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Opinion: Government should serve the people, including the least among us

The Nov. 2 editorial on purging voter roles suggested "we casually accept the expectation that we present an ID in order to use a credit card to buy a T-shirt." Sorry, no. I've never been "carded" prior to acceptance of my credit card by a retailer for anything besides alcohol. There is no equivalence between the example you cited and the voter ID law. Current ID policy tends to discriminate against the elderly and poor. This is especially true when requirements of the "Real ID" standard are considered. In fact, it would be nearly impossible for a homeless person to meet the requirements to receive an ID. Democracy has failed us all when it fails to fairly serve the least among us.

Conservatives have ridiculed President Trump's recent decision to withdraw US troops from Syria as a quote "bloodstain on US history." Nonsense. The real bloodstain was President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq based on a lie about WMD. His successor Barack Obama continued this rotten policy. Despite complaints from neoconservatives, Trump's withdrawal from Syria is the right and just thing to do.

Some people want Trump impeached. I don't. The only thing worse than Trump is the movement to impeach him. Trump is doing a perfectly fine job destroying the GOP from the inside. Democrats should let him finish. It's no accident corrupt governments in the USA, Israel and Britain are all having political trouble at the same time. Change is coming. Those who live in high castles are going to hear the people.

Meanwhile, conservatives have sabotaged Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) by blocking federal subsidies in red states like Georgia. They undermined Obamacare by overturning the public mandate for coverage, which helped fund the system. The result is millions of Americans desperate for health care are no better off today than they were before. Trump promised voters Republicans in Congress would "repeal and replace" Obamacare. Did they?

Conservatives say we have the best health care money can buy, but for many Americans denied coverage or priced out of the market, it's out of reach. Why do we put up with that? Insurance has presided over a trend of crazy pricing models for billing that no layman can understand or make sense of. Nobody can tell what anything actually costs or what any service is worth. This ambiguity serves the industry, not the people. We deserve a system that effectively controls the cost of health care and produces bills with consistent pricing. The insurance lobby is against this and has funded ominous TV ads threatening to close entire hospitals. Don't let them scare you.

We won't solve these problems by tweaking Obamacare or offering ad hoc half-measures on a state-by-state basis like Gov. Kemp wants to do. Both options rely fundamentally on the status quo. That's the problem, and why they will never work for Americans who've been left behind under the current system. Demand reliable, automatic health care that works for everyone.

Bruce Vandiver


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