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Letters to the Editor - December 2010

Fighting Medicare fraud

Recent news stories — including the AARP Bulletin's "Medicare Fraud" [November] — on the mind-boggling extent of this crime leave honest Americans shaking our heads and wondering what more can be done amid tight budgets.

As a retired senior manager for the Internal Revenue Service, I would love to volunteer my time to pore over suspicious claims, follow up on consumer tips, etc. Retirees represent a huge pool of largely untapped talent. Why not mobilize such a resource?

Jackie D. Reilly
Kyle, Texas

The heart of taxes

I was going to argue some points in "The Great Tax Debate That Wasn't" [Editor's Letter]. But then I read the last section, regarding the inscription at the IRS headquarters building: "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society."

Does the extraction of wealth from productive citizens to support government inefficiency, waste, fraud, failed policies and an entitlement society equal a civilized society?

I must be in a third dimension. I am on my way to Washington with chisel in hand.

Frank Killackey
Jacksonville, Fla.

Passing thoughts

I enjoyed the article about personalized "happy coffins" ["A Happy Final Resting Place," In the News]. My brother was diagnosed with a terminal illness and planned his own funeral. His towing/salvage yard business was known for its bright orange trucks, signs and even clothes, so he wanted a bright orange coffin.

The coffin company said it couldn't provide that, so he made arrangements with an auto paint shop. In the end, the coffin company did find a way, and at the funeral there was a sea of orange.

Most people sent bright orange flower arrangements, and, of course, there was his coffin. It brought us comfort, and even some humor, at a sad time.

Marilyn R. Kroner
Boulder, Colo.

Health insurance

Regarding the concern that mandatory health insurance represents a "slippery slope" ["Health Care Law," Letters]: Most states have had mandatory auto insurance laws for many, many years.

At the time they were instituted, a chief argument for them was to save the taxpayers money, protecting us from bills incurred by persons injured in accidents of uninsured motorists.

Mandatory health insurance reflects a similar situation. Taxpayers are paying for medical care for persons who don't have health insurance. I think that over time it will prove to be far cheaper, both financially and societally, for all of us if everyone can access the health care they need.

Sandra Dulgar
Nezperce, Idaho

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