I write as concerned citizen and independent voter who supported Democrat and Republican presidential candidates during the past 10 years. The Dec. 18 opinion piece by Jack F. Huguelet, "After Obamacare Fails, What Comes Next?," is excellent. I have read everything in the press on the subject in the past two years. His is the most insightful. Mr. Huguelet should be invited on the Sunday talk shows. His arguments support a bedrock conservative principle that free-market solutions are usually orders-of-magnitude more effective than government programs which becomes a more profound observation when government takes over the complex insurance and health care industries, soon to be 20 percent of the economy. As Huguelet points out, Republicans think they can ride the managerial incompetency and pain of Obamacare to victory next election without presenting a coherent alternative plan. The mid-term elections represent an opportunity for citizens to reassert who is working for whom. Why let academics and politicians develop the health care policy framework? Consumers should articulate the principles upon which health care policy should be formulated. Consumers should put both parties on notice with respect to what constitutes acceptable health care policy.
KEVIN MITCHELL, Radnor, Pa.
With New Year's resolutions, consider the trend toward a healthy, eco-friendly, compassionate, meat-free diet. According to Harris Interactive, 47 percent of American consumers are reducing their consumption of animal products. USDA projects this year's per capita chicken and beef consumption to drop by 8 percent and 17 percent. Similar dramatic drops are projected for pork and turkey. Milk consumption has fallen by 40 percent since 1970. A number of celebrities are going vegan including Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres, Jay Z and Beyonce. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, PayPal founder Peter Thiel and Twitter founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams are funding plant-based replacements for meat and eggs. Fast-food chains like Subway and Chipotle are responding to the growing demand by rolling out vegan options. Taco Bell has found that 43 percent of conversations about meat were negative. The Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Diego school districts, serving more than a million meals a day, have adopted Meatless Mondays. How about dropping animals from the menu for this New Year's resolution? Entering "Meatout Mondays" in a search engine brings tons of useful recipes and transition tips.
TRISTAN BELL, Chattanooga