The recent demonstrations against "Obamacare" reminded me of my days and friends who, principled, resisted "big government."

They were obviously joined by lots of people who don't like to pay insurance premiums because they never plan to be sick. If the principled ones now proceed to ask the Supreme Court to overturn the Reagan rule that hospitals cannot turn away patients who cannot pay, the enthusiastic support of the latter group will melt away if they can no longer gamble in the "no-risk casino" of U.S. health care.

If the court were to rule consistently on the same grounds that the government has no role in the medical business, I expect Libertarian volunteers (and not government agents of any ilk) to stand in the emergency rooms and conduct patients with insufficient funds to the nearest bridge.

There they can die, happily, under the protection of the unabridged Constitution. I don't believe this was the intent of our Constitution. Principles can be so clear on paper, so murky in real life! — Hans H. Stroo, Medford

Recent letters to the editor have characterized President Obama and the Democrats as the great destroyers of American civil liberties. They cite provisions such as indefinite detention of suspects that were recently included in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2012. What they fail to mention is the fact that this and other encroachments on our civil liberties were instituted by the Bush-Cheney administration 10 years ago in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Where was their indignation 10 years ago? The 2012 extensions of these provisions was passed by a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and a Senate in which the Republicans have such a large plurality that they can filibuster any bill they choose.

That brings up the question as to who is responsible for the assault on our civil liberties, or is there enough blame to go around? — Ron Steffani, Ashland

Regarding the "tax plan is unfair" letter on Sunday, April 22: Mr. Massimino tries to make the point that the citizen making $10 million pays 73.7 times more then his secretary. To Mr. Massimino, this is proof that the rich pay more than their share. May I point out that the millionaire made 100 times what his secretary did?

If the taxes were "fair," the millionaire would have paid $3.34 million in taxes.

We all need to understand the numbers if we are going to use them to make a point. — Robert Soltz, Medford

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