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Blame Trump for shootings?

If you support President Trump, you are a racist and responsible for the mass killing in El Paso. Does that seem at all a credible opinion? Well, that's what a letter to the editor last week concluded.

Based on that logic, anyone who supported President Obama would be partly responsible for the deaths by mass shootings during his tenure. That included five police officers who were murdered by a lunatic in Dallas. President Obama attended the funeral and took that opportunity to criticize, again, law enforcement in general. Although he repeatedly was non-supportive of law enforcement, I did not blame Obama for the deaths in Dallas, nor should the current president be blamed for what happened two weekends ago. Mass killings in this country did not begin with the current president or the last one. Sadly, it has been going on for decades.

Rather than blaming the president, why not demand our elected officials do something? With so much hatred among Democrats for this president, it is difficult to be hopeful that governance is going to improve any time soon. 

Ron Saffin, Marco Island

Is Trump above the law?

Theodore Roosevelt stated, “No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.”

The House has begun impeachment inquiries and likely will find evidence that Trump has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, not to mention the racial prejudice he stokes, and it may vote to impeach him.

It would then proceed before the U.S. Senate for adjudication. Does anyone think the Republican senators, even with unequivocal evidence before it proving Trump is guilty, would vote to convict him?

This would further Trump’s unrealistic beliefs about how clever and important he is and that he does not have to obey the law.

Should political parties be so biased that they can avoid adherence to law?

Does this disturb you from legal, moral or prospective future situations relating to any person subject to impeachment proceedings?

Nevertheless, the result may well be, (sorry Teddy) that our president may well be a criminal and continue as such and avoid any punishment and therefore be above the law. We must vote him out.

Irv Povlow, Marco Island

Surprise medical bills

I am writing about efforts in Congress to tackle surprise medical bills — costs that patients get stuck with after care has been administered by an out-of-network doctor or hospital.

Patients most often receive surprise medical bills as result of an emergency room or urgent care visit, when a patient does not have time to find an in-network care provider.

These surprise charges emerge from billing disputes between insurance companies and doctors. Yet patients, who pay insurance premiums each month with the expectation they will have access to medical care when they need it, are the ones asked to foot the bill when these disputes are not resolved.

It is critical that Congress not try to resolve surprise medical billing with cost controls. Government rate-setting for care might sound appealing to keep costs low, but it creates another problem: access. These caps would create a doctor shortage, leaving many communities underserved and with other hurdles to access health care.

On the other hand, some states have instituted an arbitration system, which empowers a third party to resolve billing disputes between doctors and insurance companies. This system has shown promise, maintaining access to potentially life-saving care while reducing out-of-network billing and lowering ER fees.

Jean-Marc Katzeff, East Naples

Need for fathers shown?

Twenty-two killed at a Walmart in El Paso. Nine killed in Dayton. Three in Gilroy. Two in Mississippi. And that’s just the first week in August. An alarming tally.

Yes, gun violence is a national health epidemic, and mental health services are at fault. Social media and news media carry responsibility. All huge issues with no easy solutions.

But there is something we all can do. Something you won’t hear on the news.

These deadly mass shooters have one thing in common — one thing that is a big clue to how we can begin to solve this horrendous crisis. The vast majority of the shooters did not have a consistent father throughout childhood. Boys need a dad to teach them how to be men. There’s a direct correlation between boys who grow up without a father and boys who kill.

Dad-deprived boys — this is a crisis we can solve. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle of a boy, help that boy keep his dad in his life. Support the relationship between son and father. If that’s not possible, be a surrogate dad for him, or find him one.

The good news is that some communities are devising creative ways to help make up for the absences of dads. Let’s do that in our community.

Barbara Pierce, Golden Gate Estates

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