Letters to the Editor

Letters: Community, police can learn from Osagie death; Nothing wrong with Spanier’s compensation

Medicare for all is a worst-case scenario

Thanks to never buying insurance over my working life and therefore having a much higher paycheck, my family was debt free by age 40, paid cash for my kid’s Penn State education, and have enough to fully enjoy retirement despite low-paying work. Medical care should be based on supply and demand, paid for in cash with no insurance or subsidies. Insurance corrupts the natural flow of economics, thereby giving the medical industry a free pass to charge anything they want without competition. Additionally if people would simply take charge of their health, engaging in self-prevention, they would rarely need care. It is more than luck that I have spent less than $800 in 61 years on my health care!

Medicare for all is a worst-case scenario — forcing all the healthy to pay for those who knowingly stay unhealthy plus continuing the to lay out the red carpet for endless greed and fraud in the health care industry. Abolish third party payers, thereby providing less cash to the industry and forcing prices down. We need a revolution and the only way I know is to stem the river of insurance money flowing into the industry.

James Steamer, State College

Community, police can learn from Osagie death

When I heard the news that the police had apprehended, by shooting to death, a man of color with a mental health diagnosis, it was like a fierce punch to the gut. No, not in my community — it’s too knowledgeable and tolerant, and not my police — they’re too well trained and just! Now when I travel and have to introduce myself and where I’m from, it’s not the success of Penn State’s sports teams that people know, it’s the excess alcohol, out of control fraternities, child abuse and now the excessive police action toward an African American man with disabilities. Can someone enlighten me? Why are persons of color, the intellectually disabled and persons with mental health issues so often shot in the back because they are a threat?

I have heard of other communities who are addressing these issues with the use of emergency response vehicles carrying trained teams to respond to situations such as Mr. Osagie’s. It breaks my heart to think that my tax dollars employ community servants who don’t have the training or equipment so that their only response is to kill individuals like Mr. Osagie. His crime? None, because he was mentally ill and needed medicine and support to bring his behavior back under control. Can’t we do better as a community? I think we must, we can’t continue down this path!

Brenda Black, Port Matilda

Letter on Spanier’s compensation included incomplete information

I’m very sorry that the CDT chose to publish Steven Cohen’s letter on May 16 complaining about Graham Spanier’s compensation, since it is filled with unmerited venom and incomplete information.

Mr. Cohen claims that Spanier has unjustly received “millions of dollars in compensation” from Penn State since he resigned as president late in 2011. He is probably referring to an Associated Press story published in the CDT on May 1 that included some innuendo. What wasn’t adequately reported is that much of Spanier’s compensation following his service as president was known to have been deferred compensation and retirement benefits earned during his presidency; the remainder was the fulfillment of contractual obligations made by the Board of Trustees during Spanier’s 16 years as president. What’s wrong with that?

Mr. Cohen also ignores the fact that Spanier has now been cleared of any culpability in the Sandusky affair. All the charges leveled against him by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Louis Freeh, and assorted journalists have been nullified by either the Pennsylvania Superior Court, by a jury, or by a Federal Court.

If Mr. Cohen is one day charged for a crime that he didn’t commit and then is subsequently cleared of all responsibility by our legal system, I certainly will not be maligning him. Instead, I will condemn those who needlessly charged him in the first place and will encourage the press and the guardians of social media to do everything possible to restore his reputation.

Jack Selzer, State College
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