Here's what letter writers had to say to The Times this week.
Congress should just fix Obamacare
I was disappointed to read in The Times that Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a letter backing the U.S. Senate's GOP health care bill.
There haven't been any hearings on this bill, nor has the Congressional Budget Office given its report on the bill's ramifications. Before a rational decision can be made on Trumpcare, one would need to know how many citizens would lose coverage and how would premiums be affected, among other things.
According to what I've read in the newspapers, the states would be given block grants so that they can design their own programs. Trumpcare would allot Indiana less money to do its program than what Indiana currently gets under Obamacare.
Our state is very frugal when it comes to paying for health-related benefits. Would preemptive care, pre-existing conditions and other Obamacare benefits be covered under any Indiana program?
Congress should just fix Obamacare.
Dorrie Steele, Crown Point
Valpo U president turned welcoming speech into anti-Trump rant
I had the opportunity to listen to Valparaiso University President Mark Heckler's speech to all the new students.
He started his speech off in a pleasant manner and progressively turned his welcome speech into his own political rally against President Donald Trump. I have never heard Trump endorse the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis or any other white supremacist organizations.
I am a retired firefighter and upset he took the right as a university president and so-called pillar of our community to be able to direct his own personal feelings on new independent young adults.
Shame on him. I really don’t believe he has that right from that position, whether I supported or did not support our current president. I believe the freedom of speech is still alive but should not be used by someone in his position welcoming new students to higher education.
Tom Steindler, Valparaiso
NFL players are desecrating America
They stormed the beaches of Normandy, marched their way through the jungles of Vietnam and trudged through the sands and landmines of Iraq and Afghanistan. They fought for Old Glory and American values. Thousands upon thousands died.
When these elitist, leftist, anti-American football players take a knee during our national anthem, they are not protesting. They are desecrating every single grave of our brave soldiers, who gave their lives for this country.
When you honor the national anthem, you value this country. When you thumb your nose at it, you demonstrate nothing but contempt for America as well as for all our brave veterans — especially those who gave their lives so these ingrates could have the privilege of playing football.
They don't deserve to even be on the field. It is clear the left wants to destroy everything we hold dear in America.
Carolyn Fox, Valparaiso
Gutting Affordable Care Act hurts regular folks
In my business, I see firsthand how the Affordable Care Act has helped people with pre-existing conditions and lower incomes.
The Alliance of Claims Assistance Professionals, or ACAP, a national organization of businesses like mine, publicly opposes the Graham-Cassidy bill because:
- It erases the guarantee to access to health insurance for ACA patients with pre-existing conditions.
- It will drive premiums higher with the elimination of the individual mandate and create further uncertainty in an already wobbly marketplace.
- It takes away federal subsidies for people with lower incomes.
- It will hurt lower income seniors and people in nursing homes with Medicaid cutbacks.
ACAP believes all Americans have a right to decent, affordable health care. The Graham-Cassidy bill is an unreasoned, cynical attempt to undo ACA with little concern of how it will hurt regular folks.
Susan Loeb, ACAP member, Beverly Shores
Steelers player stood tall for patriotism
"The strongest man in the world is who stands most alone."
This became more apparent last Sunday when Alejandro Villanueva, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, did just that. He stood for the national anthem when the rest of his team wouldn't take the field.
Villanueva is a West Point graduate and a recipient of The Bronze Star for Valor for rescuing fellow soldiers under enemy fire in Afghanistan.
With society being provocative to elicit attention, Villanueva stood gallantly on the field, stalwart.
Villanueva made history. Villanueva was the strongest man in the world.
Aubrey Messmann, Hobart
Protesting racism doesn't desecrate the flag
NFL players taking an knee during the national anthem is neither desecrating the flag nor the United States. It is a protest of racism.
If the flag had a knee, the flag would go on knee with the players.
The media is trying to change the demonstration to one about the flag.
Some people — and President Donald Trump — also are trying to twist the demonstrations being from being about racism.
James Schmidt, Munster
Players sacrifice respect for freedom of speech
A number of professional and amateur sports players have decided to make a statement during the playing of the national anthem. They are protesting social injustice and the disrespect directed toward them by President Donald Trump.
Regardless of one’s reaction to these actions or the time/place where they take place, we must honor their right to protest.
The First Amendment to the Constitution states “Congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech..."
Accordingly, their actions must be protected. Failure to recognize the symbolism, tradition, dedication and sacrifices made by many men and woman in the armed forces and our police/fire departments is truly a form of disrespect during the playing of the national anthem.
I respect their right but not them. Respect is only a right when it is earned.
Bob Wilhelm, Valparaiso
NFL players setting poor example for youth
NFL players are role models to young student athletes. By not standing for the national anthem, they are impressing that disrespect on the youth who admire these athletes.
Yes, they have have a right to free speech, but they are not free of the consequences of that speech. It’s time to make an example of these athletes to show our kids that all actions have consequences.
Todd Adamczyk, Hebron
Taking a knee doesn't disrespect veterans
If we cannot agree to disagree, if we cannot engage in peaceful discussion about our issues, our differences, we become one of the nations that have total government rule. We become like the same countries that we go to war for in order to give their people an opportunity for democracy when suppressed by a tyrant regime.
When that happens to us, who will come and help us restore our freedom? We honor all military personnel who fought for the right to not be suppressed by the government. It's how America began. And what was started has grown and changed over the years, and we continue to grow as a people.
Taking a knee does not disrespect the veterans. It ensures people have the freedom to speak out against injustices of any kind, including the right to criticize our government.
Ernest Bodrazic, Valparaiso
Protesting players are out of touch
Donald Trump is absolutely right about those who are protesting. Although he should continue focusing on more important issues, he still can and should address those that disrespect our flag and national anthem.
NFL players make hundreds of thousands dollars — or even millions — and have no idea what it’s like to be oppressed. They are just like the Hollywood folks. These people aren’t your typical Americans.
They don’t work like the rest of us. I would love to see some of these “oppressed” football players give up their talents to pick up a weapon and defend our nation. Not to mention, they should do this for the same pay and benefits as our real American heroes.
God bless America.
P.S. I'm a recent college grad.
Todd Banvich, Schererville