Printed letters, Dec. 23, 2009

Kudos to The Daily Sentinel editorial board for the Dec. 22 editorial. It’s rare to see any publication or TV “analysis,” left or right-leaning, providing an honest evaluation of what is actually in the Senate health reform bill.

People on both sides of the issue find much to complain about. It is the epitome of the sausage that comes from big, important legislation that is hard-fought on both issues of principle and political advantage.

The simple fact is that our “system,” both of providing services and paying for them, is way out of whack and needs drastic overhauling. There are waste and perverse incentives throughout and this bill, smelly as it may be to some, is a first valiant attempt to start the wheels of change in motion. The things that the editorial points out are some of the very most important parts of the bill and should appeal to the entire spectrum of political sensitivities. How can you argue against trial programs to see what really works versus doctrinaire dictates?

When we spend as much as twice what others around the world spend for their medical services and don’t have the success in outcomes that exist in other highly developed countries, you know something is wrong. When passed by both houses of Congress, we’ll finally be on our way to a more fair and rational system.

This issue has been on both the front and back burner of “things to do” for a hundred years in one form another. Its time has come and in the future it will gradually be improved into something we can all be proud of in the way all citizens can have the very best care without fear of bankruptcy. We have the best technology. Now everybody will have access to it.


As a health insurance agent, I am for health care reform. However, the bill under consideration in the Senate must be defeated. Here are some of the provisions of the bill that gets worse by the hour.

Nebraska gets $100 million for its Medicaid expansion. Florida, New York and Pennsylvania are exempt from cuts in the Medicare Advantage Plans. Medicaid funding is expanded in Vermont and Massachusetts. Louisiana gets $300 million. $100 million is designated for some unnamed hospital somewhere in the United States. There are special deals for the Indian Health Care System, unions and longshoremen.

Sens. Michael Bennett and Mark Udall voted for the bill, but where is Colorado’s special deal? Where are the provisions that actually address the cost of care?

This isn’t health care reform. This is “Let’s Make a Deal,” or if you prefer, “Deal or No Deal.”



I sit here reading the various Web site’s of the 2010 candidates to date, and I still fail to see any sign of a plan, or beginning of an answer to the issue’s that face us, and those issue’s that will slam into us due to the acts of our representatives.

Many blogs and editorial comments laud each candidate with praise, courage and insight, but then I read a final sentence that cries to communities to stay strong within the party. I also see that even the Tea Party has given something of its principles and endorsed major party candidates.

Something hit me along the way through my morning surfing. Maybe it is the Christmas season spirit, maybe it is just a longing of times past that I miss, like seeing carolers or just going to a school Christmas play and watching the result of a child’s imagination, or a teacher’s drive to bring out the best in our future generation.

The end result is witnessing the loss of who we are and what we can be as a society of people, where at one time we came together and fought for freedom in several wars that needed America to tip a balance and save a few foreign nations from devastation and a genocide. The last few decades have seen our government destroy the fabric of democracy in every aspect of our countries livelihood, from the national debt to health care, and yet we continue to serve and allow party politics to rule our lives with no hope of seeing the light of their actions.

I hope and pray that we can once again see a time where the Norman Rockwell era will rise once again, where the hardships and stress of American’s will be seen by Congress and our president for what they are, and that is the result of government actions themselves. The answer lies within our hearts, our compassion and our common sense that tells us to join together as Americans and believe that nothing is impossible, including our ability to find worthy leaders instead of what is placed before us as a choice of candidates by the political parties.

We must join together in our elections, as we would join together in the Christmas spirit. Merry Christmas Colorado and God Bless.



The health care debate seems to have redefined the meaning of “compromise.” Where I came from, “compromise” means “settlement of a dispute by mutual concession.” Not “sweetheart deal” or “vote buying” like the Democrats in the Senate did when they met with only themselves at night, behind closed doors earlier this week.

So much for “bipartisan,” “transparency” or Obama’s words. When a reporter asked questions that sounded accusatory, a Democratic spokesman reportedly said, “They compromised.”



Bill Grant says we should be proud of Sen. Michael Bennet and compares him to Mr. Smith in Frank Capra’s film. In his column, Grant lauds Mr. Smith for refusing to back down to the power brokers who run the country. Mr. Bennet’s vote for a bill loaded with pork and gifts for special interests in the face of overwhelming public opinion against the bill is a clear indication that he was not able to stand up to the power machine in Washington.

Mr. Smith would have voted, in heart and in mind, with his constituents and not against them. Mr. Smith would have been appalled at any bill that was negotiated in the dark of night. Mr. Smith would have been shamed by a president who said that all bills would be posted online for the American people to review and then backed down on his promise. Mr. Smith would not have fallen for the tactic of rushing a vote to avoid the tide of public opinion turning against a bill. Mr. Smith would not just have said “No” to this bill, he would have screamed “NO!” at the top of his lungs, stood firm and forced the power brokers into an open and honest debate.

Mr. Bennet voting for a bill that neither he nor the American people have had a chance to study is not standing on principle — it is a “punch in the nose.”

Mr. Grant, Mr. Bennett is no Mr. Smith



There are no Grinches in the Grand Valley.  How do I know? Last Friday, North Avenue WarMart employees voted to give up their holiday party and decided instead to give the money they would have spent on it to the Home Now program. Nearly $1,400 was donated to assist eligible families with the costs of getting into safe, stable, affordable housing this winter.

The Home Now program links landlords who have vacant rentals and homeless families with children, and has found housing for 15 families to date, with an additional 33 in process.

The collaboration consists of health and human service agencies, private landlords, Mesa County Department of Human Services, property managers, law enforcement, the school district, the faith community, the media, and others – more than 40 groups in all. They work together to achieve a common goal: housing homeless families with children.

To my knowledge, this effort is unique to Mesa County and is another great testament to the strength of our community and our willingness to take care of each other in tough times

Because of the generosity of WarMart employees, fewer families will be living in their cars, in motels or doubled up with other families. Safely housed, these children and youth can now concentrate on school, instead of worrying about where they will sleep tonight. I think that can only lead to better success in the classroom, and greater self-sufficiency in the long run.

On behalf of the entire Home Now collaborative, thank you, North Avenue WarMart employees!




We’re told that rising average global temperature can cause a disaster in the future. But it’s impossible to establish an average temperature at any given time because it’s constantly changing.

The scientific claim that warmer climate breaks the icebergs loose has no bearing because there’s no average temperature in the vast Arctic to relate with.

It’s impossible to make an accurate count of how many icebergs are out there now or in the future, so the photos of icebergs breaking away is irrelevant to future ones breaking away.

Conclusion: With no scientific facts to work with, only suppositions and baseless predictions, there is no reason for panic.



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