Clarity Offered for Chase
Perhaps I can clear up a couple of the things Jim Chase is wondering about [“What A Wonder-full Summer,” My Thoughts Exactly, July 5].

There are several reasons military recruiters don’t belong on high school campuses. Recent studies show the brain isn’t fully developed until well into one’s 20s. Impulse control and adequately assessing risk come later. American troops are dying from suicide more than combat these days. Outsourcing means military personnel no longer learn jobs that have civilian equivalents so veterans are less likely to find a job when they return than those who stay in school or go into the workforce. Our freedoms are threatened by corporate greed not foreign nations. WWII was the last defensive American war. All subsequent police actions and invasions have been for political reasons that have for the most part failed. Lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the stationing of U.S. troops in many other nations have drained our treasury. Despite the best intentions of those serving, these actions have not made the world safer. A better way to keep America strong is to support education and job training to energize the domestic economy.

While the U.S. teen pregnancy rate has dropped to a record low, it is still the highest in the developed world. American young people remain ignorant of the risks of unsafe sex. Approximately 400,000 teens give birth each year in the U.S., most are not married and did not intend to become pregnant. Planned Parenthood provides basic healthcare, cancer and STD testing and comprehensive sex education including explanation of various contraception methods. Abortion services are merely 3% of their activities. The services Planned Parenthood provides on high school campuses reduce the need for abortions.

I think our teens deserve the truth about military service and family planning.

Sharon Weisman
La Crescenta

Cheers for Healthcare
That sigh of relief you might have heard from my La Crescenta household at 7:07 a.m. on [June 28] was my reaction to the news that the Supreme Court had upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. The immediate result is that my son who currently works two jobs – neither of which provide health insurance nor pays enough so he can afford his own – will still be covered under my policy until he is 26.

Also, my elderly mother will be able to continue to benefit from preventive services and free annual wellness exams. Soon, my niece, who has a “preexisting condition,” will be able to afford health care for the first time. These are real benefits for real people.

Some people opposed this law and were confident that the Supreme Court would overturn all or part of it. Of particular concern to them was the individual mandate that would require those who can afford insurance but choose not to buy it, to pay a penalty. This part of the law was also upheld by the Supreme Court.

I think Mitt Romney said it best when he included this provision in his own Massachusetts health care insurance reform law and suggested that it should be a model for the nation.

“We established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar.”

Less than 1% of the population in Massachusetts ending up being assessed this penalty and the end result was that 98% of the adults and nearly 100% of the children in Massachusetts now have health insurance.

For some reason, Mr. Romney now opposes President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (even though it was modeled after his own successful reform in Massachusetts) and has pledged to repeal it on the first day of his presidency.

So, I have a few questions for Mitt Romney: Why have you turned your back on one of the few successes you had as governor? Why are you trying to take away my family’s healthcare? And if you do take it away, what are you going to replace it with?”

Patrick McDonald
La Crescenta

Appreciates Chase Tribute
Jim Chase’s article “Holding Down the Fort,” [My Thoughts, Exactly, June 21] was a home run. What a great and loving tribute. I could almost substitute in Kelly for Darby and Crystal for Sierra, because they we our yellow lab and golden retriever. There is nothing like a dog for a pet, and when it is “your” dog it is even better. I am going to forward his article to my sister, even though my sister is a cat person.

Thanks for the memories and I’ll be looking for you around town.

Doug Ruygrok
La Cañada