Letters to the editor Jan. 6

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Medicare for all

Dr. Michael Boharski recently wrote about the exorbitant cost of healthcare here in our valley and our country. A “Medicare for All” plan would alleviate this problem by guaranteeing that all Montanans receive high-quality health care they need regardless of their economic and social status.

A “Medicare for all” health-care system is far better and more preferable to the existing one based on profit-driven insurance companies. Health insurance companies make a profit by insuring as many people as possible, offering coverage to as few people as possible, and providing as little treatment as possible to as few people as possible.

Unfortunately, this profit imperative is how our health system works, and as long as insurance companies are responsible for authorizing health care, this will be the case.

To facilitate informed public discussions about implementing a “Medicare for All” system in this country, misinformation, and myths about what it is and isn’t need to be dispelled.

As proposed, a “Medicare for all” system is a nonprofit program that would save more than $500 billion per year by eliminating copays and deductibles. A public agency would handle health care financing while the delivery of care would remain largely in private hands. A “Medicare for All” system would eliminate the rationing of health care going on now in this country because of the inability of many people to pay the cost. The total cost of providing health coverage would be substantially lower than under our current hybrid system. Nearly 20 percent of Montanans have no health insurance and between a quarter and a third are underinsured This country is badly in need of an honest debate about how to fix the problems of inequity, inefficacy, and cost of health care. It should start by dealing with the facts of different options, not misinformation and myths.

—Edd Blackler, Bigfork

Display of injustice

I was incredulous when I read that the County Attorney’s Office was trying to enter into a plea deal with the accused murderer James Quen that would have given the murderer a suspended sentence. No jail time for cold-blooded murder. I find this a travesty of justice. Is this the best we can do as a county? Is our attorney’s office so incompetent that they don’t think they can get a conviction, even after the guy admitted shooting him?!?!? At the very least, the agreement was a lie. Quen shot at the man multiple times. How on earth can that possibly considered “negligent homicide”? Was he using styrofoam bullets? How could he have been any more deliberate than to point a gun at someone and fire multiple times? What did he think the result would be, hurt feelings? People serve more time for simple assault. He needs to go to jail for a long time, and the County Attorney’s office needs to do what they’re paid to do.

I wrote the above paragraph before the murder charges were dismissed. So now let me add, the county attorney should be charged with aiding and abetting. His inaction shows incompetence. He’s so afraid of losing a case in which the defendant already admitted to the crime that he’s taken the case away from a jury of peers, who just might have had the guts and the wisdom to do what he wouldn’t, and decided to run away from it.

I hate to think I’ll ever be in a position where I expect to get justice in Flathead County. Maybe in the next election people will remember this weak-willed display of injustice and choose to elect someone who actually intends to seek justice for victims.

—Doug Adams, Whitefish

Border debate

Democrats are hoping to claim the moral high ground in the immigration debate by supporting the unrestricted flow of people illegally crossing our borders as a humanitarian issue. But do they really? Let’s look at some of the things they said when Obama was President.

Chuck Schumer - “Illegal immigration is wrong, plain and simple.” Referring to the 600 miles of fencing that had been already been built, he called it “a significant barrier to illegal immigration.”

Schumer also is on record saying “one of the most effective things we do on the border is turn people back. They get up to the border and we find them and say ‘go home’.”

Nancy Pelosi – “We do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in.”

Hillary Clinton – “We have to send a clear message that just because your child gets across the border, that doesn’t mean your child gets to stay.”

In 2013, every single Democrat voted for $46 billion in border security, including money for 700 miles of border fencing. But they are willing to shut down the government over an additional $5 billion to continue the process they started.

So which is it? Are they just pandering for votes? It is easy to say anything when you are the opposition party. Nothing you propose will ever become law so there’s no accountability. Schumer and Pelosi both know that a nation must control its borders. Something they clearly supported when in power, but oppose now that Trump is president. My guess is that they would oppose tearing down the existing fence if Trump proposed doing it.

—Rick Packard, Whitefish

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