Letters to the editor for Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keep Medicare strong and healthy

As Medicare celebrates its 50th year, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon the difference Medicare has made in the lives of retirees. When Medicare was signed into law on July 30, 1965, only about half of our nation’s seniors had health insurance. Before then, whenever uninsured seniors had health problems, they faced an impossible choice. Risk financial ruin by seeking necessary care or avoid treatment altogether and watch their health deteriorate. Thanks to Medicare, nearly all of our nation’s seniors now have guaranteed health coverage.

The success of the Medicare program is clear. It has vastly improved the quality of life for millions of older Americans and allowed retirees to spend their later years in comfort and security. It has kept countless seniors from being thrown into poverty by the high cost of medical bills.

There has been a lot of talk in Washington lately about cutting Medicare benefits, further means testing the program, and shifting costs to seniors. These changes would be a disaster for our nation’s current and future retirees. Medicare has been a cornerstone of retirement security for the last half-century. We owe it to future generations to keep the Medicare program strong and healthy.

Jo Etta Brown

Executive vice president, Alliance for Retired Americans

O’Neill, Kieckhefer did what they were elected to do

I read with interest Lynn Muzzy’s letter on the July 19 edition. What is not realized, either by Muzzy or other “grass-roots Republicans,” is what Sen. Kieckhefer and Assemblyman O’Neill did. They were elected by voters to do right for Nevada, though we may not always concur.

As Gov. Sandoval stated in his State of the State message, his goal this Legislature was to improve our schools. The educational system in this state was not only inadequate for students of all grades; it was also not conducive to attracting industry, aside from gaming and mining that has been so desperately needed in Nevada.

We needed to expand this state’s horizons. If Nevada had continued to support a strict anti-tax policy, if it continued to do nothing, it would have remained a state stuck in the post-mining depression of our early 20th century. Our governor — and the Legislature — passed laws and taxes to change that. Taxes are painful. But they are our down payment toward a better educational system for students — with a better and more competitive 21st century Nevada as the reward.

Anti-tax is not a good thing, and it is not a valid solution. We need to spend — albeit, wisely. Being careful with our tax dollars but supporting programs that will improve our overall state is the goal.

O’Neill and Kieckhefer did exactly what they were elected to do — represent the voters wisely, carefully, and get the most for our state, doing this as fairly as they could.

Joel Kirk

Carson City


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