Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for April 9

We’re now part of civilized world

I am so pleased and proud of my country once again.

Having lived in England for several years and experiencing firsthand the benefits of social health care, I know absolutely that this is the right thing for our country.

Now, we join the ranks of civilized countries with the will and the wherewithal to ensure that all have proper health care coverage, and leave behind the barbaric regime that abandons those who simply can’t pay their own way.

At last we begin to evolve from a brash young country, and are seen to act with more maturity and considered thought that transcends the self- interests that the Republicans so vehemently try to perpetuate.

TROY STEHR, Olympia

Bicyclists must be seen by motorists

I love all the biking in Olympia — saving all that petroleum product, saving money, and getting a good workout at the same time.

Bicyclists all look so fit. And the ones I have shared the road with follow the rules of the road.

Now, they all need to buy a headlight and a tail light, be sure the reflectors on their bikes are not missing, and wear reflective clothing — at night and in the rain, especially.

On Cooper Point Road and Division Street, especially, this need is apparent.

Some bikers have done this and it is marvelous. They will live to see another day.

CAROLYN SAMSON, Olympia

Health care reform is necessary

Due to some foul ups by my brother-in-law’s employer, my sister cannot afford to pay for health care for herself and my three nieces.

So I charge anyone who is against health care reform to convince me that a plan that will help my sister get affordable health care, that they can’t be turned down for because of pre-existing conditions is bad.

Before you say the state of Washington has basic health, realize that there is a 12-month waiting list just to apply. That is no guarantee that you will be accepted.

What if something happens in the 12 months that she has to wait?

If you don’t like what the president just signed into law, then come up with something else that will work. If you don’t have any better ideas, then sit down and shut up, because what we have now is not working.

As far as it being against the Constitution, fine. It’s my First Amendment right to stand on a public sidewalk with a sign telling you how I feel about people against health care reform.

WILLIAM LOVELY, Olympia

McKenna should abandon lawsuit

Although I favor a single payer approach, I accept the lawful and democratic process that resulted in the recently passed health insurance reform.

However it is apparent that Attorney General Rob McKenna does not since he has joined in a partisan-based legal challenge to this legislation.

It is accepted jurisprudence that the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to legislate in areas (such as health care) that broadly affect interstate commerce. So, from a legal standpoint, McKenna and his Republican cohorts are on thin legal ice.

It is informative to consider the positions advocated by some of McKenna’s allies. The attorney general of Florida, who is a right-wing ideologue, is asserting a position of states’ rights, which has not been heard since the Civil War. This particular reasoning is the one that justified the secession of the Southern states. Given this mind-set, I wonder if McKenna would also favor reinstating the Dred Scott decision (i.e., slaves are property, not people).

Lastly, McKenna’s political showboating is based on his desire to run for higher office. It is apparent that he has figured out a way to do this at the taxpayer’s expense. So, although I favor the public funding of electoral campaigns, McKenna’s cynical approach is not what I had in mind.

So, I urge Rob McKenna to cease and desist playing politics at the expense of the Washington taxpayers, and more importantly, at the expense of the well-being of the millions of uninsured Americans.

DENIS H. LANGHANS, Olympia

Gregoire cost taxpayers money, too

In a front page article in The Olympian recently, I noticed that our governor is opposing the action of Attorney General Rob McKenna, who plans to join a multistate challenge to the constitutionality of a health care overhaul bill passed by Congress.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, who said McKenna didn’t consult with her, stated that he doesn’t represent her.

Let’s review what happened in 2004 when Gregoire first ran for the position of governor.

She lost by a narrow margin. There was a recount and she still was behind her opponent. She wanted to take advantage of our state’s allowance for another recount, but her political party couldn’t afford it.

U.S. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts came to her aid with $200,000 for a hand count of the ballots.

Gregoire was declared the winner, so the loan from John Kerry had to be repaid. Who had to pay for it? The taxpayers of the state of Washington, although about half of them had not voted for her.

She did not represent them.

ORMA BEDZIS, Lacey

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