Letters to the Editor

From the issue of August 16, 2001

Think of how many thousands of dollars in monthly health-insurance premiums could be saved if the dozens and dozens of employees like me, who are already covered by spousal insurance, could elect to opt out. I for one wouldn't even ask for the saved sum in salary. I'd much rather that the $330 monthly the board would otherwise kick in for my medical insurance be poured back into my own children's woefully overcrowded classrooms, or into the classrooms of the children in the decades-old middle school where I work (which is currently operating at about 150 percent capacity). Either that or give me a true "cafeteria plan" in which I can pick and choose what options I need in coordination with what my husband's employer offers.

Instead, because I can't opt out, HIP is now my "primary" medical insurer, forcing the superior coverage I have through my husband to take a back seat. I've had six HIP doctors in three years, because so many physicians drop out of this plan before you can even get a second appointment with them. (So much for the continuity of medical care Tornillo speaks of.) And it isn't just MDCPS employees who are dissatisfied with HIP. As my latest doctor recently told me: "I'm dropping HIP, so find someone else within the next couple of months. HIP pays us less per office visit than you'd pay your stylist for a haircut."

Jo Ann C. Nahirny

Whining columnist urged to zip it: After Jen Karetnick's first foray into the world of adults-only dining ("Ever Too Young," July 12), I thought she would get the message. Although her kids may be angels, her wrath was against those who don't want to dine with anyone's kids. Point taken, by the public at least.

But with her second installment ("That Age Barrier Redux," August 9) she has made it something personal, which shows her thin skin and lack of professionalism. It would seem she expects every restaurant to take her bad reviews in stride, yet if she gets knocked for her out-of-place "Kids Are Me" mentality, she cries like a child herself.

Jen, get with it. Use your "Dish" column to educate those parents who have made dining with somebody else's kids a nightmare. Grow up and take the criticism like an adult, just as you expect from those whose life savings may be invested in the restaurant you trashed.

While I don't own a restaurant, I do appreciate good, balanced reviews, and I think Jen's snipes at Gatsby's -- without dining there -- were out of place and just plain childish.

Martin Alexander

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