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Letters to the Editor

Updated: October 27, 2012 6:15AM

Medicare plans

Hopefully, Americans are not believing the propaganda spread by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, et. al., regarding Republican Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.

Beginning in 2022, Ryan’s plan will allow average seniors a choice to enjoy the same health plan available to every member of Congress or remain in traditional Medicare. Ryan’s so-called “far right “ reform is co-sponsored by liberal Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon. The group Americans for Democratic Action give it a 100 percent approval rating. Americans currently 55 and older will see no change to the structure of their benefits.

In the future, recipients may choose traditional Medicare or opt out of the traditional package and receive ”premium support” offering more support for those who need it and less for those who don’t. Democrats who claim disdain for the rich should love that. Members of Congress are allowed to purchase private health plans through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan which covers approximately eight million federal employees, retirees and their families, and offers many different health plans.

Can anyone explain why Medicare recipients should need to become congressmen to enjoy such choices? If anything will really hurt Medicare, consider the $716 billion which has been transferred from Medicare funds into the Obamacare health plan.

Paul Saam, Gurnee

Cancer research

Two weeks ago, I traveled to Washington, D.C., to represent cancer patients and survivors from Lake County to call on Congress to make cancer a national priority. I joined more than 600 American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers from across the country to ask lawmakers in our nation’s capital to protect funding for cancer research and prevention programs.

It is important that we all recognize the importance of federal funding for cancer research, early detection and prevention programs. This is why I met with Senators Durbin and Kirk, Congressmen Dold, Schakowsky and Walsh, and made it clear that Congress needs to put partisanship aside on behalf of the nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States and more than 1.6 million people in America who will be diagnosed this year.

Funding for research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, for cancer prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and through the new Prevention and Public Health Fund must be top priorities in the federal budget. Legislation recently introduced in Congress (Senate Bill 3407/House Resolutions 6155 and 6157) to improve the quality of life for cancer patients by providing patients with better access to palliative care and coordinated services must also be an important priority.

By making these lifesaving programs a priority, we will ensure that progress continues in the fight against cancer.

Maggie Powell, Volunteer

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Waukegan

On the hook

It was on Sept. 4, 2012, when the U.S. government reached the $16 trillion mark for the first time in U.S. history, a debt that is now larger than the entire U.S. economy.

The day President Obama took office debt stood at $10.626 trillion. Having reached $16 trillion in less than four years — an increase of over 51 percent — President Obama can rightly be called “The Undisputed Debt King of the last five presidents.”

Under President Obama’s watch each citizen’s share of the national debt has risen $17,454 to a total of $51,874; the president has added an average of 4,073,237,142 to the national debt every day and on average, he has added $1 trillion to the national debt every 254 days.

We didn’t overspend. Our government has overspent by $16 trillion. We are now on the hook for all of it with our hard earned money, and so are our children and grandchildren with money not yet earned.

In all of human history not even the richest man has ever amassed a trillion dollars. One trillion (1,000,000,000,000) mean nothing to most individuals, only that one trillion must be very big. But just how big?

A stack of $100 bills totaling $1 trillion would reach 789 miles high or 144 Mt. Everests stacked on top of one another. For $16 trillion, the stack would reach 13,412 miles straight up. Western civilization has not even been around for 1 trillion seconds!

Now consider how long it would take you to spend $1 trillion. If you spent one dollar every second around the clock, it would take you 312,688 year to spend a trillion dollars. Spending $1 million an hour, non-stop for 24 hours a day, you wouldn’t run out of $1 trillion for 411 years..

Most families realize they can’t live outside their means and expect to survive. At some point, the piper will have to be paid. If payment isn’t possible, the end result will not be a rosy one for our nation.

Heed the warning of Thomas Jefferson on the economy at a time when our nation’s debt was almost infinitesimal in contrast to today’s almost unimaginable $16 trillion debt:

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. . . To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. . . We must choose between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude.”

Nancy J. Thorner

Lake Bluff

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