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THE PUBLIC PULSE

THE PUBLIC PULSE

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Weak arguments against LB 1032

When Gov. Pete Ricketts and like-minded lawmakers use the argument that they don't want thousands of poor people in Nebraska to have the benefits of increased Medicaid, they have a lot of explaining to do.

There is almost no cost to Nebraska citizens.

Making matters worse is that the state's action is already squeezing the state's small hospitals because they have to provide service to poor people who cannot pay ("Rural health care in critical condition," March 6 WORLD-HERALD).

I made up a little list of federal programs that have been around for years and are going to be around for many more years.

These include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps. The cattle, corn and soybean farmers of Nebraska were paid more than $800 million in 2014 for subsidies to protect their crops.

This has been going on for years. The federal government coughed up an additional $538 million in disaster payments in 2014.

And all we are trying to do is help 97,000 poor people become healthier to the benefit of all of us.

The governor's argument that the federal government will not support increased Medicaid is cruel behavior. Maybe he can give us a list of all of the things that the government has stopped helping with.

Otherwise the rest of us should rise up in wrath and not let the governor and his pals get by with this lame excuse.

Richard D. Holland, Omaha

Medicaid expansion a moral issue

Nebraska's Legislature needs to pass LB 1032, the Transitional Health Insurance Program, and expand health care to the estimated 97,000 Nebraskans who fall in the coverage gap.

When I was diagnosed with a very aggressive kind of cancer and told that without treatment I would be dead in two to three years, I was very grateful that I had access to the health care I needed.

For the thousands of Nebraskans who fall in the coverage gap, there may be no hope for them if they or their loved ones get a diagnosis like mine.

This is a moral issue. All Nebraskans deserve access to health care. This is also a fiscal issue — I want my federal tax dollars to come back to my state to help support the Transitional Health Insurance Program.

Carol Windrum, Omaha

Free speech for them

I find it ironic liberals are defending their protest in Chicago, saying they were just exercising their free speech rights.

The reason they were protesting is because they didn't want a conservative (Donald Trump) using his free speech rights.

Bill Allen, Blue Springs, Neb.

Let catching on to Trump threat

Evidently, Donald Trump has become a real and present danger to the left. None other than Moveon.org is alleged to be behind the out-of-control protest in Chicago.

Funny how progressives are always concerned about freedom of speech when it is their speech — never mind Trump's right to free speech.

And it's not surprising that Moveon.org chose Chicago. It is a bastion of liberal economic failure with a plentiful supply of eager recruits to create havoc.

The other Republican presidential candidates play right into the hands of the left. They declare that the rhetoric of Trump is responsible for the anger and resulting protest. These selfrighteous candidates blame Trump because they have not had similar problems at their rallies.

News flash! Trump is the target because the other candidates are seen as nonthreatening. The party knows it will not be able to control Trump. This is also the reason the establishment in Washington, D.C., is trying to sabotage Trump's candidacy.

Trump would not be my choice for "Mr. Congeniality" either, but he may be just what this country needs right now.

Carol Harris, Omaha

Did GOP establishment know?

The speed with which Ted Cruz and the others of the Republican Party establishment have criticized Donald Trump over the violence at his canceled rally in Chicago last week makes me wonder if they knew in advance that this was going to take place.

The establishment has made it known that it will do anything to make Trump go away before the convention. I wonder if it is playing a role in these protests.

What a mess the establishment has created.

Cecil Case, Omaha

A right to speech, not to violence

Were Donald Trump's First Amendment rights violated in Chicago? No. It reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

It addresses legal or official impediments to freedom of expression, not a popular reaction to exercise of those rights by others. That's why Nazis can march in Skokie or the Westboro Baptist Church can disrupt military funerals or protesters can show up at political events to express their views.

What it doesn't protect is violence against those with whom we disagree — and the history of Trump's campaign shows that many of his supporters are only too willing to cross this line.

Peter S. Gadzinski, Omaha

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