No free care
A lot has been in the news lately about Medicare for All.
If I had no firsthand knowledge, I probably would be inclined to think it was a free government program.
Medicare definitely is not free. My personal monthly expenditures are Medicare medical insurance, $135.50; Medigap insurance Plan F, $259; and Medicare prescription drug plan, $28.50.
My total of $423 per month is $5,076 per year. My husband pays the same amount, so our household total is $10,152 per year.
The “fly in the ointment” is if Medicare does not approve a charge, it pays zero on that bill. And the Medigap insurance company also pays zero.
Right now, my husband has two charges not approved: one for a blood test and the other for a chest X-ray.
Should the “talking points” change to Congress Care for All, we seniors will sit up and take notice.
Alice E. Hague.
Natural gas a bridge
until renewables improve
Rhea Suh made strong arguments in her recent column, “Climate change: the central environmental challenge of our time,” particularly this one: “Protecting our children from this widening scourge [climate change] shouldn’t be a point of political division.” Unfortunately, it’s not just one side of the ideological spectrum that has politicized the issue of climate change. With zealous opposition to any fossil fuel, many so-called environmentalists are not only ignoring, but also actively opposing development of a resource that actually has helped reduce emissions.
I’m talking about natural gas, of course. Increased use of natural gas — which is a fossil fuel, but also is significantly cleaner than coal when used in electricity generation — has helped the United States reduce its emissions levels over the past decade. It is an important bridge between a past dependent on coal and a future where renewables are plentiful and affordable. Unfortunately, renewables are neither of these things today, but we are making real progress.
Certain activists want to impose additional regulations on natural gas, or ban it outright. Such action would be shortsighted and, thankfully, state lawmakers have recognized this.
I hope they’ll continue to work to ensure consumers are able to access natural gas power as an alternative to coal.
As Suh suggested, protecting our children is too important not to.
Did Barr obstruct justice
over report release?
We have now been informed by the current attorney general, William Barr, that the president of the United States has not committed obstruction of justice by firing James Comey because of the “Russian thing” (Trump’s own words in a “60 Minutes” interview). The reason: The president was “angry and frustrated at that time.” This is certainly a remarkable legal defense for an illegal act that would undoubtedly not play well in any court of law.
One might also consider that the charge of obstruction of justice also should be made against Attorney General Barr for obfuscating special counsel Robert Mueller’s report by substituting his own partisan opinions for the actual wording of the report, and doing so for weeks prior to the report’s release, and then providing his own opinion of it on national television prior to anyone else (except the White House ) reviewing it.
Our previously independent Department of Justice has been compromised and all Americans (of both parties) should be frightened and outraged by this perversion and misuse of the democratic process.
Henrico should fix
condition of its roads
Henrico County is forcing Virginia Center Commons to fix its potholes? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black! How can we force Henrico County to fix its own potholes (and correct hundreds of other deteriorated street conditions)?
in Gaza being ignored
Israel and Iran share a similar point of view, enmity toward each other. President Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, a long-term agreement between Iran and the P5+1 — the U.S., United Kingdom, France, China, Russia and Germany.
Saudi Arabia and Iran share a similar viewpoint, again, enmity. President Trump’s veto of congressional legislation stopping United States’ support for Saudi Arabia in their proxy war against Iran, in Yemen, demonstrates President Trump’s willingness to defend not only Israel, but also Saudi Arabia.
A humanitarian crisis exists on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea as well as on the shores of the Persian Gulf. Organizations as well as the press have publicized the horror of war in Yemen. Pictures of starving children have been broadcast and have left an imprint on our collective mindset of war around the Persian Gulf.
No equal time has been given to the humanitarian crisis on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, and the coastal prison called Gaza, in what used to be Palestine. The astronomically high infant mortality rate, malnutrition, the extreme poverty, the lack of basic human conditions (such as homes, clean water, safety) create a hopelessness and suffering unfelt or realized by any Israeli, Saudi or American individual. According to The Times of Israel, “senior Israeli official pointed to humanitarian conditions in Gaza as the main factor fueling unrest.”
Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States share similar outlooks, selectivity on human rights. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Trump do not believe in universal human rights, but in a selective form, rights only for themselves and those like them, a separative, nationalistic sense of supremacy. Self-centered leadership undermines the way forward.