IF I HAD ten million dollars
RE "PAYING YOUR OWN WAY" (letter, July 12): The letter writer says he disagrees that the medical costs of uninsured Americans cause higher premiums for all of us because Rush Limbaugh doesn't buy health insurance and pays out of pocket for his health care needs as many others do.
Of course higher premiums don't hurt people who make more than $10 million a year. They can afford to buy their own doctors. The many members of the middle class who do have to pay for themselves end up in bankruptcy. What about the insured who have a $100,000 operation and have to pay a 20 percent co-pay? I don't have $20,000 lying around for this unexpected bill.
How many people can afford to pay their own way? If it's 1 percent of Americans, that leaves 99 percent of us who are burdened with the cost of the uninsured or higher premiums. What about those who make minimum wage or those who have lost their jobs?
To use someone like Rush Limbaugh as an example is evidence that someone is not facing reality.
Sure, Rush pays
Re "Paying your own way" (letter, July 12): The writer uses Rush Limbaugh as an example of Americans who pay out of pocket for medical expenses and those of his family. He states, "Limbaugh pays his own way and does not add to anyone's insurance premiums."
The writer's point is that Limbaugh is considered a "freeloader" by "Obamacare" advocates. Limbaugh is not an accurate example of most Americans who do not have health insurance. His pockets are significantly deeper than those of most Americans who cannot afford health insurance.
Please, let's compare apples to apples.
Where is the risk?
All insurance is rated, and the premium you pay is based on risk. Your auto insurance rate is assessed on how well you drive; traffic violations and accidents affect your cost.
Homeowner insurance rates are calculated by considering the type of house (wood or brick), where you live and factors such as how often hurricanes and tornadoes might occur. Flood insurance is based on where you live in a flood plain: on top of a mountain or on a river bank. Life insurance is judged by your prospects for longevity: your age; general health; tobacco, drug or alcohol use; blood pressure; and cholesterol level.
Now comes the Affordable Care Act, and we're all equal. Why isn't the cost of these programs based on your health? Do you smoke or take drugs? Are you overweight? Do you exercise?
You and I will pay for those at higher risk. Why isn't it risk- adjusted?
'Promote,' not 'provide'
Re "Make it out to ..." (letter, July 11): The writer quotes a portion of the Preamble to the Constitution, specifically "promote the general welfare," and uses this as justification for the federal government to do just about anything it wants when it comes to the welfare of the American people. The writer suggests that the Affordable Care Act can be imposed upon the citizens of this country (whether they want it or not) and cites the Preamble as the rationale.
The key word in the above clause is "promote." What it does not say is "provide for" the general welfare. If promoting the general welfare can be used as the reason for government-sponsored health care, then the same argument can be made for providing its citizens with houses, cars, food, vacations and on and on.
We as Americans have the responsibility to take care of ourselves. The job of the government is to "promote" an environment to do so, not "provide" for all of our wants and needs.
The court disagreed
Re "Make it out to ..." (letter, July 11): The writer needs to read the 1905 Supreme Court decision in Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which held that the Preamble "has never been regarded as the source of any substantive power conferred on the government of the United States, or on any of its departments. Such powers embrace only those expressly granted in the body of the Constitution, and such as may be implied from those so granted."
Re "Make it out to ..." and "Ignoring the Constitution" (letters, July 11): Both writers are off. The Preamble is a mission statement that does not give the government any sort of authority and certainly not the power to require me to purchase health insurance.
Back when the Constitution was written, "welfare" didn't mean going down to your local Social Services office and registering for a check.
As far as unconstitutional wars, George W. Bush requested authorization from Congress on Iraq and Afghanistan, and thus deferred to Congress' ultimate control of who we're at war with. Barack Obama did not, in the case of Libya, blatantly sidestepping Congress in violation of the spirit of the War Powers Act. That has been done many times before. Whether they were wise is a separate matter.
The geese don't belong
Re "Leave the geese alone" (letter, July 11): The writer says that people are moving into areas where the geese live and then want to get rid of them. But she is mistaken.
Most of our communities were here before the geese arrived. There are migratory geese, but most of the geese in Virginia Beach are not migrating anywhere. They do not have natural predators in urban areas, and their numbers are growing at alarming rates.
We Americans have introduced many animals into ecosystems where they do not belong, and we are destroying what is native, natural and in balance.