The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

LETTERS FROM THE COMMUNITY

 

September 6, 2017

Time to extend popular Medicare

In 2009 all Republican and two Democratic senators killed the Affordable Care Act's proposed "public option" that likely would have led to national single-payer health care (Medicare-for-all). Although vastly superior in coverage and more equitably affordable than Republicans' recent draconian bills, ObamaCare may hardly cut overall costs. Fortunately, single-payer Medicare-for-all would both greatly cut costs and markedly increase ObamaCare's improved coverage, impossible until health insurance companies lose control.

Canadian single-payer universal health care costs only 60 percent of US care, with better results (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.). Despite US insurance companies' misleading ads, the Canadian system is also very popular. The evidence? When May 2011 elections gave Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper a conservative Parliamentary majority, guaranteeing passage of any conservative legislation, he immediately assured Canadians of no change in their single-payer system. Moreover, the late Tommy Douglas, who introduced Canadian single-payer in the 1960s, was accordingly voted all-time greatest Canadian in a 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation survey.

University of Toronto researchers determined the US could save $27.6 billion yearly adopting Canada's single-payer system (National Journal, 8/4/11). A new survey of US physicians shows 42 percent "strongly" favor single-payer and another 14 percent "somewhat" so (Forbes, 8/13/17).

Let's extend popular Medicare to everyone!

Norm Luther

Spokane

Stop fighting each other and focus on the real problem!

Recently, we've seen much news about rallies, protests, and counter-protests where White Nationalist, Nazi, ALT Right and other groups described as right-leaning face off against and ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and other left-leaning groups (reminiscent of Dr. Seuss' North and South going Zax). Propagandists keep stoking the hatred while the two sides may share one thing besides violence in an ironic way.

Consider recent history of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement that spawned Bernie Sanders and the Tea Party movement. Both movements, which in many ways parallel today's, decried the cozy relationship between politicians and corporations. Occupy points to the seediness of large corporations influencing policy by donating huge sums to campaigns and other causes of politicians. The Tea Party saw taxes expanding too much as a result of all these policies and causes. In short, both Occupy and the Tea Party saw the lobbyist/politician transactions as bad, but Occupy blames mostly the corporations while the Tea Party mostly blames the politicians. If all just open their eyes, they would see both were correct. We saw the result play out in the November election. Unfortunately, many of the largest corporations joined long-term politicians to form "The Establishment" where morality and party affiliation no longer matter. Like him or not, Trump ran against "The Establishment" much as Bernie did.

Let's stop being distracted by "The Establishment" manipulators telling us to tear down statues, to see BLM and ANTIFA as terrorist organizations, to assume the tiny number of nazis at a rally represents Republican Party. We must focus on the real problem, the ensconced, fortified, malignancy of elites in "The Establishment." Term limits for the elected and career time limits for the bureaucrats, I say!

Steve Kenny

Goldendale

 

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