Today at 2 p.m. at the Chattanooga Public Library, there will be an opportunity for Tennesseans to state their opposition to TennCare Waiver Amendment 42, an assault on our state's already stressed health care system. This amendment is an attempt to replace the current TennCare system with a block grant. If unopposed, this block grant will affect Tennessee's most vulnerable citizens and cause harm to rural communities. Gov. Bill Lee's goal with this block grant is to save money and remove TennCare from federal oversight.

In the past two years, Tennessee removed 200,000 children from its rolls, led the nation in failed rural hospitals and saw the third largest increase in uninsured citizens in the nation. It is clear that TennCare needs more accountability, not less. When Gov. Lee talks about the "savings" of removing $2 billion from this already failing safety net, he is not talking about saving human lives.

Dr. Buzz Sienknecht, M.D.


Abandoning Kurds is shameful betrayal

I am a retired member of U.S. armed forces. Like many of my brothers and sisters in arms, I am appalled by the decision of the U.S. to abandon the Kurds. The Syrian Kurds have been a trusting ally and one which has done more than any others, and even the United States, to defeat the ISIL. As one who has worked with Syrian Kurds, I can assure you that they are the most honest, loyal and very effective force. They are peace-loving, but when called upon to defend themselves and their allies, they are a fierce force.

One of the qualities of U.S. military personnel is "honor." I feel that mine has been severely wounded by this cowardly action.

Of equal importance to the horrible damage to the Kurds is our future relations with the rest of the world. What foreign governments will trust us again? I hope senators, when they vote on the coming impeachment of the president, will put justice ahead of party loyalty after studying the evidence.

Maj. Noel "Mick" Spencer

U.S. Marine Corps

Dayton, Tennessee


Use local folks in pictures, stories

On the front page of the Business section of the TFP on Oct. 11 was a 5-by-7 picture in living color of an 81-year-old man from West Melbourne, Fla.

He is standing by a row of tomato plants. The article is from The Associated Press and concerns the 1.6% cost-of-living increase from Social Security in 2020.

Here is my question. Can the paper not find anyone in Chattanooga that has tomato plants, is retired and happy to get an increase in SS, even if it is a modest amount?

I am not interested in Joe from Florida.

If you need a picture, I have a female friend who lives on Signal Mountain, has tomato plants and she is 82.

Keep it simple.

Ruth Cote



Gun violence cartoon was in poor taste

I understand political cartoons. They will anger some while receiving cheers from others, depending on which side of the fence one sits. However, the Coyote Jack's cartoon featured on Oct. 10 (Chattanooga Times, page B6) paper is beyond poor taste. It's despicable, uncalled for and just plain disrespectful of those who have died and been injured in and out of the establishment's doors.

Gun violence is devastating to our communities and should never be made into a joke, political cartoon or otherwise. Shame on the TFP for even considering to print it.

Judy Gallagher

East Ridge