Letters to the Editor — March 31, 2017
Honest media needed to challenge leaders
In July 2015, United States officials announced that it traced to the Chinese government the hacking of the personnel records of 22.1 million current and retired federal employees, including mine. I know of no reporter who has challenged President Xi at a press conference over this factual historic breach of a federal government database.
Last week, a German reporter at a White House press conference challenged President Trump over his tweet concerning former President Obama approving a wiretap of the Trump campaign. To date, the tweet has been revealed to have no basis in fact. The German reporter is now celebrated as a rockstar in Germany.
I won’t even bother to get into the proven case of Russia shooting down a passenger plane over Ukraine and President Putin’s unchallenged denials of Russian involvement before a “home audience.”
Like Diogenes the Cynic, with my day lamp I am still in search of an honest reporter, or an honest media outlet for that matter.
Reader analyzes ‘the Trump Care debacle’
President Trump, like former President Obama, allegedly wanted every American to have health care to promote the “general welfare.” Wasn’t that one of the “ideals” espoused in the Preamble to the Constitution?
However, Trump Care contained super flaws. It only entitled citizens to “access” healthcare if they could afford it. It would have been unaffordable for seniors between 50 and 64 years old. Block grants to the states for Medicaid after 2019 would have been equivalent to issuing Band-Aids to citizens. It was just a terrible bill. Instead, it served to help the very wealthy pay less income taxes.
In contrast, Obamacare “mandated” Americans to purchase health care [insurance] and provided affordable subsidies for the less well-off by imposing higher taxes on the very wealthy. Obamacare provided free yearly preventive physical and mental health checkups.
A roadmap of 10 comprehensive “essential benefits” included in Obamacare enabled all-inclusive patient treatments, fostering the possibility for all Americans to become productive citizens and achieve the “American dream.”
In copy-cat fashion, Trump Care was going to insure all Americans with pre-existing conditions, as well as children under 26 on their parent’s health care plan, and eliminate lifetime caps. The rest of the Trump Care bill was all downhill.
Evaluating the income levels of all Americans, thanks in part to the IRS, resulted in Obamacare mandating that wealthier people who could afford it would pay more for their healthcare plans.
In contrast, under Trump Care, higher taxes on the wealthy would not be mandated to chip in for paying for the pre-existing medical risk pools, Medicaid and affordable subsidies for the majority of working middle-class Americans.
Medicaid insurance for the poor, children, seniors, disabled, would be closed to potential enrollees after 2019. Cheaper block grant coverage to the states would have served as a Band-Aid insurance in place of Medicaid as we knew it.
Medicare and Social Security cuts would have been next to see the chopping block by the hard-right conservatives who are against safety-net programs. The military would be trumped up immensely with taxpayer dollars instead. Big pharma and health insurance company profits would continue to make billions of dollars.
In summary, instead of keeping Americans healthy and productive, the mantra of making America great again would ring hallow, as America evolved into a super-military-industrial oligarchic banana republic. Is this what we voted for?
On March 13, 2017, Juan Williams, Fox News contributor, wrote an article in “The Hill” titled “An unpleasant Trump Care surprise.” He pointed out facts illustrating that many Senate Republicans led a successful effort to sabotage Obamacare over the last eight years. Mr. Williams went on to cite studies supporting Obamacare.
In December of 2016, Standard & Poor’s investment rating service advised that an increasing number of insurance companies participating in Obamacare would make money this year. Likewise, the Congressional Budget Office recently reported that Obamacare would cost one-third less than originally projected. Pew Research Center and Kaiser Family Foundation recently reported record high levels of increased support for Obamacare.
All these findings have been met with a deaf ear by the repeal-and-replace-Obamacare Republicans. Their vendetta has served to further divide us, evidenced by their refusal to work on repairing and replacing any of the flaws in Obamacare.
Reader calls out Mitchell on column
Guest columnist Perry Mitchell wrote an interesting column on presidential lies over the years. It was mainly focused on President Trump’s charges that he had been wiretapped by the Obama administration.
But now it has become known that NSA did indeed have President Trump’s phone conversations under surveillance. It is true his phone wasn’t wiretapped, but “wiretap” has often been used as a generality for surveillance.
Regardless, using the word wiretap instead of surveillance hardly rises to the level as one of the great lies of our presidents.
Mitchell also completely ignored some of President Obama’s whoppers over the years, like his famous “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” and his numerous references to ISIS being the “J.V. team.”