(2 of 5)
Barlett and Steele mentioned several times that a market-driven health-care system can never be efficient. But our health-care system is bureaucracy driven, because of the doctors and health-care companies that benefit from its overuse and inefficiency. Only when the person receiving care is the person responsible for payment will normal supply-and-demand forces come into play and costs be reduced. Insurance is not the answer. It is the problem.
WILLIAM STEPHENS Macomb, Ill.
Your article on Bruce Springsteen and the Vote for Change tour echoed the common sentiment that celebrities should steer clear of politics [Oct. 11]. But there is nothing wrong with activism, and Springsteen is better qualified than the pseudo intellectuals who rule conservative radio and television. Thirty years of touring the U.S. has given Springsteen a far better understanding of the true American experience and value system. How is his message any less patriotic than the flag-draped jingoism of the mainstream media?
JOHN FELLEMAN Palo Alto, Calif.
The rock-'n'-roll insurgency against the war in Iraq is one of many dark clouds for President Bush. Let's hope that the performances of Springsteen and others make his Administration realize that, unlike the awarding of contracts for rebuilding Iraq, there is competition for the nation's soul.
CHARLES ORLOSKI Taylor, Pa.
Trolling for Female Voters
Re "What Do Women Want?" [OCT. 11]: I almost fell off my chair when I read the rationale of a supposedly undecided woman who was leaning toward President Bush in this election. Your story said she was "inclined to adhere to the housekeeping principle, You make a mess, you clean it up." Is that a reason to keep Bush for four more years? If I messed up a major work project as badly as this President has botched Iraq, I would be summarily fired, and a new person would be brought in to clean up the mess I left behind.
DIANE MOREY Boxford, Mass.
Kerry has twice married fantastically rich women. One time is O.K., but twice? There is something about the seeming coincidence and good fortune that rings a false note. I have a hunch that bothers more women than many would care to admit.
RICHARD JACOBSON Marina del Rey, Calif.
About Those Husbands
This quote, attributed to a senior Republican official, was a hoot: "Kerry is the weirdo first husband you married in college when you were an art major. Bush is the solid second husband who saved you, helped you raise kids and taught you golf" [Oct. 11]. A more accurate description would be "Bush is the frat boy you married when you didn't know any better. Kerry is the solid second husband who can be counted on for his clear judgment and respect for his wife as an equal partner." Golf is fine, but there's plenty that women can teach their second spouses too.
PHOEBE MOYER Greenbrae, Calif.
Basing our voting decision on which candidate we would marry is ridiculous. If women wanted heartthrobs in the White House, a Harrison Ford-Tom Cruise ticket would have won years ago.
BETHANY WILLISTON Ann Arbor, Mich.
Recapping the Debates