Health care reform hurts military retirees

First, I believe that health care is not broken, although it may need some guidance. Second, health care is not a right, but a privilege, whether it is a privilege of job, wealth or just being an American is open for debate and discussion. With that, I'd like to point out a few items that I have discovered through friends and researching.

One of the ways that the government proposes paying for this massive bill is by making military retirees pay for it by taking away Tricare for Life. TFL was instituted in 2002 to reinstate health care to military retirees that was promised them. Now, with this latest fiasco they will take it away, causing military retirees and their families to pay out-of-pocket for health insurance. I for one am proud to have served my country for more than 23 years; however, part of my decision to make it a career was the long-term benefits (health care for life) Now, my sacrifices of missing Christmases, birthdays, anniversaries and other family events will be for naught, just so this administration can pass a bill that will not solve anything but will only add to our huge deficit.

I wouldn't mind an increase in taxes to help people who through no fault of their own do not have coverage or if it were a program that would benefit all. But I think it is not only unfair, but unethical, to take away that which I, and many others, worked so hard for.

I propose rewriting this monstrosity into a workable, readable bill that would give a reasonable level of care to all citizens and to leave those of us who have worked hard and sacrificed alone with our insurance intact.

Douglas J. Barnard

Waldorf, Md.

More safe-driving tips

In the beginning of November, somebody wrote about using their directionals when driving and giving others ample time to see that a turn is going to be made.

I can think of a few more.

Watch your high beams, especially riding behind another driver. Beams can be blinding to the driver you are following.

Put lights on when your wipers are on (law) and in the snow and fog. Makes others able to see you better.

Refrain from using cell phones and texting while driving. If you are texting, you are not watching the road.

With the snow coming, clean the snow off your car. Just cleaning the snow only where your wiper will clean is an obstruction to you and dangerous to others. Clean your car off. The snow left on the top of your car can blow off, hit the windshield of another car, obstruct the view and cause an accident.

Finally, if you see flashing red or blue, pull over and let them through.

Daniel Naughton

Cooperstown

Abortion laws would constrain our liberty

I deeply admire the many Americans who choose to renounce their right to abortion. It seems like a noble credo. But at the same time I am horrified that some pro-life people want to make the rest of us conform to their faith by force of law. That is not the American way.

Our heritage is liberty; the right of each of us to make up his or her own mind as an individual. Exercising that right _ given to us by God and the Founders _ is what makes us the proud and independent people we are. Each time we take away liberty with a new law, citizens become more compliant and obedient to authority. Freedom is thinking for yourself; law is government thinking for you. Through laws, government wins and the people lose.

If some denominations choose to add protecting the embryo to their creeds, I applaud their commitment. But the personhood of the fetus is not a scientific fact; instead it is a belief held by some people. Calling a fetus a human being or a child asserts that belief, but does not make it true. Regardless of the practical implications, abortion laws would be yet another constraint on liberty, our most precious possession.

Richard Mulliken

Jefferson

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