Veterans deserve our thanks, help
That year, 1918, on the 11th day of the 11th month, and at precisely 11 o'clock, the guns of the first World War fell silent. The Great (and terrible) War had abruptly ended. It became known as "the war to end all wars" and people all over the globe celebrated. History, however, would sadly come to understand that this armistice would not, in fact, end the human conflict known as war!
On each Nov. 11, Americans honor this day, and our ever-expanding roll call of military veterans. It is fitting and proper that we do this, for we indeed have much for which to be thankful. Our American democracy has successfully endured for the past 233 years; and people throughout the free world pray that our country continues to grow and prosper. In fact, we are the world's last best hope for global harmony, moral justice and a lasting peace.
Unfortunately, today we are living through another desperate conflict. Many of our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are facing down a dangerous and capable foe. They serve so that we might safely live and prosper. They serve to protect us and our precious children from harm. They are our sons and daughters, and represent the best our country has to offer. We seek to support them in their crowded hours of battle, and beyond. We shall not fail them and we shall never forget them. And, we will always seek to honor and cherish their loving memory.
As this, seemingly unending, war on terror continues to drag on, it will require us to find innovative ways of sustaining and supporting our solders, their families and their children. And, when they return from battle, we will need to find fresh ways to minister to their needs, for they will unquestionably need our ardent reassurance and understanding.
It will be our sacred duty to assist them in rebuilding and readjusting to the life they have fought for, and now so richly deserve to enjoy. In fact our task, that of helping our returning veterans to normalcy, may be the principal challenge we face. We must seek to help bind their wounds and soothe their battered spirits.
We Americans are noted for our compassion. So now, let us commit ourselves to the timeless art of healing. Let's both honor our veterans, and search for ways to minister to their thirsting souls. We owe them that.
Bob Loring, Zephyrhills
Government control not new to U.S. health care, Nov. 6 guest column
Public option is political excess
While health insurance is a portal by which one may gain access to health care providers, there is a distinction between those two terms. Health insurance in our free enterprise system is documented by a civil law contract in the form of an insurance policy. An insurance carrier assumes the risk for necessary medical care in return for a monetary premium paid by or on behalf of the beneficiary. If the risk materializes which necessitates medical care, then the insurance carrier, within the parameters of the policy stipulations, is obligated to pay for the health care.
There is a third term relevant to this discussion which is known as public welfare. When the government allocates the funds to provide unlimited and unqualified access to health care outside of the free market system, irrespective of a pre-existing medical condition, then there is no risk factor. Insurance is no longer germane to the discussion, and health care becomes a matter of public welfare within the same context as guaranteed emergency room treatment, Medicaid, food stamps and similar programs.
As we observe the politicians going about their charade of proposing a public option bureaucracy to compete with private insurance carriers, there are concrete facts to bear in mind. Presumably, those who can afford to buy coverage can select between the public and private plans and those who are uninsured will have access through welfare programs which will be underwritten by heavy taxation against the earnings and savings of productive taxpayers, by increased premiums charged to those who buy their own insurance, and by the curtailment of medical services to those who during their working lives have paid their premiums from their earnings for Medicare coverage in their retirement years.
Only the very naive person would believe that there will be fair competition between private insurance plans and the public option. Over the course of time, the federal government with its taxing and legislative powers, coercive tactics, and ability to print money, will force the private carriers out of the market. A monopolist single-payer, government system will control 17 percent of the American economy, and the Washington politicians and bureaucrats will exercise tyrannical and capricious control over every aspect of our lives.
The resultant travesty will have nothing whatsoever to do with quality medical care but everything to do with political power.
Jack B. McPherson, New Port Richey