Trump's healthcare act is an embarrassment for the 'greatest country in the world'

Well it finally happened: The announcement to repeal and replace Obamacare was made with much fanfare and thunderous applause resembling a Saturday night frat party.

The reverse Robin Hood “Trumpcare” will adversely impact low- and middle-income segments of the population – including a majority of Trump supporters – in favor of large tax breaks for corporations and insurance companies. It will also de-fund Planned Parenthood and eliminate abortion coverage. 

The Republican proposal retains Obamacare’s requirement that insurers cover people with pre-existing conditions and allows children below the age of 26 to be included in their parent’s health plan, but the revenue-generating “individual mandate” to buy insurance and associated fines has been replaced by a confusing set of age-based tax credits. As someone ruefully observed, this is like throwing a “six foot rope to rescue someone trapped in a 20 feet well.”

Not surprisingly, Trump has reneged on his big campaign promises: That they’re “going to have health insurance for everybody” with coverage that would be “much less expensive and much better”.

It’s a sad testimony that the “greatest country in the world” fails to offer the most basic entitlement to its citizens of universal health care for all – a cradle to grave coverage offered my most European countries and our cousins to the north. This could dramatically lower healthcare costs by eliminating insurance company overheads and profits and dramatically lower pharmaceutical drug prices. It is obscene to continue to allow insurance companies to profit from people’s sickness.

Tejinder Uberoi​
Los Altos, California

There are European countries are doing their fair share for refugees

The UN human rights chief isn’t entirely right in stating that political leaders are showing chilling indifference to the plight of refugees. The UN estimates that the global population of forcibly displaced people has surpassed the entire population of the UK.

Poor and small countries like Lebanon and Jordan have taken more than their fair share of refugees on behalf of the international community. Their health and education services, energy structures and economies are struggling to cope with the huge burdens of refugees.

The UNHCR would be better advised liaising with donor countries, UN agencies and other international organisations to mitigate the worrisome social, environmental and economic constraints and help forge political solutions that end conflicts and persecution that drive mass displacement and migration.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob
​London NW2

Remembering the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan

The memorial unveiled by the Queen last week dedicated to the 682 servicemen and women who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan between 1990 and 2015 is a worthy and valuable gesture to the British people.

The sight of so much human life being wasted is proof of the idiocy of mankind and especially that portion which is in authority.

It would seem, therefore, that this memorial will stand for generations as a reminder to many of the extent the masters of authority will go to further their ignominious geopolitical aims with stark regard for the number of lives needlessly expended. 

Not only the lives lost in their own forces but also the immeasurably more lives lost, military and especially civilian, in the wretched countries they invaded to inhumanely further those geopolitical aims.

It might also remind us in perpetuity of the turmoil they left behind and particularly how Isis, inevitably perhaps, arose from the ashes.

William Burns
Edinburgh

I should be allowed to vote as a Scot, even though I live in England

A cabinet office spokesperson is quoted as saying: “We will not deny British citizens who were born in the UK and have moved abroad the opportunity to register to vote and have their say in the way their country is governed.” That’s wonderfully democratic for those expats who will now get to vote even though they have lived outside the UK for more than fifteen years.

So can that person explain to me why, as a Scot currently residing in England, I was deprived of the right to vote in the referendum to decide my nation’s future? I am dependent on Scotland for my public sector pension and I ought to have a say in the country’s direction. Why do I not have a vote in determining the Scottish government? Will I be enfranchised for the next referendum? These are questions the cabinet office must address, if only for the sake of consistency.

Brian Mathieson
Plymouth

Why is telling women to be careful when they drink victim-blaming?

Recently I used a car-park which displayed a large sign urging me not to leave valuables on display. The following day in a station concourse I read a notice which warned that pickpockets and other opportunist thieves operate in that area. 

Are these not scandalous examples of blaming the victim? I should be able to leave my iPad and SatNav wherever I find most convenient, without people stealing them,

Ven. Paddy Benso, archdeacon of Hereford
​Hereford

We should have another Brexit vote

British law states that at least every five years there shall be a general election when the people have a chance to change their minds.  

Should they not then, after a while, have a chance to change a decision made at a referendum?

Patrick Streeter
London E16

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