Health insurance reform

There are two items that must be addressed before any real reduction in the cost of health insurance can occur.

First, tort reform. The ability to sue on a contingency basis must cease. If and when that happens the cost of medical malpractice insurance would see a dramatic decrease.

Second, the ability to purchase insurance across state lines would encourage greater competition, ergo lower prices for the consumer.

However, health insurance is not health care. Each one of us is responsible for the way in which we conduct our lives. To be in good health we need to stay away from processed and fast foods. Drink plenty of water, exercise daily and control one's weight, don’t smoke or take drugs — legal or illegal — and consume alcohol sparingly. Those of us who follow this regimen generally stay healthy and content in our way of life.

Valerie T. Smullen

Central Point

Consistently incompetent

Since inauguration Donald Trump has been consistently incompetent and reckless while subverting democracy and the rule of law, he’s sought to use race and religion to divide Americans against one another, he’s trying to deprive deserving Americans of health care, he would deny Americans the right to control their own bodies, he’s bombing indiscriminately and promoting suffering around the world and he’s promoting the destruction of our planet while pushing policies that favor himself and the wealthy over middle- and working-class Americans. And he’s under investigation for obstruction of justice, which we know because he has boasted about it on TV and to the Russians.

I don’t know if those voting for him expected this, but he clearly telegraphed throughout his campaign that this would be his presidential behavior — no different from his corporate behavior. Maybe all this is a surprise to his voters, but he is acting precisely the way I expected. What is most amazing is that many of those he is targeting actually still support this insanity and try to normalize it.

Reminder: The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to say nothing. For our children, our duty is to resist.

Alan Journet

Jacksonville

Watching 'Groundhog Day'

I recall the days when tobacco corporations were lying to us concerning harm to our body. Now we are going through the same discussion regarding THC.

The issue once again will be driven by financial gain, not by good research. Recreational pot is the issue, not medical benefit. It’s a good time to watch "Groundhog Day."

Lynn Berntson

Jacksonville

Trickle-down doesn't work

The trickle-down economic theory — reducing taxes on the wealthy spurs economic growth — is conservative orthodoxy, with little basis in reality. Rare is the CEO who uses his huge tax cut to benefit his employees through wage increases or improved working conditions. Most CEOs spend their government largesse on luxury items — another mansion, yacht, jet.

Republican politicians promote the trickle-down myth, counting on their wealthy supporters to return the tax-cut favor via generous campaign contributions. Let’s remember that eight years of trickle-down fantasy under Bush/Cheney led to a deep recession.

Now we have trickle-down ideologues in charge of Treasury and Commerce — Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, respectively. Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner and hedge fund manager, and Ross, a private equity investor, both led companies that profited from the mortgage crisis. They used deceptive methods to force millions of homeowners into foreclosure and reaped billions of dollars in profits, much of which came from the FDIC in loss-sharing costs.

These two moguls must be salivating over their control of federal finances — their chance to funnel billions in subsidies to corporations and wealthy individuals, especially Trump loyalists, while systematically deconstructing the social safety net.

Marie Arvette

Medford