Budget cuts are difficult to manage, and it’s hard to make big decisions that play with the lives of Americans. But the people in power need to do what’s best for our well-being — which includes affordable health care and health care education. Fear is being spread because people do not understand how their health care works or how to use their health care. The first step before rushing to any big decision should be to get informed.
Many people are saying, “I’ll be fine without Obamacare, because I have the Affordable Care Act,” but fail to realize that it is the exact same thing. In 2014, we were ranked 50th out of 55 countries in health care efficiency. Considering how low the United States is, it’s astonishing that we as a country, by far, spend the most money on health care annually. Yet we still don’t have any type of universal health care. President Barack Obama was pushing us in the right directions with the Affordable Care Act, but President Donald Trump is trying to take us two steps back.
Philip Hoang, Dylan Salewski
Thomas Magnusson, Jamarrius Price
Santa Fe University of Art and Design
Caring for kids
One of the most important tasks for our community is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for our infants and toddlers. United Way of Santa Fe County is doing just that through its Early Learning Center at Kaune Elementary School. Phase one is the Brindle Frost Baby Wing, which will provide high-quality child care for 68 infants and toddlers upon its completion. A true measure of a society is the value and treatment of its youngest and most vulnerable members. The Brindle Frost Baby Wing will affirm Santa Fe’s commitment to a strong future. Please support the United Way of Santa Fe County in this important endeavor.
United Way of Santa Fe County
Our world is filled with such wonder and imagination. Our schools are one place where the seeds and growth of such wonder and imagination can develop and flourish. One has to wonder, if the purported “more than $3 million spent by political groups trying to sway voters, who ultimately rejected the tax” had been donated to the local school district, what a different world the youth of Santa Fe might have had the opportunity to look forward to (“Voters queue up to weigh in on issue,” May 3)? If only all of the parties had donated that vast sum of money to education and our future. Perhaps we line up to protest too much, losing sight of the ultimate goals. Perhaps various political groups should use their money with more imagination and wonder.
Alabama Gov. George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door to stop integration. Gov. Susana Martinez stands on her veto, also in the schoolhouse door. Governors are remembered often for the company they keep. Think about it.
Pay for pre-K with parking
The focus on trying to tax soda and sugary drinks was misplaced since, as the recent article showed (“Juice is not a healthy drink,” Commentary, May 3), orange juice has more sugar than Coke. But, as another recent article shows (“Low-income, minorities lag in high school grad rates,” May 4), pre-K education is a vital need. While this should be a statewide program, that is not likely.
If Santa Fe wants to fund pre-K, what about using the proceeds from parking meters? No one would begrudge paying for parking if they knew they were helping to fund early childhood education rather than another city slush fund? It would certainly make Santa Fe more tourist-friendly as well. Not only tourists but many locals who work and spend downtown hate being gouged by the meter. How about publishing an analysis of what parking charges net and compare it to estimated pre-K costs? I would also bet that voters would overwhelmingly favor this result.
Freedom, with a cost
If consumption of sugar is a key determinant of U.S. obesity and the myriad diseases associated with obesity, then it makes sense for society to limit access to sugar and all products that contain it. (I’m not so sure this assumption is correct.) Sugar credits make sense. Every head of household would be entitled to free sugar credits, based on the membership of his/her household, and an agreed-upon “safe” level of per capita sugar consumption. These credits could be traded or sold. All consumable products would include sugar quantity in the Universal Product Code. At point-of-sale the number of sugar credits required to avoid a sugar surcharge would be indicated. It would probably be feasible to automate this process for credit card sales. This approach allows society to limit sugar consumption without imposing a regressive tax, while providing individuals with the freedom to indulge a taste for sugar, but at a cost.
Karl A. Koehler