Health care is right — so give it to me now

To the editor:

I think most Americans agree that we have a serious health care crisis. Opinions regarding solutions are legion. Are we, as a nation, capable of rational solutions to this national emergency? More importantly, is our Congress capable?

We tend to describe ourselves as a religious nation, and all major religions emphasize the importance of caring for the least among us. We have 50 million citizens without health insurance, and millions more are under-insured. Do we not have a moral obligation to care for one another?

We are the only Western Democracy that does not provide basic health care for all its citizens. Will it be expensive? Of course. But we manage to fund our military, our law enforcement, our public highways, our firefighters, our schoolteachers, etc., etc. We do these things to "promote the general welfare" as our Constitution instructs. We also do these things because they are the right things to do.

These programs constitute "socialism" in that the government provides these services via taxation. I contend that health care should be regarded as a basic human right. I insist Congress be held as accountable to "we the people" as they are to the hordes of rapacious lobbyists prowling the hallways of Congress.

I urge my fellow citizens to contact our representatives and senators and demand meaningful health care reform that covers each of us.

Ronald J. Shy



Money saver?

To the editor:

I’ve gotten used to the incompetence, greed and dishonesty of our elected officials. They’re only human. What still bothers me is that they obviously think we — the public — are idiots.

For example, Harry Reid’s column in Sunday’s paper ("Health insurance reform will benefit Nevadans") promises more health insurance coverage to more people while saving money at the same time but provides no clue as to how he thinks this wonderful feat will be accomplished.

I think it’s great and long overdue that we outlaw some of the common insurance industry practices regarding pre-existing conditions and being dropped from coverage because you get sick. Bravo. What took you so long?

But as I see it, setting up the insurance industry as the villain is a blatant attempt to draw attention away from the fact that there’s no explanation in this column (or anywhere that I’ve seen) about how Sen. Reid expects to save money while increasing both benefits and the number of people eligible to receive them.

Sen. Reid’s column states that "518,000 Nevada residents could get affordable coverage." I’ve heard "affordable coverage" quite a few times in during the health care debate, but what I’ve never heard — and what I’d really like to hear — is what exactly President Barack Obama and Sen. Reid think affordable coverage is, in dollars per month.

But what frosts me the most is when Sen. Reid pats himself on the back for being "transparent" because the bill is posted on his Web site. The bill is 2,074 pages long.

If you want to shoot for transparency, how about not wasting our time with the pap in this column and explaining clearly and straightforwardly how much you think this bill will cost in premiums and taxes and how you think this bill will save money?

Dave Newton



Not so simple

To the editor:

In response to R.A. Salter’s letter about health care reform:

Mr. Salter obviously doesn’t like the health care bill, and wants to vote our representatives out of office. He believes that health care reform is needed, but thinks that tort reform would be a major step forward. I believe tort reforms have been enacted in 33 states including Nevada over the past 20 years. Most of these reforms have put into place major restrictions on non-compensatory damage awards.

How have these tort reforms affected skyrocketing health-care costs?

Just look at our state, we have among the highest health-care costs in the entire country. It’s going to take a lot more than tort reform to turn this health-care pig around. Why do you think the bill is 2,000 pages long? It’s not as simple as Mr. Salter thinks it is.

Gerry Hageman



Learn Chinese

To the editor:

According to an Associated Press story in the Dec. 14 Review-Journal, Democrats in the Senate — led by our own Harry Reid — have passed a $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill, and will need to increase the debt limit to $12.1 trillion to accommodate the full spending for next fiscal year. But they are considering a debt ceiling of $14 trillion to increase the size of government once again.

Are you kidding me? Are these people crazy? They are certifiably insane.

These funds to not belong to them, they belong to me, to you, our grandkids and to all of our neighbors across this country. We will soon be owned lock, stock and barrel by China, which for some reason continues to buy our debt.

President Barack Obama was adamant about vetoing any spending bill that contained earmarks. But Mr. Obama changed his mind again, saying he will sign this monster. Sen. Harry Reid is quoted as saying: "Every bill that is passed, every project that is funded, and every job that is created helps America take another step forward on the road of economic recovery." What jobs is he talking about? What planet is Sen. Reid from, and what do they smoke there?

You don’t have to be a Ph.D. in economics to realize this level of spending will not only kill economic recovery, but the world’s golden goose as well. Soon the government will need to fund Chinese language lessons in schools so we can communicate with our new owners.

Oh yes, the bill includes a raise of at least 2 percent for all federal workers.

Bruce Blough


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