Blue Dogs, leadership and healthcare reform: 2 views

Regarding article “House healthcare talks break down in anger,” July 24.

Thank God for the Blue Dog Democrats — a voice of reason and sanity in a badly needed debate on reform.

Although I oppose a National Healthcare System, I like most Americans realize a need for reforming the system.

In the article, the Blue Dogs were angered by the lies being told by the Democrat leadership, which is trying to ram this bill through the House.

What is the rush? Where is the transparency? What are they afraid of? The majority of Americans are also angered with the leadership and their lack of bipartisanship in resolving this issue that touches all of our lives.

Many of us would like to know the details and changes that will occur should this bill pass. For instance, is it true that the unions as well as Congress will be exempt? I have heard that healthcare benefits will be taxed, but the unions will be exempt (paybacks are great, aren’t they?). Will Americans face a personal replay of the Terri Schiavo case?

The devil is most certainly in the details — details all Americans need to be made aware of.

From Joan Cummins, Buena Vista, Colo.

The Blue Dogs are barking up the wrong tree. I take umbrage at the remark by Blue Dog Coalition co-chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) that House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) “has decided to sever discussions with the Blue Dogs, who are trying to make this bill work for America.”

As an American, I would be a whole lot happier if the Blue Dogs, and all the other opponents in the House and Senate, felt that those who pay their salaries with our hard-earned tax dollars deserved at least some of the healthcare benefits we are generously providing for them.

From Martha Sterling-Golden, Topsham, Maine

Obama pledge: High fuel costs

(Regarding July 22 op-ed, “False choice pits economy against the environment,” Special Report: Energy.) Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson notes that former President George W. Bush pledged to lower fuel costs but, “Five years later, crude oil prices were up 143 percent.” The Obama administration wants a cap-and-trade scheme to fight climate change, but according to the Congressional Budget Office, “by attaching a cost to CO2 emissions, a cap-and-trade program would thus lead to price increases for energy.”

Unlike his predecessor in the White House, Obama pledges to increase fuel costs. Take a break from reality for a minute and assume that it was the Bush administration’s policies, rather than market forces, that caused our pain at the pump. Imagine what Obama’s expensive energy policies will do to the price of fuel!

From William Yeatman, energy policy analyst, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington