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Ryan has a job to do: not try for congressional seat



Published: Mon, January 28, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ryan has a job to do: not try for congressional seat

EDITOR:

Surprise! Yet another of our elected politicians shows his true colors.

He promised to give our children a reason to stay in the Valley. He swore he'd assist the elderly with the cost of their prescriptions. He wanted to make fundamental changes to the way Ohio funds its schools. And all he wanted from us was our vote.

Now, just one short year and zero accomplishments later, Sen. Tim Ryan is contemplating a run for the U.S. Congress. In doing so, he exposes a lust for political power that makes LBJ look like a Girl Scout.

Instead of following through with promises, a true politician will never miss an opportunity to advance his own agenda. I hope this is not such a case.

This area is in desperate need of a true representative: someone who understands how legislation affects working families. Our forefathers believed that the U.S. House of Representatives should be composed of common folk -- teachers, steel workers, farmers, etc.

The typical Mahoning Valley resident is a married, blue-collar worker with a mortgage. She is someone whose children are educated in public schools and understands how laws affect everyday life. Nobody can represent our hopes and dreams better than the person I just described.

Words have meaning. I wish Tim Ryan well in accomplishing those things he promised. He was elected over a very impressive cast of candidates to do a job for us. We listened to him on the campaign trail for months. Now, maybe he'll block out his political machine and listen to us.

MICHAEL C. RANTTILA

Cortland

Health care not at risk from insurance rates

EDITOR:

Pennsylvania medical boss Roger F. Mecum's "(Medical Liability) Insurance Crisis Threatens Health Care" (The Vindicator, Jan. 16) challenges the acute reader to keep from gloating at the thought of physicians being purportedly driven from practice for lack of affordable malpractice insurance.

Who among us has been repulsed from medical treatment by those same physicians' receptionists for lack of medical and hospitalization insurance?

Yet, Mr. Mecum stolidly plies his argument, from dour cant, through a clot of uninterpreted statistics, and, in an amazing switchback, declares his crisis to be the generator of both less and more health care than is desirable.

Really, Mr. Mecum, what does the statement "we've seen obstetrician/gynecologists give up delivering babies" mean? Have OB/GYNs in Philly and the 'Burgh gone to $6 an hour burger-flipping jobs, or what? Have babies stopped being born in the Quaker State?

Will there be an exodus of soon-to-be medically underserved Pennsylvanians, their litigiousness curbed at the prospect of their family practitioner hauling a "Will Diagnose for Food" sign, heading for physician-friendly redoubts in neighboring West Virginia and Maryland?

Having served on a medical malpractice jury in which mine was the sole vote favoring the responding physicians, I don't disagree with Mr. Mecum in the broadest terms that something is wrong with health care. But his plea for tort reform seems both rarified and fatuous.

Let me suggest that physicians in Pennsylvania may more quickly reclaim their profession's public esteem by heroic assertions of "doctor-ness," for want of a better term, in the examining room than by withdrawing to the state legislature for relief from an angry patientry.

JACK LABUSCH

Niles




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