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Letters to the editor – Saturday (8-15-09)

Restaurant servers take a double hit
The recession has affected all of us in some way ó some of us more than others.
The restaurant industry has taken a big hit.
I’m a server in a local resaurant, and we have taken a double hit.
First hit: The restaurant’s business is down and people are not eating out as often.
Second hit: People are not leaving as much of a tip as they left before.
Servers do not make minimum wage plus tips, as most people think. We are paid a small base pay, plus our tips. We depend on those tips for the bulk of our income.
It is so disheartening to give good quality service to a table only to find that your tip is less than the customary 15 percent to 18 percent.
Everyone wants to be paid for the work you do and we are no exception.
If you can still afford to eat out, please continue to do so. But if you can’t afford the tip, do us both a favor, stay home and stop wasting out time.
Thank you for letting me vent my long overdue frustration.
ó Virginia Yvonne Clark
Kannapolis
Health-care remedy
It’s hard for me to believe that some folks are so easily led down the fear path in regards to health-care reform.
The first thing to remember is that there are still numerous health-care reform bills that are being read and discussed and will eventually be brought together as one bill with the very best each of the current bills has to offer to the American people. We must be still and listen to what our elected leaders are telling us about these bills. We owe it to ourselves to investigate what is in those bills and to find the truth. (There should be some disciplinary action against those elected leaders that blatantly lie to their constituents).
We must be careful but we must not keep delaying this most important reform. According to “Why We Need Health Reform,” Center for American Progress, July 31, 2009, 510 people in North Carolina lose their health care coverage every day. Without reform, insurance premiums are expected to rise $8,983 over the next 10 years. In 2008,United HealthGroup CEO Stephen Hemsley made $3.2 million in one year! See the YouTube clip “Sick for Profit.”
We need to be open-minded to what a public option will entail. If it creates competition and lower premiums for the American consumer, it is definitely on the right path. If it gives all Americans an affordable option for seeing a primary care physician, it will allow emergency rooms to be just that again, not where everyone goes because their insurance doesn’t allow them to be covered, or their co-payments are still too high in relationship to their incomes or they have no insurance, period.
Meaningful reform will cover more people for less money out of all of our pockets. And put a stop to the health insurance industry version of what the Wall Street fat cats did to Americans.
ó Terri Barmore
Salisbury

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