Letters from our Readers: Applaud city employees on dependent amnesty 

The Examiner’s June 15 front-page headline on the Health Service System’s ineligible dependent amnesty program was sensational. Municipal employees willingly dropped dependents from their health coverage after learning the eligibility rules.

Most large employers periodically conduct dependent audits. A typical audit finds between 200 and 500 ineligible dependents for every 10,000 employees. In most cases, this is due to lack of knowledge or an understandable procrastination after the loss of a loved one, rather than intentional fraud.

In recent years, health benefit rules have become more complex. The Health Service System created the amnesty program to encourage a collaborative effort between The City and its employees to maintain enrollment responsibility. Employees should be applauded, not criticized, for participating in the recent amnesty.

Catherine Dodd, Director, Health Service System, San Francisco

Fiscal disaster in making

Any serious discussion of possible economic benefits from Cargill’s proposed Redwood City salt ponds development must include the city’s costs for services needed by the development’s residents. I seriously doubt Cargill’s project would attract many upscale residents to high-density housing in that relatively remote location.

Even ordinary residential development seldom pays in taxes what it creates in demands for city services. Cargill’s difficult and isolated site threatens to be a fiscal disaster to Redwood City for long after Cargill walks away with its profits.

Bryan Beck, Redwood City

Subject to laws of land

A society as we know it is an organized, regulated community subject to laws and regulations for all. Private or not, a business is not exempt from the law of the land, but needs a license or permit issued on condition that certain rules are followed.

We do not live in the medieval ages anymore, nor can we behave any which way we like without consideration for the common welfare. Even a business operating under a “free enterprise system” umbrella depends upon — and benefits from — a well-regulated society.

Without the conditions provided by a law-abiding community, and without the customers provided by the society at large, the business would be on shaky ground or not sustainable at all — unless protected by warlords such as we associate with societies not acceptable by our standards.

That a private business should be exempt from any law of the land and free to discriminate at will is simply preposterous. Any suggestion that we should step back to an unenlightened past era is reprehensible.

Jorg Aadahl, San Mateo

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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