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Letters to the editor: Week of June 10

Jun. 9, 2013 - 01:40PM   |  
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Private-sector lessons

Every time I read the Defense and the Veterans Affairs departments are going to develop an electronic medical records system, I want to laugh.

I’ve been a member of Kaiser Permanente HMO since 1993. I’ve seen Kaiser go to an electronic medical system that would more than meet DoD and VA needs. It is fully automated, is online for doctors and patients, and provides wonderful service and features.

Perhaps DoD and VA should drive to Rockville, Md., and look at the system. Then they should contract Kaiser’s information technology to convert their systems.

Oh, Kaiser is less expensive than Express Scripts for drugs.

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Edward Conley Jr.

Fairfax, Va.

Small savings add up

I was disappointed the Air Force’s and Navy’s aerial demonstration teams had been grounded due to the Defense Department’s budget woes.

I was disheartened when the projected savings of $38 million annually was characterized as “relatively small.”

Ben Franklin once said: “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”

Conversely, little savings, replicated across the whole DoD team, can go a long way to build one.

Retired Col. Bill Malec

O’Fallon, Ill.

Cuts could be worse

We face a huge debt as a nation, and the sequester is finally requiring some — truth be told — very modest budget cuts. This is something that the executive and legislative branches of government could not agree on for years.

We are facing cuts, and people are complaining about having to cut the grass and do landscaping; commissary closings once a week; and earlier closings and no fresh towels at fitness centers.

Who do you think pays for all that?

At my last employer, our pension plan was essentially canceled with 90 days’ notice after a merger. Health care costs rose significantly. My current employer froze its pension plan a few years ago. Most private-sector employees have no pension and pay a lot for their health care, and everything else. And even though no one wants to say this in public, we are all facing higher taxes in the future.

I had a manager (a former Marine officer) a few years ago who offered some sage advice: “You should be happy you have a job and get paid.“

Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Klett

Sarasota, Fla.

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