Medicare proposal a step backward

Medicare proposal a step backward

May 8th, 2011 in Opinion Letters

Medicare proposal a step backward

The Republicans' plan to change Medicare would leave those now under 55 without health insurance in their retirement. This is a poor attempt to balance the budget on the backs of the American people. The Republican plan will make retirees pay much more in out-of-pocket fees and turn the Medicare program into a voucher that won't pay their current necessities.

Americans have made it clear that they will not sit back while House Republicans end Medicare and raise health care costs for our seniors. This reform will hurt our fragile economic recovery by keeping tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while forcing our seniors to be at the whims of the private insurance industry. Phasing out Medicare is not the correct solution to cutting federal spending. Instead of targeting our senior citizens, Congress should focus its attention on the corporations that have never been richer than they are right now.

Every Republican congressman in Georgia has voted for the newly proposed budget. Georgians must remind their representatives who they represent. Government should keep its promises to our citizens. Insisting our seniors pay more and more each year for Medicare is a step backward and wrong for the country.

RICHARD RAY

Georgia AFL-CIO

President

Atlanta, Ga.

Democrats don't understand 'broke'

Democrats will do anything for votes. Recently, the House passed legislation funding the military, including troop pay, through the end of this fiscal year. The Senate speaker, Harry Reid, refused to bring it up for vote. It finally passed after much anguish.

The Obama machine wanted to shut down the government for political gain.

If soldiers under fire weren't paid, tough! There were probably few places in Afghanistan or Iraq to spend the money. The welfare checks, food stamps, Section 8 housing, etc. would continue.

Letters from yellow-dog Democrats demonizing Republicans for wanting to make seniors eat dog food appear daily. Letters praising FDR, the great progressive, abound. Then, trite letter upon trite letter from these liberal hacks. Your readers know them by name.

What do they not understand about the words "broke" and "can't pay for it"? Had Obama, Reid and the Pelosi-controlled House passed a budget any time last year, we would not have had that problem. Now, we are facing a debt increase bill. With the government's daily income, the debt interest can be paid. What then is necessary can be paid from a prioritized list. We just have to pay the essentials.

HORTON HERRIN

Dalton, Ga.

Elect GOP to mess up government

Make no mistake about it; Rep. Paul Ryan's budget that Republican representatives voted for would ruin Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

They may need to be tweaked slightly now and then, but not totally destroyed - just so the obscenely rich can get more for their yachts or second houses.

The teabag shakers would turn us into a Third World oligarchy!

If you want to be sure that government is as messed up as possible, just elect Republicans. Their absurd motto is: "Keep giving all our wealth to the ultra-rich and we will somehow get jobs!"

Bush/Cheney trillion-dollar giveaways wrecked our budget surplus from 2000!

What is our GOP state government doing - photo ID (poll tax), deregulation (to ensure more polluted air and water), denying job bargaining rights for teachers and other workers, etc.

As for our war machine, our so-called defense, 60 percent of our entire budget, which is 43 percent of the whole world's military spending, goes to our "military-industrial complex" - just what Ike warned us against. We have the ability to destroy the world many times over, and keep adding on - what a waste of money and resources.

WALTER M. BENTON

Signal Mountain

Bin Laden's death cause for celebration

I was reading the paper and ran across a section of local reactions to the death of Osama bin Laden.

One reaction that caught my interest said that it bothers her that we are celebrating his death.

That man was pure 100 percent evil. He could not be bargained with. He could not be reasoned with. He felt no remorse or guilt for anything he did (including killing innocent women and children), and he would have never stopped, ever, until every American was dead.

If you do not like the way Americans are celebrating the death of that monster, why don't you go live in the Middle East?

JOHN WALTER

Cleveland, Tenn.

To Obama: Elections have consequences

Obama now claims he wants "broader bipartisan effort." I wonder where this philosophy was last year when his party controlled Congress and they rammed ObamaCare through with all the secret late-night meetings and votes that included, and asked for no Republican input whatsoever? Remember, Mr. President, as you so eloquently stated, elections have consequences.

CHUCK PARHAM

Rossville

Remains disposal not inhumane

It's been three decades since I've been angered enough to express emotions in this open forum format, so here goes.

As stated by several Muslim authorities, the sea burial of Osama bin Laden violated Muslim tradition, and I quote, "runs contrary to the principles of Islamic laws, religious values and humanitarian customs."

I don't pretend to know the religious affiliations of all the victims who had their remains blown from the skies and buried under hundreds of tons of toxic debris. But I would reasonably assume that families of our 9/11 brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers would call the disposal of their remains inhumane.

Please, no more coverage of what Muslin tradition warns us is uncivilized.

Am I weary of the political correctness that has invaded all arenas of common sense?

You better believe I am.

CATHY ELKINS

Cleveland, Tenn.

State should work to reduce smoking

By 2020, every state may have bans on smoking in most indoor spaces, federal officials predicted last week.

While success with the smoke-free movement has expanded into 25 states in 11 years, only half of U.S. residents are currently covered by indoor smoking bans, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control estimate.

Tobacco addiction remains the No. 1 preventable cause of illness and death in the nation. Tennessee's tobacco costs are staggering! For every dollar the state receives from all sources related to tobacco, it spends $5 in health care costs!

Continuing on this path is not financially sustainable.

Tennessee can do better. Very little of Tennessee's payments from the Master Settlement Agreement funds (millions annually since 1998) has ever been used for tobacco education and youth prevention.

For 2011, Tennessee projects 0.1 in prevention spending as a percentage of state tobacco revenues.

In a few more years, this large source of (tobacco company) funding will be gone forever.

Continuing to put so little into tobacco use prevention and cessation ignores a devastating health and financial outcome.

It is time for a serious, sustainable plan to address this issue now. Ask your legislators how we can turn this around. We can't afford not to.

DIANNE FILLMAN

Smoke Free Chattanooga

Coalition

City on the ball in brush removal

We were blessed to have escaped the recent tornadoes and severe weather with hardly any damage to our house.

Even so, there were several large branches and tree debris that fell, and we placed all of this debris on the sidewalk for pickup. Even though I had not yet called 311, they came within a week and removed the brush anyway.

It makes me happy to see that the level of brush-service work is of a very high first-world standard, even when there is so much work to do right now. Good work in the recovery effort!

ROWAN JOHNSON