Letters to the Editor

IN FOCUS: Health care

A health care 'B' is good enough for now

Barack Obama told Oprah Winfrey on national TV that he graded his performance as a B+. That is a good grade which falls within 83 percent to 87 percent.

Mr. Obama must consider a B+ to be a successful level of performance. My question to the president and the supporters of the lame health care bill is this: If a B+ is acceptable and 83 percent of Americans have health care plans, why is it so important to ram this ineffective piece of legislation down our throats at this moment? The true answer is to declare a victory.

Do we really believe that 17 percent of Americans without health care plans is a "crisis"? The stated goal of this plan is to spend $871 billion (that we do not have) to increase the percentage from 83 percent to 94 percent.

If I was a college student with a B or B+ in one course, I certainly would not spend extra effort to raise my grade to an A average when I was failing all my other courses. Health care needs reform, but right now we have a B average and we are failing everywhere else. Health care is not one of our inalienable rights. It needs to be adjusted and repaired but not now, not this way and not at this expense.



Health care plan is needed safety net

So there is an outcry from the GOP because a family of four, making $22,050 would become eligible for Medicaid in 2013; and the family making $250,000 would pay more in taxes.

Is the GOP proposing, that the chronically poor, sick, out-of-work, unfortunate people of this state just go away? If there is to be a "Medicaid explosion," it tells me that there is a great need.

As the only industrialized Western country, where a person can become bankrupt because of medical bills, (even with health insurance), I believe passage of the health care plan is a first step in providing a safety net for our citizens.

The GOP's stance in this issue is partisan and heartless. Higher taxes are not pleasant, but unfortunately living in a civilized society comes at a price.



We expect too much from government

More and more of the letters to the editor are from people who expect the world to change just for them. A mother wrote Friday ("U.S. health care system fails many") about health care for her adult daughter. The reality is that we do not live in a government utopia. Our government is one of limited powers granted by the people and enumerated in the Constitution.

That mother explained that she has an educated, highly intelligent adult daughter who works for a corporation that does not provide "affordable health care to its employees." The mother asks Rep. Joe Wilson how he would provide health care for her daughter. Now, that is an outrageous question. My immediate reaction when I read that letter was for the daughter to change jobs. If she can't do that in today's economy bogged down in one so-called government entitlement after another, then be thankful that her daughter has a job.

Health care is just another federal government "entitlement." The Supreme Court has said that no person is entitled to a valuable government benefit. Congress has no authority to tax and spend for subsidies to individuals. Read Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution. When you do, don't jump to conclusions about the meaning of the phrase "for the general welfare of the United States." The Supreme Court has said it means for the "States, the District of Columbia, and incorporated territories." Such grants to states must come within the enumerated powers or reasonably implied within those powers of Congress.



Power politics trump will of the people

The Senate's middle-of-the-night cloture vote was a victory of tyranny over democracy. Some think that any bill is better than nothing. That is twisted logic. This bill, under the pressure of an unreasonable deadline, represents Harry Reid imposing his will over the objections of the majority of Americans. It is a bill generated in secrecy with its true authors unknown. The cloture was passed only through the coercing of Sens. Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman.

Whatever happened to President Obama's campaign pledge to end politics as usual? This was politics at its filthiest. And what about his promises of transparency and bipartisanship? Were they empty words?

Thomas Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of democracy." We would all do well to heed this entreaty. We have forgotten to appreciate the sacrifices that our forebears have endured in order to provide for us the freedoms that we enjoy today - not just the founding fathers, but the efforts of those patriots such as Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King, who helped gain rights for women and minorities.

Everyone should write to his or her representatives in Congress to demand that the voice of the people be returned to him or her. All that we require is that which was promised: Transparency, bipartisanship and movement away from the power politics of the past. Some people say that they have faith in this politician or that. Faith is to be reserved only for God.

As for our political leaders, remind them that they work for us. In our republican form of government, they are obligated to enact the laws that we desire. The health care debate should be re-opened to the light of day, not the darkness of a closed room where the dictates of a few are trying to trump the collective wisdom of the American people.



Citizens need to keep up with changes in bill

In reply to the Dec. 17 letter, "Truth about health care is in the bill," I would like to congratulate Jack Easterwood on having slogged through H.R. 3200. Unfortunately, this is not the bill that was passed by the House of Representatives and his letter, therefore, gives misleading information. Mr. Easterwood now needs to read H.R. 3962. This bill was passed by the House and is awaiting conference. He should find that many of his concerns have been addressed. However, neither H.R. 3962 or the legislation before the Senate will survive in their current forms, as the House-Senate Conference Committee will arrive at the final language before submission to both chambers for their final votes. Once again, he will have plenty to read, digest and excerpt.

The legislative process is a long and arduous route from bill to law. We, as citizens, need to be involved during the entire process. However, when legislation has changed, we need to comment on what is current, not past . All would be better informed and half-truths and innuendo would be quashed.



GOP had chance to fix problems

What I would like to ask Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Joe Wilson is if they believe in reform for health care, clean air and water, and dependence on foreign oil, why wasn't some attempt made to address these issues during the years they were in control?

Rather than tackle these grave problems, they voted, based on faulty intelligence, to send our troops to invade and occupy Iraq instead of finishing off Osama bin Laden. Eight years later, and now what? The issues first mentioned have plagued us for many years, and their denial then and obstructionist tactics now are unbelievable. I would be very interested to hear their responses.