Regarding “Trump issues order to deregulate health insurance, promising ‘Obamacare relief’ ” (Oct. 12): Association groups are not new. AARP sells across state lines to its members. The difference is that all of AARP’s members are a homogeneous group, i.e. retired and between 50 and 70 years old. That way costs are easily predicted.
The president’s program will allow employers of dissimilar businesses to join together, with some hazardous occupations. Their employees range in age from 16 to 68. Very hard to predict costs therefore premiums for some will be unaffordable. What insurance companies may do instead is create employer groups of similar occupations that we can join, but many occupations will not be offered this plan, leaving many without insurance. Again.
Bonnie S. Bleiweiss
Don’t ‘cheapen’ flag
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Regarding “President’s criticisms spark more protests” (Sept. 25): There is a word for a practice endemic among Americans: vexillolatry, i.e., flag worship. (“Vexillum” is Latin for “flag”.) Examples abound. Huge flags over restaurants. Cars and houses displaying flags 24/7. School kids expected to pledge allegiance to the flag daily. Our national anthem, usually sung facing a flag, is itself about a flag – seen during a minor skirmish in our most pointless war before Vietnam. And public sport contests cannot start until the flag is raised and given due respect.
Promiscuous use of the flag cheapens its deeper meaning, of course, and most people give it little thought. But for many Americans that deeper meaning rankles, because for them it includes an indelible and continuing history of prejudice and injustice. So they have decided to use public displays of the flag to make their objections known.
Those who resent such statements have two remedies. The more difficult one is to work to eliminate the prejudice and injustice. The simpler one is to stop demanding shows of respect for the the flag at occasions where it is irrelevant. Obligatory patriotic displays are characteristic of a totalitarian state, not of the Land of the Free.
“Daniels: Giving in to fear means bad guys have won” (Oct. 10) on Charlie Daniels’ opposition to any gun control was revealing if not surprising. While Daniels may be right that mass shootings are a relative anomaly, such tragedies underline the ease of obtaining weapons of mass destruction in mass numbers.
A more telling anomaly is the American gun violence death rate compared to the rest of the industrialized world. Why are Americans so unique? Are we some human genetic anomaly, more violent, murderous, insane and depressed than earth’s other people? Of course not. Our lax gun control laws are the obvious anomaly. It’s high time to address this insane anomaly. It’s high time for our elected officials to help save American lives by enacting sensible and comprehensive gun control reforms.