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Letters: Medicare for all is unrealistic

Johnson City Press • Sep 21, 2018 at 6:00 AM

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Medicare for all is unrealistic

The Liberty Bell article on the “Medicare for all” hoax (Sept. 13) was right on point, but missed several reasons it is supported by people who don’t understand Medicare. Things not mentioned include: there are premiums, payment is 80 percent for most items and the recipient is responsible for the rest, there is no vision, hearing or drug coverage in Medicare and there is no out-of-pocket limit on annual expenses. In addition, all private insurance plans will be eliminated, meaning those on Medicare can’t purchase a supplemental policy which will drive many seniors into medical bankruptcy.

With that said, the question for supporters is “where does the money come from?” The spin response is to reduce payments to doctors. We are already short hundreds of thousands of doctors to meet current needs. The supporters want more people, serving more patients and receiving lower compensation. Does any rational person see this happening? Not me!

RON DAWSON
Johnson City

Where’s the substance in Blackburn’s campaign?

Thanks for printing the essays of Ron Ramsey and Ken Givens (Sept. 16) about the candidates for Bob Corker's Senate seat.

I regret that Mr. Ramsey reverted to the politics of fear and resentment to advance his choice in the election. He provided so many negative illustrations and wrote about so many other people that he had no room left to promote whatever it may be that Marsha Blackburn wants to do as senator. All we know is that Mr. Ramsey believes Ms. Blackburn is possessed of "conservative principles," which I believe is a dog-whistle phrase that means, "Whatever Trump wants."

However, we now know three common-sense proposals on which Phil Bredesen is running, thanks to Mr. Givens' essay, which revealed them. Bredesen wants to go after big shipments of opioids, allow the TVA to offer broadband to rural communities and reform the federal student loan system.

Mr. Ramsey got one thing right: his first sentence. The election does present a clear choice. A choice between getting to work on issues that matter to Tennesseans and stoking fear and resentment and exclusivity.

Phil has my vote.

THE REV. JEFF BRIERE
Johnson City

What will ‘conservative principles’ do for Tennessee?

Nowhere in Ron Ramsey’s endorsement of Marsha Blackburn (Sept. 16) does he give a reason why we should support her.

Instead of providing ways that Blackburn might work to improve Tennessee, he stokes fears that Bredesen will side with the usual Democratic foes. Blackburn’s only qualification appears to be her devotion to Trump and her “commitment to conservative principles.”

Here is what conservative principles look like to me these days: 1) massive spending that will raise the deficit by over $1 trillion next year, 2) tax cuts mostly for corporations and the wealthy (many middle class families will pay more under the new tax law), 3) xenophobic overreactions to immigrants (locking up families and 400-plus children still separated) instead of actual legislation to fix immigration, 4) denial of climate change and withdrawal from policies to actively address its ongoing threat, 5) cozying up to dictators, while forfeiting our global leadership by insulting our allies, 6) no new trade deals, but a trade war that even Republicans cannot defend, 7) threats to core values of freedom of press and speech, 8) abuse of power through nepotism, emoluments and assuming the Justice Department should protect the president from the rule of law, 9) deregulation to the detriment of defrauded students, workers, public health and our natural resources, and finally (though not an exhaustive list), conservative principles these days seems overshadowed by lying, bullying, narcissism, egotism, willful ignorance, impulsivity and racism.

Phil Bredesen offers a pledge to work for Tennessee on bipartisan legislation that will do the following: 1) return the DEA’s power to legislate opioids (which Marsha Blackburn helped undo), 2) expand broadband access to rural areas and 3) overhaul the student loan program.

Those sound like actual reasons to vote for a candidate and principles worth noting.

JOY DRINNON
Jonesborough

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