Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Sunday, April 14, 2019: Abortion, Bible, health care and fish

A closer look at single-payer health care

Re “ Medicare for all would boost taxes” (Page 7A, April 1): Arriving at conclusions about healthcare reform requires a deep dive. Mary Park barely gets her hair wet with her claim that Medicare for all will “raise taxes drastically on the middle class.”

Bernie Sanders’ formula for funding single payer healthcare is anything but drastic for the middle class. It includes a 6.2 percent income-based premium paid by employers. Second, a 2.2 percent income-based tax on households. Finally, progressive income tax rates as follows: 37 percent on income from $250,000 to $500,000; 43 percent on income between $500,000 and $2 million; 48 percent on income between $2 million and $10 million; finally, 52 percent on income above $10 million. Add to that capital gains taxed as work income, up to $500 billion saved in administrative costs annually and significant savings on pharmaceuticals through bargaining strength.

Current U.S. health care expenditures for 2017 were $3.5 trillion. That’s with 28 million still uninsured. According to the Massachusetts PERI study in December 2018, described as the “seminal analysis of Medicare for all,” single payer would save $5.1 trillion over 10 years, with everyone insured. That includes vision and dental.

Seven million have been added to the number of uninsured since President Trump took office. We owe the country a deeper dive into single payer .

Wayne R. Howard, Ceres

Women suffer after aborting

I don’t know Father Mark Wagner, “ Pain, scars, grief of abortion endures” (Page 2B, Feb. 10), but I do agree that women who have abortions suffer.

I was a grief counselor for women who had abortions for 10-plus years and can say from many first-hand testimonies that post-abortive women can suffer from more than eating disorders and grief. Most suffer from what is known as Post Abortion Syndrome, which begins with denial.

Denial blocks the grieving process, causing psychological, physical and spiritual problems. Most women are in a state of denial before their abortion, otherwise they would not be able to pay someone to kill their unborn child.

Just some of the psychological problems experienced by post-abortive women are low self-esteem, anger, rage, shame, anxiety, apathy and sleeping disorders.

Many post-abortive women turn to drugs or alcohol to erase their negative feelings, which never works but only adds to their problems.

Saundra Magniez, Turlock

Bible is just mythology

Much misery has been caused over the centuries because people use ancient mythology as a moral guide. The god of the Bible was unhappy with his flawed creations, so naturally he chose to drown most of them in the tale of Noah’s ark and the flood. Imagine being all-powerful and all-loving, yet choosing to drown pregnant women, infants, puppies, kittens. You’ve become so used to the story you probably don’t feel the horror it should inspire.

Any god who would do this is morally repugnant to me. Some rationalize that it was in the Old Testament. Is it the same god? Did he take anger management for gods? If something is evil for me to do, it’s evil for anyone to do, including a god.

Perhaps some people actually love the god of the Bible for his cruel authoritarianism. Do some people like the feeling of submission to extreme rules and punishments? This becomes a problem for all of us because often these same people will like these same traits in human leaders. These devout Christians seem to want us all to suffer under grim, barbaric rules and punishments that they seem to perversely enjoy.

Susan Robinson, Modesto

Downtown priority: homeless

Re “ Modesto may weigh plan for high-end downtown hotel” (Page 1A, April 7): The downtown hotel and revitalization idea sounds great, only there was no mention of the homeless epidemic in your article. Downtown is a great place to be: movies, restaurants, shops, entertainment and … homeless.

How about a nice stroll down Ninth Street from the Doubletree? Gallo is within walking distance, and there are many great places to eat along the way. But there’s that pesky transit center riddled with homeless, ready to follow and harass passersby. When I go to the movies, Brenden is my very last choice because I know homeless people will hound me for money and make me feel uneasy about being in the parking garage at night. It’s impossible to go for a taco on Sixth Street without being hit up; you can’t eat on 11th Street without encountering several people who need a dollar.

Modesto needs to take care of the elephant in the room before trying to solve the lack-of-business problem downtown. Modesto is a magnet by providing no-strings-attached, hand-over-fist “help” to the homeless, and other residents avoid downtown for safer areas. Event scouts will do the same.

Rayanne Tamayo, Modesto

One fish, two fish

We still haven’t heard a reason why there can’t be a salmon and steelhead fish hatchery built on the Stanislaus and Tuolumne rivers.

The Mokelumne River salmon and steelhead fish hatchery has proven that hatcheries do work in increasing the fish population if operated properly and by transporting the fingerling salmon past the nonnative predators – primarily bass – that eat upward of 95 percent close to the ocean.

Our new governor has saved plenty of money by stopping the “bullet train to nowhere.” He can build some state-of-the-art hatcheries and have a legacy before his first term is over.

If they flush 300,000 acre-feet of water down the Stanislaus and the salmon population increases by 1,103 as the state predicts, Sacramento will have to find another reason to enforce the so-called water grab.

We can see it now: “The Gavin Newsom Fish Hatchery.”

At least this legacy would serve a purpose and keep California from losing farm production and thousands of jobs.

Dean Meeuwse & Robert Van Groningen, Ripon

Prop. 13 still makes sense

Almost since Proposition 13 became law in 1978, it has been under attack by those in government who have an insatiable appetite for more tax income.

The law came about because property owners, especially retirees, were either losing their homes or facing a very real threat of loss of their property due to exorbitant property taxes. The brilliant solution was to index the property tax to the date of property purchase. Think of it this way; if you bought a new car 20 years ago you would pay a lot less tax then you would if you bought a new car today. That’s fair, and property taxes are no different.

Our state taxes are among the highest in the country; we don’t need our property taxes to be the highest too!

Jill Sweet, Oakdale

Superintendent bids fond farewell

To the citizens of Stanislaus County: It has been a sincere honor to have served as county superintendent of schools for the past 12 years. I can tell you there is no better group to work with than the people of this county — educators, law enforcement, business men and women, community members, parents, and especially students. I truly miss the day-to-day interaction with my colleagues that I grew to know and highly respect.

I would not change one minute of my 43 years in education. When I chose to be an educator, I never dreamed that I would have such an incredible and fulfilling career. I thank you, from the deepest parts of my heart, for the privilege of working with each of you.

I have been afforded gifts of opportunity I could never have imagined when I began my career back in 1974 as a teacher and coach. I am blessed to have so many wonderful memories. I can honestly say I was able to live the American dream. God bless Stanislaus County and the USA!

Tom Changnon, Modesto

Retired superintendent of schools