Letters to the Editor

Real patriotism is caring for all people | Letters | Jan. 28

Although the health care bill signed into law last year is far from perfect, the Republicans’ effort to dismantle it is a selfish, shortsighted effort. Their arguments fail to meet the mostly true test for accuracy.

One of their arguments is: that no one should be forced to buy health insurance. Right now, those of us who are insured are “forced” to pay for those who aren’t – willingly or unwillingly.

People are still treated when they aren’t insured, it’s just included in the costs the rest of us pay. When companies don’t cover their workers’ insurance then the rest of us pay for it.

The new law requires people to pay a fine if they don’t have insurance – so they are at least contributing something to the “bank” they may have to draw on.

Republicans and libertarians complain that insurance companies are being forced to offer comprehensive insurance, and that adds costs. But what happens when insurance plans don’t cover expensive prescriptions for necessary medications?

Many wealthy families denounce taxes; yet they want to know how to transfer assets so the “government” (taxpayers) will pay for their relatives’ care in a nursing home.

So, those of us with insurance are already required to pay for others’ care. I don’t mind when it’s someone who can’t afford the round-the-clock care – I consider that part of being a good citizen.

Republicans and libertarians try to convince people that there actually is a free lunch: “Government” pays for all we feel it should, but none of us have to pay taxes to support those services.

They argue that business should be able to make whatever profits they want yet complain when insurance companies raise rates or decline services.

Republicans in Congress say they can do away with the less popular aspects of the new law, but retain the popular aspects.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I always learned that in order to have dessert, I had to eat my regular meal (including vegetables) first.

If there’s no mandate for individual insurance, it means those who haven’t been able to get insurance because of a pre-existing condition won’t be able to get it. The insurance companies only agreed to cover them if everyone was insured.

I worry about this country and its future because so many people seem determined to make their political future by arguing for selfishness and greed, and encourage others to endorse the same principle – and call it patriotism.

I think patriotism is love of (wanting the best for) country and all people.

Gloria Sayler

Bainbridge Island

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