It ails me that our nation of Judeo-Christian values will send our young people to kill, yet can't support a bill to save the lives of the elderly, the children, and others in between, thus supporting the value to ruin life, but not save it. What's wrong with this picture?

A government program isn't the whole answer. The answer is getting health care and insurance costs controlled, so all can receive the services they need for health and well-being. Instead, our nation adopted the greedy philosophy called capitalism: where most line up for tax credits, but resent paying a share.

Please, don't let mean-spirited people take over our country. Stop listening to talking heads distorting and corrupting our society while spreading hateful misinformation. These folks have health care, lovely homes, food enough to make them fat. Who are they to keep the rest from good health, education, opportunity?

Pro-life means health care. Not just for the "have mores," light-colored, or those who belong to a certain group. It's time to see we're all in this together.

Wake up, America! Things don't have to be this way. We could decide to live peaceably as one nation under God, being grateful for what we have and helping those less fortunate. — Susanna Thomas, Jacksonville

I was inspired by the recent news that the one man convicted and sentenced to life for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing in Scotland was allowed to leave prison on compassionate grounds because he's dying of cancer.

According to Mr. Kenny Macaskill, Scotland's Justice Secretary, "Compassion and mercy are about upholding the beliefs that we seek to live by, remaining true to our values as a people, no matter the severity of the provocation or the atrocity perpetrated. For these reasons, it is my decision that Mr. Abdel Basset al-Megrahi be released on compassionate grounds and allowed to return to Libya to die."

Unfortunately, the news continued with negative responses to Scotland's action by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other U.S. politicians. I understand their criticism, but I can't understand how anyone in their heart of hearts can fault a person, a people, or a nation for being too compassionate. — Dave Garcia, Medford

I was overjoyed when I saw, on the front page of today's Mail Tribune (August 20), that some red-blooded Americans are now exercising their Second Amendment rights to enlighten the health-care debate.

Yes, these passionate patriots are toting lethal firearms to emphasize their commitment to preserving our right to enjoy a woefully overpriced, inefficient and unfair health-care system. They will fight to the death to save us from the horrors of government-sponsored health-care systems like those in Canada, England, Sweden, France ... and Japan.

Japan. Hmm. On that same front page, I noticed that Japanese citizens will live, on average, five years longer than we Americans, despite their horrific system of socialized medicine. I guess it's a matter of principle (or profits?), and not end results, that's really at stake here. — Bruce Borgerson, Ashland

The spectacle of people protesting against the very health care they want and need is a cruel demonstration of how effectively information can be manipulated to keep things as they are, and how politicians can work openly, not for better health care, but to thwart a new president. Health care quickly stopped being about health care and became a strategy for a defeated party to swift-boat anything proposed by this administration.

The opposition is not about facts. It is about keeping profits flowing using any means necessary, including sabotaging truth.

We are the only modern nation that does not have a government run health-care system for all. We do have Medicare — a single-payer, government-funded system — that is popular and successful. Yet the rest of our health insurance is controlled by private entities whose profitability can only be maintained by avoiding sick people and denying claims. Perhaps most tellingly, no member of Congress is willing to give up their own government provided health care for any plan being proposed for you.

If a health-care bill passes without a government-funded public option, it is not reform. — Allan Peterson, Ashland

I have been satisfied with my health care. Some are not so lucky, especially those in the 50-65 age range.

The uninsured 50- to 65-year-olds can't afford the insurance because they are in a high-risk age group and the premium reflects this fact. Also, finding well-paying employment is difficult.

In contrast, millions of uninsured in their 20s and 30s can afford premiums, however, spend their money on video games, eating out, traveling, movies, etc. Irresponsibility drops dramatically for the 30- through 50-year-olds, perhaps due to family responsibility.

About 15 million (20- to 65-year-old) responsible Americans are not in a position to buy affordable insurance. This is where the focus of health-care reform should be! Reform tort law. Force insurance companies to compete with all 135,000 insurance companies in the United States. Give insurance tax deductions to the working poor. Medicaid does cover the very poor.

We should improve the present system to help these 15 million responsible Americans. The irresponsible will still be irresponsible under any government plan. The irresponsible in Massachusetts joined when they had a problem, had the problem solved, then quit paying premiums.

Also, government-run health care means your tax dollars will pay for abortions. — Bill Hartley, Medford

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