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Letters to the Editor

August 19, 2009

Can't we just try to read the health care bill?



To the editor:

At a recent Eggs and Issues hosted by the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the issue was health care reform.

Questions of the presenters soon turned to the national scene and speculation of what the law resulting from HR 3200 and the Senate committee's Affordable Health Choices Act would contain. My question, "Would you agree/disagree that everyone should read bills" was met with smiles, snickers and some rationalization that the documents are too long and convoluted for us to read. How disappointing.

Imagine if we failed to teach our children the discipline of reading a full novel. Would they ever really know the passionate defense of human rights in "To Kill A Mockingbird"? Would they know the frustrations of the "perfect society" as experienced by John the Savage in "A Brave New World"? Imagine if we failed to show our children how our representative government can work.

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Couldn't we just try? Over 100 pages of the proposed Senate bill, found at http://help.senate.gov/BAI09A84_xml.pdf, articulates how the health care work force will be made larger and perhaps better trained through federal loans and grants. That leaves about 500 pages that might be pertinent to the services you and I receive and expenses we pay for health insurance. Couldn't we try to gather some friends and share the read, each reading some number of pages? Then talk about how what we read compares to the health care we have now.

Interesting, we early baby boomers will talk at great length about our multiple maladies and medications, but are reluctant to share the details of our health care plans.

Finally, we should send well-crafted questions to our representative or senators. Impact statements - genuine and factual - work well, too.

Whatever the methodology, the most important thing is to read.

Ruth Anne Callaham
Hagerstown




"Birthers" argument is a waste of time



To the editor:

The desperation of the right wing, and the lack of knowledge of their constituents, is clearly shown in the "birthers" argument, the claim that Barack Obama is not qualified to be president because he was supposedly born in Kenya, his father's homeland.

First, there has been no evidence produced that his mother, a white American citizen, was ever in Kenya, particularly around the time of Barack's birth.

Second, even if Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, he would still be a "native-born American citizen" because his mother was a native-born American citizen.

So let us ignore these baseless un-American claims, and the media fools who harp on them, and get on with the crucial business of trying to rescue our great country from the consequences of eight years of Bush's idiotic policies.

Burr Loomis
Chambersburg, Pa.

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