Letter: Everyone needs medical insurance

I joined the U.S. Navy in 1968 and served for 10 years. I was told that the Veterans Administration would take care of my medical needs once discharged. I have a service-connected ailment, but it seems that the VA lost all of my medical records in a fire.

I took a mining job with a major steel company in Pittsburgh. They said they would give me health insurance as part of my retirement benefits. The steel company sold the mining interests to a large mining company located in St. Louis, Mo. One of the first things the company did was to discontinue medical benefits to retirees. I receive a small retirement check from this company, but no medical benefits.

I accepted a position with a major aluminum company located in Pittsburgh. They said that I would have medical benefits on retirement. I receive a small retirement check from that company — but no medical benefits.

I currently work for a very large chemical company that has discontinued medical benefits for future retirees. Initial employment guaranteed retiree medical benefits.

Now we finally have an “Affordable Care Act” that helps the uninsured and underinsured have medical care. The majority of the people in Louisiana that oppose this law are people who have insurance, either from a “unionized” chemical plant or refinery. The elected (professional politicians) representatives have access to taxpayer medical care and retirement checks for the rest of their lives.

Isn’t it about time that the average citizen in this country reaps some of the same benefits that are paid for by their tax dollars and covers their elected officials for life? We spend billions on weapons of war, but we can’t fund medical care for our citizens. Give me a break!

Richard Stagnoli

environmental health and safety auditor

Central