In health care, definitions matter
Re “As health law faces repeal, state has a better alternative” (Viewpoints, March 7): Deborah Burger’s op-ed supporting Senate Bill 562 uses the terms “universal health care” and “single payer.”
If she uses the terms correctly, then we can assume that Hollywood elites will be forced into the same program as commoners. How about legislators?
Will the billions spent on Cadillac programs for state and municipal workers and public school teachers be put into the general pot and everyone gets the same program? That would be a huge cost offset.
Is Senate Bill 562 truly universal health care or just a fake title?
Richard Shoemaker, Orangevale
Train technology is complicated
Re “New GPS technology will help keep trains from crashing. Why is it taking so long to arrive?” (sacbee.com, March 6): The freight rail industry is fully committed to installing Positive Train Control (PTC) technology as quickly as possible, but without sacrificing safety.
PTC is not off-the-shelf technology. The industry has spent nearly $7 billion developing a signaling system from scratch that can safely communicate across rail networks. It is meticulously testing the system to ensure it is fully operational before giving it the green light.
It is taking time because implementing this technology involves detailed processes requiring testing at railroad field labs and designated pilot territories. The process cannot be rushed. We must ensure it provides the important safety benefits it is designed to do.
Patricia M. Reilly, senior vice president for communications, Association of American Railroads, Washington, D.C.
Legislation would be gift to labor
Re “High housing prices suffocate growth” (Editorials, March 7): Existing law requires projects defined as “public works” to pay prevailing union wages.
Assemblyman Kansen Chu, D-San Jose, is carrying Assembly Bill 199, which would require private residential projects built on private property that are built pursuant to an agreement with the state or a political subdivision to meet the requirements for projects that are defined as “public works.”
Prevailing union wage mandates from the Legislature have long been a goal of powerful construction unions. Prevailing union wages can be 30 percent-plus higher than nonunion wages.
Politicians get construction union campaign money and taxpayers end up paying more for projects. Now union-backed politicians want to inflate housing costs. This will translate into crippling construction costs that will drive rental and housing prices even higher.
Frank Isaac, Roseville
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