Letters to the Editor


POSTED: Thursday, August 06, 2009

Will new health plan apply to all?

I am just curious why the congressional body is so eager to pass the national health plan. I understand that Congress members have their own retirement and health benefits system, which are more generous than what most of “;we the people”; receive upon retirement.

I am on Social Security and have a private company for my health insurance. If the national health plan is passed, will retired members of Congress be required to use the plan? It only seems fair that they participate in the plan, which they so eagerly seem to want to pass.

Will one of our congressional representatives enlighten me on this matter?

Raymond Naito

Ewa Beach




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Rail will benefit all Oahu residents

I am a 21-year-old college senior who resides in town and rarely visits the west side of Oahu. I understand that the probability that I will use the future Honolulu rail transit system daily is low, but I still support the rail effort.

Even though I may not ride the train often, I will benefit from the system because I will use it whenever I travel out to West Oahu, and there will be fewer cars on the roads in town as well. My support for rail is less about me as an individual, however, and more importantly about the positive impacts on the quality of life that rail will bring for Oahu's future.

Honolulu rail transit will better the lives of Oahu's future residents, especially those living on the west side. In addition to the environmental and economic benefits, the rail system also offers a reliable, cheap, convenient, long-term form of transportation at a time when Hawaii is faced with a very uncertain future. The rail will give people another great transportation option that will allow them to spend less time on the roads and more time enjoying life spent with family and friends.

I urge my fellow Honolulu residents to understand that just because many will not directly benefit from this project doesn't necessarily mean we don't need it or should not support it. The fact is that many others will benefit from it. At a time when our society is extremely egocentric and focused on the individual self, perhaps Oahu's citizens can be different and support what's right for others. They should support rail because it's good for the overall future of Oahu and its people as a whole.

Kawika Shoji


President should explain himself

In March 2007 President Barack Obama told a union meeting that he was in favor of a single-payer national health insurance program that would eventually eliminate private, employer-based insurance. At that time, Obama said, “;I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be, potentially, some transition process: I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out.”;

Now the president says that his proposals will do no such thing. He recently told an AARP meeting that his program will allow people to keep their private insurers. Well, which is it?

If the president still wants a single-payer system, he should say so and defend it. If he doesn't want that anymore, he should explain to the American people why his views have changed and how his new proposals will guarantee that we will still have private insurance “;a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out.”;

Ray Gagner