published Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Letters to the Editor



Positive attitude extends to car help

I would like to thank Sgt. Greg Carson, Hamilton County police officer, for going out of his way to help me.

Earlier last week, I was pulling my boat and trailer back from a fishing trip and stopped to get gas for my truck and had a flat tire. Carson not only assisted me, he practically changed the tire by himself. We always seem to hear negative things about our officers but not the positive things they do. Carson not only was very helpful, he was very pleasant and professional.

I thank him again for his help, and I would like for everyone to know we are fortunate to have professional men and women like Carson who every day protect and care for the citizens of our county.

BOB YOUNG, Ooltewah



Act provides better care for people

I thought the main objective of the health care debate is to find a way to better provide health care for the people. Let's focus on what the Affordable Care Act can do for us.

One, it frees Americans from discrimination when insurance companies deny women health insurance because they are pregnant, or refuse to provide coverage to children who are born with disabilities.

Secondly, the Affordable Care Act provides Americans with more freedom and control in their health care choices.

Third, it provides people the freedom to change jobs without worrying about losing one's health insurance, or even retire a little earlier without having to worry about losing one's coverage.

Let's look out for the good of the people. If you are worried about the cost, remember by rolling back the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are adding a trillion dollars to the deficit.

NICHOLETTE GORDON, Antioch, Tenn.



Unions' decline harms nation

In response to a letter (Feb. 2): Bulls-eye, right on target. Labor unions have declined along with the prosperity of our country. Today's companies have filled the pockets of CEOs and reaped record profits, while leaving workers struggling to pay bills and put food on their tables for our families.

In the 1970s, an average company CEO's pay was 27 times that of the average worker's pay. Today it is more than 275 times that of an average worker's pay.

Companies can afford to pay big bonuses and huge salaries but can't afford to pay workers a decent wage or provide affordable health care.

That's the reason we need collective bargaining agreements to improve wages, health insurance and establish retirement plans. Union wages help build a strong America, not destroy it.

JOHN L. TROTTER JR., UFCW Local 1995, Executive Board, Trenton, Ga.



Health reform offers some hope

You might not need health care reform, but I do. I presently have a private policy with a $2,600 deductible, and yesterday, I found out my premium just went up another $40 per month.

One might say, "It's that 'Obama' care.'' How wrong! For over five years, my premium has gone up $50 per month every year. I keep reducing my benefits so that I can afford the monthly payment and not lose everything we have saved over the years should I get a catastrophic illness.

Once again, today, I will make another call. I will increase my deductible to $5,000 a year and pray that I stay reasonably healthy. My situation is not nearly as dire as some.

My husband and I live on $72,000 per year, and my health insurance is $4,200 per year; not so bad if it covered my care, but mostly it doesn't until I've paid $2,600 out of pocket, soon to be $5,000 out of pocket ... plus another 30 percent in both cases. As insurance companies get richer and richer, I am just sitting here hoping not to get "too'' sick.

It took a long time to get a health care bill. Please, no repeal which would return us to the past; it would take us back to square one, with no hope at all. At least now, we have some hope!

SYBIL BRADLEY, Cumming, Ga.



Let's hope Haslam's awareness improves

I would like to give our new governor the benefit of the doubt as he begins his new political office.

Two things, however, inspire me to speak out.

The governor says he is concerned about electing Tennessee's attorney general. He is worried about the attorney general focusing more on his political career than protecting the state's interests. I wonder if he is speaking from personal experience as the past mayor of Knoxville. The last I knew that was an elected office and now he is governor. You've got to wonder.

He has also frozen proposed rules and regulations. Come to find out that this "freeze" directly favors his family owned Pilot Corp. The governor claims ignorance of the benefits of his actions to his family owned business. You've got to wonder. Hopefully his logic and awareness will improve greatly as he gets further into his administration.

TED deWOLF, Crossville, Tenn.



Church's actions serve to unite

There are some people and groups who can unite our country. The Westboro Baptist Church belongs in this category. They are the ones who protest the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan maintaining the soldiers' deaths are the wrath of God on this country for allowing homosexuality. Expanding their outreach, they recently also blamed the shootings in Tucson to God's wrath. I'm waiting for them to link the bed bug epidemic to it as well.

They do give people a rallying point. No matter if you're Democrat or Republican, left wing or right wing, believer or nonbeliever, most people are united in the way they feel about the Westboro Baptist Church, who use the First Amendment to protest at funerals holding signs thanking God for IEDs, cheering the deaths of soldiers and telling mourners that their loved ones are in Hell.

We need to salute them for in such divisive times by bringing us together, and it doesn't take a great deal of effort ... we need only lift a single finger.

TERENCE HOUSMAN, Hixson



Give people same benefits as Congress

Congress, we want the same benefits that you have.

Living in the "Bible Belt," I cannot help but wonder why all of these "Christians" could vote against helping their fellow Americans in correcting all the financial raping that the health insurance companies have enjoyed over the last 30 years!

We want the same benefits that you in Congress enjoy. If you were really concerned about us, you would give up your free medical and dental benefits that we pay for you and your families!

Ask yourselves: "I wonder how Jesus Christ would have voted."

Also, we want to know how much money you have taken from the health insurance lobbies. Tell us!

WILLIAM SIMPSON



New health law can lower costs

I am surprised by the anger at, and attempts to repeal, the health care law insurance mandate.

When people go to a hospital emergency room, they must be treated whether or not they have insurance. The hospital then has to charge paying customers much more to make up the loss.

The new law would help insure people who are unable to afford insurance, or who are refused insurance because of prior illness. This will make medical care cheaper for everyone.

The only people who will suffer from the health care reforms are those who do not want to buy insurance and would prefer for everyone else to be paying their bills ... in other words, deadbeats.

This strikes me as being very similar to laws requiring that people who drive have car insurance.

SHARON N. FARBER, M.D.

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