Shared from the 7/12/2018 The Miami Herald eEdition

OPEN MIC

Work on Obamacare is unfinished — let’s work to save it

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, it wasn’t perfect. But because these reforms were decades in the making, we didn’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.

The ACA ended the restriction of access to healthcare for people with preexisting conditions, created tax credits, allowed young people to stay on their parent’s plans and lowered our uninsured rate to historic levels. Regardless of political party, that’s change we can all believe in. But our work isn’t done.

Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle must come together and improve upon existing legislation and strengthen the ACA. There are already proposals that have garnered the support of those on both parties, some more pragmatic than others.

I admire the ferocity of many in the Democratic Party working toward lofty goals for the future of healthcare — and I am often shocked at the repeal-or-nothing rhetoric coming from the other side. But the reality is, Democrats and Republicans should be focusing on pragmatic, patient-centered solutions that build on the stability of our current system.

We have to keep making healthcare more affordable and accessible — through the ACA.

We can boost cost-sharing subsidies to supplement the high costs associated with out-of-pocket expenses, expand and improve healthcare exchanges, and incentivize insurers to return to the marketplace to serve more people.

I went to Washington to solve problems, put partisanship aside, and make laws work better and fairer for middle class families and small businesses.

In a country as great as ours, no one should ever have to make a choice between putting food on the table or treatment for an illness. The ACA, and the millions of people it has helped, are worth fighting for.

Patrick Murphy, former U.S. Representative, Miami

FEAR ON DISPLAY

On July 11, one letter praised the “clean cut, white, churchgoing,” Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and another letter blamed “the greens” for banning plastic straws, because people just need to dispose of their trash properly.

I thank the Herald for printing letters like this. It is important to present all sides of the issues — especially when they espouse myopic views that are protected by the First Amendment, but also to remind those who are more progressive in their thinking that it is this fear of diversity and science that continues to plague the future of this great country.

– A.G. Jimenez, Sunrise

HATE OR SARCASM?

In reading Michael P. Gable’s July 11 letter, “Kavanaugh pick,” I wondered why the Herald would print such a distasteful, hateful opinion.

Then I thought, well, maybe, the Herald is outing Gable for having such prejudiced views. Then I thought, well, maybe, Gable is just being sarcastic. Which is it?

Ellen D. Coulton, South Miami

RECKLESS DRIVER

Re the July 10 story “Cops: Driver in crash had troubled driving record:” Two horses dead and two people with life-threatening injuries, hit by a man with a troubled driving record. What more does it take to revoke a driver’s license?

Lauren Zeefe, Kendall

INHUMANE TREATMENT

I am a93-year-old retired registered nurse with many years of experience and education in pediatric nursing, from premature infants to children in hospice care.

The first principle of my religious belief is that I value the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and there must be justice, equity and compassion in human relations.

Our government has inflicted emotional damage upon thousands of babies and young children by separating them from their parents at the border. That separation may have stopped, however, the damage has been done to these young minds and it will continue to affect their development. President Trump also has damaged our standing in the world community by this ugly, cruel policy.

Anyone who values young children would never cause them such pain because of imagined invasions of aliens. Statistics show immigration has decreased in recent years, not the inflated numbers Trump claims. Surely, members of Congress have the authority to voice their opposition to such inhumane treatment of young children and to correct his lies.

Every passing day deepens the pain the children suffer. What are we doing to solve this horrible situation?

I am embarrassed that Trump is president of our country.

Alice Phelps Lingswiler, Kendall

PRESIDENTIAL OPTICS

Will President Trump make the nation great again, as he has promised? This implies that his recent predecessors were failures.

In carrying out his vision for the nation, speaking figuratively, Trump uses a mirror, but most of his predecessors used binoculars. A small minority used a telescope.

The perceptions derived from these instruments and, subsequently, formulated into policies that affected the state of the nation — and not rhetoric — will determine which presidents made the country great and which did not.

Meanwhile, we know this for a fact: An empty wagon makes a lot of noise.

Whittington B. Johnson, Miami

TRAPPED CHILDREN

Recent headlines have conveyed two contrasting stories on children separated from their parents.

The separation of families at the border is an ill-conceived and chaotic situation.

These children are being harmed by a fundamental meanness toward immigrants that exists in America.

However the rescue of the soccer team in Thailand showed a resolve and basic humanity in which America was involved, too.

Both situations involved children who had no fault in their predicaments.

One group remains in manmade metal cages, while the other was removed from a God-made cave.

It evokes the opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” — “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness …”

A.L. Brignoni, Coral Gables

CONFUSING REMARK

Responding to being interviewed and duped by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for a Showtime cable series, Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain’s 2008 running mate, was quoted as saying, “Mock politicians and innocent public personalities all you want, if that lets you sleep at night, but how dare you mock those who have fought and served our country.”

I’m confused. Is her remark aimed at Cohen, or the man Palin endorsed for president in 2016, Donald Trump?

Richard Pober, Palmetto Bay

EXPANSION PAINS

Although the Herald had significant coverage of the plight of Lincoln Road merchants and the high rents driving businesses out, there has been little coverage of the businesses on U.S. 441 in Hollywood that have suffered through years of highway expansion.

Numerous small businesses have closed their doors because of the lengthy project and the havoc that it has brought to area traffic.

One business in particular, Rich Formal Wear, is closing its doors after more than 30 years of providing generations clothing for weddings, proms and funerals.

Additionally, how many of these businesses have not been compensated by the state of Florida for various reasons, including landlords that have not provided the documentation required for such compensation?

Business may return to the area, but at what cost to those who could not survive the years of construction?

Only time will tell.

Oscar R. Friedman, Cooper City

CHANGING LANDSCAPE

When asked, I lecture on the hydrology of Florida and its association with native peoples and their history.

At the end of my talk, I give a simple fact: Latitude 25 north runs through the South Florida/Miami area. Every land mass that crosses this latitude is a desert, specifically the Sahara and the Mexican desert.

We live in a tropical paradise with water on three sides and water in the Everglades, which has been recognized, since Marjory Stoneman Douglas demonstrated, as a river of grass.

If we continue to encroach on this water wonderland, latitude 25 north in Florida will become a desert, as well. Don’t let that happen.

State Road 836 does not need to be expanded. We need to work within our own parameters and preserve what we have.

John C. Nordt, Coral Gables

"DEAR AMERICA, APPRECIATE YOUR ALLIES. AFTER ALL, YOU DON’T HAVE THAT MANY.
Donald Tusk, president, European Council

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