How long do we have to go, as a nation, without a comprehensive health care system? All those who obsessively vowed to get rid of the ACA either had no idea of what it actually does or simply had a knee-jerk reaction to “gov’ment” intrusion by a black president. No sensible replacement option was or is ready.
But look around the globe. We are embarrassingly poor in health care options. We pay the most for drugs. Our health dollars don’t result in longer/healthier lifespans.
The same sort of propaganda used by the tobacco industry and fossil fuel interests has been used to cloud Americans’ minds into thinking “socialized medicine” is somehow evil. How many of these same reactionary people would reject their Social Security payments because it’s a “socialized” program? How law enforcement, fire protection, air and water standards, etc.? These are but a few of society’s governmental functions which benefit everyone.
There are limits to government intrusion which we can all agree on. But health care is so basic we should come together and have a system similar to what other advanced nations enjoy. Let the government bid on drugs and lower prices will result. Imagine how much less worry and stress on our society there would be if we instituted a national healthcare system like Europeans enjoy.
I have friends in Great Britain and other English-speaking nations who are amazed at the misinformation propagated by special-interest groups in this country about their health care systems. They are equally dumbfounded that we can’t come up with a better system.
We simply must do better, and reactionary conservatives should stop the rhetoric and roll up their sleeves and get to work with the progressives to fix this broken system.
John Roberts, Columbus
Second the motion
In the Ledger’s Letter to the Editor, there was a very interesting and to the point statement about the perfect match.
The letter's title was "Let's fill a need," and it asked why the former facility named Doctors Hospital sat empty after having been purchased by Columbus Regional next door. A very good question, and the suggestion to establish it as a Regional Veterans Medical facility was spot-on.
Five floors of Class A Veterans' Medical Services, as the letter stated, which this area should have had already, with the Martin Army Hospital at Fort Benning available but for some unknown reason never brought to the table by our local elected officials in Georgia and Washington.
Why don't the local civic leaders get behind this and get our representatives involved? As the letter stated, It's a “win-win.”
Michael Wade, Ellerslie
In November, Muscogee County residents voted decisively to maintain the status quo on property tax assessment and collection. With the new round of appraisals, it’s clear the city government doesn’t care about the voice of the people.
I’m a lifelong resident of Columbus, and I own three properties, one I reside in and two I rent out. Across the board my taxes went up, including one property that jumped 250% from the previous year. My father owns a tiny strip of unusable land next to his residence that jumped from a $5,000 appraisal to over $35,000, an increase of over 700%. There are hundreds of examples like this across the city, and the increases will inevitably lead to foreclosures, higher rents, and a colder real estate market.
The Board of Assessors, citing new software and the first full appraisal of all 70,000 parcels in “many years,” is explaining these increases as standard protocol. I disagree. This appears to be a subversive move by the county to collect the tax revenues they “lost” from the failure of the thaw vote. Consider this, the Board of Assessors has the power to roll back to 2016 assessments if it deems necessary, and yet they refuse to do so.
I’m not blind to the needs of increased revenues for crime prevention, failing schools, and infrastructure improvements, but efforts to raise taxes must happen in a transparent and democratic manner. When that failed in November, the city turned to subversive loopholes. That is not democracy or good governance; that is corruption.
Andy Bastone, Columbus
On May 13, Pope Francis conferred sainthood on two Portuguese shepherd siblings marking the centennial of their visions on the Virgin Mary in the city of Fatima. The siblings and their cousin claimed they saw the Virgin Mary in six apparitions between May 13 and October 13, 1917.
The local Roman Catholic Church validated the visions. As a result, the rural town of Fatima became one of the world’s most iconic Catholic shrines. The town is visited by more than 5 million pilgrims a year.
The Virgin is said to have revealed three secrets to the children, which were not written down until 1941. The first two secrets were interpreted as foretelling a great world war and the dangers of Soviet communism.
The third was long kept a mystery, but the sanctuary’s importance grew after Pope John Paul II credited the Virgin of Fatima with saving his life when a Turkish gunman tried to kill him on May 13, 1981, the anniversary of the visions.
Salman Elawad, Phenix City