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Letters 12-23-2013

- December 23rd, 2013  

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Obamacare’s good deal

It’s true that Obamacare led my daughter’s insurance company to decide to drop her plan. But guess what? Thanks to Obamacare, she will be getting better coverage from the same company at lower cost.

I recently heard an announcement for a fundraiser to help cover the medical expenses of a child who required an extended hospitalization. I hope the fundraiser was a great success and the child is doing well. I’m also grateful President Obama stared down the forces of evil that fought ruthlessly to perpetuate a system in which so many families in such situations face financial ruin. Thanks to Obamacare, that will no longer be the case starting next year.

Many people either can’t afford preventive care, or put off preventive care due to its high cost. Thanks to Obamacare, these people will have no problem obtaining preventive services in the future, as these services will generally be covered at no cost by their affordable insurance policies. Needless to say, this will be extremely beneficial to these individuals, as well as to society as a whole.

Obamacare, or more fittingly ObamaCares, is not perfect, but it’s a huge improvement over the status quo. Thank you President Obama and the Democrats.

Fred Cepela • TC

GOP’s desperate attacks

An irony in the monumental fight over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is that most Democrats prefer a single-payer system (Medicare-For-All), demonstrably the most efficient and economical method of healthcare delivery. But because such a system was a political non-starter with Republicans, President Obama proposed legislation that was until recently the Republican health program, one that preserved private insurance, in accord with Republican ideas of market exchanges and individual mandates – a program that in no way could be called “socialized medicine.”

Nonetheless, the distortions and obstruction began immediately, as Republicans rejected their own idea. You know things are crazy when Mitt Romney abandons his own wildly successful program in Massachusetts in order to become the Republican nominee for president. As Republicans now have absolutely no program of their own, all they can do is try to destroy the ACA.

Now that the glitches in the initial ACA rollout are being repaired and people are signing up in droves, the attacks are getting truly desperate. With GOP blessing, the Koch brothers are running a multi-million dollar campaign to persuade people not to sign up for health insurance. Think about it: self-described “conservatives” advising young people not to think ahead, not to worry, accidents don’t happen.

It’s the Democrats who are looking ahead. They will not settle for the bad old days of bankruptcies, suffering, and death. Despite its initial problems, Americans will continue to sign up for the ACA because it is their best hope of securing protection they desperately need and have been denied.

In a saner and more ethical political climate, Republicans would actually help to make Obamacare work – to finally address the scandal of the richest and most powerful country in the world unable to figure out how to provide health care for all its citizens.

Mary M. Easthope Lake Leelanau

Guns & screwdrivers

Recently, I bought a gun at a sporting good store that required a background check that took about 3 minutes. The next day I stood in line at Sears about 5 minutes to buy a screwdriver set that was on sale. Is Sears trying to take my tools away? p.s. Tomorrow I can sell both at a garage sale to anyone, no wait.

Terry Frysinger • Frankfort

Mandela's legacy

Nelson Mandela is being acclaimed worldwide for his role in managing the peaceful transition from apartheid to democracy in South Africa. Without Mandela, South Africa would have otherwise become a bloodbath.

For over 40 years, the conservative movement largely opposed Mandela, supporting apartheid as a bulwark against communist influence in Africa. Misguided, ends justifying means, anti-communist paranoia has been part of the world’s greatest democracy’s lasting shame.

Since the 1950s, we have supported oppressive regimes everywhere solely in the name of anti-communism. The people of Cuba, Vietnam, Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Guatemala and dozens of other countries will never forget our interference with their self-determination.

In 1986, Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act which triggered the end of apartheid. Then President Reagan referred to this effort to pressure the minority racist South African government through disinvestment and other sanctions as “immoral” and “utterly repugnant.” Fortunately 31 Republican Senators out of 53, joined with Democrats to override Reagan’s veto. Reagan even listed Mandela’s African National Congress as a terrorist group - a designation not lifted until 2008.

The National Review, the Heritage Foundation, William Buckley, Pat Buchanan, the fundamentalist Christian leadership, Grover Nordquist and others supported apartheid and opposed Mandela’s release. Then-Congressman Dick Cheney even called Mandela a “terrorist.”

But our sanctions worked. After a 27 year imprisonment for his opposition to apartheid, Mandela was released in 1990, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for negotiating the peaceful transition of power and became the first democratically elected South African president in 1994.

The conservative movement has a convenient way of forgetting about their enduring choices to be on the wrong side of history. We need only remember how conservatives similarly responded to our own champion of civil rights, Dr. Martin Luther King. When it mattered, when Mandela and King put their lives on the line for social justice, the right was on the other side – as usual.

Leonard Page • Cheboygan

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