Health care law should move forward
Congress frequently loses its compass and fails in its legislative responsibilities, never more egregiously than dealing with the Affordable Care Act. House members have voted to repeal it 40 times, somehow continuing to expect a different result.
So, at the 11th hour, Republican members of Congress offer Americans a non-lifeline: defunding the health care law. An alternative plan is offered with no hearing or debate, just a few generalities. Insulting.
Even the most committed ACA proponents agree revisions are needed. Congress had three years to amend it. What has happened besides the repeal votes? Nothing! Even the Constitution was amended 27 times.
ACA opponents focus on polls showing a majority of Americans opposed to the ACA. Most citizens have insufficient knowledge of it to make an informed judgment.
If ACA were deferred or defunded, members of Congress could sit down face-to-face with their uninsured constituents to explain why their needs don’t matter enough to find a solution for comprehensive health care.
Will we be the last developed country to have universal coverage? If not now, when?
Lavon Sumption, Lincoln
Anti-Obamacare speech a bit overblown
Regarding Sen. Ted Cruz’s 21-hour floor speech against Obamacare: So the senator puts himself up there with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the French Underground; George Washington and the Minutemen; and Presidents Truman and Eisenhower?
I’m waiting for Cruz to announce he’s the Second Coming.
Sandra Trandahl, Omaha
Affordable Care Act won’t lower prices
I don’t often laugh out loud when reading Pulse letters, but I have to confess a guffaw or two while reading Andrew R. White’s recent letter (Sept. 25 Pulse) claiming Obamacare will lower health care costs for everyone.
Typical liberal fantasy. People who pay attention know that health care costs almost always go up, seldom down and rarely permanently, and if permanently then with lesser availability. Making medical procedures more available for more people requires more facilities, more professionals, more time, more equipment, etc., and that requires more money. No amount of liberal wishful thinking will change that.
The Affordable Care Act is an oxymoron for the ages. Anything the federal government is involved in, other than the military, will be less efficient, more costly and more corrupt than it would be otherwise.
P.L. Butcher, Shenandoah, Iowa
Ethanol being forced down our throats
I would like to “thank” the powers that be in Nebraska and Iowa and their environmental comrades for forcing ethanol down our throats. I went to fill up with regular only to find it is no longer available. Now both 87 and 89 octane contain 10 percent ethanol.
In mileage tests, my results with ethanol were a 12 percent loss in mileage on my car and a 20 percent loss on my truck. On average, it cost $10 more to go 1,000 miles in the car and over $20 more for the truck.
Additionally, the owner’s manual for my boat states not to use ethanol fuels. I’m forced to use the much more expensive 91 octane to offset the mileage loss and to prevent damage to my boat engine.
J. Adam West, Union, Neb.
Fresh water needs trump Keystone oil
Regarding the Keystone XL pipeline: You will find in the future that fresh drinkable water will be far more important than oil. If you honestly think that Rep. Lee Terry and company really care about Nebraska and the environment, you are beyond naive.
It just takes one spill.
Fredine Donahoo, Omaha
U.S. oil companies need more incentives
With conflict in the Middle East in the headlines again, Americans should be reminded of our ongoing dependence on Middle East oil. Even with repeated attempts to declare our energy independence, some in Congress continue to push policies that punish domestic energy producers.
Earlier this year, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey attempted to repeal tax credits for domestic oil and gas companies. Removing these tax credits not only increases energy costs to consumers but also makes our country more reliant on foreign oil.
Our state and country need to provide additional incentives for companies to develop our domestic resources, not remove the few incentives we already have in place.
Nicole Mattox, Gretna
State tax reform sunk before it begins
State Sen. Galen Hadley says the tax system “might take some tinkering, some changes, but overall it’s not working badly” (Sept. 22 World-Herald). I would challenge him to look at my Nebraska tax burden to see how it’s “not working badly.”
Unfortunately, nothing of any value will come from Hadley’s tax study because he has already determined that most tax issues are “off the table,” and the powerful lobbyists will not allow true tax reform.
If Hadley were truly interested in tax reform, his No. 1 issue would be to eliminate most of the sales tax exemptions. If sales tax exemptions were truly minimized, there would be no need for the exorbitant property and income taxes. There would be much-needed property tax relief, and we would no longer see Lexus autos with “tax-exempt” license plates.
Don’t hold your breath.
A.D. Vinke, Omaha
Let’s pay college football players
I read where Sen. Ernie Chambers was calling for paying college football players a long time ago. It was a good idea years ago, and it remains a good idea today.
If the players got a stipend, maybe that would improve their self-esteem and enable them to stand up to the bullies in charge. And I like the idea of a “super conference” of schools that could make their own rules, including paying players, independently of the NCAA.
If that happened, I wonder if the NCAA could still hold the College World Series. Omahans better hope so, as we built a multi- million-dollar downtown baseball stadium basically for that single event. It’s time to start paying college football players and for Omaha to get serious about other uses for TD Ameritrade Park.
Ricky Fulton, Omaha