E-mail letters, Dec. 28, 2009

Intended consequences of health bill

May be worse than unintended ones

Well, we just had a wonderful lesson on how senate bills are written and passed. They are written in incomprehensible, arcane language, in several thousand pages. They are passed by giving benefits to each senator that had even belched about not voting for the bill.

Most benefits inserted, in order to get a vote, are singular to a particular senator’s state and not for the entire citizenry.

It appears that our “Blue Dogs” are Lap Dogs after all.

There was a reason that Mark Twain once said: “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.”

He also said; “There is no distinctly Native American criminal class … save Congress.”

Mark Twain was not the only person to feel so. Will Rogers allowed that: “There ought to be one day – just one – when there is open season on senators.”

I can only hope that what comes out of Congress, if anything, it is not quite as bad as I think it will be. If unintended consequences do not abound, I will be stunned. But it is all the sneaky consequences that may even be worse.

And, please, don’t spout the fiction that “your” representative or senator read and understood whatever the final bill may be.

Creighton Bricker

Grand Junction

Bennet is the antithesis

of the original Mr. Smith

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington tells the story of a newly appointed senator, a non-politician to that point, who fights graft and pork-barrel proposals once he arrives in Washington D.C. His efforts actually were pointed towards limiting spending.

On the other hand, you have a recently appointed Colorado senator, Michael Bennet, who, according to Bill Grant, has indicated he would vote for the health care bill even if it would cost him his job. This scenario, instead of limiting spending, calls on “the people” to absorb tremendously high costs.

And of course the Michael Bennet scenario does raise the question: Why would such an ideal gesture cause Sen. Bennet to lose his job?

Answer (for the Bill Grants out there): Because such a vote is against the will of the people!

Rodney Johnson

Delta

Wagner’s animal stories

are full of inaccuracies

It’s not surprising Rick Wagner started his Dec. 23 column, “Liberal lemmings are taking our health care system over a cliff,” with a fallacy. Although it may interfere with his “Just So Stories” approach to politics and policy, Mr. Wagner’s assertion that “insearch of more land on which to scramble about, [lemmings] plunge to their doom over cliffs, as their single-minded purpose overwhelms what little sense they seem to possess” is a myth, as a quick visit to snopes.com would have told him — assuming fact-checking is high among Mr. Wagner’s priorities.

While Mr. Wagner’s inner Grinch is begrudging a family of four with an annual income of $29,260 their Medicaid, he fails to note, were the status quo to continue, then in 2016, that family would find its annual health care risk (total insurance premiums plus maximum out-of-pocket costs) eating up 84 percent of its income. Under the Senate bill, that percentage would reduce to 21percent.  If that family is doing a bit better, making $84,642 a year (or 350 percent of the federal poverty line), those percentages are 29 percent (status quo) and 22 percent (Senate bill) — still not an insignificant savings. (These figures come from Jonathan Gruber of MIT from the Congressional Budget Office’s official cost estimates, by way of Kaiser Health News.)

If Mr. Wagner is going to traffic in animal myths to describe politicians, then perhaps we should consider the Republican leadership — and those who bend the truth to defend them — to be ostriches, sticking their heads in the sand rather than facing hard facts.

Arn McConnell

Grand Junction

Many nasty surprises

may lurk in health bill

I’m amused that a gathering of 75 or so people in front of the federal building upset Hank Schoch so much he wrote a letter to the paper.

The location was selected because it is close to the offices of our senators, Michael Bennett and Mark Udall, and convenient to deliver the petitions we signed during the protest.

I do not speak for the group, but the reason I have attended all of the protests against health care reform is that I believe the approach our congresspersons are taking will make health care more expensive for everybody, and result in rationing when the system is overwhelmed.

The additional Medicaid burden on the states will be devastating to already strained budgets, and still will not cover everyone. Not only is tort reform not included, but one of the bills penalizes any state that enacts a law that limits lawsuits.  In 4,000-plus pages of bills between the House and Senate, who knows what other “nasty little surprises” lurk?

Contrary to continual claims by the Democrats, the Republicans offered a 219-page bill that addressed most of the problems with the healthcare system without destroying all that is good about it. You can read their bill a http://www.gop.gov.

If the bills before Congress are so wonderful, why are prominent members of the House and Senate and other high-ranking Democrats now saying they should scrap the whole thing and start over? Also, why did Harry Reid have to bribe senators to vote for his bill and why did both bodies exempt themselves and their families?

Roberta Kneisel

Grand Junction

No reason to praise

Sen. Michael Bennet

Bill Grant wrote in high praise of Sen. Michael Bennet in his Dec. 23 column, while at the same time deriding Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska for what they have done regarding health care reform.

It seems Bill has forgotten that “highly principled” Sen. Bennet has been known to wink and nod to get New York Sen. Charles Shumer’s direction on how to vote on legislation. It’s also plainly clear that Bennet will just do as he’s told by Nevada Sen. Harry Reid — principle has nothing to do with how Bennet votes.

Regarding Sen. Nelson, he at least, unlike Bennet, understands that if you’re going to destroy health care, trash the U.S. Constitution, and fleece the tax payers, you should at least try to get something for your constituents. Sen. Bennet thinks it best to just get along, be nice, and don’t rock the Democratic boat while ignoring what the people he represents desire. Sen. Bennet would be wise next election to campaign for votes in New York and Nevada, since it appears he is more interested in the wishes of those senators than the people of Colorado.

In short, there is little about Sen. Bennet to be proud of and that should very clear when he is replaced next election.

Rick L. Coleman

Grand Junction

Some letter writers

understand Obamacare

I’m glad to see that two of the three letter writers in the Dec. 27 edition of The Daily Sentinel know what’s going-on with Obamacare.  Mr. Sjerven and Mr. Gregg are right on with their assessments of what the government’s real agenda is, under the guise of “health care for all.” Those of us who can see past their smoke and mirrors, distortions and outright lies, know that their real agenda is more control of the people.

The writer of the third letter says that our health care system is “way out of whack and needs drastic overhauling.” Wrong. Our health care system is very good. We just need to get the burgeoning costs under control.

Many experts have suggested a lot of good cost control measures that could be initiated without a takeover by our abusive government.  But these measures are being ignored by the liberals because they want the power that a government takeover would give them.  People who are for this gigantic boondoggle called “health care reform” admit that the proposed legislation isn’t all that good, but that it is a “start” and that Congress can “tweak” it later.  Uh, yeah.  That’s like letting a known burglar into your house and then trying to keep him from robbing you.  Bad idea!  The liberal Congress is the burglar in this case and we’d better not let them in.

Right now I like being able to go to the doctor of my choice and, together with him or her, develop a treatment plan that will suit my needs without the interference of the government.  And, if my doctor recommends certain procedures or devices for me, I don’t want the government having the authority to deny me of them or tax me on them. Did you know that’s in this Obamacare debacle?  Can you tell me of one government program that runs efficiently and cost effectively? And you want to turn your health care over to them?

We don’t need a trillion-dollar, 2,000-page monstrosity to get costs under control. A couple dozen pages of good, effective cost control measures should do.

It is an egregious and arrogant abuse of power when the U.S. Senate has to buy votes, with our money, to pass legislation that stinks to high heaven, will bankrupt us and that the large majority of the American people are opposed to. In future elections, let’s send every senator and representative who voted for this legislation home and give someone else a try at doing the will of the people!

Richard “Hoppy” Hopkins

Clifton

Democrats run country

the ‘Chicago way’

Who are these people?

The Democrats act like a “sequestered jury.” They seem to be in a closet and cut off from any contact with the rest of the world. They obviously have been given classes in Chicago-style politics.

Some of them are more afraid of the administration than they are the voters. Others will sell their votes to the highest bidder. Personal integrity is not part of the process.

If they don’t want to put their hands in the sleaze, they just keep their mouth shut and vote party line. By not calling attention to themselves, they hope the voters will forget what they voted for when they run for re-election.

This process may be why the Senate Democrats are celebrating the passing of a health care bill that will take years before they, along with the House of Representatives, the president, and the American people know what’s in it and the intended or unintended consequences of it.

One thing for sure, they had to do it quickly, before they let the flock out of the closet for Christmas. The bill should sail through the House. The Democratic machine has mastered the art of strong arming, bribery and scare tactics.

So, if you keep asking why these people are giving us a health care plan we don’t want and can’t afford, prosecuting terrorists in our federal courts, degrading the CIA, running huge deficits, and still blaming Bush for everything that is wrong with America. It is just the Chicago way.

We will eventually get America back. We just have to make a few personnel changes. We will never let stand the actions of a few who demean our country, commit bribery, and violate our constitutional rights.

William. F. McKnight

Grand Junction

Terrorist attack caught Homeland Security flatfooted

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said with a straight face “The suspect on the Friday (Christmas day) attack was stopped before any damage could be done.”

The attack was stopped by who? Surely not by Homeland Security, which failed miserably in every way possible.

A major terrorist attack was averted thanks solely to alert, courageous, unselfish passengers and the crew, plus the fact that the device malfunctioned.

Yes, it is a terrorist attack. We’re tired of being politically correct at the expense of our lives and our country’s safety.

Call it for what it truly is: a terroristattack by an Islamic extremist that caught Homeland Security flatfooted.

Violete Stevens

Grand Junction



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