No matter where you go, there are lessons to be learned—especially on university campuses. One lesson that Harvard teaches through its actions [“Housekeepers vs. Harvard,” Sarah Leonard, April 10] is the primacy of profits over ethics. One lesson that the striking DoubleTree housekeepers enflesh is the nobility of struggle for decency and fairness. Which lesson is worthier?
As the Nicaraguan poet Giocanda Belli says, “Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.” The Harvard community is indebted to the workers for reminding us of that lesson and giving us the opportunity to act like truly educated and compassionate people.
Quaker Chaplain at Harvard University
The Right to Health Care
Angela Bonavoglia’s excellent article “What Would It Mean for 24 Million Americans to Lose Health Insurance?” [April 10] argues that an unseen consequence of Obamacare is an evolving acceptance of affordable health care as an American right. With Paul Ryan’s “replacement” plan exposed as a $600 billion tax cut for the wealthy, garnering only 17 percent approval, perhaps we will see in our political discourse a heightened scrutiny of any proposed Republican legislation and how it affects our social safety net, protection of natural resources, and sense of justice.
Americans should seek a mind-set that not only considers as obscene any effort to keep our health care a for-profit enterprise but that sees as suspicious anything coming from a House speaker who peddles a “replacement” plan that would remove more people from their health coverage than a simple “repeal” would.
palm coast, fla.
Incremental change still has enormous value. My brother lost his job at age 54 when the economy tanked and has been unable to secure work since. One of my closest friends worked in an office that shut down when she was 60. Neither had health insurance until the Medicaid expansion.
I worked in human services for many years and was always incensed by the number of people with near-zero incomes (many were homeless) who had only the emergency room in the public hospital for health care. The ACA has plenty of problems, but it was an enormous step forward in extending the safety net to all—and that appears to be exactly what Republicans can’t tolerate. The mean-spiritedness takes my breath way.