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back talk LeTTers TO The edITOr

re: medical malpractice While the medical malpractice bill described in Travis Fain’s March 23 story (“Negligence, cap on damages, focus of malpractice reform bill”) will definitely limit patients’ rights, it will not cut health care costs. Backers of the malpractice bill often point to Texas as a model for North Carolina to emulate. Yet “Texas-style” malpractice reform has led to escalating costs for consumers. In 2003, Texas imposed a $250,000 cap on “noneconomic damages,” including damages for death, disfigurement and permanent brain damage. One of the main rationales for the legislation was that a cap would bring down health care costs. But from 2003 through 2007, Medicare spending per enrollee in Texas increased 31.9 percent—far above the national average of 26.5 percent. During the same period, Medicare spending per enrollee in North Carolina grew 25.8 percent—below the national average. What’s more, North Carolina, without an artificial cap on damages, has a better record of attracting physicians. According to the American Medical Association, in the five years after Texas enacted caps and other radical malpractice

correction In “The colors of blackness” (cover story, March 23), the title of Hank Willis Thomas’ “Branded Head” was incorrect in the story; it was correct on the cover image.

reforms in 2003, the number of physicians per capita grew 2.6 percent faster in North Carolina than in Texas. Bringing “Texas-style” malpractice reform to North Carolina will harm severely injured patients without making health care more affordable or accessible. burton craige raleigh

re: Our global military “Why aren’t we talking seriously about how overextended and arguably counterproductive is our global military presence?” The question is asked by Jonathan Weiler in his excellent article “Crank up the war machine: Libya” (March 23). Quaker House brought exactly this question to Guilford College in January on the 50th anniversary of Eisenhower’s farewell speech and dire warning about the rise of the militaryindustrial complex. The three-day conference explored a variety of issues we face in a nation dominated by militarism with a duopoly of Republicans and Democrats competing to run the war machine. See The January conference was co-sponsored by NC Peace Action ( and the Eisenhower Chapter of Veterans for Peace (NC Triangle). The Charlottesville, Va., Center for Peace and Justice is planning a similar weekend conference this September. Join us as we undertake “the hard work of re-examining our global empire.” john heuer chair , nc peace action chapel hill

April 21-24 4 Days 4 Stages

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Sarah Shook & The Devil Big Al Hall & Marching Rams Jack Maverick & His Wild Rebels Apple Chill Cloggers Spirit Family Reunion Louise Omoto Kessel Aaron Burdett Gray Young Old Sledge Kooley High Michael Jacobs Penny Prophets Daygot Leeyos Stuart McNair Possum Creek HoopDrum Trilogy


1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro, NC 27312 • (919) 542-8142


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Designed by Alamance Community College Advertising and Graphic Design Students

• 4 day passes: $90 advance | $100 at gate | youth 13-15 $50 |12 and under FREE • 1 day passes: $25 Thursday | $35 Friday | $45 Saturday | $25 Sunday

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1-day passes: $25 Thursday • $35 Friday $45 Saturday • $25 Sunday Vehicle camping, tent camping & parking additional

3/12/11 9:20 PM

wednesday, march 30, 2011



reforms in 2003, the number of physicians per capita grew 2.6 percent faster in North Carolina than in Texas. Bringing “Texas-style” malprac...