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Obamacare fails to fix health care

Providing affordable health care for all Americans is a goal on which we can all agree. It is a goal that must include the elimination of pre-existing conditions, frivolous lawsuits, outrageous pharmaceutical prices and the creation of free market competition between insurance providers across state lines. Any law that does not include these basic requirements will not succeed in helping us reach our goal, affordable health care for all Americans.

The current law, which is 2,700 pages long, seems to address everything BUT these basics. The question is why. We know now that the people who created the affordable care act deliberately misled the American public so they could get it passed. These people relied on “the stupidity of the American voter” to get this law enacted. And they celebrated their successful deception.

The affordable care act has not made health care more affordable for all Americans and millions were not able to keep their doctors or their existing health care plans as promised by our president. What this current law has done is almost exactly the opposite. But why?

It seems to me if you set out to fix the health care system so that it is able to provide affordable health care for all Americans, then they should have stayed focused on health care and left out the other 2,500 pages.

Mike Simon, Glen Ellyn

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MLK’s non-violent dream

From Sunday, January 11, through Monday, January 19, building operators in downtown Chicago have once again been asked to light their buildings blue as a sign of peace during the Annual National Birthday Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Although Dr. King is mostly remembered for his “I Have A Dream” speech, he was in fact one of the most vocal voices for non-violence in history. Dr. King taught us that non-violence was not simply a phrase or an action to be taken, but rather it was a lifestyle to be lived, where each day we look for an opportunity to express it.

On a day when violence plagues our cities, country, and world, I challenge us all to accept Dr. King’s challenge to choose non-violence as a lifestyle and be peace makers in our homes, on our blocks, and in our cities and nation. After Dr. King’s home was bombed, he considered buying a gun to protect his family. He later stated, I have a right to own a gun, I simply choose not to. I choose non-violence as a way to live. Dr. King said, “I am convinced that if we succumb to the temptation to use violence in our struggle for freedom, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and our chief legacy to them will be a never-ending reign of chaos.”

The wave of violence we are facing can be reversed if we make a choice for non-violence. As we see the blue lights in the city, let’s make a choice to be non-violent peace makers not only in our words but in our actions as well!

Rev. Michael L. Pfleger, Faith Community of St. Sabina

If only the NFL followed real world rules 

I had just dismounted from my motorcycle on Michigan Avenue and hadn’t yet taken off my helmet when out of nowhere a guy comes running at me full speed with his helmet on and smashes into my head. Fortunately, a police officer was there, he arrested this maniac and he ended up getting five years for assault and battery. I got a concussion but justice was served.

Actually, that never happened to me but it did happen to Bears second-string quarterback, Jimmy Clausen, when he took a vicious hit from Ziggy Ansah on the next-to-last game of the season. Mr. Clausen suffered a concussion and his season was over. How did the NFL penalize Mr. Ansah after he deliberately inflicted what could have been – and still might be — a devastating injury? His team got “penalized” 15 yards, he got fined $22,000 and he got a letter from the commissioner. I’m sure this multi-millionaire athlete got a good laugh out of his “punishment.” A sum of $22,000 to him hurts about as much as a parking ticket hurts me.

If the NFL was really serious about stopping this sort of “unnecessary roughness” here’s what they need to do: after the first such offense the player should be fined $500,000 and be immediately thrown out of the game. If that player does it again at any time during the rest of the season, he should get a $2 million fine and be thrown out for the rest of the season.

I guarantee that if the NFL imposed this type of penalty, the number of concussions and other injuries caused by deliberately vicious hits would drop dramatically. True, fans might miss the spectacle of seeing players taken off the field on stretchers, but the game would be just as exciting and almost as violent.

Steve Robinson, Edgewater