E-mail letters, March 29, 2010

Natural gas produces
greenhouse gases
Natural gas is being promoted by the industry as a transition fuel that is cleaner for the environment than oil or coal. Yet the consumption of natural gas still puts greenhouse hydrocarbons, including methane, into the air although a little less so than oil or coal.
Natural gas does nothing for our climate change problem. Do not let them fool you on this.
Then there is the water pollution problem created by natural gas extraction. It takes enormous quantities of water to extract natural gas. This water gets polluted by the chemicals used in the fracking process and whether it stays under ground or is brought to the surface, it creates immense water degradation.
There are reports from all over the country now that support this claim. Do we want to sacrifice our water for a short-term fix for our energy problem?
The extraction of natural gas pollutes large amounts of water. The use of natural gas pollutes our air.
The question is do we want to use another polluting fossil fuel as a transition fuel? We have the technology to do nonpolluting fuels such as solar. The best transition fuel is nonpolluting renewable energy.
So why are we being encouraged to consume yet another polluting fossil energy? The gas industry is pouring money into lobbying our government at every level throughout the country. Is this just another case of an industry seeking profits while ignoring the public welfare?
At least, do not let them fool you about the consequences of our being addicted to yet another polluting fossil fuel.
ROBERT WAREHIME
Battlement Mesa

I certainly understand the euphoria of Democrats with the passage of the Health Care Bill. They have indeed irrevocably changed America. One has to think like a Democrat to fully appreciate their achievement.
The core of any Democrat is a belief in social justice through the redistribution of wealth and power. To realize these goals, they needed to alter the American psyche from an individual belief in freedom, liberty and responsibility to one of newly defined collective rights and entitlements.
In our democratic Republic, victory would then be only a matter of time and numbers.
Statistically, we now have about 48 percent of our population dependent upon government largess. The Health Care Bill will add 30 million recipients. Amnesty will add another 20 million. These additional 50 million voters, with a new mind-set, represent the permanent transformation of the American landscape.
I suppose Democrats are due credit for changing history. They can scorn Alexis de Tocqueville’s 1835 predictions of budding democracy in America. They should, however, heed the fate of Robespierre, an architect of the French Revolution. When the people woke up, it was Robespierre’s head on the guillotine.
DANA ISHAM
Grand Junction

Salazar should follow
his own advice
I was recently the recipient of a mass mailing by Congressman John Salazar regarding the federal deficit entitled “Congressman Salazar Knows Enough is Enough.” He goes on to say, “It’s a simple rule: Don’t spend what you don’t have.” This after voting for the biggest budget buster entitlement program ever — the health care reform act. 
This man must think his constituents are completely clueless. First, let him start following his own advice before trying to pawn himself off as a fiscal conservative. What chutzpah!
RICHARD E. STIEFLER
Grand Junction

Promoting good health
is key to lowering costs
“Colorado already leading way on health reform”: This was the title of a new article in the March 28 edition of The Daily Sentinel in the commentary section. It speaks to the nation’s ailing health care system facing unsustainable cost increases and growing number of uninsured. The worst economy in seven decades and how in Colorado a solution is on the horizon based on thoughtful reform because of a bipartisan blueprint created by the Commission for Health Care Reform. It goes on to say that Colorado’s health care reform works with members of the industry to help the state’s residents stay healthy long into the future. I wonder if the $2 surcharge tacked onto my health plan premium is helping pay for the uninsured coverage.
There is an extensive commentary by the president of Rocky Mountain Health Plan Steve
ErkenBrack lauding the efforts of the “nonprofit health plan” (RMHP) guaranteeing access to everyone in town. It speaks about the Colorado Healthcare Affordability Act, and the new partnerships among hospitals, state and federal government to provide coverage to mothers, children, people with disabilities and other uninsured Coloradans. Such accomplishments are not immediate, but happen over the long term, as budgets are being squeezed and more people are finding themselves without access to affordable care. I have tried to encapsulate this article due to a 300-word limitation by The Daily Sentinel for letters to the editor, I am sure that some readers did read the article. Without saying it the article sounds like “state run health insurance” except with no solution addressing yearly premium increases, and premium increases based on age every 5 years, forcing the paying public to change to lesser plans and higher deductibles, in order to provide insurance for the nonpaying people.
Ah, here it is, the solution to national health care which is going to allow Colorado and other states to finish the work. Federal efforts will promote the long-term health of patients. Really, maybe the young and healthy who are under 40, but how about the ones who are children of the ’60s group, you know “Woodstock” era or the ones over 55 you know “senior citizens who take care of themselves, exercise regularly, take vitamins, use the preventative care programs of their insurance plans, don’t exceed the deductible, eat healthy, don’t smoke, use alcohol in moderation, don’t dope and follow every recommendation of their health care provider, insurance provider and live right”? Do they get rewarded with lower premiums, lower deductibles, more comprehensive health plans and no age discrimination? Reforming health care system, limit payments to doctors and hospitals for unnecessary stays, tests and increase payments for healthy outcomes. Have you talked to the local doctors? They are operating their offices on a 3 percent profit margin, the hospitals about the same, which doesn’t allow for too many no pays.
Healthy outcomes what does that mean?
Does it mean that I will be healthier because of more insurance coverage, better hospital care, access to better treatment for serious illnesses, catastrophic diseases, access to better drugs, what? The three key points for successful reform: First, we need to work together to deliver better values for each health care dollar. Is that the value for your bottom line or delivering better health plans for less cost to me.
Second, we need to create a culture of health with a focus on healthy living and wellness.
That’s easy free yearly check ups rewarding people who are maintaining their health, are not overweight, obese, don’t smoke, use excess alcohol, take advantage of the preventative care programs, by rewarding them with better benefits and lower premiums.
The people that do not want to take advantage of the healthy living and wellness programs afforded by the National health care goals or the state run insurance should pay the higher premiums and have to bring their health up to acceptable standards to receive benefits. The doctors know who they are.
Third, we need to expand access to basic health care that is affordable. The Obama
care plan, which is the law of the land, will provide this mandate to affordable health care.
Finally — here is the key — if people are healthier, it costs us all less money. Higher quality, better health, less costs. The insurance and health care industry control the costs; we pay the price whether we are doing all of the right things or not. Why not reward people for maintaining their health and well being by lowering their premiums, providing better benefits and you will see more people trying to live healthier.
ALEX VARAS
Grand Junction

Promoting good health
is key to lowering costs
“Colorado already leading way on health reform”: This was the title of a new article in the March 28 edition of The Daily Sentinel in the commentary section. It speaks to the nation’s ailing health care system facing unsustainable cost increases and growing number of uninsured. The worst economy in seven decades and how in Colorado a solution is on the horizon based on thoughtful reform because of a bipartisan blueprint created by the Commission for Health Care Reform. It goes on to say that Colorado’s health care reform works with members of the industry to help the state’s residents stay healthy long into the future. I wonder if the $2 surcharge tacked onto my health plan premium is helping pay for the uninsured coverage.
There is an extensive commentary by the president of Rocky Mountain Health Plan Steve
ErkenBrack lauding the efforts of the “nonprofit health plan” (RMHP) guaranteeing access to everyone in town. It speaks about the Colorado Healthcare Affordability Act, and the new partnerships among hospitals, state and federal government to provide coverage to mothers, children, people with disabilities and other uninsured Coloradans. Such accomplishments are not immediate, but happen over the long term, as budgets are being squeezed and more people are finding themselves without access to affordable care. I have tried to encapsulate this article due to a 300-word limitation by The Daily Sentinel for letters to the editor, I am sure that some readers did read the article. Without saying it the article sounds like “state run health insurance” except with no solution addressing yearly premium increases, and premium increases based on age every 5 years, forcing the paying public to change to lesser plans and higher deductibles, in order to provide insurance for the nonpaying people.
Ah, here it is, the solution to national health care which is going to allow Colorado and other states to finish the work. Federal efforts will promote the long-term health of patients. Really, maybe the young and healthy who are under 40, but how about the ones who are children of the ’60s group, you know “Woodstock” era or the ones over 55 you know “senior citizens who take care of themselves, exercise regularly, take vitamins, use the preventative care programs of their insurance plans, don’t exceed the deductible, eat healthy, don’t smoke, use alcohol in moderation, don’t dope and follow every recommendation of their health care provider, insurance provider and live right”? Do they get rewarded with lower premiums, lower deductibles, more comprehensive health plans and no age discrimination? Reforming health care system, limit payments to doctors and hospitals for unnecessary stays, tests and increase payments for healthy outcomes. Have you talked to the local doctors? They are operating their offices on a 3 percent profit margin, the hospitals about the same, which doesn’t allow for too many no pays.
Healthy outcomes what does that mean?
Does it mean that I will be healthier because of more insurance coverage, better hospital care, access to better treatment for serious illnesses, catastrophic diseases, access to better drugs, what? The three key points for successful reform: First, we need to work together to deliver better values for each health care dollar. Is that the value for your bottom line or delivering better health plans for less cost to me.
Second, we need to create a culture of health with a focus on healthy living and wellness.
That’s easy free yearly check ups rewarding people who are maintaining their health, are not overweight, obese, don’t smoke, use excess alcohol, take advantage of the preventative care programs, by rewarding them with better benefits and lower premiums.
The people that do not want to take advantage of the healthy living and wellness programs afforded by the National health care goals or the state run insurance should pay the higher premiums and have to bring their health up to acceptable standards to receive benefits. The doctors know who they are.
Third, we need to expand access to basic health care that is affordable. The Obama
care plan, which is the law of the land, will provide this mandate to affordable health care.
Finally — here is the key — if people are healthier, it costs us all less money. Higher quality, better health, less costs. The insurance and health care industry control the costs; we pay the price whether we are doing all of the right things or not. Why not reward people for maintaining their health and well being by lowering their premiums, providing better benefits and you will see more people trying to live healthier.
ALEX VARAS
Grand Junction



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