Working for the 1 percent

In the latest version of their health care revamp (AHCA), Greg Walden and his fellow congressional Republicans voted to cut $839 billion from Medicaid while at the same time giving $622 billion in tax cuts to the richest Americans.

Medicaid, which covers the cost of health care for the poorest and the disabled, has provided an alternative to the more expensive practice its beneficiaries had followed of simply showing up in emergency rooms across the country when they needed medical care. Medicaid has proved to be an effective program, both in terms of cost and benefits.

At the same time, since 1980, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans have enjoyed 98 percent of all economic growth; the other 99 percent of us have gained just 2 percent of economic growth over the same period. So it’s not as if rich folks need another tax cut. Warren Buffett reports that he will see a 17 percent reduction in his taxes as a result of the latest Republican giveaway to the rich.

Whether you are Republican or Democrat, you should be concerned with this growing divide between rich and poor. Greg Walden chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House, which produced this monstrosity of a “health care” bill. Clearly, he does not represent the 99 percent; he is working for the richest 1 percent, and we need to retire him in 2018.

Nancy Parker

Ashland

Thanks for Severeid, Honoré

Readers of the Daily Tidings owe a debt of gratitude to columnists Susanne Severeid and Chris Honoré for their thoughtful and informative articles. Severeid's recent column (May 2) about the original aim of Mother's Day, which was a plea for peace, couldn't be more timely. And Honoré's commentary titled " 'Fearless Girl' and 'Charging Bull' " (May 1) points out the many ways in which pay inequality and misogyny continue to have serious negative impacts on women's lives economically, and on all of our lives socially and culturally. Honoré ends his column with what he calls the ultimate question: "How do we instill in our sons the importance of respect for all women?" How indeed.

We are fortunate to have these writers who consistently bring us important issues in such clear, incisive articles.

Eileen Chieco

Ashland