Medicare for All our best solution
Star Parker did a pretty good job enumerating causes of problems facing Medicare funding. Since her solution was to turn over Medicare "to a market-based system" instead of a government-based system, she failed to enumerate how Medicare Advantage has hastened the Medicare Trust Fund decline.
The Clinton administration in 1997 wanted to "privatize Medicare," and to do it they had to pay a premium to the insurance companies. With this rebate, as it is known, which each enrollee in Medicare Advantage through an insurance company has, the company gets $2,350 a year over and above the average cost to administer traditional Medicare. This number has doubled since 2018.
As a member of Physicians For a National Health plan, I recently had a letter informing me of the coming release of a study showing Advantage plans overcharge Medicare by up to $140 billion a year.
Regular Medicare administration is very efficient with overhead in the mid-single digits. There are clear rules about what they won't and will pay for. With Medicare Advantage, you are dealing with an insurance company with varying levels of copays, denial of services, prior authorization and out of network charges.
Medicare for All, a single-payer system for the entire nation, is the way out of the coming Medicare mess. We are one of the few industrialized countries which hasn't come to this realization.
Demonizing makes devils of us all
We Americans of all stripes are victims of our own making. When not personally demonizing fellow citizens, we turn to certain self-serving media, well known for fabricating "news" and stoking hate, to recharge our prejudices and indulge our self-righteousness.
Our behavior is not only divisive, it's dangerous.
Several members of Congress support, or at least condone, the hideous violence perpetrated on Israel by Hamas. This abhorrent behavior is not consistent with democracy, the rule of law or common decency. A very wise man once said, "You have heard it said, 'Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement'; but I say unto you, that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgement ..."
We've dismissed his advice, choosing instead to convene our own kangaroo court of opinion. The enduring truth is that we need each other — to protect us from ourselves — our own excesses which inevitably turn us into the demons we project onto others.
Don't include Dems in speaker ouster
Your front page headline, "McCarthy ousted by far right, Dems," is a classic example of misdirection and misinformation. Kevin McCarthy lost the speakership of the U.S. House of Representatives because he angered a group of extreme radical Republicans, who then pushed him out of office. It was not the job of the House Democrats to step in and save his position, and indeed, why should they when he has spent his time as speaker waging partisan warfare against them? He even blamed the Democrats for his own failure to keep the radicals in line.
Kevin McCarthy is no longer speaker because members of his own party refused to support him. The unfortunate craven who holds the speakership next will also be there because a majority of members of the House Republican Party support him or her. This is a Republican mess. The Times Free Press should not portray it as bipartisan.
Reader not 'proud' of recent Times editorial
A recent Chattanooga Times editorial bragging about homosexuality in animals was a fool's errand.
God did not put mankind and animals on the same level. Man was to rule over all the animals, not emulate them.
The fact is, the Bible warns mankind not to have same-sex relations.
So, with regard to another foolish Times editorial, promoting "pride,'' "pride marches'' and being "proud'' is actually being on a collision course with our Maker. That's a mistake with sad consequences, for eternity.
Why are debt hounds agents of chaos?
A major battle is being waged in Congress right now, and it is a "David vs. Goliath"-type contest. It revolves around the federal budget. The vast majority of the American people want the government to curtail serious overspending habits and bring the federal debt of more than $33 trillion down to a more manageable level.
The vast majority of our politicians have no appetite for this. They want to spend, spend, spend. Most of the private sector powerbrokers profit from the government's overspending. All the lobbyists push for this to continue.
Only a handful of Republicans in the House seem to be willing to engage in the brutal battle to try to reduce spending. And some of these are very courageous fighters.
But now they are being vilified and pilloried by the media and even members of their own party. They are being falsely accused of being agents of chaos.
They are simply fighting to bring the horrific debt and overspending habits under control. The ever-rising inflationary spiral that is hurting all Americans will not be curtailed unless the federal budget can be brought back under control again.
Approves Thomas's takedown of Trump
The Oct. 8 Chattanooga Free Press opinion page contained an attention-grabbing Cal Thomas column titled "Republican voters: Trump is not a great man." What's this? A serious right-of-center Republican bashing Trump? Pointing out flaws that make other Republicans far better presidential candidates? This I must read!
Thomas began by pointing out Trump's disrespect for the military and his exemption from service due to a limp caused by "bone spurs." He wrote of Trump saying that Gen. Milley should be executed for treason and that KIAs, POWs and wounded veterans were "suckers and losers" because there had been "nothing in it for them," not to mention his contempt for Gold Star families.
Trump's Truth Social platform has posted a sketch of Jesus sitting by his side. Thomas called Trump's comparison of his legal woes with the persecution and suffering of Jesus blasphemy. And his dirty politics and exploitation of women make him a poor candidate. Thomas sums it up by writing that all this and more "says a lot about his followers' low requirements for high office." Trump does not measure up to Republican standards.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Cal Thomas is hoping that good Republicans will step forward and do something rather than let the MAGA crowd continue to intimidate the party and its elected leaders.
Grady S. Burgner
Moving Trump to trash heap of history
I am reluctant to write this letter because I feel so strongly that I am absolutely correct on the issues and facts. They are so clear to me, but how can we get the attention of naysayers?
How can anyone stand with an American citizen who has no understanding or feelings of service to our country? Demeaning statements about military heroes need to be taken as expressions of one's true feelings. Calling for the death penalty of a decorated general who served that individual effectively and without reservation is out of bounds. Wow! Referring to prisoners of war as not deserving of our respect is outrageous.
All this from a citizen who practiced business fraud for years and still expects to be admired, even re-elected? Donald Trump and his enablers should be moved to the trash heap of history, relegated to the rearview mirror, to be referred to as examples of lives having damaged our democracy, to be condemned and not celebrated. We need to learn from history.