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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 01, 2017 1:00 am


How we view health care an ongoing systemic flaw

It appears the Senate health care bill is dead, surely due largely to its spectacular unpopularity with the American public. The other GOP proposal was a stand-alone repeal of the Affordable Care Act effective in two years, with the promise of a replacement bill to be produced within that time frame.

The Republicans had the past seven years to design their version of a better health care system, and the two unspeakably malicious bills they produced in the last few months did nothing to inspire confidence they would be able to do much better two years out. Fortunately a truly better replacement plan already exists.

House Resolution 676, improved and expanded Medicare for All, has been written, heavily researched, and only awaits its full and fair hearing in Congress. It is increasingly clear that what we must really repeal and replace is a substantial number of our current senators and representatives whose minds are so mired in ancient dogmas that they are impervious to practical consideration of evidence and facts.

We are the last major nation on the planet without a universal, national health care system. We stand alone in trying to provide health care to our population while treating it as a market commodity instead of as the essential public service that it is. It is long past time to correct this basic error.

Elaine Fazzaro

Hoosiers for a Commonsense Healthcare Plan

Fort Wayne

Accounting for tax money

W. Patrick Sefton's July 19 letter, “No new tax streams”, brought to mind a conversation we had recently with some friends at the lake. We were talking about the proposed new taxes, along with all of the increases from some of the utilities when someone brought up the food and beverage tax. That tax  was originally put into effect to help expand the Coliseum many years ago. Assuming the Coliseum is paid for by now, where has all the money gone that has continued to be collected from the food and beverage tax? We'd like an accounting of that. Can someone inform us where we can see exactly where that tax money has been spent?


Fort Wayne

Banks' military experience should make him wary

I fully expect President Donald Trump to have absolutely no strategy and policy to deal with North Korea's nuclear ambitions, but Rep. Jim Banks should be much more informed (July 6). Stating that the Trump administration has “... the responsibility to respond in a military manner,” when pressed as to what this military response should be, Banks evaded the issue by stating, “I'll defer to the president's military leadership.”

As he is a U.S. Naval Reserve officer with a tour in Afghanistan, I expected Banks to have a more intelligent and nuanced response to this issue. There is an appropriate military response to North Korea's nuclear ambitions – it's called deterrence and containment. For short of starting another war, there is little the U.S. can do to prevent North Korea from mating a nuclear warhead to one of its long-range missiles. But for him or the president to believe that China would make truly serious efforts to curtail North Korea's nuclear ambitions is to display a profound lack of geopolitical knowledge. North Korea's missiles aren't aimed at China, and China will do nothing to collapse the North's economy and create a situation where 25 million North Koreans want to enter their country.

Perhaps Banks and Trump should be working on the definitive response to the situation on the Korean peninsula, which is converting the 64-year-old Korean armistice into a permanent peace treaty involving the US/UN, China and North and South Korea.

Rep. Banks has already served in America's longest war. Just because Trump seems anxious to involve the country in three new wars – North Korea, Iran and Syria – doesn't mean Banks has to blindly follow him.

Emory Earl Toops

Fort Wayne