Worse than children on a playground
The Democratic Party has resorted to a level of name-calling that surpasses that of children on a playground. Names such as “blackmailers,” “hostage holders,” “extortionists,” “anarchists” and “rapists” are in poor taste and do not set an acceptable tone for public discourse.
The Republicans have reached out, but the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have not been amicable, saying they will not negotiate with the Republicans. They sound more like dictators than representatives of all the people. The side that refuses to negotiate is responsible for the shutdown of our government.
Shirley Arndt, Omaha
Tea Party obstructionists hate Obama
Though I am a Democrat, I’ve always had respect for the Republican Party and many times have voted for Republicans. That is until the obstructionist Tea Party people came along. There is no valid reason for attaching a condition like abolishing the Affordable Care Act to a bill for keeping the federal government in operation.
Here is the truth: These people hate President Obama and have said from the beginning that they would block anything he was promoting.
They have claimed that “the American people” are against the health care law. What about the thousands of people who cannot afford expensive health insurance or have been denied by insurance companies? They are Americans too and deserve some consideration by our lawmakers.
Ellen Campbell, Central City, Neb.
Delaying health care law makes no sense
“I’ll hold my breath until I turn blue!” is the threat of a child who insists on getting his way. That seems to be the attitude of the obstructionist Republicans in the House — except that they are making everyone else hold their breath about the national debt issue.
Delaying the Affordable Care Act for another year makes no sense. It just means that the same stupidity will be repeated next year. Maybe worse, since that will be an election season and politicians of both parties will be posturing their utmost.
Edgar Pearlstein, Lincoln
Health costs soared before Obamacare
I find it interesting that Sen. Deb Fischer says she keeps hearing from Nebraskans who say their insurance premiums are rising and changing unexpectedly as a result of the new health care law. I have heard just about everything blamed on Obamacare. I have even heard the rise in animal vaccine prices being blamed on Obamacare.
The fact is insurance premiums were skyrocketing before Obamacare, hence the reason for Obamacare.
My husband and I, who are self-employed, dropped our insurance several years before we became eligible for Medicare because our rates had gotten so high and our deductible kept climbing. We were, thankfully, blessed with good health during that time, because we risked losing everything.
But we didn’t have a choice.
Penny Fattig, Gothenburg, Neb.
Here’s one way to settle the debate
Tired of the bickering and the squabbling regarding the cost of Obamacare? Democrats say it will cut costs, and Republicans say it will raise costs.
Try this: We implement Obamacare. If the Democrats are correct and the overall cost of health insurance goes down, we keep it as the law of the land. But if the cost is higher than what we currently have, we trash it and start over. I’m taking bets.
Jack Mayhew, Valentine, Neb.
Health law a bid for control over our lives
Kudos to Ramesh Ponnuru, “Republicans craft sensible alternative to Obamacare” (Sept. 30 More Commentary).
It’s become obvious, however, that the creators and supporters of the current law are not interested in changes that would decrease federal government control over any aspect of our health care. The primary objective of Obamacare was apparently never better and more affordable health care for all. It was obtaining total federal control over our economy and the lives of working Americans.
For more than 90 years, the statists have pursued the holy grail of American politics, and now that they perceive it within their grasp, they will never voluntarily relinquish it. If we don’t start fighting for our individual freedoms, we will continue to see them eroded by politicians who value such freedoms only for themselves.
Charles Hinkle, Omaha
Blame them all, vote them all out
If it were not so serious, the current debacle in Washington would be almost funny. The Democrats are calling it “the Republican shutdown,” while the Republicans argue that the president and the Democrats caused it.
I agree with and blame both parties equally. This should have been avoided. Little children will take their ball and go home when they are upset with each other. We sure as heck do not expect our president, senators and representatives to do that. Play ball, ladies and gentlemen. All it takes is to meet in the middle.
We used to have statesmen in the House, the Senate and the White House. We have not had those for years. The folks who are elected today are pigheaded and self-focused. I say, as old Billy Shakespeare said so elegantly, “a plague o’ both your houses.”
Anyone who votes for any incumbent of any party at any level deserves this sort of result.
Scott Fredrickson, Omaha
In U.S. illegally? Pregnant? Deport them
My solution to the debate about prenatal care for illegal immigrants: When the woman comes in for care and it is discovered she is here illegally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is called and she is immediately deported to her own country so that they — and not the overtaxed Nebraska taxpayer — can pay for her care.
This also avoids the baby’s becoming a U.S. citizen just by being born here. That is another law that needs to change.
If we need more ICE agents to enforce the law, then we can pay for them with the money saved by not providing the prenatal care. These people are breaking our laws and do not belong here. They need to be sent back.
Chris Lewis, Omaha
Instead, focus on stopping aid fraud
Here we go again with the funding for prenatal care for undocumented women, and now the House votes to cut the food stamp program by $40 billion over the next 10 years. Why don’t we take a small percentage of that money to investigate the fraud that occurs in assistance programs?
When we hear “illegal” or “undocumented” person, we jump on the topic with such ignorance. Most of us don’t know much about it. Why don’t we start with what we do know: government fraud.
Gerardo Vazquez, Omaha
Combat Russian discrimination at Games
Over the past year, people in Russia have endured increased homophobic oppression. Russia now endorses discrimination by prohibiting any portrayal of LGBTQ relationships positively. With the coming Winter Olympics, the world is focusing on these laws.
Policies institutionalizing homophobia and denying people basic dignity have no place in our world. We need more than American action. We need global action. Some advocates propose an Olympic boycott, while others suggest wearing rainbow pins to the games. But neither of these options will hold President Vladimir Putin accountable for Russia’s human rights violations.
As Americans, let us remember our exceptional principles. Let us remind the International Olympic Committee that these laws violate the Olympic Charter, which protects “human dignity” by “act(ing) against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic movement.”
Let us also call for corporate responsibility from the largest sponsors of the Olympics, including Coca-Cola, Visa and McDonald’s. Discriminatory laws should not be tolerated, let alone economically rewarded.
Most important, let us strive to be a model for global LGBTQ equality. As Harvey Milk once said, “It takes no compromise to give people their rights.”
Angela DeVolld, Lincoln
Executive chair, Allies and Advocates
for LGBTQ Equality
Editor’s note: This is a student organization at the University of Nebraska College of Law. The views are the organization’s and do not represent the university.