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Our system of pay out of pocket for health care is absurd & marginalizes millions

To The Daily Sun,

I just read Rich Tjaden's opinion letter regarding a response to someone else's letter about the ACA. I am not sure what the other writer had to say, but felt compelled to comment on the state of our health care in this country.

While your comments are well-intentioned, they are just not correct in their entirety. Sure, we have fine hospitals and medical professionals, but we are only as good as our sickest patient. This idea that the free market provides our country with the best care is an absolute load of baloney. We have state-of-the-art facilities, especially cancer facilities, sure, but what about access? If you have good insurance maybe, but otherwise not so much (and the networks and specialization, wait times etc make it next to impossible to get good care especially for chronic diseases, but I digress).

A more balanced approach to this topic would be to give accolades where they are due: To many wonderful medical professionals in our country who are trying to do right by people in need, as long as the insurance companies will agree, but, our system of pay for care is absurd and marginalizes millions of people's health care issues.

Not only do approximately 150,000 people die each year from properly prescribed medications, the same amount die of lack of care. When this country gets off its proverbial butt, disregards the lies and fears shoved down our throats from corporate elites who claim socialism is communism and that providing care to all would bankrupt the U.S., then we will continue to have these ridiculous conversations about how good we are in this country. Oh, excuse me, how great we are ... we are the greatest. So why, pray tell, do we need to make it greater? (cough, gag, cough)

The stats don't line up Mr. Tjaden. We rank near the bottom for infant deaths and basic care of our people. We are one of the sickest nations in the world ... and perhaps the sickest. We prop up the rich and demean the poor. We give a blank check for war, but balk at giving grandma a meal. Capitalism creates poverty. Period! And this administration with a broad stroke just raised the bottom 90 percent's tax burden and overall financial burden tremendously at the same time as propping up the rich. This will not help the cause. This will widen the income gap and surely create more instability. We have history to prove that — real world examples.

When we can have our government actually run by the people and not corporations (like insurance companies), elect people who care about people over profits, policies over party, we will have less people priced out of healthcare. So, please do not try to explain to us that our medical establishment is the best.

We have many wonderful schools and smart talented caring people who are nurses, doctors, and researchers, but until we can actually provide care for all — regardless — none of this really matters. And you hit the nail on the head when you said people come here from all over the world to get an education in the medical field ... why wouldn't they? They will make millions off of the sick. Isn't that swell?

Sara Kender
Gilmanton

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Pleae join me in support of carbon fee and dividend legislation

To The Daily Sun,

The Lakes Region is an area rich in tradition based on diverse outdoor activities, which is one of the reasons my husband and I choose to live and raise our two children here. A peek into Saturday's Laconia Daily Sun highlights just a few of the many local events celebrating our region's natural resources: the Winni Derby (the largest landlocked salmon and trout tournament in the Northeast), the Franklin Outing Club's Winter Carnival (featuring kayaking on snow-covered slopes), and New Hampshire Maple Weekend (my favorite!).

Sadly, local events like these have faltered in the past several years, in part due to global climate change. The Winni Derby was suspended in 2010 to ease pressure on the hard-pressed salmon population. Last year the Webster Fishing Lake Derby was canceled from the Winter Carnival due to warm weather. This year they had to scramble to prepare the slopes for the kayaking event. And maple syrup production in New Hampshire is seeing a dramatic drop in quantity and quality due to warming temperatures.

In addition to reporting on these events, Saturday's paper noted that the United States had the second-warmest February in the 123-year period of records. Across the U.S., many regions had near-record warm temperatures. And the letters section of Saturday's paper featured lineworkers' observation that winter storm Stella was the worst storm in nearly 20 years. Increased frequency of extreme storms is another visible effect of climate change here in the Lakes Region.

I believe climate change is the biggest issue facing mankind today. Disruption to local outdoor events is just the beginning. However, I am delighted to have recently discovered the Citizens' Climate Lobby's Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal, which climate scientists and economists agree is the best first step to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic climate change from global warming. Their proposal places a fee on carbon and returns the revenue equally to residents via monthly dividends. This proposal is good for the economy and even better for the climate. Please join me in urging Senator Hassan, Senator Shaheen, Congresswoman Shea-Porter, and Congresswoman Kuster to support carbon fee and dividend legislation. (Learn more at http://citizensclimatelobby.org/.)

It's time to take action to protect the Lake Region's local outdoor traditions for generations to come.

Aimee Ruiter

Gilmanton

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