This is Viewpoints for Friday, August 4, 2017

Another waste of money

A Palestinian terrorist, Omar Al-Abed al-Jalil, stabbed to death three members of a Jewish family in Israel as they sat down to eat their Sabbath meal. The Palestine Authority will pay him a monthly salary of $3,000. In fact, all Palestinian prisoners jailed for security or terror-related offenses receive monthly salaries.

Guess where the money comes from? Much of it comes from aid money given yearly to the PA from the United States, Europe and other countries. The Taylor Force Bill is currently pending in Congress. It will limit American aid money to the Palestinians unless it ends these payments. Taylor Force was a former U.S. army officer who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist while visiting Israel on a university trip in 2016.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, has vowed to continue the payments. Palestinian Media Watch reports him saying, “Even if I will have to leave my position, I will not compromise on the salary (rawatib) of a martyr (Shahid) or a prisoner, as I am the president of the entire Palestinian people, including the prisoners, the martyrs, the injured, the expelled, and the uprooted.” In 2016, the PA budgeted $135 million to pay 6,500 prisoners (with blood on their hands) and families of other terrorists..

I can’t figure out why the U.S. gave $357 million to the PA last year and another $355 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Congress needs to stop wasting these payments.

Hill Kaplan,


Racially divisive

Let me point out your policy guidelines for getting a letter published: “Letters that are racially divisive ….will not be considered.” Now let me quote from columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr.’s column of July 26, “The GOP is built on appealing to the anger and resentment of older, straight, white, Christian voters.” If that’s not racially divisive, I don’t know what is.

William D. Watson,


No fiscal responsibility

Why did Congress not approve a scaled back version of the repeal and replacement of Obamacare. The “skinny bill” would eliminate the individual and employer mandates as well as the medical device tax which nobody liked in the first place. It would also roll back Medicaid expansion which Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska are against.

However, the Senate Republicans thought they had settled on a plan to move forward, then Sen. John Mc Cain, R-Ariz., voted no which took everyone by surprise. McCain may have remembered what Donald Trump said about him during the debates. A single Democratic vote would have moved it forward, but Congress has degenerated into Democrats fighting Republicans and vice versa so a Democratic vote was not possible.

The bottom line is the country cannot afford Obamacare in its present form. If Medicaid is not scaled back, taxes must be substantially increased which would result in a system similar to a single-payer system like Canada. This is what Obama wanted when he jammed Obamacare through Congress. Obama may also have known that dismantling his health care law would be very difficult. Health care in America was just fine before Obamacare. Health care for those with no insurance was provided at no cost, health care for the more fortunate was simply increased to cover the shortfall.

Roger Rader


Medicare for all

If you watch enough news on TV, whatever the channel, you can’t help but notice that many, if not most, pundits and anchor people and so-called reporters, often use the terms “health care” and “health insurance” interchangeably when talking about our current health care mess. For some reason they are unable to distinguish between the two.

It’s puzzling. Obamacare does nothing to control health-care costs. It just regulates health insurance and forces people to buy it who don’t want it and drives up the cost of premiums and raises deductible levels to new highs. Insurance companies don’t like it for obvious reasons. If you force them to cover pre-existing conditions, then its no longer insurance, is it? Would auto insurance companies cover your car if you wanted repairs for an accident that occurred weeks before you bought your policy? How about 60-year-olds being forced to buy maternity insurance? Or Jehovah’s Witnesses being forced to insure against abortion?

Obvious tweaks to Obamacare would be easy, but our do-nothing Congress (both parties) is too busy running for re-election to take care of the country’s business. A simple bill to allow/require insurance companies to sell policies across state lines would go a long way toward lowering the cost of health insurance. Letting consumers pick and choose the coverages they want or need would be a big help also. Risk pools for pre-existing coverage would be helpful. We can tweak ourselves to sensible health insurance without re-inventing the wheel.

As for the cost of health care, that is another can of worms and again our business -as – usual Congress doesn’t have any inclination to do anything about it. There are many cost drivers which could be ameliorated or eliminated but they are too numerous to go into here.

I never thought I would say it, but I’d like the government to explore the idea of Medicare for everyone. Sounds radical, but at least we need to know how much it would cost taxpayers. Maybe single-payer with built in cost limitations would be the way to go. Just sayin’.

Jerry Norris,

Warner Robins

Renewed faith

Bill Cummings has renewed my faith, again. I have had the same thoughts that he stated in his Sunday July 30 column. I always had the feeling my belief in a world of different beliefs in God was somewhat of a test. I always felt that how you worship was between you and God. It was not a crime to want the best way you can travel to God’s paradise. The roads are many that a man can be mobile. If a man is true in heart and lives a life that Jesus did, church or not, there is a place beside God. I am sure there are billions of people who would find heaven weather they know God as we know God. But then do we know God as we should?

Brian T. Reid Sr.,


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