freedom takes legal precedence over the right to marry, which isn’t even mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Forcing Christians to deny the Bible is discrimination, and it is a disgrace that so many in America are hostile toward Christianity.

Before same-sex marriage became an issue, one didn’t see Christians suing people with homosexual attractions or causing them to lose their jobs. But that is exactly what’s happening to Christians today.

Christians who decline to be involved with a same-sex marriage are protected under the Bill of Rights. Those who sue Christians and cause them to choose between Jesus and their jobs are not protected, for this is true persecution!

Adam Galetti

Wake Forest


GOP ruling, not governing

Extreme gerrymandering of congressional districts and election rule changes for Wake County Commissioners, Wake County school board and the Greensboro City Council, all to favor Republicans. Killing a legitimate election in favor of “retention” elections, in order to keep right-wing justices on the N.C. Supreme Court. Enacting the most extreme voter suppression law in the country.

With every naked power grab, the message coming from the Republican Party is clear: Democracy is for fools. Democracy is for suckers. Why hold legitimate elections when they can simply choose their own voters?

We should all remember what the inspiring journalist, author and pundit Molly Ivins had to say years ago in reference to the Republican Party. She said, “Never forget: These people don’t want to govern; they want to rule.” Words to reflect upon now.

What the Republican Party is perpetrating in our state is blatantly anti-democratic and un-American. Any sentient being can discern their intent. What the Republican Party has become is nothing less than an existential threat to representative democracy in North Carolina. Shame on them all.

Fred D. Gunther



Administrators, deans failed at UNC

Regarding the June 5 news article “ NCAA: UNC lacked institutional control”: The NCAA’s allegations are valid as the Weinstein Report details. There will be serious repercussions for UNC as there were for Penn State University’s football team in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky investigation.

Why those with direct responsibility for oversight were unaware is beyond my understanding.

As a 1971 Carolina graduate and the benefactor of an undergraduate scholarship (The Benjamin & Mark G Rodin Scholarship) and a graduate scholarship in the Gillings School of Global Public Health (The Benjamin Rodin Scholarship), I am extremely angry, ashamed and embarrassed.

When all is said and done the damage to Carolina’s reputation will be greater than that after the developments leading to NCAA sanctions in the Frank McGuire era as basketball coach, and all this could have been easily avoided if athletic administrators and academic deans did their jobs.

Mark G. Rodin



Book mobile helps kids

Regarding the July 18 news article “ Complex bans kids’ reading program”: Landmark Apartment trust needs to stop “exploring” and find a way immediately to allow this volunteer activity to continue before summer is over.

Obviously management’s “new policy (that supposedly) serves to protect the interests of our residents and the property owner,” does neither.

The bookmobile benefits the children who live in the complex, and keeping kids busy with constructive activities is a benefit to the owner.

Three cheers to the teachers at Lacy Elementary School who volunteer their time to such a worthwhile activity.

Our teachers are underpaid and unappreciated, yet they are going the extra mile. Apartment management should have been saying “thank you,” not sending them away.

MaryJane Selgrade