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Letters on health care enrollment, race, taxing what hurts us

Dec. 16, 2017 at 11:09 p.m.


Is it 'lose' or 'choose'?

In the article titled "Obamacare enrollments down in Longview" in your Dec. 13 edition, Jeff Brown of WellnessPointe states that the repeal of the individual tax mandate from the Obamacare law will cause 13 million people to "lose" their coverage. So, by not threatening large fines against people who refuse to sign up — by making it an individual choice — someone is ripping the coverage away from them.

Forgive me if I don't understand. I thought that when you make a decision on how you allocate your resources you "choose" to forgo coverage. Could it be that the problem here is that too many people do not like leaving such choices in the hands of mere citizens?

Alfred McBride, Longview

Look beyond race

Racism is used as a powerful weapon, encouraging fear and hatred along with discrimination. It has also become a big topic and problem within these past few years with all of the killings of African-Americans along with people making racial slurs toward one another. Making racial comments like this can cause mental and physical health problems.

People keep saying everyone is equal, So why can't we stop the racism and discrimination and just and get along for once? I want to encourage people to look past someone's race or where they come from and the way they talk and look more into their personality or what they are interested in.

Brianna Ynfante, Kilgore

Taxing what hurts us

With congressional Republicans rushing to place a new tax bill on President Trump's desk before Christmas, here comes the respected British publication The Guardian suggesting a new source of tax revenue — meat. Yes, a tax on meat, to beat the health and climate crises.

The concept is hardly radical. We already pay taxes on tobacco, alcohol, sugary sodas, plastic bags and other consumables that afflict the public health and other social costs.

The revenue would reimburse Medicare, Medicaid and other government health care programs for treating victims of chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products. It would contribute to the costs of restoring air and water quality and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.

Benjamin Franklin noted that nothing is certain except death and taxes. However, death can be deferred substantially by taxing the very products that make us sick.

Lewis Noon, Longview

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