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Updated: February 16, 2013 6:09AM

Cow’s milk unhealthy

A frequent bugaboo of the “fiscal cliff” debacle was the “milk cliff” — the threat of milk price doubling, if Congress failed to extend dairy subsidies. Parents were forgoing other necessities, because their children “had to have milk.”

Most industries would gladly give up their tax loopholes for that kind of product loyalty. But this one is totally undeserved.

Consumption of dairy products, laden with saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs elevates the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This is particularly critical during childhood years, when dietary flaws become lifelong addictions.

A study of 12,829 children by Harvard Medical School found that drinking cow’s milk leads to weight gain. Several proteins in cow’s milk can thicken mucus secretions leading to respiratory problems in children.

The good news is that green leafy vegetables and legumes supply all the calcium and proteins touted in cow’s milk, without the excess calories and other yucky factors noted. Every supermarket offers a huge line of dairy-free milks, cheeses, and ice creams made from healthy nuts and grains.

Aaron Kendleson


Part D debacle

There have been several recent letters to the editor about Medicare Part D. I agree with the need for such a program, but the implementation of this one was done in a way that cost the government billions of dollars more than it should have and resulted in a huge windfall for large pharmaceutical companies. David Wessel’s recent book titled “Red Ink” describes the main aspect of Part D which cost the government so much money

Before Part D was implemented, the most impoverished of the elderly received their drug coverage under Medicaid. By law, pharmaceutical companies must charge Medicaid the lower of the “best price” they charge anyone for a drug or 15 percent lower than a benchmark. That saves Medicaid a lot of money. When Part D was implemented, the elderly poor were shifted over to Part D.

One part of that shift was a boon to large pharmaceutical companies, but a major expense to the government. The “best price” rule was not carried over from Medicaid to Medicare Part D. As a result the government ended up paying more for the elderly poor than it did under the old system.

The White House budget office estimates that re-imposing the “best price” rule on drugs used by the low-income elderly would save the government $155 billion over 10 years.

Anyone who would like to understand how we generated our horrendous national debt should read this book.

Jay Labelle


Marriage Fairness Act

I am writing to ask you to oppose HB 5170, commonly called The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act or the Gay Marriage Bill.

Many questions are not answered by this or within this bill.

At present we know what marriage is. It is a union both a civil and religious union between one man and one woman who are over 18, and not related by blood.

I am concerned because to open the definition of marriage calling the new definition Marriage Equality is to make fluid what we have always depended upon being stable in law.

What is Marriage Equality? Does that term have any limits as to number, age or gender?

What is a couple? Is it two or three? Of what combination of persons?

Will religious organizations or regular businesses run by religious people be required to honor and participate in such unions, even if they do not agree with them on religious grounds?

Please oppose HB 5170 to protect traditional marriage.

Elsie Campbell Morrissey


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