E-mail letters, March 23, 2010

We shouldn’t lose insurance just because we get ill

As we come ever closer to health care reform, I’d like to share a personal perspective.

In 1991, I needed eye surgery to fend off blindness. Even after prior authorization, the insurance company refused to cover the cost, claiming that I had not disclosed all of my medical history. They used a liver biopsy — that I paid for myself and which showed no abnormalities — as an excuse to drop my coverage. So I ended up with a $12,000 bill on my plate even though I had insurance.

Much later, when my wife retired, we ran into pre-existing conditions clauses. We took college classes to get access to student health insurance. It had a $100 per incident deductible and a $40,000 cap in coverage. When they raised the premiums from $150 to $200 a month, we switched to United Health Care, which had a $3,000 deductible per person and no outpatient coverage.

Now, we both have Medicare, but while waiting, we put off a lot of preventative tests. I can’t imagine the impact that situations like that have on Medicare’s budget. Under health care reform, prevention will always be covered, caps on coverage won’t exist, and people like my wife and I won’t be priced out of coverage or into subpar plans because we’ve got prior illnesses. And none of us will lose our coverage just because we tried
to use it.

I want to commend Sens. Bennett and Udall for standing up for health care reform. Keep pressing forward!

The year after we became eligible for Medicare, I was diagnosed with two different cancers, and my wife had an emergency angioplasty the same year. Every American should be able to focus on getting better instead of worrying about the thousands of dollars they don’t have.

Nick Isenberg
Glenwood Springs

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Salazar showed why we shouldn’t re-elect him

I had the privilege to travel to Washington, D.C. on March 20 with thousands of other patriots to voice our concern on the health care overhaul bill with which Congress is intent to bless us. For those who were not able to make the journey, I think it is important to share my experience with you.

While the protest on Capitol Hill was truly inspirational, the highlight of the trip was an opportunity to meet with Congressman John Salazar to voice our concerns on his planned vote to support major government controls on our health care. While I appreciated his willingness to meet with us to hear our concerns, frankly, I found his seriousness to consider our views, along with those of most Americans, to be disingenuous. Moreover, I found his position to vote “yes” on the health care bill to be uninformed, unconvincing, and indifferent.

When asked why he would vote to impose another major entitlement program on a country that is being crushed by debt, essentially his response was that we have to. To cap it off, when he found that his half-hearted effort to articulate a compelling argument was ineffective, he became belligerent to our group, which was nothing more than respectful, and locked the door to his public office so no others could visit him.

Is this the type of representation we deserve in Washington? I think not.

I came away from the meeting realizing that he was clearly more afraid of the wrath of Nancy Pelosi than concerned with the wishes of his own constituents.

I think it is time for the people of western Colorado to have representation in Congress that is responsive and respective of its constituents. Mr. Salazar apparently does not understand that, as James Madison stated, “The people are the only legitimate fountain of power.”

Demand better in the next election and vote for a representative of the people rather than Mr. Salazar.

Cindy Blair
Grand Junction

# # #

Health care vote puts country on Marxist road

Congratulation Marxists, one and all. In one day’s voting, Congress, driven by its speaker and abetted by the president and the Senate majority leader, has morphed itself into a Politburo and has done more to overthrow the old U.S. government of, by and for the people than the USSR could have hoped for in their 30 years of cold war.

Under the guise of health care reform, the Obama-Reed-Pelosi machine has begun the end of state autonomy and much of the personal freedom individual Americans relied on to create the greatest country in history.

The back-room arm twisting, fiscal bullying and intimidation used to get the majority for that vote are worthy of note by the individual as these are the tactics which will be used on you by the forces of government soon to be fielded to enforce the provisions of the bill. But fear not, you have become the new proletariat in a worker’s utopia and, as such, should learn to enjoy the fruits of everybody’s labor, whether you earn it or not

I’m not sure the country as a whole has the ability to grasp the significance of this legislation as a portent of things to come, or would care if they did. Such is the level of stupor to which we have declined as a nation thanks to the willing ignorance of some or as encouraged by the popular media (read: Propaganda Ministry).

Personally, I’d rather not give up and will vote out every idiot who supported this bill, no matter whether he or she was a willing kool-aid drinker or too morally flaccid to stand up to whatever pressures were brought to bear. Here’s to looking for some aspiring politicians who have an appreciation of the value of the country’s founding documents, the intelligence to apply those ideas to modern government and the guts to stand
by their convictions.

Bobby Johnson,

# # #

Republicans do nothing to earn their salaries

Republican senators and congressmen continue to say “no” and have sat in office and done nothing for a whole year. Isn’t that a job for lesser beings to aspire to?  As far as qualifications, it has to be “none needed.”

Most of us work hard to earn our money and we have to be ever careful not to get scammed. Lately we have seen a travel agency, an insurance company, investment firms and mortgage companies scam hard workers, life savers and retirees.

One scam that is not so readily recognizable is what Republicans have perpetrated on everyone in the USA in the last year. They sit in office, say no and collect a real good salary and receive fantastic medical insurance coverage.

They sit in judgment of Americans of lesser means whom they perceive contribute little to society. How hypocritical.

We have to wonder whether all of our lesser motivated or lesser inspired children will all be aspiring to become Republican congressmen and senators in the near future.

Jose U. Lucero
Grand Junction

# # #

Humidify JUCO baseballs to reduce home runs

I coached baseball for 30 years, have played it since 1945, wrote a few scouting reports and never hit with a metal bat.

JUCO is terrific. Coach Chris Hanks outcoached his Regis opponent last weekend. The Mesa State Mavericks are the best baseball team you will see every spring. And here’s an idea to improve JUCO.

When the heat arrives, balls fly out of Suplizio Field like scalded hogs. When the best come to play the best, the quality of the game is below standards.

JUCO needs a humidifier. Wood bats are too much to ask, but why not have legal baseballs? Why not meet Major League standards as the Colorado Rockies do

JUCO has inflated scores, pitchers are treated like poison snakes and I get bored watching 10 or 15 home runs in national tournament games.

I watched the Division II World Series last spring in Cary, N.C.  They don’t use humidifiers because they play at normal humidity and altitude. Pitchers are treated with respect and hitters earn home runs. It’s a different game and a joy to watch.

At least come and watch the Mesa State Mavericks and their coaches.  But hurry. When it gets hot, it’s a different game.

Bob Nash
Grand Junction

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Utilities bill ignores natural gas pollution

I have read House Bill 1365 and, although it is written in the typical confusing and legalese language favored by politicians, I found several provisions in this bill that from a layman’s point of view are very disturbing. I believe it behooves every voter to at least read all bills submitted by their representatives.

The bill appears to be concerned only with the pollution caused by electric utilities and completely ignores pollution caused by the companies that are extracting the fuel that the utilities use to generate the electricity, which would seem to defeat the purpose of preventing pollution overall.

This bill, through the use of long-term natural gas supply contracts, would, in effect, provide a guaranteed price for the gas drilling companies effectively eliminating the law of supply and demand thereby depriving the users of the electricity the benefits of paying rates based on the current price of natural gas at any given time. This may also encourage manipulation of natural gas prices at the time the contracts are negotiated.

The bill also indicates that the PUC would be given more powers to regulate the electricity rates so that the utility would be assured that they would always make a profit and be reimbursed for all expenses for converting their facilities from coal to natural gas by the rates paid by users of the electricity generated. From past experience the PUC has by its actions pretty much gone along with any rate filings used by the utilities and by giving them more power will not solve that problem.

I believe these are blatant examples of corporate welfare financed by the people who pay for the electricity generated and will surely result in much higher rates.

There was apparently no consideration given to how much coal-fired utilities actually contribute to pollution with the present pollution controls versus the pollution caused by natural gas fired utilities. Nor is there apparently any consideration as to what pollution is generated by the mining of coal versus the drilling for gas so that the total pollution caused by the use of either of these fuels can be compared over all. For instance, does anyone know if the pollution caused by the drilling companies affect the air quality over the Denver area given the easterly movement of the prevailing winds? During the height of the drilling boom in Garfield County at times a huge cloud of smog was visible over towns like Rifle and over the entire valley. I wonder if that is any concern to the “Air Quality Control Commission.”

This bill has been touted as creating more jobs but omits the possibility that many coal-related jobs will be eliminated. At least the coal-related jobs are permanent while the natural gas related jobs are transient in nature for the most part do not contribute to a stable economy.

It seems that this bill was designed more to promote the political agendas of the sponsors, Whitehead and Penry and the four candidates for governor by soliciting campaign contributions and support from the energy industries rather than to abate any pollution issues. These politicians have all indicated that they wish to deregulate the activities of the drilling industry yet they want to strictly regulate the utility industry, which seems to be quite contradictory.

Gary Evenson


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