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Everybody's Column

>We can't put a price on health care for all

More than 2 million Union soldiers fought in the Civil War and 600,000 lives were lost in the fight for human rights. The Confederacy accepted slavery as a means toward the "Southern Cause" preserving their way of life. In essence, slavery was acceptable because it drove the economic engine in the South. Morality and human/civil rights took second stage to economic gain during that era.

Sadly, nearly 150 years later we are placing the "economic engine" ahead of human rights. Health care is a human right for all Americans and a moral obligation to be provided for all our citizens.

It's a good thing the bean counters did not place a cost-benefit on the Civil War and the two world wars. We won the respect of the world because we fought for what was right, regardless of the cost. We can fight this war for universal health care and be the envy of the world.

There is no reason that a mix of private and public programs with comprehensive oversight, combined with cost controls, can't be implemented for all. Honor the men and women who suffered and died in this country fighting for human rights and implement universal health coverage.

Jim Frank
Kenmore

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>Cuts will be needed under Obama's plan

You may not have realized it, but President Obama just gave us all a preview of what is going to happen with health care. Obama just announced that Social Security recipients will not be receiving a cost-of-living increase for the next two years. Even though Obama is spending trillions on everything else, he has no money for those on fixed incomes.

When Obama Care is made law and 40 million uninsured people become insured, there is no money to cover those people. Obama has already admitted he has no way to fund his program. So in order to give those 40 million people, along with all those who already have insurance, some kind of health insurance, he is going to have to restrict the care that we all receive.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see there is no money to pay for the program and there are not enough doctors for the program, so just like Obama did with Social Security, cuts will have to be made. I believe restrictions and rationing will be the rule, not the exception. I challenge Obama and the media to prove me wrong.

Joe Weaver
Cheektowaga

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>Don't impede projects relying on IDA funding

For more than 20 years, not-for-profit service providers have used the assistance of industrial development agency financing to construct social service facilities to benefit our fellow citizens who are most in need.

Now, however, organized labor has employed the tired Albany tradition of holding hostage critical legislation to extend IDA financing by insisting that the law mandate the payment of costly union wages on all IDA projects. Requiring union wages will increase costs of these projects by an average of 30 percent, making them unlikely to ever be built.

In Western New York, the majority of union and non-union contractors make a livable wage, so let the project owners bid the project accepting union and non-union bids. I believe there is no honor in special interests impeding new and expanded nursing homes, hospitals, facilities for people with developmental disabilities, affordable housing, etc.

The State Legislature allowed the law that authorized IDA incentives for non-profit construction projects to lapse on Jan. 31, 2008. Since that time, $2 billion worth of such projects have been shelved. The mere extension of this law will provide an immediate economic stimulus to the state through new construction jobs and employment opportunities at no cost to taxpayers. In fact, this law has been extended 15 separate times by the Legislature since 1986. I urge the Legislature to reauthorize not-for-profit access to IDAs immediately.

Thomas Sy
Lockport

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>Republicans singing the same old tune

The Republicans have not changed their tune since the 1870s. They wave the bloody shirt and chant of the dire consequences that will ensue if Democrats are allowed to manage the government democratically. Every new enemy is more dangerous than the last one. The succession is ominous: the defeated but unrepentant Confederates, the criminal-minded factory workers, the decadent Europeans, the reds of the '20s, the fascists of the '30s and early '40s, the communists, the terrorists.

Now it's the Democrats themselves, and the myth that they wish to impale grandma on the twisted, foreign cross of godless socialism.

When will we the people learn that Republicans represent wealth and exploitation and that they are reciting an ancient, aristocratic script that is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing?

John Marvin
Cheektowaga

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>Bring our troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan

I feel that our "war on terror" has lost its way. We have shifted our efforts from Iraq to Afghanistan, and it's now costing more lives and money in Afghanistan each month than in Iraq. President Obama is about to send more troops. We are there trying to protect a corrupt "government" from the Taliban and local war lords who have been fighting for their own way of life for centuries. Our troops are dying, 5,125 so far, in this "war" that is no longer fighting the 9/1 1 terrorists. We need to honor our dead by declaring peace over there, and bring our troops home now. Iraq and Afghanistan can settle their own power struggles more peacefully without our military help.

And it's time to rethink our Homeland Security efforts at our borders and airports. In eight years we have caught only one terrorist in an airport -- the nut with a tiny bomb in the heel of his shoe. We are spending time and money, losing our personal freedoms and not doing much to protect against the real terrorist threat of having some fanatic find a way to nuke one of our cities. Obama should listen to the people. End this so-called war and use diplomacy as the means to reduce the ranks of our enemies.

Sam Miller
East Aurora

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>Senate should support green bill for New York

I am writing to express my support for the New York Green Jobs/Green Homes Act of 2009. This has already passed in the Assembly and is awaiting Senate approval. The bill could make 1 million homes more efficient and create 30,000 jobs. Up-front costs are a huge barrier to upgrading these homes. The bill allows people to repay with a monthly charge on their bill. Call your state senators and ask them to support this bill.

Shawn Hanley
Buffalo

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