Archive for L.A. Times

No one said affordable health care would be free

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Obama you're welcome affordable health care obamacare

Affordable health care means just that: health care we can afford, not health care that's provided to us at no cost. Unfortunately, the vehement anti-Obamacare opponents on the right are pushing lies, and the news dee jays need to diligently call them out. The letters below refer to one case that is being exploited.

Like Barbara Garnaus did, there are Americans out there who become ill and then complain that they have to pay for health services. But some of the most vocal critics fail to put their stories into context. Garnaus, a cancer patient, wasn't covered at all. Obviously (at least to most people), the Affordable Health Care Act says you still have to pay for services, but in most cases, you get more bang for your buck.

It also means that some people are struggling to make payments because they are unable to earn enough money to afford much of anything in the first place. Increasing the minimum wage would help rectify the problem.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "For working poor, new health premiums can be a burden," April 14

The headline on this article is very misleading. The impression given is that Obamacare places an undue burden on low-income citizens.

This story is about someone — 63-year-old Barbara Garnaus — who went for years without any insurance, relying on good health and free clinics. Now she has cancer and has bought insurance under Obamacare.

Before healthcare reform, she probably would not have been able to obtain insurance at all after the cancer was diagnosed.

So yes, her $13.50 monthly premium is more than she paid when she had no insurance and was in good health, but it's a lot less than it would cost for the same healthcare without insurance, which is where she would have been without Obamacare.

Sure, paying premiums costs more than not paying them, but healthcare with insurance costs a lot less than healthcare without insurance.

Perry Valantine

Costa Mesa

***

A $13.50 monthly payment for health insurance is amazingly low. The Times should applaud the program that allows a person who could never afford healthcare to receive medical treatment for cancer.

The cost of healthcare under the Affordable Care Act isn't the source of Garnaus' troubles. Rather, she is struggling to pay for healthcare because of her extremely low salary.

Until hardworking Americans like Garnaus receive wages that allow them to pay for a place to live, housing, transportation and, yes, healthcare, they will struggle as she does.

But don't blame the Affordable Care Act — it has brought affordable healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans.

Jo Perry

Studio City

blame obamacare health insurance

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Letter compares "Illegal immigration" to Kevorkian's "second-degree murder"

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so-called illegal immigration rights sign
Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor include opposing views on "illegal immigration." If you can get through the first one, kudos; then please proceed to the second, because our voices matter:

Re "The GOP's 2016 handicap," Opinion, April 9 and "Jeb Bush calls immigration an 'act of love,'" April 8

Illegal immigration is an "act of love," says Jeb Bush. My foot it is.

Bush should tell that to those who obeyed the law to come to the United States, and to those around the world waiting to enter legally. They waited (or are waiting) patiently for years, even decades, to get their green cards, adhering to the much-maligned and supposedly "broken" immigration system.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, notorious for assisting more than 100 people with ending their lives, probably thought he was committing an "act of love" each time he helped someone commit suicide. But a jury of his peers convicted him of second-degree murder and sent him to prison.

As an independent voter, I respected Bush's political views and opinions, and would have considered voting for him had he not uttered those melodramatic words about immigration.

Rogelio Peña

Montebello

***

When I served in the state's National Guard, I had the honor and privilege of commanding a unit. We had several soldiers who were not citizens of this country. They were every bit as dedicated and reliable as the others.

I never once saw or heard any behavior by them that led me to believe their national loyalties lay elsewhere. In fact, I actually had been around citizen soldiers who weren't bashful about displaying Confederate symbols.

So I was disappointed to read about House Republicans who had harsh words for undocumented immigrants who have lived here since childhood and wanted to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) should be ashamed for telling the undocumented who want to serve their country that "we have a bus for you to Tijuana."

Anyone willing to put on the uniform and risk dying for this country deserves a chance at citizenship. King and others in Congress who think like him demonstrate why there should be term limits in Washington.

Kimberlyn Hearns

San Bernardino

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Soros is no Koch brother

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Soros is no Koch brother, close up

Those on the right love to compare the Kochtopus to George Soros. Yes, both the Koch brothers (scroll) and George Soros are wealthy individuals who donate to the party and candidates of their choice. They're allowed to by law, even more so under the most recent (and terrible) Supreme Court decision.  But that's where the comparison should end.

Which brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor about the difference between these "big spenders":

Re "Big spenders," Letters, April 8

One letter writer asserts that exposing the Koch brothers' financial involvement in various conservative causes is mudslinging. He claims their political spending is no different than that of major Democratic donors such as George Soros and unions.

What the writer fails to acknowledge is that the Kochs fund a web of foundations and organizations created by and for themselves to promote their own views. Their political groups are given populist-sounding names — such as Americans for Prosperity — that distract from their real purpose, which is to protect the Kochs' extraordinary personal fortune.

And, but for their wealth, many of these organizations would either cease to exist or lack real political clout.

In comparison, when Soros and unions make political donations, they do not take extraordinary lengths to hide their involvement. We know to whom they gave and how much. The same cannot be said for the Kochs.

That is the difference.

Robert J. Switzer

West Hollywood

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Tell the whole story about Fort Hood shooter, okay "journalists"?

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Fort Hood shooting

The Fort Hood shooter gets no sympathy from me for gunning down soldiers and ending lives, but the reporting about his motives deserves some attention. I have heard at least two MSNBC anchors briefly (and very generally) refer to "paperwork" issues as a possible reason for Ivan Lopez's shooting spree. Alex Witt literally brushed it off as "some paperwork" during one interview. her tone and demeanor unmistakeably dismissive as she quickly moved on to her next point.

But that paperwork wasn't just about filling out routine Army forms at Fort Hood, it was a prerequisite for Lopez before he could go home when his mother died, and again to take care of family business following her death.

In no way does this excuse him for murdering three people and wounding sixteen others, obviously. But the responsible thing to do would be to provide context and depth when describing what happened. It's imperative to tell the whole story, because... journalism.

That brings me to today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Shooter said to be furious," April 5

The article states that investigators may never have a motive for Fort Hood shooter Army Spc. Ivan Lopez. Really? A soldier who was being treated for depression and anxiety was granted less than two days to go home to Puerto Rico for his mother's funeral five months ago; more recently, he was denied another temporary leave to return home to deal with family matters related to his mother's death.

This man was sent into harm's way to protect our country, and we can't give him compassionate leaves of duty during such a tragic time in his life? This is unconscionable.

Lopez wanted to go home to Puerto Rico; we sent him a lot farther away than that to defend our country.

Moira Niblo Obermeyer

Laguna Niguel

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"Suppose an undercover officer 'looks like' a robber and I shoot him...My bad."

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shoot first ask never

Can a "good guy with a gun" shoot a "bad guy with a gun" with 100% accuracy? The answer is obvious, as is pointed out in today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor... because our voices matter:

Re "Gun madness in Georgia," Editorial, March 27

The National Rifle Assn. flourishes because people believe the big lie that there are good people with guns and bad people with guns.

No. There are only people with guns. When gun-toters get angry, greedy, frightened or psychotic, they shoot other people. Mix dense populations with easy gun access, and innocent people will be maimed and killed by bullets. That's inevitable.

Apparently no body count is high enough to stop the insanity. I just pray that I, and people I care about, can make it to the end of our lives without being shot.

Bonnie Sloane

Los Angeles

***

Suppose I'm legally carrying a concealed gun at a business when armed robbers show up. Fearing for my life, I just want to get out of the store, but the front door is the only way out.

Let's assume I can't tell who is whom by how they're dressed. How will I know which of these gunfighters to shoot as I try to get through the doors to safety? Should I just kill anyone between the door and me? Will any police officers who arrive know that I am not one of the robbers? Suppose an undercover officer "looks like" a robber and I shoot him, thinking I'm a "good guy with a gun" taking care of a "bad guy with a gun." What do I tell their families? "My bad"?

Jan Miller

Orange

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Will corporations have "a chief religious officer" to dictate birth control use?

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Corporations are people 2

Corporations are not people. Corporations don't get married. Corporations don't wear condoms or give birth (although they do screw us). Corporations don't even get a twinkle in their little beady corporate eyes. But even though they are not living, breathing human beings, they have more rights than we do.  coughCitizensUnitedcough! coughBankruptcyLawscough!

And now we're faced with the appalling possibility that the Supreme Court may rule on something that the founders would consider pure lunacy: that corporations have religious rights that trump the rights of women to make decisions about their own health and reproductive needs.

With that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Taming the boardwalk," March 26:

I read about some of the "artists, the homeless, Silicon Beach hipsters, surfers, inline skaters and tourists" all coming together on the "circus-like boardwalk" of Venice, and I thought, "Strange but nice."

Then I read about our conservative-controlled Supreme Court and arguments about Hobby Lobby not wanting to provide contraceptives to women — many of whom are probably already taking them — and the thought crossed my mind: Just who is strange?

Allen F. Dziuk

Carlsbad

Re "Court looks kindly on test of health act," March 26

Assuming for the moment that the Supreme Court's conservative majority goes ahead and allows employers to refuse contraceptive care for employees on religious grounds, will there be some sort of test of faith for the employers to make sure they aren't just cutting costs?

For example, we know that many business owners go to church on a regular basis, but surely that is never enough by itself to qualify them as honest Christians. If the employer gets an exemption but sins in his or her daily life, would he or she lose the exemption? Do all religions qualify for the exemption, even if this involves claims by heretics and infidels?

How will the corporation express its faith? Do all the board members have to be validly and acceptably religious, or will there just be a chief religious officer?

Philip Brimble

Los Angeles

***

How the Supreme Court can look kindly on a case that would destroy the basic American principle of separation of church and state is beyond me.

This is a case brought in order to refuse birth control to people who do not share an employer's belief system, but the implications are much larger and more poisonous.

If your employer is against blood transfusions, would those be forbidden? If adherents used only prayer to treat sickness — well, just think of the money insurance companies could save.

This court cannot be trusted to make the correct decision.

Alix Fargo

Altadena

Re "Unfair to Obamacare," Editorial, March 25:

I believe the management of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties should make it clear that they want only customers who present sworn affidavits indicating that they, or any relation, have never used any form of contraception — and then be prepared to close their doors.

Martin J. Weisman

Westlake Village

***

Aside from the obvious reasons for a rejection of this suit as far as freedom, equality, constitutionality and fairness, another reason for access to birth control is the growing worldwide population and the path we are on to do ourselves in rather soon. Why aren't we more concerned about this threat?

But if corporations do end up being able to dictate birth control use, employees should take back their freedom to choose, demand what wages they've contributed to the company's health insurance plan and use the money to buy Obamacare policies.

Joanne Tatham

Irvine

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Supply side economics doesn't work. "Trickle-up economics creates more demand."

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supply side economics trickle down peanuts cartoon via greekshares dot comImage via Greekshares.com

Supply side economics doesn't work. How do we know? We've tried it and look where we are today. That trickle-down theory that Republicans have bent over backwards to push has trickled down all right, the way dogs "trickle down" on hydrants.

And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Bring on supply side economics," Opinion, March 23

To quote Ronald Reagan, "There you go again." Ideologues like Brad Schiller tout supply-side economics once again as a possible cure for our economic woes.

Economists teach us about "supply and demand," but it really should be called "demand and supply," because without demand, supply is irrelevant. Demand is what drives everything, including job creation. If you have a line of customers snaking out the door, you will hire employees to meet that demand, regardless of taxes or regulation.

Our economy is about 70% consumer driven, so when median household income stagnates or drops, so do consumption and hiring. It's simple logic.

Trickle-up economics creates more demand than trickle-down because lower- and middle-income families will spend additional income, whereas high-income families invest their money. That's why the stock market has been booming while the overall economy has been weak.

You don't need a Nobel Prize in economics to figure that out.

Eric Geisterfer

San Pedro

***

Schiller's call to action is timely enough. It is just wrongheaded.

Yes, more attention to employment, and also wages, is critically needed. But Schiller fails to acknowledge the controversial nature of supply side economics, most starkly revealed in its desertion by the man who chaperoned its entry into the Reagan revolution. He ignores the already flush supply side, with corporations sitting on mounds of cash they won't spend to hire or expand.

Mostly, Schiller fails to realize that trickle-down Reaganomics remains the law of the land and needs no latter-day champion. The decimated marginal tax rate and the prevalence of stock-option CEO compensation remain and, along with corporation-friendly foreign trade deals, have hollowed out the middle class, creating monstrous wealth and wretched poverty characteristic of developing nations.

This piece would more appropriately have been published on April 1.

Curtis Selph

Lancaster

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