Letters to Globe Magazine

March 20, 2011

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The sporting scene

The article on the use of statistical analysis in sports (“Game Changers,” February 27) immediately made me think of the Bud Abbott and Lou Costello routine, and I wondered how it would play out today. Costello: “Who’s on first?” Abbott: “Not Who. He reaches first only every other night game.” Costello: “What?” Abbott: “Not What. He hits lefties 33 percent of the time, but only if it’s a weekend day game in the Midwest.” Costello: “Why?” Abbott: “ I’ll tell you about him tomorrow; I’m getting more numbers in.” Costello: “I don’t give a darn.” Neither do I, Lou, neither do I.

James F. Nally Jr. / Reading

“Game Changers” was brilliant. Shira Springer’s article reinforced how important behind-the-scenes number crunching is today.

Steve Pascucci / Concord

Thou shalt not be ambiguous

Jennifer Wright Knust could not be more wrong in her assertion that the Bible is conflicted and ambiguous (First Person, February 27). If Jesus, the New Testament’s principal character, had ever wavered from his teaching that humanity was fallen and needed redemption, he would never have been killed. An ambiguous “anything goes” Savior would have been no threat to anyone.

Stephen Sloss / Marblehead

How about “Thou shalt not steal.” Is that straight-forward enough? Yes, there were people in the Bible who stole, but just because the Bible reports something does not mean it condones it. One thing we can be sure of is that there is no support in the Bible for same-sex marriage.

Ralph Filicchia / Watertown

The cost of care

As the chairman of Stewart’s Ambulance Service Inc., one of the larger private emergency medical services providers in New Hampshire, I was concerned after reading Phil Primack’s “Ambulance-Bill Chasing” (Perspective, February 27). In 2007, the US General Accounting Office stated that Medicare reimbursement rates are below the level needed for many ambulance services to break even. In addition, the bill Primack received from North Andover was subsidized by the town’s taxpayers. I’m not saying that’s wrong; it just makes for a bad comparison with private services. Finally, private company charges are high because so many people do not pay their bills. Our company gets paid only about half the time. Please understand that the profit margins of ambulance services are typically far less than that of either insurance companies or hospitals.

Justin Van Etten / Meredith, New Hampshire

In May 2010, while traveling in Berlin, I suffered a retinal tear. The total cost for the emergency room, ambulance ride, diagnosis, and laser surgery: $258. After returning to the United States, I went for a follow-up exam. The charge for the 20-minute checkup: $250. Is it any wonder that no other developed country would tolerate a system such as ours?

Harry Bartnick / Beverly

Comments Write to or The Boston Globe Magazine/Letters, PO Box 55819, Boston, MA 02205-5819. Letters are subject to editing.

  • March 20, 2011 cover
  • March 20 cover
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