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Letters to the Poughkeepsie Journal

Friday, January 12, 2018

See source page(s) for full text of letters.

Recent tax overhaul puts health care at risk

After a challenging year in politics, the elation after learning that reason and basic human decency prevailed in the Alabama senate election quickly faded with the passing of the tax overhaul in Congress days later. Whatever the fiscal implications, the bill will likely wreak havoc on our health care system, and set the stage for further cuts to social programs next year, as Speaker Paul Ryan has already announced.

Let this sink in: politicians “we the people” elected voted for tax cuts benefiting the super wealthy and corporations. By design, they put healthcare of an estimated 13 million Americans in jeopardy, a move that will likely increase premiums for the rest and result in an estimated 200,000 deaths over the next decade.

I have seen enough uninsured patients skip appointments, medicines and preventive care to know that is not an exaggeration. Oh, and because “we are short on money,” I quote Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Congress also let the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expire and re-authorization seems elusive, soon adding another nine million to the uninsured rolls.

We are talking children’s healthcare, costing a fraction what we just handed corporations. Though I suspect he was more motivated to protect tax deductions of donors, I give Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook credit for voting “no” on the bill.

My wish for 2018 is that reason and human decency prevail once more, though it may take a vote by the people make it come true.

Benjamin Schaefer
Rhinebeck

Editorial Comment

Re: “I have seen enough uninsured patients skip appointments, medicines and preventive care to know that is not an exaggeration.”

How can this possibly be? The “overhaul” won’t take effect vis-à-vis healthcare until next year. Obamacare is presently in force and was supposed to have fixed this. - BK


Latest tax plan robs from the poor and gives to the rich

Sadly and disturbingly the billionaires have won again, taking a trillion dollars over the next 10 years for their obscene tax cuts. …

Fred Nagel
Rhinebeck


Support U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons

Did you know that this past summer a United Nations conference negotiated a treaty banning nuclear weapons? Fifty nations signed on while our government was adamantly opposed. There is a chilling void in media coverage.

We urge you to become informed about this treaty, commit to sharing information, and voice your opinion to your representatives. We need to get the word out. Here is a link to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. https://www.un.org/disarmament/

We, as members of the New Paltz Quakers, support this treaty. Our faith leads us to oppose all war. We stand in solidarity with the victims of nuclear arms and are deeply concerned about its effects on our earth and on future generations.

Aidan Koehler
New Paltz
on behalf of the New Paltz Religious Society of Friends

Editorial Comment

When nuclear weapons are outlawed, only outlaw nations will have nuclear weapons. - BK


Red Cross grateful for support to continue helping those in need

2017 was marked by record-breaking disasters that changed lives forever. In just 60 days, the American Red Cross responded to six of the year’s largest disasters – including back-to-back hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate – and provided more overnight shelter stays to victims of disaster than in the last five years combined. …

Kelly Formoso
Executive director
American Red Cross Mid-Hudson Valley chapter


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