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Jonathan Wright: If columnist dislikes subsidies, he shouldn’t take one

To the editor:

I read Jay Fleitman’s Feb. 4 tale of two diatribes with some disbelief. First, anyone who has tracked faxes and trundled outdated medicine lists from office to office trying to organize care among disconnected practices knows that better integrated information is essential for efficiency and for good care. Even a casual look at the modernized practices locally and larger systems such as the spectacularly integrated EPIC system at Yale University will see the benefits.

The federal government subsidies are directed to underserved areas and rural medicine to help those practices advance. They were lobbied for by private physician interests. If Dr. Fleitman does not want to take the subsidy, then he shouldn’t. Pay for your own systems upgrades, the way the rest of us do in business.

The carbon investment in solar panel manufacturing takes about nine years of generation to offset, against 30-year panel life. Transforming the sun’s energy is clean and harmless and beautiful. Most crystals and many panels are made overseas. Some, such as Sunpower, are assembled in the US. Evergreen, a Massachusetts company that tried to buck the trend, could not make it. Maybe, with increased U.S. markets, the panel manufacturing will return.

By comparison, a nuclear installation, never, in its 40-year service life, recovers the energy invested in its construction and operation. Not even close. It is decommissioned before it breaks even.

Jonathan Wright



Jay Fleitman: A tale of two subsidies, and neither is worth the money

Monday, February 3, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — With chagrin and a sense of guilt, I am publicly admitting that I will be taking a government subsidy. It would be more accurate to say that I am being coerced by the government to take this money, and I am being obliged to expend personal resources and a great deal of time and energy in order to …

Legacy Comments3

How are all those solar roof top panels working today with all the climate change snow on them? The government always know the best way to configure computer programs. Computer programs and systems haven't really made anything better in medicine or education. Think about it.

Wow! "Computer programs and systems haven't really made anything better in medicine or education. Think about it." You know what your comment makes me think about? That maybe you should spend a little more time outside of your bunker. It makes me think that your "freedom" is liberty from the reality in which he rest of us live, where "computer systems" have been a fact of everyday life for decades. It makes me wonder if you are or have been gainfully employed in the past several decades, which would have made it patently clear just how ridiculous it is to say something like " Computer programs and systems haven't really made anything better in medicine or education." You know what else your comment makes me think about? I feel sort of sorry for Dr. Fleitman. He's an educated man whose political views have placed him in such a minority locally that he's reduced to pandering to the knuckle-dragging fringes.

I don't know too many doctors who don't have electronic records in today's world. This includes medical specialists, of which I have many because of health problems. I appreciate the fact when I am at one of my doctor's offices they can answer a question very quickly just by a quick typing of my electronic file instead of a doctor having to go searching through the thick paper trails in my file and wasting valuable minutes of their and my day. I am not sure where Dr. Fleitman got his facts that these electronic records slow a doctor's appointment down - from my experience it is the opposite. Did you not way you were taking the government money to make your office more efficient? Isn't that against the old Tea Party way? I "appreciate" Dr. Fleitman trying not to "spend" tax payers' dollars, however, you miss the mark on every statement you made in your recent column and being a "climate denier" is just so old school, much like not having electronic records for your patients.

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