Printed letters, September 4, 2013

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L.W. Hunley’s letter in today’s Sentinel (“Time to reject Obamacare and develop a better plan”) is less than half-right about the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

Could Congress have crafted a significantly shorter bill to restructure 16% of the U.S. economy?  Perhaps.

Despite Hunley’s misguided intimation, recent studies confirm that “ObamaCare” is indeed “affordable” – likely saving the average American family some $1600 annually. 

Hunley also implies a false partisan equivalency between opposition to versus support for the ACA, when repugnant Republicans (“Repugnicans”) – including Scott Tipton—are still trying to sabotage it.  Indeed, as the Washington Post opined yesterday, “Republicans should get out of the way of Obamacare” and cease their “disruptive and harmful campaign to complicate, delay and undermine the ACA”.

As Hunley admits, many Americans support ACA’s “major items”, but some – mired in misinformation propagated by cynically dishonest Repugnicans – don’t recognize them as features of “ObamaCare”.

Hunley offers no credible alternative to two widely-accepted approaches to out-of-control health care costs and rising health insurance premiums – individual/employer mandates (originally, the Republican plan) or “single-payer” (preferred by liberals).

The ACA defers “tort reform” to states because its effect on overall health care costs is minimal.  “Purchasing [health insurance] across state lines” is universally dismissed (except by the uninformed) as a “dumb idea”.  Access on state/federal “exchanges” to state-regulated qualifying policies both promotes free-market competition within states and renders affordable health insurance effectively “transportable”.

Contrary to Hunley’s baseless assertion, our “for-profit” approach to rationing health care is neither a “system” nor the “best in the world”.  Rather, the U.S. spends twice as much as other developed societies for health care, but ranks well-down on measures of quality.

Certainly, the ACA can be improved – but only with good-faith cooperation from those who have induced gullible Americans like Hunley to swallow their false propaganda.

George Seely’s letter in today’s Sentinel (“John Justman’s column presented rational view”) epitomizes how blatant hypocrisy and outright falsehoods pass for “rational economic opinion” among local “conservatives”.

Justman’s insipid column (“Free-market policies aid county, not green energy subsidies”, Sep. 1) propounded the purported benefits of the “free market” (but heavily subsidized) oil & gas industry—citing the Grand Valley Transportation Authority’s conversion to natural-gas-fueled buses as an example.  Of course, that widely-acclaimed transition to greener energy was accomplished only with federal “green energy subsidies”.

Justman’s ideological tunnel-vision was also revealed in today’s Sentinel (“School Board moving forward with solar subscription”), which describes a cooperative public-private initiative to save School District 51 perhaps $1 million over 20 years by building a solar panel “garden” on publicly-owned land leased to a private enterprise.  Of course, that “green energy” project is also made possible by green “energy credits” (i.e., “subsidies”).

Moreover, as Tim Pipe writes above, Justman both dubiously compared the sunny Grand Valley and the windy West to northern Europe, and—as Bob Weiffenbach demonstrated in his on-line response (“John Justman column perpetuates sense of victimhood on West Slope”. Sep. 3) – his column was replete with “mistakes and inaccurate data”, falsely portraying our lagging local economy as the “victim” – rather than the beneficiary – of governmental support.

Meanwhile, both Weiffenbach and (previously) Doug Hovde exposed Justman’s self-serving hypocrisy—observing that he’s applied for and received some $190,000 to $200,000 in federal farm subsidies since 1995.

Thus, not only is Justman religiously devoted to a mythical “free-market”, he personally benefits from a corrupt give-away program that – according to recent GAO reports—pays (and fails to recoup) subsidies to deceased farmers and inadequately audits income-eligibility.  Likewise, our pseudo-“conservative” Congressman Scott Tipton voted to pay farm subsidies to his cronies on the House Agriculture Committee!

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