Featured Letter to the Editor

Dear Miami University students and faculty,My name is Jordan Gafford and I am a junior on the Miami University football team. This is written to express the team’s appreciation for you, the students and faculty members of Miami. Thank you for your support last week against Cincinnati. It is hard to describe how valuable your presence and enthusiasm can be to our team throughout the course of a game. Last Saturday, you all created a great atmosphere for college football and the team was able to feed off your energy. We truly value your support.

I also wanted to tell you how much we care about you. You are on our minds while we are working out at 6 a.m., lifting weights and practicing. We want to win for you. It is our genuine desire, and our responsibility, to be a team you can be proud to support and to be a team that is fun to watch. Everyday, we are working to improve and to get Miami football back to where it once was and should always be.

Once again I sincerely thank you for your faithful support. Beat Northwestern!

Jordan Gafford and the Miami Football Team

Public health care intrudes on freedom

There has been much debate in The Miami Student about a letter to the editor titled “All should care about health care debate” (Sept. 25) written by Cory Bailey. Though Bailey’s main idea was about the American right to voice an opposing opinion, the articles attacking his piece focused on health care and how they believed he was wrong. Let me first contest the letter to the editor published Oct. 6 named “Public health care can improve quality of life.”

To begin addressing this author’s contentions, the public option won’t be financed via premiums only. To start a company, one needs capital so clearly they will be using our tax dollars to start it out, as that is the source of government revenue. The author seems to think there are no not-for-profit companies, but there are in fact many competing in the private sector and those who aren’t insured can’t buy insurance from these not-for-profit companies either. It appears that not-for-profit services are not so effective. They have driven down private insurance premiums and these premiums are not low enough for the uninsured to buy them.

Therefore, to reach this market of the uninsured, premiums must go lower, hence, the government will lose money because not-for-profit could not reach them. Adding one more competitor would not make the market more efficient unless they have some sort of competitive advantage, which they will because they are the government and do not have to have a balanced budget like a company. To say the government would cut down on administrative costs is laughable because the government is inefficient in areas where there is no market failure (i.e. police, fire, etc.). Also, part of the plan to pay for health care was going to be done by finding wastes in Medicare. If this is so easy, why aren’t they doing it now? Also, if premiums are the source needed to finance this program, why are we talking about its effects on the budget deficit?

Let me also note that the non-partisan CBO will not be able to estimate this. I don’t think Americans realize the difficulties of estimating a program such as health care. The original estimates for Medicare were only 12 percent of the actual cost when Medicare was first created. States such as Massachusetts have also been running into trouble today because they can’t afford the Medicare costs imposed upon them.

The reason that Medicaid, Medicare and VA have somewhat lower costs is because the private industries subsidize them. There is approximately a 71 percent reimbursement for costs, which causes the private industry to cover these costs. President Obama’s assertion that health insurance companies were dropping policyholders when they most needed it was proven false in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial. The president’s claims are clearly wrong. America also has the best health care in the world. The ratings showing the United States ranks 37 in health care are completely bogus because they don’t take everything into account such as demographics, crime and other factors. When world leaders need health care, they come to America not because it’s their only choice or the most convenient but because it is the best. Let me also note we are basically subsidizing the rest of the world’s pharmaceutical drugs and research because we pay high prices and observe patent laws. If it was not for America, we wouldn’t have the drugs we have today which have been created through the free market. The U.S. Constitution says nothing about the government providing health care. Also, health insurance companies are not setting record profits. They have been doing well but not breaking records.

In response to “America must define freedom in a new way” (Oct. 6), there are more than 225 years of American capitalism to prove capitalism and freedom work. There is a great deal of disinformation in this essay, but I want to get to the core of the argument, namely “What is freedom?” Freedom is the opportunity to do what you want to do with your abilities and property. In response to some of the author’s questions, yes, freedom is the ability to buy an iPod with your money. If someone wants to work hard, earn an obscene amount of money, buy an iPod and enjoy it, they should have the right to do it. That is freedom. Freedom lies in your ability to do what you want under laws that prevent a person from directly harming another. Let me remind readers this freedom has provided you with everything you have. Freedom has nothing to do with “interaction and ethical relation with others.” I am not selfish for working hard and providing some sort of service for someone while society is benefiting from it. I accumulate wealth, and then I spend it as I please. That is exactly what freedom is in the framework of capitalism. If we took others into account every time we made choices, we would not have airplanes because those who worked for the railroad might have said, “We don’t want airplanes because airplanes will take away from our business.” The workers in the railroad industry would have lost jobs. The beauty of capitalism is that personal benefits drove the Wright brothers, and in turn we all benefit from air transportation. It’s not a zero-sum game.

Also, freedom is the “refusing to pay for the betterment of society” so I can buy an iPod. For more information on this, read Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. In regards to me providing someone else’s health care, why doesn’t that person needing health care provide it for himself? You are taking away from my hard work when I provide it for you. The author’s view sounds like communism to me. Perhaps he ought to go work a 97.5-hour work week like some of us did to afford this education and then he’ll understand freedom better and understand the property rights that come with the accumulation of wealth. Or perhaps following his reasoning, he should be paying my way through.

Mark HutchinsonHUTCHINMD@muohio.edu