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Forum, Feb. 1: Uncouple health insurance from employment

Published: 1/31/2020 10:00:18 PM
Modified: 1/31/2020 10:00:09 PM
Uncouple health insurance from employment

While Jim Kenyon singles out Dartmouth-Hitchcock, it must be recognized that dependent verification audits are a direct consequence of our overreliance on employer-sponsored health insurance in this country (“D-H honchos: Papers, please,” Jan. 26).

The United States is virtually unique in the world in making health insurance a “benefit” of employment rather than a social good like police and fire protection, universal elementary and high school education, and Social Security and Medicare for seniors. Businesses — including nonprofit ones — must adhere to regulations and maintain financial viability in order to provide such a benefit. In addition to the Obamacare employer mandate, tax advantages incentivize businesses to do so.

But uncontrollable health care costs are challenging for employers. Employees saddled with heavy cost-sharing in increasingly common high-deductible health plans hardly see the “benefit” of these plans and harbor resentment against the employers that offer them. Freed from the responsibility to pay for health insurance premiums, employers could offer more attractive salaries in a competitive labor market.

“Medicare for All,” by uncoupling health coverage from employer, could also free creative and entrepreneurial workers to pursue their passions in other companies or create small businesses of their own. It’s time that we stop demonizing employers and the health insurance companies they need to administer this anachronistic “benefit.” It’s time for Medicare for All.



Understanding Trump’s deregulation efforts

We all need to make sacrifices if President Donald Trump’s America is going to be formed. Get on board or you will be an enemy of the state. Your Facebook protests will be evidence that you are against that state and Donald Trump.

This new state is formed by transnational capitalist treaties with nation-states that empower this group of capitalists to be the new ruling empire. Imagine the new empire is not a nation-state; it is a group of financial and energy corporations empowered by our Congress, Supreme Court and the executive branch through treaties. Now these transnational corporations have “Bill of Rights” protection because corporations under the law are the persons that the revolution of 1776 was fought for. (And you thought it was about human rights.)

The treaties trump federal, state and local law. We must acknowledge and express our appreciation to the Christian evangelicals who offered unwavering support to empower this transnational organization of which we are now a client state. Now, they did receive a payoff for selling out our democracy. Their theological tenets are becoming law. Imagine having to give up your right be free to have your theology become law. Their support of this national transition includes businesses’ right to poison our water and land. Simply look at the deregulation of environmental and human protections against poisoning the soil, air and the human body. So, when you see your evangelical Christian neighbors, tip your hat because they have facilitated this transition.



Nation will trust Joe Biden

I am writing this letter because I support former Vice President Joe Biden for president. The Democratic primary is coming up soon and I hear many Democrats are still trying to decide who to vote for. It is a big decision. New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status really makes our votes count. We have a reputation for taking our voting rights seriously and carefully considering our votes. We are so fortunate to be able to meet all the candidates, to have questions asked by our neighbors and friends, and then to hear the answers directly and in real time. What a privilege.

I have been fortunate over these last 18 months to see and meet most of the candidates, and quite frankly, in the general election, any of them would get my vote. But I think the bigger question is who will garner the swing votes and the independents in the national election against President Donald Trump. I also ask myself who will the nation trust, who will the world know, and who will be ready to step in and lead immediately?

Joe Biden stands out for me.

This is not a time for on-the-job training or overly ambitious plans. This is a time for experienced moderation. Let’s get back on track. Defeating Donald Trump is job one.

Please join me in voting for Joe Biden.



Deval Patrick is the answer

For years I dreamed of being able to vote in the New Hampshire primary, then I became paralyzed over picking the wrong nominee. Go with my heart, or go with my head? Go for issues I believe in or electability — as if I can judge what others think?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is the answer.

He is right-minded on issues of health care, gun control, international commitments, etc., and he is a consummate, experienced politician: knowledgeable, personable, respectful of the person he is talking with, tough minded and fair. Given a chance, he can win.

Give him your vote — but first give him your money so that he can make his case to the widest audience possible.



To put end to Trumpism, vote for Michael Bennet

Democratic strategist James Carville knows something about winning elections, and has endorsed the candidacy of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.

In an interview on the RealClearPolitics website, Carville predicts a Bennet nomination will corral 55% of the popular vote, and with it 55 Senate seats — thus, he says, ending Trumpism forever.

Quietly, Bennet has held more town halls and taken more questions than any other candidate in this primary. The temperament and intelligence this country needs, along with a wife and three daughters who make for a postcard first family, have been on full display. His positions don’t change from primary to general elections, which is why he has won two difficult races in a state that mirrors New Hampshire.

A Bennet nomination appears to be the winning strategy to me, and his voice deserves to be kept in this election. Find out where you can give him a look before you vote. He is scheduled to be at the Blue Loon Bakery in New London on Feb. 10 at 9 a.m.


New London

Drawn to Pete Buttigieg

I support former Mayor Pete Buttigieg for president. People who know me are not surprised. They knew I would be drawn to:

■ Someone interested in our future — yours, mine and especially my grandchildren. I am not looking for easy answers or just what has worked in the past, or to throw the baby out with the bathwater and bring in radical ideas that have no base in reality. I want new, bold, achievable solutions to the challenging issues that must be addressed.

■ Someone who can listen to others’ ideas respectfully, find value in their ideas, and articulate the importance of being part of the solution team for our country no matter your party affiliation.

■ Someone who is a veteran with a realistic world view who understands the challenges in defending our democracy both in the U.S. and abroad and can talk the talk with our military leaders, asking good questions and surrounding himself with the best people for those important decisions.

■ Someone who demands facts and options, thinks clearly and makes informed decisions, not political decisions.

■ Someone who sees the value of the U.S. partnering with other nations in climate policy, technology, science and research.

■ Someone who wants to give a hand up not a handout to citizens and who will find solutions to finally address the inequality of health care, wages and housing, issues that get words but no action.

And, I want someone who provides such a stark contrast to President Donald Trump in every way that Republicans and independents will join in supporting him. Buttigieg has strong crossover appeal, and to win the White House in November we need them. Please vote for Pete Buttigieg.



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