LETTERS: Reid deploys what he once decried

To the editor:

Dear Sen. Harry Reid: Webster’s dictionary defines a dissembler as “one who puts on a false appearance; conceals facts, intentions, or feelings under some pretense.” Likewise, hypocrite is defined as “one who affects virtues or qualities he does not have.” As a result of your action to invoke the so-called “nuclear option” in the Senate, you can be referred to as both.

Apparently, you do not recall your own words or those of then-Sen. Barack Obama, when Republicans controlled the Senate and considered invoking the nuclear option. In 2005, you stated that doing so would be “an outrageous abuse of power,” and Sen. Obama said that such action would put an end to democratic debate. This past summer you said the nuclear option was only about nominees, not judges. Sorry Sen. Reid, but I see this as another example of incrementalism.

Your history demonstrates very well that you are not going to be satisfied stopping the GOP only with respect to executive nominees or federal judges. We live under a constitutional republic, wherein we voters elect representatives to Congress. Our government was designed with clearly defined powers, meaning that the legislative, executive and judicial branches each have specific roles to play. Our system of government was designed to move slowly, deliberately and with careful consideration through debate.

It is apparent that you and the president have decided that our system of government is somehow inadequate and needs to be changed. As a result, you have done your best to effectively eliminate the ability of the opposition party to offer perspectives contrary to your own.

Someday, the Democrats will find themselves in the minority in the Senate. It will be most amusing when the shoe is on the other foot, unless you decide to change the rules regarding elections, too.



Police and animals

To the editor:

I was listening to a local news channel reporting that people are upset because police were shooting too many dogs at a possible crime area, needlessly so. I don’t think there is anyone in this world who loves animals more than I do. But I strongly support the police who protect themselves when large dogs are charging toward them and can’t be controlled.

It’s time to turn off the Disney Channel and protect oneself first, and ask questions later. Dog bites hurt badly, and the rabies shots required after being bitten by an infected animal hurt even worse.



Amending Obamacare

To the editor:

The main purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to provide health insurance to the uninsured millions in the United States. The president promised the Affordable Care Act would not affect current insurance plans. But extending the requirements of this law (coverage of pre-existing conditions without penalty, no maximum benefit limits, etc.) will definitely increase the cost of current insurance plans.

Consequently, many insured people have faced either cancellation or a substantial increase in out-of-pocket costs. Also, the increased cost to employers, particularly small business, is economically unfavorable.

Therefore, the act should be amended to exempt current insurance plans from the above requirements. Those who prefer one of the new plans under the law are free to choose such a plan.

Also, in addition to extending the enrollment deadline and solving the current website problems, there should be a stand-by, simple system to enroll in Obamacare. How about printed application forms and publications of different plans mailed out and placed in post offices and public libraries all over the country? And toll-free phone numbers could be provided to those who need enrollment assistance and information.



Health care costs

To the editor:

In response to Gerry Hageman’s Nov. 21 letter (“Health care: Then vs. now”), if the government is going to require you to purchase health care, then it might as well provide it for you. Our country was in need of health care reform, but we did not get the reform that was needed. More regulations needed to be put on how much the insurance company can charge. Businesses should have been required to offer insurance to their entire workforce.

Private health insurance has been expensive. Some Americans caught a break because their employers paid part of the premiums. There should have been limits put on the companies so that they would offer decent coverage, for a decent price.

Many employers offer health insurance even to their part-time workers. A lot of people choose to decrease their health coverage because it is expensive and they cannot afford for it to be taken out of their paycheck. If the insurance companies were kept in check, and businesses offered to pay a portion of the premiums, more people would have health insurance.

If the insurance companies were required to only offer plans that covered basic needs, and to not charge exorbitant amounts for those plans, businesses could afford to offer it to their employees.



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