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Compromise works — but health care bill is no compromise

  • Author: Shannyn Moore
    | Opinion
  • Updated: July 1, 2017
  • Published July 1, 2017

The concept of compromise is one I try to encourage in our little fireside chats printed in your good morning newspaper.

I suppose for some of you that means you're starting a fire, and before crumpling, you've stopped to read. Thanks for that.

There are a few circumstances playing out that feel more like a rabbit and a wolf deciding what's for dinner. The wolf tells the rabbit he just needs to compromise a little more. That's a not-so-winning feeling.

In one of my recent columns I mentioned the private prison industry is working hard to take over the opioid addiction problem.

I got an email from a reader who had lost her son a few years back. She said, "If it could happen in our family, it can happen to anyone."

See, both sides of the health care debate can't win. The current proposed legislation would take away treatment for opioid addiction.

It's hard enough even with coverage to kick that kind of monkey off your back. I'm proud of how our state government has made advancements to treat overdoses. Though there is so much work to do.

A study came out this week saying 21 percent of the country has been prescribed opioids. Vox reports: "In 2015, more Americans died of drug overdoses than in any other year on record — more than 52,000 deaths in just one year. That's higher than the more than 38,000 who died in car crashes, the more than 36,000 who died from gun violence, and the more than 43,000 who died due to HIV/AIDS during that epidemic's peak in 1995."

This isn't about a couple of "pillbillies" in West Virginia, folks. They do have the highest amount of overdoses, but we aren't reacting to this crisis.

Our senators are open to discussions about rolling back "Obamacare." Their leadership and the president say we should repeal and just figure out a replacement later. Right.

How many people have to die first? We can't treat people with an addiction if they get their way. This is a long way to say the short answer to repeal should be No.

No, for quite a few more reasons than our opioid epidemic — 23 million of them — to be more exact. That's how many the Congressional Budget Office said would lose insurance if "Obamacare" was simply repealed.

This week the National Rifle Association put out an advertisement that targeted: "academic elites, political elites, and media elites. These are America's greatest domestic threats."

That's a fine way to channel the Khmer Rouge, but you don't get to call yourself an advocacy group for gun owners when you're picking out their targets for them. When you use an organization to create hatred and fear, you're usually put on a terrorist watchlist. Just saying. You don't get to have it both ways.

First lady Melania Trump seems lovely. Every first lady seems to come up with a project to focus on and lead our country further in whatever is close to her heart. Mrs. Trump has chosen to shine a spotlight on cyberbullying.

Why are you laughing? I couldn't make this up if I tried. She thinks people are mean on the internet and she's right. If she wants to rally the troops for a kinder cyberworld, she may want to start that campaign a bit closer to home, where the tweets have been meaner than usual. Pick one. She can't have both.

Compromise has its place. Taking turns riding in the front seat to school is a good example. If you've ever built a house with someone, you know about compromise. It's an amazing amount of give and take and the final result is a home.

There was a couple who put down their roots in our tiny community years ago. They worked side-by-side building a nest the two of them could share. Things got heated and their relationship crumbled and there just wasn't enough bracing and tar paper to patch all the holes.

They had become the Bickersons. It was decided they should split the house. Mr. Bickerson took that literally and fired up his chainsaw. He cut their house in half and tried to tow his half to the other side of the bay.

See, sometimes both sides can't have their way.

Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.

The views expressed here are the writer's and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary@alaskadispatch.com. Send submissions shorter than 200 words to letters@alaskadispatch.com. 

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