Health care crisis really a problem with insurance
I really cringe when I hear words like "Obamacare" or "government health care." The health care issue is about insurance.
The current insurance-based system dominates the medical services business. Virtually all providers get the bulk of their revenues from insurance companies. Insurance companies have the bargaining edge. They demand and get the best rates. This leaves the remainder to be subsidized by the uninsured.
This system keeps a significant segment of the public from getting the medical care that this country is easily capable of delivering. It caused the movement for the government to step in and try to correct the matter.
The insurance industry is very powerful, to put it mildly. It effectively owns much of our government outright and controls the rest. This makes it impossible for anyone with opposing viewpoints to get an audience with those who might change the status quo. An audience would require quite a sum of money in order to outbid the insurance industry. Think "bought and paid for" the next time you hear words like "Obama care" from a political candidate.
In short, the battle is between an insurance industry that wishes to preserve a sweet business and people who are tired of its stranglehold on medical care.
Nevertheless, the insurance industry is smart enough to describe or characterize the issue as a government takeover of health care or "socialized medicine." It has succeeded in confusing the issue with much of the public.
William E. Doyle
Why am I voting for Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley?
For many years now I have silently watched as our republic has slid from a historic model of an ideal nation filled with pride and honor-bound people to a moribund land in the clutches of those who care for nothing but lining their pockets at the expense of those they have been entrusted with guardianship along with their aspirations and dreams. "Let them eat cake," indeed.
From the day I first met Galbraith and Riley, I perceived something I had found lacking in our current leaders and that was a pure, unsullied concern and drive to aid those in need here in our commonwealth. This is not to be confused with the idea of free handouts to those who do and care nothing for the common good. All must contribute.
Preconceived notions should be put away for the investigation of truths. Galbraith and Riley have clear designs on how to repair our current miasma here in Kentucky, whereas all we have heard from the two ruling parties is more of the same hollow words and promises.
While I will accept the voters' choice for governor this fall for my adopted home, I would implore you to make educated decisions concerning your elected officials in the upcoming elections. Fare you well, my fellow Kentuckians.
Give coal its due
President Barack Obama told an audience in Peosta, Iowa, "There are some boneheaded things the government is doing that need to be fixed."
I definitely agree, and I think a lot of Herald-Leader readers can agree with that as well.
And he went on to say "Government can make a difference." I think we can also agree with that, provided those in government who can make a difference will do so.
So far, those in government who can make a difference have turned their backs on an industry that this nation cannot do without — the coal industry. The industry that keeps the lights on for half of this great nation does not need a government handout to continue in business.
This administration has gone nationwide, except to Appalachia, to promote green energy and offer incentives for startup of green projects. In the meantime, the Environmental Protection Agency has been allowed to promulgate any kind of bonehead regulation it desires against the mining industry.
Coal miners have suffered since concern for bugs in streams has taken precedence over them. Some have been sent home due to boneheaded decisions by regulators. These things need to be fixed.
There is talk now of the 2012 election. And if the government can make a difference, it needs to get to it immediately. Or else we, the people who can make a difference, will be voting against everyone who does not stand for coal.
America needs coal and we cannot afford to forget it.
John F. Enyart
Test for Congress
Polls indicate that more than eight out of 10 Americans are sick to death of what Congress is doing to this country.
Let's have some fun with upcoming candidates for office, as well as elected officials on the state and national levels, by asking these questions:
■ "Besides a sworn constitutional oath of office to represent and protect your constituents, what pledges have you signed? Did you say tax reform, the Grover Norquist document? Does it allow raising taxes on corporations and the rich, a good way to balance the budget? Is the pledge a conflict with the oath of office?"
■ "Have you introduced any American Legislative Exchange Council legislation of the 1,000 pieces that 2,000 state legislators push with about 200 of them passed each year? You know, that's the ALEC that takes about $6 million a year from corporate powers, in exchange for linking them directly to legislators to push corporate recommendations into law."
■ "Are you aware that recommendations of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy became law, and the Michigan governor can seize control of local governments and install corporate overseers with the power to cancel union contracts, rewrite budgets, sell off public assets and bypass or even dismiss local elected officials? The Koch brothers, the Waltons of Wal-Mart, and the DeVoses of the Amway fortune are the multi-billionaire families pushing this and other privatization agendas."
It will comfort the candidate or elected official if you hum, "this land is my land," sometime during the discussion.
How to make jobs
What kind of jobs can be made for people who need them? Present political discussions avoid this key question.
Too many people don't have jobs. Until they find jobs, solutions of the other problems won't really make much difference.
Whether or not a person or company has to pay higher income taxes doesn't matter to those with no income. Whether or not unemployment benefits are extended doesn't much matter if there is no money for unemployment checks.
Important topics are the amount, source and use of tax money, as well as ways to cut government expenses enough to meet current budgets and make national debt payments. But those should not be the main topic for national debate.
Backtrack to the question: What kind of jobs can be made for people who need them?
My first choice would be to give them jobs in re-established factories making clothes, carpets, plastics, toys, automotive parts and electronic gadgets. Need for the products they produce can be ensured by banning foreign-made products from any country that has a three-year, 10 percent-or-more running average import/export value difference with the United States.
A bit drastic for you? OK. How would you create more jobs?