Feds don’t belong in health business
Whether mandatory, universal medical insurance is deemed wise policy or not wise policy, all too many Americans seem to be missing a major, initial point: Namely, the matter is just not the business of government in the first place, and is therefore simply wrong on at least two counts — constitutionally and morally.
The 9th and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution clearly state that powers not specifically delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states or to the people.
Mandated “health care” is not one of those enumerated powers. So does our Constitution matter or doesn’t it?
Furthermore, any and all money the federal government collects in taxes, etc. (forgetting, for the moment, the trillions it creates out of thin air!) is the property of all the people, uniformly. It can lawfully be used only for purposes strictly authorized by the Constitution. It would be wrong for me, for example, to covet and appropriate any part of such assets to serve my own individual wants or needs.
Just as with the veritable systemic culture of government grants seen everywhere today, it is all just plain wrong. Time to wake up .... and grow up, America!
CAROL J. ASHER, Kamiah
Act falls short of resolving issue
Some health care facts:
In the U.S. we pay twice as much for health care as other first-world nations. U.S. government per capita health care expenditures exceed those of every other nation except Norway and Luxembourg (including the socialist British and Swedish systems).
In addition to the taxes we pay for health care, U.S. private expenditures are almost five times the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) average.
For half the cost, other first-world nations provide health care access to all of their citizens. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in place, 20 million to 25 million citizens will still be without coverage.
Each year approximately 750,000 households file bankruptcy because of medical bills; none do in other developed nations. Because over 75 percent of these households have medical insurance, this is unlikely to change with the ACA.
We experience 45,000 unnecessary deaths each year due to our inequitable system. The tremendous waste in our system burdens each American household with $7,000-9,000 extra cost each year.
Our life expectancy ranks 38th in the world, infant mortality 34th.
Health care solutions should not be ideologically based. We should seek practical solutions to maximize the benefit to all citizens. We could begin by examining other nations’ systems that are clearly performing better than ours.
GEOFFREY BURNS, Boise
British system superior to U.S.
I am writing to defend the health service of the United Kingdom as per the letter of July 24.
Being a citizen of the U.K. for 32 years I found that no system is perfect, but it is in no way as bad as the letter says.
My grandparents spent 20 weeks in a hospital with the knowledge that they would not leave. They received the best care they could ask for. My parents suffered cancer and a heart attack and they got the best treatment.
Even my daughter, who lives here in Boise, was covered when she became ill during a trip to the U.K. for vacation. She was treated within half an hour of going to the doctor with no charge.
The previous letter was, I believe, written by someone who has not lived in the U.K. for many years, and his letter was based on what family members have told him, not what he experienced himself.
There is affordable private health coverage that can be purchased to cover the area where the health system may require a wait. And the health care system in the U.K. is free.
DAVID PRESSNELL, Boise
Officials endorse senseless slaughter
The “harvesting” of 379 wolves by hunters, trappers and ranchers, instigated by the Idaho Department of fish and Game (and politicians, led by Gov. Butch Otter), amounts to nothing more than the tragic, senseless slaughter of these beautiful, intelligent and emotional creatures, which are devoted to their young; and, as keystone species, enhance the biodiversity and health of forests (the phrase “forest health” was contrived by timber barons and the Forest Service to expedite the plunder of the nation’s forests, regardless of wildlife).
In truth, they have “harvested” a legacy of ignorance, injustice, shame and sadistic cruelty that ranks with the most inhuman, atrocious acts ever committed against wildlife.
To justify this unconscionable slaughter, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game fabricates the actual number of wolves in Idaho (which is unknown) and minimizes the total death numbers — for the benefit of ranchers and hunters (see www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com).
Legal redress has been exhausted and all moral responsibility disregarded.
Voices of conscience and reason alone can and must stop this sickening slaughter of majestic wolves, who have as much right to live in peace as their ignominious tormentors — even if it means the occupation of the Capitol building and every Fish and Game office in this inglorious state.
FREDERICK K. BARDELLI, Osburn
Debate ignores human element
Wolves are majestic critters and I harbor no irrational fear or ill will toward these highly evolved predators.
But introducing Canadian wolves to the Northwestern U.S. is now recognized as an obvious biological blunder and conflict of interest.
I’ve heard all the scientific opinions suggesting that wolves help to balance local flora and fauna. While this explanation may be valid in national parks where elk (and other prey species) have overpopulated, it’s not valid outside of park boundaries where big-game hunters eliminate the need for yet another alpha predator.
Beyond park boundaries, people and wolves compete for the same limited resources. But unlike wolves (which are capable of decimating big-game populations in given areas), human hunters can be micromanaged to allow various ecosystems to flourish with optimum predator/prey balance. Scientists who tell us that wolves fill this balancing role more effectively than people fail to acknowledge the complete relevance of big-game hunting, especially to states like Idaho.
Many “groundbreaking” wolf/prey studies seem to eliminate (or downplay) the human element. Any scientific discourse that fails to give full consideration to the fact that big-game populations cannot sustain the impact of wolf predation and traditional big-game hunting is incomplete or biased.
MICHAEL F. HOWARD, Boise