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THE PUBLIC PULSE

THE PUBLIC PULSE

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Medicaid expansion pays for itself

I urge Nebraska lawmakers to pass Legislative Bill 1032, which would buy private insurance with Medicaid funds for those who make under 133 percent of the federal poverty level. It would require integrated care and education for jobs and promotes transition away from the need for Medicaid.

Federal funds, which are our tax dollars returned to us, would be used to pay for 90 percent of the cost. Savings from other programs no longer needed and the economic benefits from this bill would pay for the rest.

Currently in Nebraska, single adults are not eligible for Medicaid. Families must earn at or below 50 percent of the poverty level to be eligible.

That is not right.

The lack of health care affects many released from prisons that have mental health needs. With a renewed emphasis on rehabilitation to decrease recidivism, it is the right thing to do to pass this bill.

Donald M. Zebolsky,Omaha

Bail doesn't fit the charge

How can Douglas County Judge Jeff Marcuzzo set such a low bail — $50,000 — for a 19-year-old accused of felony motor vehicle homicide while driving under the influence ("Woman killed in Omaha car wreck was 'nicest person to everyone,'" Feb. 5 World-Herald)?

The accused was allegedly more than three times over the limit and faces 20 years in prison if convicted. He has a large family here and will likely make bail.

But will he make it to court? If he doesn't, Judge Marcuzzo should step down the same day.

Mark Emmons,Omaha

The real transgender outrage

I recently attended a conference on faith and families in Salt Lake City. There were gender-neutral restrooms for us to share.

Once, when I went to wash my hands, a female came out of a restroom stall. I paused for a moment, as it was the first time I had shared restroom space with a woman. We both exchanged thoughts about the conference, washed our hands and left.

Later, I was talking to a person transitioning from male to female. We both had to use the restroom. Again, I paused; it was the first time I had shared restroom space with a transgender person. We continued our conversation about life and religion, washed our hands, and left.

We all seemed to function easily without yelling, pointing, condemning or hating.

Each year we gather on Nov. 20 for Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those who have lost their lives to transphobia. More than 20 transgendered people were killed in the U.S. in 2014-15.

The cause for alarm should not be if people self-identify as something other than what's on their birth certificate; the cause for alarm should be that people are being murdered for their gender orientation.

The Rev. Royal D. Carleton,Omaha

They had a hand in it

The Republicans' consistently repeated mantra "the failed Obama presidency" calls to mind the adage of the son who murdered his parents, then pleaded for mercy because he was an orphan.

Betty Majeski,Ashland, Neb.

Citizenship requires a little homework

It seems apparent to me that many of the political windbags — some in the media and some running for president — are relying on us to be either too ignorant or too lazy to read. I would suggest that, instead of letting anyone tell you what the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights say, you read them yourself.

They're both readily available online or at any library. If you are just a bit more ambitious, you can read the papers from our Founding Fathers, like Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and others. I submit you might be very surprised at what they actually said and thought.

You don't need to have studied constitutional law to understand these brief documents. While everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion, it should be your civic duty to have an informed one. Especially in this election cycle where real facts appear optional.

Mike Bitcon,Omaha

Dumb, but safer, candidate?

Over the past few years I have always assumed, with some exceptions, that the individuals running for president or Congress were of high intelligence. I would think that having funding and support wouldn't be enough to get one a high position in government. The individual would also have to have more on the ball.

Then I read a Thomas Sowell statement: "There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people. For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs."

As I think back to all the debacles that have occurred in various administrations, he may have a point. I may now have to look for the dullard candidate running for office.

Terrence F. Schlaht,Omaha

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