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Letters

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Letters to the editor

Healthy Indiana Plan no solution to state’s long-term health care needs

As a state lawmaker in 2007, I was able to help create the Healthy Indiana Plan, an effort to provide coverage for Hoosiers living on lower and fixed incomes. HIP has worked to benefit more than 32,000 Hoosiers. It has helped, but it is not the answer for what ails the long-term health care needs of the people of this state.

For that, I believe we must turn to the Affordable Care Act in Indiana. It is the best solution, short of having universal health care in our state.

Yet we have just completed a legislative session where the Republican super-majorities and the governor chose to do nothing to bring affordable health care to Indiana.

Republicans claim an expansion of the Healthy Indiana Plan offers the best way to address our health care needs. That is simply not so, and I’m saying that as someone who considers HIP one of my greatest accomplishments as a legislator.

There is no way that a program of HIP’s scope can be expanded to provide the type of coverage that can be found through the Affordable Care Act. It cannot handle the needs of hundreds of thousands more Hoosiers.

The stakes are higher this go-around. Without the federal approval, it is very likely that close to 29,000 Hoosiers presently on the HIP plan will lose their coverage at the end of this year.

And that is the recipe for disaster, one that will make health care in Indiana a model for what other states should NOT follow.

STATE REP.

CHARLIE BROWN Ranking Democrat, Indiana House Public Health Committee

Officers’ first duty is to uphold Constitution, not enforce laws

The Journal Gazette had an article April 30 (“Sheriff won’t enforce future anti-gun laws”) chastising me for the premise that I would not enforce all laws. There is a misconception that we are supposed to check our minds at the door and enforce any law regardless of how unjust, oppressive or clearly unconstitutional it is.

The sheriff’s oath of office states, “I do swear or affirm to uphold and defend the United States Constitution and the Indiana Constitution, to the best of my ability, so help me God.” Nowhere in this oath does it require any law enforcement officer to enforce all laws.

Our founding fathers knew there would be people who make mistakes, maybe even evil men, who would attempt to usurp the Constitution. When every public servant takes a solemn oath, then our Constitution has built-in safeguards at all levels, not just at the legislative and judicial levels.

In fact, officers today have a great deal of discretion on enforcing laws. For example, officers enforce traffic laws daily. However, officers often give warnings rather than a citation. The action can still be beneficial to the community by bringing attention to traffic safety.

Would it not have been wonderful if there had been a constitutional officer present in 1955, the day Rosa Parks was arrested basically because of the color of her skin? The law was in place. However, the officer did not need to enforce it.

Oath of office or blind enforcement? As for me, I will honor my oath of office.

BRADLEY D. ROGERS Elkhart County sheriff

Newspaper was wrong to dwell on retiring officers’ disciplinary record

I was saddened to read the announcement of two Fort Wayne police officers’ retirement as written in your paper May 7. Officers Jeffery McCann and Scott Morales gave 20-plus years of their life for this community and decide to retire, and instead of giving accolades on their community service, you spend most of the article on the disciplinary record of their time.

I wish you would spend equal energy on reporting their letters of commendation as you do on their shortfalls during 20 years. All public safety employees sacrifice time from family, participate in countless hours of community service outside of the job, and put their life on the line for the community; a simple thank-you would have been better than a send-off with a review of their record. I am requesting an apology and a proper article to give them the respect they deserve.

ANDREW PFEIFFER Fort Wayne

Send Boston suspect’s body home

We bring our fallen heroes home. “Older brother bomber” needs to go back to his own country where, no doubt, they will welcome their “fallen hero” and his mother will be able to visit his grave.

JAYNE STABLER Fort Wayne

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