Republican complaints? will not help health care

To repeal the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans would have to keep the House (probably), win the presidency (a tossup) and not only win back the Senate, but win 60 filibuster-proof seats (very unlikely). And that's assuming there are no defections and no Republican is going to want to go on the record as wanting to take away health care from 30 million Americans who now have it – especially if there is no whiff of an immediate replacement from the Republicans (there isn't). No, the best the Republicans could do is weaken the bill financially, which would require only 51 Senate votes, not 60. But, again, the Republicans would have to accomplish all those other things I've mentioned, plus at least win the Senate back, which is unlikely for 2012.

And even if Mitt Romney could repeal Obamacare on "day 1" as he claims (he can't; it's a congressional matter), then what happens on "day 2"? Nothing, that's what. The Republicans have no health care plan and has no apparent interest in working on one. Otherwise, they wouldn't reject one that Mitt Romney himself came up with and the Republican party wasn't far off on back in the 1990s when they rejected Hillary Clinton's plan.

So why doesn't the GOP do something useful by helping fix the problems with Obamacare and help improve the law instead of wasting time with politics?

Dale Reeck



Religious liberty ?editorial is spot on

The News editorial regarding the so-called war on religious liberty got it exactly right. Where was the bishops' outrage over the abominable actions of pedophile priests? How many of these bishops connived to send offending priests out to different parishes when complaints began to surface? They were shuffled from one parish to another in a gigantic coverup that lasted for decades.

I agree that abortion is a mortal sin, but I believe that in cases of incest or rape it should be allowed. As for birth control, I think the bishops would be shocked at how many Catholics use it. My guess is that, nationally, the number is in the millions.

Betty Wendling



Special interests won,?and the people lost

President Obama's health care bill may well have gotten the overwhelming support of the people had the excessive profiteering been gutted from our medical system. There is nothing in the bill about tort and medical insurance reform and Big Pharma and medical supply price regulation. Now we will be subjected to a health care tax.

Will this be an additional tax for individuals already paying for medical insurance? Will this tax be squandered for other things, as has been the case with Social Security?

Some say the Republicans will repeal the health care bill if and when they can. Of course, there will be no beneficial alternatives for the people.

It seems to me that the special interests and their cronies from both parties win with or without the bill. We, the people, lose.

Leonard R. Kaszuba



Repealing health care ?is not a viable option

The Affordable Care Act has been found constitutional, now the decision to move on is political. Repeal, or Improve. We, a nurse and a physician with combined 65 years' experience in medical care, would like to offer these thoughts.

First recognize that the statement "we Americans already have the best health care in the world" is wishful thinking. Among industrialized countries, our health statistics are in the lower half, while our cost is over the top. Why? Because one man's cost is another man's income. Any cost reduction is resisted by the special interest whose income is threatened.

Then recognize that, unless we are prepared to watch the uninsured suffer and die unattended, we are already paying, inefficiently and contentiously, for their care. A comprehensive system will be complex, with some inefficiencies, but better than what we now have. To address the various problems piecemeal will fail because any piecemeal reform will be met with piecemeal obstinate resistance from the particular special interest whose income is threatened.

To those who say the free market should determine the shape of health care, we ask, when your appendix bursts, do you seek out the cheapest doctor and hospital?

This law has a number of problems, mostly because of the concessions made to special interest during the legislative process. But including everyone, as is done in all other modern industrialized countries, is an essential framework upon which we can work to improve our health care, control costs and adjust to whatever the future brings.

During our lifetimes several presidents attempted to enact a form of universal health care. Due to the opposition of vested interests only one has succeeded. We should not turn back. The call to repeal and start over again is a euphemism for doing nothing.

Peter and Deborah Ewing

Lake View


Obama administration?has cut bureaucrats

Regarding a June 29 letter, let's set the record straight. Ronald Reagan spent more money then all the presidents combined before his inauguration. True, much of it was used to feed the military industrial complex. However, it was largely money wasted and had little to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This writer speaks of a "peace dividend." What planet is he living on? With two wars going on, more than 300 military bases worldwide and drone attacks wherever we see fit, I must need a new prescription.

Last, he says that Congress struggles to cut the military but never cuts bureaucrats. This is not true. Congress is afraid to cut the military, losing the support of lobbyists who have been funneled from the military. There has been a 2.5 percent cut in "bureaucrats" in the last three years under the Obama administration.

Spencer Lingenfelter



It's time to rethink?America's priorities

The world economy is in trouble, unemployment is still at 8 percent, Drugs are still killing our kids and the headline is "Republicans plan strategy to repeal health care Law."

The gap between rich and poor grows, student loan debt is out of control and job prospects for college grads are slim. The federal government does not have enough money to address many domestic issues because of two wars and revenue loss because of the Bush tax cuts.

We need the health care reform act, we need tax revenue to rebuild our infrastructure, we need to end these stupid wars. We need to put tax levels back to Clinton-era levels and that means the inheritance tax also. We need leaders to put America first. Invest in roads, bridges, low income and senior housing, schools and libraries to teach our kids the skills to survive.

Put an end to gridlock and a do-nothing Congress. We were great back when tax levels were higher. Many of the people who are wealthy today became wealthy under that type of structure. Today they need to be tax exempt and need start up money from local communities to do business in your community.

Daniel R. Weaver

West Seneca


The elderly should be?celebrated and valued

The great show of support for the elderly school bus monitor, Karen Klein, should motivate thinking citizens to reflect upon our societal attitudes. Unfortunately, the elderly are often perceived as helpless, irrelevant, generally passive and incapable of caring for themselves. Even worse, they may be characterized as sad, evil or crazy.

Yes, our knee joints and hips wear out. We may walk slower and suffer from poor eyesight and loss of hearing. But should our wrinkles and bent back give rise to criticism? Is our physical appearance cause for abuse or scorn?

People identify themselves though their work and occupations. The aged may be considered non-productive or even useless. Does this engender ill will towards the elderly?

Those of us who advocate for the elderly fight against stereotypes and prejudice. Older Americans should not be universally categorized. We are no more homogenous than members of any other group. Most of us continue to be interesting, creative, inventive and active. We also have a wealth of experience to be drawn upon.

Additionally, stereotypes and prejudice influence not only the society at large, but the self-image of the aged. Seniors can become demoralized victims of these demeaning attitudes and actions.

One can understand peer pressure on the young. What about adult guidance and concern?

Demographics have indicated that in the near future 20 percent of our nation's population will be 65 years old or older. We should not be indifferent or cruel to this significant portion of the population. We should promote dignity and respect for the elderly. We will all reap the benefits.

Stephen J. Muscarella

President, Erie Niagara Alliance for Retired Americans

East Amherst


Buffalo's waterfront?is finally blossoming

I continue to be amazed and thrilled with the progress made with the Buffalo waterfront. Daily sporting activities, major concerts and top-notch restaurants have made the Erie Canal Harbor the place to be this summer. To make this area even better I'd like to suggest a community swimming pool, a dunking tank for politicians that stall progress and a concert by the king of summer, Jimmy Buffett. Thanks to Buffalo Place, our much-maligned city is finally turning the corner and its future can only get brighter.

Marty Farrell

West Seneca