Readers write: Letters to the editor, July 31

Vote speaks well of Murkowski

Thanks to Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her no vote on bringing the unspecified health care bill to the floor of the U.S. Senate. It was more important than simply a vote against bringing a miserable bill to the floor. It was important as a stand against the president, Donald Trump. She will be remembered kindly by lots of voters, including those like me who have not supported her in the past. She has made a powerful enemy in the president, but then that speaks well for her. She joins a growing number of Republicans who Trump has turned on for their audacity to hold a contrary opinion.

I hope future generations can look back and see the Trump years as an aberration — a joke that our democracy survived. I hope they don't look back and see the 2016 election as the time American democracy caught the cold that led to pneumonia. Daily I am astounded and disgusted with this president's disrespect for what really has made America great.

I only hope the judicial and legislative branches will do their duty to check the president's reckless behavior. We citizens should tell our congressional representatives what we expect from them.

— Richard Stokes

Sullivan: Follow Lisa's example

I strongly support Sen. Lisa Murkowski's stance that the new health care bill must not be rushed to the floor, but developed slowly, carefully, and that Alaska senators should speak for Alaskans. The new proposals hurt Alaskans — the Congressional Budget Office estimates in one plan that 22 million Americans will lose insurance, but the proportional damage will be far greater in Alaska, where 28,000 people are now insured for the first time, through Medicaid expansion and individual policies for the self-employed due to the Affordable Care Act. Yes, health care access can be improved, but the plans under consideration in the Senate and House do not do that — they simply make health care even more out of reach for Alaskans. This will hit Alaska harder than any other state in the country.

Murkowski is voting as an Alaskan. We need you, Sen. Dan Sullivan, to join her and stand up for our state, not party politics. Submitting to bullying from the president and the interior secretary is not Alaskan — it's cowardice. Please join Murkowski in standing up for your constituents who need your voice more than ever.

— Kate Laird

Murkowski puts Alaska first

Once again, Sen. Lisa Murkowski has demonstrated why Alaskans keep sending her back to Washington, D.C. — she puts our state and people, not her own political career, first. When Senate Republicans voted to proceed with a truly troubling health care bill this week, Murkowski was one of only two GOP senators to vote "nay." We should all be grateful for her courage.

After a convoluted process that had senators guessing as to what, exactly, they were voting on up until almost the last minute, Republicans were able to just barely pass a motion to proceed with consideration of the American Health Care Act, the U.S. House Republicans' version of the "Obamacare repeal and replace" effort.

One doesn't have to support "Obamacare" — I very much don't — to see that the alternative the Senate voted for is far worse: More than 20 million people would lose health coverage, Medicaid would be kneecapped, and sick people would find it almost impossible to find affordable and adequate care.

We cannot and should not accept a bill that leaves so many Alaskans without access to health care. As this process proceeds in the coming days and weeks, I call on Murkowski — as both a constituent and fellow Republican — to hold strong. And I call on all my fellow Alaskans to remember who fought for us when it counted most on that election day.

— Dr. Luke Liu

Survived red-light runner, barely

A week ago Friday, I was with a group of bicyclists waiting to cross East Northern Lights Boulevard at the pedestrian crosswalk just west of East High School. When the "Walk" light came on for us, the first biker started to cross, but a couple of us saw a car coming so fast it was obviously not going to stop for the red light. We yelled at the first biker, and she stopped as the car whizzed past her — inches away!

That was the second close call I witnessed in the past week. Everybody commented on the rampant red-light runners at every traffic light around town. Where are the police who are supposed to enforce the traffic laws? How do we get photo radar back?

— Jean Tam

Murkowski fails conservatives

I've grown tired of trying to defend you and your actions with my fellow conservatives, and with your last stunt — I cannot and will not. "Obamacare" has hurt Alaskans more than any other state and you refuse to pull the thorn from our side. Insurance premiums in Alaska have tripled and deductibles have skyrocketed under "Obamacare." My insurance premiums jumped from $370 per month to $1,200 per month as a result of "Obamacare." Maybe if you had to use "Obamacare" (like the rest of "your subjects") you would see the need for repeal?

Put Alaskans first, or I will vigorously campaign for your replacement.

— Philip Brower

Sullivan: 'The North remembers'

Sen. Dan Sullivan, like so many Alaskans, I was extremely disappointed in your Senate vote. You've shown us that you have little regard for the people who elected you. So, we'll be expressing our disregard for you in the voting booth come next election.

The North remembers.

— Dr. Lorelei Hass
Eagle River

Bathroom bill is job creator

As I read that the "bathroom bill" will be up for a vote during the April city election, I thought, "Wow, that will be a real job creator." If it passes, won't it require monitors stationed at the doors of all public restrooms to check birth certificates, so as to ascertain only those of the specified gender enter? How else could Mr. Minnery be sure the law would be enforced?

— Anne Gauthier

Forced arbitration is a loser

Buried in the fine print of most financial service contracts, (including but not limited to your credit card agreement) lies a "ripoff" clause known as forced arbitration. Signing the contract means you forfeit your right to a day in court should a dispute with your bank or lender arise. Instead, you are forced into a secretive system where the arbitrator need not follow the facts or the law, and there is no appeal. You have no choice to remove this clause; if you want the credit card, you get stuck with it.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a rule to restore our right to use class actions and to lift the veil of secrecy from forced arbitration. Congress is considering a law to preclude this rule.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan should help ordinary Alaskans by supporting this strong rule to restore our day in court.

— Frank Cahill
Law Office of H. Frank Cahill

There's no halo on Murkowski

So, does Sen. Lisa Murkowski walk on water now? You'd think so if you read how "strong" and wonderful everyone thinks she is after the health care vote. Even she's buying, and loving, the attention. But she's a puppet like the others. No different, and I'm tired of it. We've had chance after chance to change out Murkowski and Young. We're puppets, too.

— Laurie Dunnagan

Texan is proud for Alaskans

I want to thank Alaskans for having the wisdom to elect Sen. Lisa Murkowski. The independence, courage and conscience shown by her no vote for the health care "skinny repeal" made my heart swell for your state. Alaskans won't be bullied. I'm so glad there are still Republicans looking out for the people. Thank you from Texas.

— Darcy Thorpe
Spring, Texas

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