Only health care that's equitable: Medicare for all
Health care is now unaffordable for the majority of Americans and overpriced to every American.
Just as in the case of our soaring national debt, the soaring cost of health care is forcing the issue. These problems, obvious for decades, now reaching critical mass, are monuments to the incompetence of our governments. Patchwork half-measures will not answer; this includes the Affordable Care Act.
Regardless of all the propaganda to the contrary, governments, employers and insurance companies do not pay your medical bills. How are you going to pay for health care?
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Let's create a state-of-the-art single-payer health care system with these characteristics: Every American citizen included, free choice of medical provider, negotiated prices for services, negotiated prices for pharmaceuticals, limits on court-awarded damages, tiered rate structures from basic preventive care up to catastrophic care applying the insuring principle to spread the risks and costs broadly and legitimately, built-in incentives to lower costs, monetary rewards for staying healthy, with the individual paying at the rate proportional to the goods and services he or she requests and receives above the basic care minimum rate which everyone pays.
System designers must remain focused on the rights of those providing medical goods and services, and those receiving goods and services. Both groups must be treated fairly and equitably.
Combine Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act into a single-payer system, getting rid of the impractical employer-based health care debacle, and eliminating the insurance industry participation who provide no health care.
Medicare for all.
Mike R. Myers
Loved Santa Train
On Dec. 21 we took our grandson Noah to the Santa Train at the Bluegrass Railroad Museum in Versailles.
It was awesome. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived on a fire truck. This was an exceptional experience for us, let alone Noah. We dearly loved it. The staff and volunteers did a wonderful job and made the experience very memorable. We plan now to make it an annual event.
There were Santa, Mrs. Claus, an elf and a snowman. All were very good with all of the adults and children on the train. Santa was exceptional. Thanks, Santa, Noah has never been that close; you did a great job.
Anyone who missed this experience with their children, grandchildren or neighborhood kids, plan it for next year. You won't regret going to the Bluegrass Railroad Museum to ride the Santa Train.
Thank you to all who made it possible. God bless you and happy new year.
Craig and Debbie Stearns
Why don't they build a new county clerk's office?
It is old and on many levels. Not very handicapped accessible.
Put offices like public ID, driver's license, voter registration and others in a new building.
Why can't the state find money to put these people in a new handicapped-accessible building in Fayette County?
Ronald T. Winkler
Social Security facts
Every dollar that is collected from the FICA tax is invested in Treasury bills as required by law. As of now, the Social Security trust fund contains $2.7 trillion in Treasury bill IOU's.
Due to the recession, high unemployment and the recent high rate of disability claims, the trust fund is beginning to pay out in benefits more than it takes in.
According to actuarial calculations, the trust fund will be exhausted in approximately the year 2023. At that point, FICA taxes will be sufficient to pay approximately 75 percent of Social Security benefits.
Of course, this is all just bookkeeping as there is no real money in the trust fund.
There is actually no more reason for the federal government to pay out any less than 100 percent of benefits than they would decide, for example, to pay defense contractors only 75 cents on the dollar, as both are funded by general tax revenues.
Here's what it's all about: The politicians know that the only way to continue to pay 100 percent of benefits will be to increase taxes, primarily on the wealthy, and they are bound and determined that will not happen.
So all they have to do is reduce benefits payable by approximately 25 percent by 2025, and the problem disappears.
The $2.7 trillion that is owed to the Social Security trust fund never has to be paid back.
The only people who will be hurt are Social Security recipients, which is how they have it planned.
Throw out GOP
In 2013 we had the least effective Congress in history. The do-nothing politicians like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner again took no action to do anything.
They just kept trying to pass laws to repeal Obamacare and make abortion illegal. Boehner said that we should measure our government by what it repeals instead of what it passes.
Even if you accept that bizarre logic, they have still failed, because they did not repeal anything either.
Republicans campaign on their desire to destroy government, and they want your vote to help them bring about its destruction. We can expect only decline and recessions from them. The last two Republican presidents have given us three recessions; the last two Democrat presidents have given us growth.
Electing a Republican to office is like putting an engine in your car that doesn't work — you cannot expect any movement.
Now that Nelson Mandela has passed on to his heavenly reward, a deluge of well-deserved words of adulation has been showered on him from all over the globe.
Almost too good to be true, Mandela showed the world that love triumphs over hate. Being unjustly imprisoned for 27 years, Mandela kept his sanity and persevered by refusing to hate his white oppressors. He made friends, not enemies, and did not seek revenge. He demonstrated the power of forgiveness instead.
What solidifies Mandela's greatness is his humility. South Africa and the world are better today because of peacemakers like Nelson Mandela.
May his life inspire our young people from every nation to emulate his doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God.
What a legacy Mandela leaves us.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr.