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Sound Off: Foster's vote, presidential smoking and large class sizes

The following is what readers sounded off about in the past week:

Government distorts cost of care
Barack Obama spent over a year criticizing insurance companies as the source of all evil in the health care industry, but he never acknowledged that the largest health care insurer in the country is the big government that he adores so much. Medicare and Medicaid are the largest insurers that represent over 50 percent of all health care payments. If a business controls 50 percent of a market, it has a powerful impact upon its industry. So it is with the government insurance programs, and the effect the government has on the industry is not a good one. Medicare and Medicaid users make up 35 percent of the patients, but use over 60 percent of the services and the government pays only 80 percent of the real cost of their care. That forces private insurers to subsidize the government users as hospitals and physicians look to balance the government underpayment on the backs of private payers. The distortions in the pricing and demand for health care the government has caused is the reason our nation’s medical expenditures are going up so much, but liberal ideologues like Mr. Obama will never allow themselves to admit it.

Thanking Foster for vote
I want to thank Congressman Bill Foster for doing the right thing, voting for the Health Care Reform Act. My daughter and I are both victims of the insurance injustice that is our current system. Oh, and for those who say get a job and get insurance – my 29-year-old daughter has been working since she was 15. She was denied coverage by her current employer’s insurance because of a pre-existing condition. She is very ill and is now in medical debt that will take years to pay. And yet, she does pay every month. I am 60 years old and have been self employed for 20 of those years. At best, I have had mediocre health insurance although I have paid dearly and my health is excellent. The older I get, the more I run into obstacles. Health care reform is not a move toward socialism, but rather a move toward justice. And may I remind all the Tea Party protesters to look at their own families. How many have received or used Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security? All government programs which have helped the masses. Thank you, Congressman Foster.

Red-light cameras just plain wrong
Red-light cameras are just plain wrong. It’s all about revenue, not safety like the backers of red light cameras state. I believe the reason 99 percent of the people receiving tickets for running a red light is because they are caught in that “no man’s land” of hitting a red light at just the wrong time. Do I slam on the brakes or do I floor it? Here’s my very inexpensive way of making intersections with a speed limit of say 40 mph or greater truly safer. One, solid green, like normal, for whatever length of time. Two, solid green in combination with yellow flashing for 5 seconds (warning of solid yellow coming). Three, solid yellow, like normal, for 3 seconds. Four, solid red for whatever length of time. This eliminates the “no man’s land” of what do I do. If someone goes through this red light, he or she deserves a ticket by a police officer that happens to be watching and not by your mailman.

Hard to quit
I would like to respond to the caller who criticized the president for smoking. I’m not a smoker myself so I think that I can say what I want. I know it’s very, very difficult to quit and that caller seems to know that too. I admire the president for trying to quit and I think eventually he will. But that person that called in that is criticizing him, why don’t they try to find something good that he is doing? These people that call in are always criticizing him for one little thing. The president works so hard I don’t know how he even has time to smoke. And those people in the Senate, I think it’s worse that people have such a closed mind to people not like themselves, who are not as rich as they are and can’t afford health insurance.

Plain sugar
I was thrilled to hear Kraft is replacing corn syrup and fructose corn syrup with plain sugar. That will solve many of our health problems today. I hope other food companies will follow to remove some of the unnecessary additives. People are more health conscious and reading labels and know what some of these additives are doing to them and are not at all happy about it. Also, we need to demand that our foods have much less sodium content. Do these food manufacturers not get it? Does big government have to step in and restrict and control?

Typical blather
Your editorial castigating Foster for his vote on health care reform was typical of the blather our political scene is comprised of. You say that there are “too many unknowns” but you never tell us what they are. I find no explanation in the Chronicle of these so-called “unknowns.” You published several hundreds of words about how scared but ill-informed local businesses are but nothing more concrete than “the sky is falling, the sky is falling.” Typical blather.

Who’s fault now?
The last time gasoline prices rose to what many considered to be unacceptable levels, the blame was placed on President Bush. This time, as gasoline prices rise, will we be allowed to blame President Obama?

Common sense
Thank you to the intelligent people that realize what the red light cameras really are. I have already started to boycott them. I refuse to drive on Randall Road. Did you know there were Austrians that actually welcomed the Nazis into their country? Driving is lots of unforeseen circumstances and common sense. People, be careful.

Taking issue
I’m calling about your editorial today about Rep. Foster voting against his constituents’ wishes. I’d like to say that I am a constituent of Rep. Foster and he voted exactly as I wished and I take issue with the fact that just because there was a loud minority of people who spoke out against this that there were no residents of this district who support him. Health care reform is long overdue and I respect his courage to speak over the tea party people and get this through. I also take issue with the story in the news section about businesses speaking against health care reform. While these businesses may have to pay for health insurance for their employees, there was no mention that businesses that employ less than 50 people will not be subject to these new laws and also it doesn’t speak at all about how this will help working families who make less than $88,000 and will have help with their premiums. There are several families in this area that do make less than $88,000 and I would appreciate their viewpoint also being shared in the Chronicle’s news pages.

Courage and leadership
I’d like to address the “Foster voted against constituents’ wishes” in your Our View column of Wednesday, March 23. First of all, I want to express to Rep. Foster my deep thanks for his courage and leadership in voting “Yes” on this bill. You folks at the Chronicle, through your Our View column, do not speak for me. In reading the column I was profoundly disappointed in your targeting Republican talking points. How, for example, can you characterize this bill as being ramrodded through, to quote your article, when this has been under debate, discussion for over one year. Again, thank you, Rep. Foster, for your courage.

Jumpin’ jiminy!
I’m calling about the pedestrian crossing, a tunnel or bridge over the tracks being considered for the safety of people getting to the Metra train station for the village of Elburn. There was an article in the paper. Jumpin’ jiminy, you should worry about getting across Route 47 and First Street safely. You can’t even walk across the tracks there or get to the train station by car for that fact in Elburn. And you are worried about a bridge going from a civic center, police station or whatever to the Elburn train station? Where are they going to park? Take care of what you’ve got, for gosh sakes. You can’t even get across the tracks in town from the north side to the south side walking. You can’t even drive across safely. Elburn better wake up. They made a big choo-choo mistake there. I hope you print this.

Lame journalism
I’m calling in regards to the Our View editorial of March 23 regarding Congressman Foster’s vote for the health care bill. The title says “Foster voted against constituents’ wishes.” This is weak-kneed, lame journalism at its best. Where are your facts? I’m a constituent who agrees with Bill Foster and I am very, very pleased that he voted for this bill. Where are your facts that the people of the 14th District were opposed to this? If it’s true, where are your polling facts because nationally the polls stated that the people were in fact for this bill. The constituents of the 14th were not necessarily against this bill. If they were, once again, state the facts of where you got this information. The other thing is you stated that he offered his constituents no time to talk him out of it. This bill has been around for 14 months and he has been repeatedly with the constituents of the 14th District, not always to the liking of this paper and others about how he did it. Electronic town halls weren’t good enough for you newspaper folk. Bill Foster is a man of conviction and I’m proud that he voted for this and thank God the days of Dennis Hastert are gone. I’m voting for him in November and I hope the majority of his constituents will as well.

How’s he sound?
Does anyone in the 14th Congressional District know how Bill Foster sounds? Every time he has an announcement it’s always through some representative from his office. I would like him to have a town hall meeting as to why he voted for the health care.

It’s the drinks
I see another restaurant in St. Charles has closed. My opinion of the closing was the high prices of the meals. Most people in this economy can’t afford to dine in these restaurants once or twice a week so they become special occasion restaurants. These places also charge entirely too much for a Coke or an iced tea. No wonder people are starting to order water when they go out. If they would just hold the line on the beverages, I think it would help their restaurants also.

Off-shore workers
This morning I heard the new head of the tollway authority talking about some changes she would like to make or what her job would entail and then I heard someone say that, and she agreed, that the call center for the tollway is off-shore. I find this disgusting. We should be putting our own people to work. I’m tired of companies going off shore and our own people here in the United States being discriminated against. I think it’s terrible.

Idling parents
I have the same question as the caller called “Parents’ responsibility.” I drive by a bus stop and every morning during the winter there are four or five SUVs, engines running, waiting for the bus. There are also five or six students, they appear to be about middle school age, braving the weather, seeming to have a pretty good time chatting with each other. I could understand wasting gas if the temperatures were dangerous, but that’s rarely the case. Someday, when these middle schoolers are middle aged, they may well wish their parents had idled less and conserved more.

A brand new school
Even if some of the families of children attending our schools don’t have money to put food on the table, we must see to it they have a brand new, state of the art school, equipped with the latest technology computers and we must continue to raise teacher salaries and further pad their retirement benefits.

Quit complaining
Quit complaining about the government. I love America and our government. If you lived somewhere else, you’d be in jail or hung. We have a few bad apples in government. So when it is time to vote, get out there and vote. We have voting power. God bless America, health care and all.

The solution
I’m reading the paragraph from “Parents’ responsibility,” the reader who maligned her cousin’s daughter for having four children. It kind of makes me sad. The reader clearly lives a life of many regrets and very little hope. Instead of being contemptuous and bitter, he or she should be thanking any young parents who choose to have large families, who love their kids, spend time with them and their lives with them. The kids will not be on welfare or entitlement that so many of Americans seem to be clamoring for these days. Those kids will be productive citizens and be part of the minority paying the reader’s Social Security. In response to the question posed as to whether the parents feel responsible for the future of the world, the only response can be that those four children will not be part of the problem, they will very likely be part of the solution.

Starts at home
I have read parents are fighting large class sizes. First of all, discipline your children so the teacher can teach. My three children had 48 in their class many years ago. You want to know something? They all learned because of guidance at home. If you are a parent, you can help teach them as they grow up. Don’t expect teachers to do everything. Teach your children when they are young. You run around and play when you are outside. When you are in school, you behave and listen to the teacher. When you are shopping in the store, you don’t run around between the clothes and food. Start when they are young. It works.

Chain gang idea
I’m calling to complain about the amount of trash that is on the side of the roads, in the open fields. In driving around Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, the amount of trash that is around is just unbelievable. I’d like to make a few suggestions. Number one is that people just stop littering. Number two is that the city or county start to fine or ticket landowners with vacant property that has too much trash on it. Number three, have the city and government officials implement chain gangs that go around with prisoners that pick up trash. When I was growing up that was incentive enough to stay on the right path and I think it would be a good lesson for our children to see these particular chain gangs picking up trash and it’s obviously good and cheap labor and that would help eliminate as much trash as is there.

Government work pays
For anyone who is unemployed, it might be comforting for them to know that the employees of state, local and federal governments are making very comfortable salaries and pensions with our tax dollars. It used to be that you might consider working in a government job with the understanding that you’ll earn less money in exchange for job security. Not so anymore. Data complied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that government workers are making 45 percent more per hour then private sector employees. And the deal gets better for the public sector union employee in retirement. Lots of hard working government employees get to retire with very generous pensions in their early 50s and then get another full time job so they can double dip with two incomes. Did you know that the state of Illinois had to issue $3.5 billion in bonds this year just to cover its annual pension funding requirements? The taxpayer is getting played for a sucker by politicians who are giving away the store to unions. It’s no coincidence either that the states with the worst deficit problems are the ones where the public sector union worker enjoys the best benefits. Can anyone say, “Tea Party”?

Parking in Elburn Metra
I would like to see pull thorough parking allowed in Elburn Metra. When the Chicago people get off of a packed train, people run to the car and try to back out quickly amidst all the other commuters. Add a day of poor visibility and kids, and we are asking for a child or an adult to get killed.

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