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Letters To The Editor - Jan. 24, 2019

January 24, 2019 GMT

Protect vets’ care

Editor: Last year, Congress passed the Mission Act into law.

It has some good provisions to assist veterans with health care. Yet, it has a major fault.

As a former high school history teacher, I had my students read the Greek myth of the Trojan Horse. Students came to know the story as a trick or strategy that targets a securely protected bastion or place. The 2018 Mission Act is a Trojan horse. It claims to support veterans but its base purpose is to destroy the Veterans Health Administration.

Studies have shown that military veterans like the medical treatment they get from the Veterans Administration. Veterans need to know that the 2018 Mission Act include an explosive attack plan to shift veterans care to private health care interests.


Private interests want to absorb the billions of tax dollars that support veterans care institutions. Private interests want to destroy the best veterans health care plan in the United States, the Veterans Health Administration.

Thirty-six percent of the VHA already has been moved to the private sector. Financial profit, not veterans health care, is the goal of private interests. Studies have shown the VHA to provide better or equal care than private health care facilities.

Contact U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright and Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey. Ask them to amend the Mission Act to protect the Veterans Health Administration from a takeover by private interests. The vast majority of veterans want care from the VHA, the institution that best knows their needs.




Assure VA system

Editor: The latest dream for Republicans is privatizing the Veterans Administration health care system.

They want to send veterans to private health care for all their problems. That way, they could potentially bankrupt the VA in short order. The supposed advantage to veterans under this arrangement would really result in much longer waiting times and less face time with their doctors.

Sorry, but America’s health care system is far inferior to the VA system. Now, I admit, the VA doesn’t have all disciplines in all locations, but there already is a solution to that problem. In such cases veterans can transfer to a private specialist and still receive regular care at the VA at much shorter wait times.

Why is it that every so often, Republicans want to eliminate perfectly good public systems and institute much more expensive and worse solutions? Could it be that there’s more money to be made by the new choice? You know who pays for these ideas? It’s all on the taxpayers.


The only thing the VA needs is more people to process new enrollees. You can’t fight two wars for too many years and have far too many new veterans in need of care and then provide less money to the VA to handle the crunch. The public may be slow to pick up on this mess, but we’re not dumb. We can see how badly Congress and the administration are screwing up. We don’t need any more nonsense.




End shutdown

Editor: Adm. Karl Schultz, commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, has stated that for the first time in our history, members of our military are not being paid because of the government shutdown.

Like all our armed forces, men and women of the Coast Guard swear to support and defend the Constitution. As a veteran, I find it unconscionable that these service members suffer financial hardship because of party politics. They continue to “stand the watch” while elected government officials go home for the weekend.

Service members continue to perform their many duties on land and sea and do not have options to supplement their lost income. They must report for duty. Something is surely wrong in this country when newscasts show men and women in uniform standing in line waiting for aid.

I have contacted Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey, along with U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, on this matter. Only Cartwright has responded to my questions concerning the actions being taken to resolve this issue.

I urge citizens to contact their representatives and ask them to actively work toward ending this injustice by sitting down and working together like grown-ups so that all federal workers, military and civilian, can get on with the business of the United States.





McConnell’s mess

Editor: It’s long past time for the Senate to stand up to the president and vote to reopen the government.

It’s unconscionable that millions of Americans are being held hostage to the obsessive desires of one man. He works for us and the majority of us understand that the wall would be a pointless waste of money that wouldn’t stop a single crime or a potential terror attack.

The Senate and its majority leader, Mitch McConnell, work for the American people, too. It’s high time that they start acting like it and stop this stupidity before any more destruction wreaks upon our national parks, air transport and food safety systems.




Wall not so costly

Editor: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says that the $25 billion President Trump says a border wall would cost is a lot of money and it is, but that is only half of the story.

With a federal budget of about $4.4 trillion, $25 billion represents less than 1 percent of the total; it’s almost one-half of 1 percent.

So if Pelosi had a household budget of $1 million, for instance, it would cost her about $5,700 to build a wall or fence around her house. With a budget of $100,000, the cost

would be about $570. With a budget of $35,000 — approximately the local income average — the wall or fence would cost about $200, which is not so bad after all.

So, I have one question for Pelosi: If a stranger comes to your house, should he ring the front doorbell or come through the back window?