Letters to the Editor

Readers write about whether or not the US should consider universal healthcare, lending money only to those who can demonstrate their ability to pay it back, and why Israel should give up its occupied lands.

Is universal healthcare a good idea for the US?

Regarding the Jan. 7 Opinion piece, "Universal healthcare and the waistline police": This is an excellent commentary. However, it's also important to understand that universal healthcare can lead to unwanted medical surveillance. That's because if policymakers combine compulsory health insurance for all with mandatory electronic medical records for all, everyone will end up becoming part of a nationally linked medical surveillance system, like it or not.

Clearly, there are better ways to lower costs and increase access to healthcare for those unable to pay for it, such as providing tax breaks to providers who offer free care for the needy.

The one-size-fits-all universal approach to health policy should be reconsidered. Instead, policymakers should consider a variety of reform options that take into account the many different approaches to healthcare in the US.

Sue A. Blevins

President, Institute for Health Freedom

Washington, D.C.

This commentary is just a fearmongering false dilemma. You could just as easily say that if we let the government take care of road building and maintenance, it will take away our cars and trucks and make us drive mopeds to save on wear and tear. Or you could just as easily say that if we let the government run our public parks, it will take our dogs away because dogs are known for defecating on the grass.

A simple way to shift a portion of the cost burden onto people who eat unhealthy food is a 10-cents-per-gallon tax on corn syrup. Or even better, quit subsidizing corn and move that money to subsidize fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Melissa Elmore
Liberty Lake, Wash.

Lend money to those with incomes

In regard to the Dec. 22 article, "Obama weighs a supersized stimulus plan": The increase of the money supply via the extension of credit has a positive effect on the economy if that money is loaned to people and businesses that have a positive cash flow.

That is, a source of income that will enable the borrower to repay the principal and interest as agreed. This economic principle has been ignored by credit institutions until very recently.

That principle goes for creating the money being generously handed out by the federal government for bailouts. Where is the cash flow going to come from to retire this enormous amount of debt? Primarily from taxing the income earned in the future by citizens. Income taxes paid by businesses are negligible and passed on to consumers when possible.

Any stimulus package is a two-edged sword, and its long-term effectiveness depends ultimately on the productivity it creates indirectly.

C.M. Hollis
Novato, Calif.

For peace, Israel must give up land

Regarding the Jan. 5 editorial, "Israel's Gaza surge": There will never be peace in the Middle East until Israel gives up its occupied lands.

Israel is thriving. Isn't it time now for the US to stop sending it millions of our taxpayer dollars every year, which are dearly needed here at home? Shouldn't we stop sending Israel our military might, which it has used against its neighbor? Shouldn't Israel have to abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

Broker a land deal for a just peace.

Aurellia Sobczyk
Clemson, S.C.

The Monitor welcomes your letters andopinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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