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ACA was no rush job

Editor: In response to Don Waltenspiel’s letter Saturday, “Did history repeat itself,” a simple check shows that the Affordable Care Act was thoroughly debated in committees and on the Senate floor before it became law. Check your facts sir.

The following is from snopes.com: “The ACA was debated in three House committees and two Senate committees and subject to hours of bipartisan debate that allowed for the introduction of amendments.”

“In June and July 2009, with Democrats in charge, the Senate health committee spent nearly 60 hours over 13 days marking up the bill that became the Affordable Care Act. That September and October, the Senate Finance Committee worked on the legislation for eight days — its longest markup in two decades. It considered more than 130 amendments and held 79 roll-call votes. The full Senate debated the health care bill for 25 straight days before passing it on Dec. 24, 2009.”

JANET D. REYNOLDS

Santa Rosa

Overlooking benefits

EDITOR: Alan Wayne’s recent letter (“So what if rich get help?” Saturday) asserts that “people who have money should not be required to support those who do not,” and “the federal government is too big” and “wastes money.” He overlooks the benefits we all receive from the government. Did he go to a public school? Does he use interstate highways? Does he support the military and vets? Did he accept FEMA assistance after the October fires? Is he on Medicare? Does he think the government should not be responsible for these things? Government has an important role to play in our society. Jeffrey Frank, reviews a book in the New York Times titled, “The Gifted Generation: When Government was Good.”

The book outlines the dangers of a “recessive” government and that the role of the government as “umpire, the leveler, has diminished.”

Frank points out that “without an umpire, a society may be forced to function without the rules that help guarantee order, fairness, and, as the Constitution put it so well, ‘the general welfare.’ ”

I’m more than happy to contribute my share of taxes ensure that these ideals are upheld.

DONNA GAETANO

Santa Rosa

It’s in everybody’s interest

EDITOR: Concerning Alan Wayne’s letter (“So what if rich get help?”), he seems to be missing the subtleties of a social democracy. The outrage is not in allowing the rich to keep more of their money but allowing them to do so in a time of deficit spending when the middle class is shrinking due to stagnant wages caused by oppressive financial policies.

Social safety nets, which got their start after the Great Depression, seem to often be equated with giveaways to the lazy. Yet much of the problems caused by indigents who don’t play by the rules can be traced back to a lack of basic education; an educated population makes better choices.

Yet this administration continues to eat away at public education, withholding more money from schools to give back to the wealthy. If we don’t, as a society, learn that it is in everyone’s interest to keep the general population educated and healthy, the middle class will cease to exist and the rich, although even wealthier, will be unable to sustain their lifestyles in a society collapsing around them. They cannot insulate themselves forever from the reality outside their gates, no matter how much money they have.

DR. GERRY LAZZARESCHI

Healdsburg

Propose a parcel tax

EDITOR: The hospital in Sebastopol has serious problems. First, there is the bond debt that is illegally out of proportion to the district’s assessed value. In addition, these bonds are out of compliance as tax exempt, according to the IRS code, and either must be renegotiated or the district will pay a monthly penalty of $30,000.

Second, the 40-year-old hospital building needs a lot of work, as evidenced by the recent boiler room incident. Cost projections to fix the building are more than $1 million. Third, the average daily census hovers around six or seven patients. As directors have stated before, the average daily census must be at least 16 to “break even.” Fourth, the toxicology testing agreement with a Florida company will eventually be called “labscam” and cost the district money to extricate itself. Fifth, there is still an unresolved bankruptcy to pay for.

So to those who want the hospital to remain open, here is the solution. Put a measure before the voters to increase the parcel tax to $465. Simple. Put your money where your mouth is.

GARY HARRIS

Forestville

It’s all about Trump

EDITOR: I am a liberal with many conservative friends. We remain good friends and debate politics with civility and respect. I long for the days when representatives from both parties met off camera and worked out their differences to come up with compromises that were good for all Americans. Now, contrary to T.K. McDonald’s letter (“Concerned about deficits,” Thursday), what’s going on in this country is far beyond liberals versus conservatives. It’s about Donald Trump.

We now have a sitting president who expects loyalty to him from the FBI, the independent media and even from the U.S. Supreme Court. We have a sitting president who actually wants to jail his opponents and censor scientific findings. Are you kidding me?

Liberals had Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Conservatives had Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose because the pendulum swings both ways.

Honestly, I think most Americans like it that way. No one party gets too out of hand. But this is different. Trump is not a Republican. He merely invaded and coopted that party like a cancer. I wish patriotic conservatives would take back their true party and recognize that Trump is seriously bad news for all of us together.

JOHN HOY

Petaluma

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