I witnessed how the health care system destroyed the lives of two of my own brothers at their most vulnerable. One died before he was 50, the other before he was 40. Both suffered painful, chronic, life-threatening illnesses, while simultaneously being bombarded with medical bills and hounded into bankruptcy by health care providers and their collection agencies.
Both of my brothers’ efforts to recover were continuously undermined by a system that seemed to view seriously ill men and women as mere revenue opportunities. Like the millions of Americans over the decades who have met similar ends, they had a miserable and inhumane way to die.
It’s been 15 years since our country’s last serious effort to improve and expand our health care system. If we fail to make substantive progress now, how many more Americans will suffer and struggle, only to be forced into similar medical and financial devastation?
Armando Corpus, Oakland
City leaders ruining SF
The longer I live here the stranger the ideas coming out of City Hall. Billboards on Market Street between Fifth and Eighth streets is one such idea that will not accomplish anything other than possibly making it easier to avoid stepping on the dog or human poop or other debris there.
A Muni-free Market will not accomplish anything other than making things worse on adjacent streets. And the idea of Market Street solely for cyclists and pedestrians, with tables and chairs in the center of the thoroughfare, makes me wonder what they are smoking at City Hall.
It is unfortunate that we now have district elections because I can only vote for or against one supervisor, not the whole lot.
Irving Q. Waldorf, San Francisco
Teachers actually do care
I would agree with most of your informative Oct. 28 op-ed about the rise of charter schools. However, it was dead wrong to state that collective bargaining agreements have damaged the education of our public school students.
The fact is that charter schools do not have the huge expenses of administrators micromanaging the operations of their schools. This allows more funding into the classroom and thus improved student progress.
So often we see judgemental fingers pointed at the teachers unions. Every teacher I know wants students to be successful. It is a shame that the press and politicians think the opposite.
Michael Brown, San Francisco
Whining falls on deaf ears
Tsk, tsk, the recession has not been easy on the U.S. Postal Service. After years of frittering away on bonuses to superfluous “managers” with the funds earned by the high productivity of their browbeaten work force, I’m sick and tired of hearing about agencies like USPS and Muni rewarding incompetence, doing nothing to deal with obvious causes of waste, and then whining to the public and expecting us to pay for their ineptness.
Carl Hoffman, San Francisco