Health care justice for all

To the Editor,

I have worked as a registered nurse at Watsonville Community Hospital for 12 years and spent most of that time in the ICN or intensive care nursery. From the moment my patients come into the world, they have pre-existing conditions, often causing health problems they will have to manage for the rest of their lives. Sadly, this also means they will have to struggle to get the health care they need to lead full and productive lives.

Why? Because our health care system is, at its core, designed for profits, not patients. The Affordable Care Act extended insurance coverage to more people but “coverage” does not equal health care. Millions remain uninsured and underinsured and many with insurance can’t afford their rising premiums and so forgo and delay treatment because of unaffordable co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses.

A bill pending in the California legislature, the Healthy California Act-SB 562, proposes the creation of a single payer insurance plan guaranteeing comprehensive health care to all the state’s residents, including mental and dental health. Under this plan, the newborns I welcome to the world at my hospital, my own children, and all the residents of California, regardless of immigration status, would receive health care as a guaranteed human right.

As the GOP continues their assault on an already broken healthcare system, we need elected representatives that will move beyond stop-gap tweaks to the ACA and other incremental changes that leave insurance companies in charge — profiting off our patients’ suffering, and denying them care.

I hope you will join with nurses across California in calling on Speaker Rendon, our elected leaders, and 2018 candidates to move SB 562 forward and find the political will needed to lead the state and the nation to healthcare justice for all.

Jennifer Holm, MSN, RN



The shootings will continue

To the Editor,

Another school shooting. They will never stop, and I’ll tell you why. When you advertise a product on TV, someone will buy it. So when all these losers and weirdos see this on TV, they will say “I can do that, I will become famous. A couple of years from now they will sentence me to life in prison and have to feed me. Maybe even give me a TV in my cell.”

So who’s to blame for all this? Me and a fifth-grader are going to blame this on the media. After every shooting, Congress and the president will say “We will do gun control.” What a joke. I needed a good laugh. The NRA said the media is to blame.

For the shooter, you can look and not find a motive. If the Vegas shooter, after all the trouble he went through, knew the media wasn’t going to broadcast his name all over, he would not have done it.

If the First Amendment is not taken off the books, the shootings will continue. It’s as simple as that.

Anthony Ivelich



Huge debt increase coming

To the Editor,

The American Heritage Dictionary: Oligarchy n. 1. a government by the few, esp. a small faction. 2. Those making up such a faction. 3. A state so governed.

The following is an advisory statement from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt which, over time, became more of a warning (From “Rebooting the American Dream,” Thom Hartmann, Copyright 2010, 2011, page 97):

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group.”

On Dec. 18, 2015, Thom Hartmann, on his Free Speech Television show, quoted President Jimmy Carter, saying, “We have become an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.”

Roosevelt’s warning and Carter’s statement pretty well describe the current nature of government in America today; a fascistic corporate oligarchy.

We are experiencing a recurrent Republican economic strategy where-in when they are strongly in control, they cut taxes, mainly on the wealthy, and spend freely, running up the nation’s debt drastically, then scream to high heaven and blame it all on Democrats when they regain power (does this sound something like the tax deal Republicans passed recently, 83 percent of the benefits of which go to the top 1 percent?).

At the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, 70 percent of the national debt had been at the hands of three Republican presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and “W.” The 40 other presidents presided over only 30 percent of that debt. Yes, debt was incurred during Obama’s tenure, but he was digging us out of the very deep economic hole left to us by “W.”

Trump’s recent tax deal will result in another huge debt increase, money that will be borrowed to cover the decrease in revenue from taxes.

Thomas Stumbaugh



Abused women forced to relive circumstances

To the Editor,

Earlier this week, I responded to an online Pajaronian story regarding the accusations against Councilman Oscar Rios. I was stunned, as were many in the community, that a man we thought to be honorable could be accused of sexual misconduct. I had shown little sympathy for the two women who accused him, thinking of the men whose careers have been ruined over petty misdeeds. And then I read the subsequent story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. While I have a real problem with the vivid and often lurid descriptions of sexual aggression, I have to say that despite the many years that have passed, Mr. Rios’ behavior was criminal in nature, and he should have been prosecuted at that time for his actions. His resignation from the City Council was appropriate.

There is a big difference from someone “grabbing a butt” as in the Senator Al Franken situation, and the horrid deeds done by the formerly venerable Charlie Rose and Harvey Weinstein. I had assumed that Mr. Rios had done nothing egregious until I read the details.  

What is troubling, though, is that the details were printed in family-friendly local newspapers. When such descriptions are published it reinforces the reason why many women do not report sexual aggression, knowing that the details would not only become “news” but that they would have to repeat the circumstances over and over again to prosecutors and possibly in a [public] courtroom. In such instances, these women are having to relive their pain in public at great expense to their mental health. Believe me, I know this. One of my daughters was abused by a neighbor, but refused to report it to the police for these very reasons!

Women have been subjected to sexual abuse and worse from time immemorial. I love the #MeToo movement, but I do hope that only the wicked will be ostracized, and unfortunately, Mr. Rios’ deportment was indeed wicked.

Catherine O’Kelly

Scotts Valley

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