Email letters, December 2, 2013

As country slips away, our own agendas are blinding us

It’s hard to believe people out there will stand behind the government, no matter how bad it makes the living conditions or job market or even how much you have to pay in taxes or when the government raises taxes.

These people will always say there was a need or they had to do this or that to make it work. Well, I don’t understand their way of thinking. The hard-line Democrats think everything is fine, and the Republicans don’t think anything is right. All the while, this country is slipping away. Nobody seems to want to fix what’s wrong because we’re all blinded by our own agendas.

I don’t believe this country’s on the right path to withstand what most people perceive as the right path. Until we tear this country down then, I guess we will never know how united we need to be.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

Hunters, anglers must support BLM’s backcountry efforts

As Colorado’s hunters and anglers know from boots-on-the-ground experience, population growth, energy development and ATVs have steadily eroded quality wildlife habitat and backcountry hunting opportunities in our state. The Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado is one of many places where wildlife habitat is increasingly threatened.

The Uncompahgre is a vast chunk of geography that encompasses redrock desert canyons and magnificent aspen and ponderosa forests. This diverse landscape abounds with herds of elk, including the famous trophy bulls found in game management unit 61. It’s also home to impressive mule deer that get big in the steep canyons, as well as rare Desert Bighorn Sheep.

The BLM is working on several resource management plans in the Uncompahgre Plateau region that will guide decision-making for the next 20 years. At stake are determinations for critical issues such as travel management, allowed recreational and resource development, and future potential wilderness designations — the gold standard for wildlife habitat and backcountry hunting-angling opportunity.

It’s critical that these RMPs maintain the wild backcountry on which hunters and wildlife depend. The bottom line is big wild creatures need big, wild habitat. In nature, there is no free lunch. When motorized routes degrade habitat security, hunters lose right along with their prey.

BLM managers responsible for developing quality RMPs in the Grand Junction Field Office are trying to create plans that do the right thing, but to really make it happen, they need to know that the hunters and anglers are behind them.

The great hunter-conservationist Theodore Roosevelt said, “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”

DAVID LIEN
Chairman, Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Colorado Springs

Obamacare website is just tip of the iceberg

No one knows the true cost of Obamacare. Perhaps the citizens with cancer who can no longer receive treatment at the premier cancer treatment centers will tell us of the true costs. Remember, the website is just the tip of the iceberg.

A single-payer system would be administered by the same geniuses who have created the Obamacare website. (Frightening.)

Cuba and Venezuela have single-payer systems. I have never heard of anyone from the U.S. going to either for medical care. Canada also has a single-payer system. Recently a premier from there came to the U.S. for a heart procedure. The average wait to see a doctor there is six months.

Offhand, I can’t think of a thing our government does well except pass needless rules and regulations that limit our freedoms and hinder our productivity.

Those who would trust the government to take care of them should first talk to an Indian.

GARY MONTGOMERY   
Grand Junction

Graves of our fallen heroes to once again have wreathes

Once again the Western Slope Patriot Guard Riders want to express our deepest gratitude to the great folks and businesses for their making our Christmas wreath program at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery a success once again. With all your help and those outside the valley we have met our goal for providing a wreath on each of our fallen heroes’ graves again this year. Again, to each of you, our thanks.
Everyone is invited to join us at 10 a.m. Dec. 14 for our wreath ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at 2830 Riverside Parkway in Grand Junction.

ART (GROADY)EDWARDS
Western Slope Assist State Captain
Colorado PGR/Wreath Coordinator
Grand Junction

Sentinel must better recognize ‘financial mess’ of Obamacare


Why is there such a compulsion on the part of the Sentinel to keep printing opinions by Michael Pramenko, I.D. (Idealogue), concerning the sweeping benefits of Obamacare?


Where is the Sentinel’s recognition of the need to acknowledge the other argument – the unworkable financial mess this law has created and the ultimate effect that will have?


RICHARD RININGER
Grand Junction

U.S. has better ways than ACA to improve health care system

Michael Pramenko’s commentary on Obamacare raises many interesting questions, but it fails to provide any answers, other than Obamacare is the best solution in all cases.

Many health care solutions are more realistic, less expensive and certainly less cumbersome than using a myriad of state and federal exchanges – most of which function poorly, if at all. A simple solution would be an expansion of the Medicare program to cover all Americans, regardless of age, with a standard package of benefits and coverage like we currently insure our seniors. To avoid the feared outcome of a single-payer system, private health insurers could bid to provide coverage to the Medicare system regionally much as they do now for Medigap coverage, Medicare drug plans and Advantage plans.

This expansion of coverage demographically could be paid for by a modest increase in Medicare payroll taxes, amounting to much less than employees currently pay for their portion of employer-provided health coverage and individuals pay in personal premiums.

Dr. Pramenko chides the Republican House for failing to pass any legislation improving Obamacare, yet he surely realizes with a Democratically controlled Senate and executive branch, that would amount to a moral victory at best.

Likewise, his statement that Obamacare is an alternative to socialized medicine is disingenuous, since the individual mandate and the requirement of individuals to pay for coverage they will never use, like childbirth coverage for elders, is in fact pure socialism. 

He is accurate in his assessment that single payer–socialist systems in developed countries provide higher quality and lower-cost health care. His aversion, however, to this solution, with private insurers supplying the government with the operational and market support its exchange clearly needs, ignores an obvious alternative to Obamacare.

KEVIN COCHRANE
Grand Junction



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