Thursday, October 1, 2009

State-run health care

Posted on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Everyone has an opinion about health care reform—guess you know what that’s like! Despite the implication, here’s mine: Health care should be provided to all by the states on a state-by-state basis. This should be done by utilizing both a single-payer option and while preserving the private sector.

Montana has different needs and personalities than does California or Massachusetts, needs which must be addressed by those who know us best—our fellow Montanans. It makes no sense to send a tax dollar to Washington, D.C. for health care and to have it come back to Montana beaten and ragged as a mere two bits.

The implications of the states caring for their own in health care, education, housing and welfare are far-reaching. Not only would such action truly downsize the federal government, leading to great savings and the better use of tax dollars, but residents of a state would also be empowered, realizing the importance of using the resources of a particular state fully for the benefit of one’s neighbors. For example, remove federal control over Montana’s forest lands, implement an effective harvest and replanting program, and you create jobs, add value to a native resource and preserve the environment simultaneously. It will not be easy to get out from under the federal yoke, but it would benefit all, including future generations. Also, this may be the only way to keep the U.S.A. from going bankrupt.

Ed Chaberek Superior

Pickens Plan primed

Posted on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 4:00 AM

Since July 2008, members of the Pickens Plan army have been working to spread the word about the continuing dangers of our dependence on foreign oil. In August 2009—even with oil at about half the price it was in 2008—we still spent over $25 billion to import more than 60 percent of the oil we used in just one month. That is money that could have been supporting the American economy instead of the economies of places like Saudi Arabia, Angola and Venezuela.

Natural gas is an abundant resource that can replace a significant percentage of that imported oil. It is cleaner than either gasoline or diesel, it is cheaper than imported oil and we have reserves projected to last more than 100 years.

There’s a bill in Congress, the NAT GAS Act, which will help jump-start the natural gas vehicle industry in the United States. It has nearly 90 bipartisan co-sponsors in the House, making the NAT GAS Act one of the few substantive bills in Congress with the support of both parties.

I urge our representatives in Washington to move the NAT GAS Act onto the House and Senate floor for a vote this fall so it can quickly be signed into law by President Obama. Let’s reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

James Costamagna Missoula
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