Universal care couldcut nursing home stays
Re. “No Way Out: How the poor get stranded in nursing homes,” Page A1, Feb. 6:
The cases of Bradley Fisher, Virgil Steele and Jules Boddie, forced to live in nursing homes for years after experiencing severe injuries, causes me to consider what kind of lives they might have had if a single-payer health care system like CalCare, envisioned by AB 1400 – which unfortunately failed to pass the state Assembly on Jan. 31 – had been in place. All would have had the option of receiving long-term care at home or in their community, rather than in a nursing home, and they wouldn’t have had to pay out-of-pocket or impoverish themselves. There are thousands like them throughout California, driven to poverty, deteriorating health and homelessness by a regime that values the profits of corporations over lives.
We need to enact a democratically controlled system that guarantees comprehensive health care for all and, as demonstrated by experience around the world, provides better outcomes at lower cost, by cutting out the profiteers.
John MillerSan Jose
Climate change effectsdemand bold action
Thank you for Paul Rogers’ front-page story “Drought worst in 1,200 years” (Feb. 15) explaining how scientists determined we are in a “megadrought” and drawing connections to our climate crisis. Combined with record-breaking temperatures (80 degrees in February) and news that a “Century worth of sea rise in 30 years is coming” (Page A2, Feb. 16), this is a call to action.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, we can avoid the worst climate disasters if we take effective action now. Putting a price on carbon will reduce greenhouse-gas pollution. With revenue from carbon pollution fees going back to American households, middle- and lower-income households will come out even or ahead. A border carbon adjustment will help U.S. companies compete in world markets. It would be a win-win-win.
Join me in urging our members of Congress to take bold climate action now.
Anna KosterSan Jose
What does ‘data’ reallyshow in mask debate?
Re. “Keep masks on in schools, indoor spaces,” Page A6, Feb. 16:
The Mercury News has followed a trend of appealing to data in a haphazard but avoidable way (related: “believe the science”).
The pattern here is to say that “the data show” as a method of establishing objectivity and erudition, followed by a statement that uses numbers, but doesn’t “show” what it was supposed to. “The data” in this case is used to decorate an opinion: “the data show the rush to ditch masks is premature. Omicron hospitalization rates in California are still 17% higher than during the peak of the delta era. Deaths are 37% greater.” The unstated claim here is that if we make masking optional, something bad will happen. But no evidence is given for that claim, and the numbers provided can’t inform it.
Words are important, and the phrase “the data show” can be used more carefully and honestly by those trying to make informed arguments.
Nathaniel HigginsSan Jose
Republicans, not Demshave broken with reality
Assuming Alan Heimlich’s letter (“Democrats deal in denial, not reality,” Page A6, Feb. 15) wasn’t satire, the Republican National Committee is the “Forget Reality Party.” Consider the claim that the injuries, deaths and property destruction of Jan. 6 were “legitimate political discourse.”
They keep their members in a constant state of froth by jumping from one manufactured crisis to another like the War on Christmas. (Sorry, that was Fox News, the GOP marketing arm.)
Let’s not forget Lt. Col. Vindman’s testimony that he witnessed President Trump ask the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens, an illegal act.
I’m shocked the minions on the right fall for the party of Trump, forgetting that he acknowledged his misuse of charitable funds at his foundation and paid more than $2 million in damages while agreeing to shutter and dissolve the foundation.
Meanwhile, Trumpers keep donating into Trump’s pocket (legal defense and political committees). Clearly, reality is not a political requirement.
Olympic skier displaysthe true spirit of games
Re. “From S.F. to China’s Olympic megastar,” Page A1, Feb. 12:
“She is not thinking about politics, just for the love of skiing.”
Eileen Gu’s decision to represent China is a mature determination of an 18-year-old girl. As American winter sports are well-developed and the market is fully-saturated, she will not inspire as many girls to engage in skiing if she participates in the Olympics for the United States. Representing China, she has inspired millions of Chinese girls to take up skiing.
Transcending boundaries and countries, Eileen personifies the Olympic spirit through her achievements. While the United States and China’s relationship is at an all-time low, she can reunite the two cultures and forge harmonious friendships between them through her cross-border efforts. As Eileen said, “I feel like sports is really a way that we can unite people. We are all out here together pushing human limits.”