Printed letters, Jan. 19

As faith leaders from this region, we urge Congressman John Salazar to make affordable coverage for families his top health care priority.

Our faith requires that we speak out with one voice to advocate for “the least of these,” so we ask Rep. Salazar, as well as Sens. Bennet and Udall, to do everything in their power to ensure that the final health care reform legislation is truly affordable for our hard-working, lower-income families.

Voters agree that making health care more affordable is essential, ranking affordability above all other issues.

✓ 79 percent of voters say making sure affordable health insurance plans are available is extremely or very important, according to a Kaiser Tracking Poll from Nov. 5-12.

✓ When asked about various goals for health care reform, the top response was “bringing down the cost of premiums and co-payments so more people can find affordable coverage” (31 percent), compared to “controlling the costs of our health care system” (25 percent), “giving people a public option they can afford” (21 percent) and “ending discrimination against pre-existing conditions” (13 percent). This is based on a Georgetown Center for Children and Families/Lake Research Partners Poll, from Oct. 28-Nov. 8.

We believe the key to success for health care reform is to move the final version of this legislation toward more adequate subsidies and lower out-of-pocket caps for families earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level. The House version does a much better job making health care truly affordable for these real families, who work hard but still struggle to make ends meet. So we hope Salazar will fight for inclusion of these House protections in the final bill.




Closed-door meetings spell health care disaster

Why are they repeatedly meeting in the middle of the night, behind closed doors?

Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc., who were elected to represent the people, continuously sneak around pushing their health care bill. They grease the palms of their fellow Democrats, who are not in favor of the bill, to get their vote. Millions of our tax dollars are changing hands.

It’s extremely possible that the unions will be exempt from this bill. The pharmaceutical companies are making deals. And, illegal immigrants will, more than likely, also be covered under this 2,000-page monstrosity of a bill.

What do we get? We get stuck not only paying our share in the state where we live, but also picking up the tab for the other states, where their senators made big-money deals to vote on a bill that few people have seen or read and the majority of the American people don’t want.

Most of what is going on behind closed doors in the middle of the night with this administration is against the Constitution and, for the first time in my life, I’m truly afraid for my country.

Would someone please define transparency, honesty, partisanship and oversight to the Obama administration?



Gloves-for-needy drive proved to be big success

Thanks to the generosity of the Western Slope community, the collection of gloves for the needy is a big success. Our goal for Christmas was to raise 100 pair, we brought in 158 and the drive is ongoing. All of the businesses involved have agreed to keep the collection boxes available for January and February so that more warmth can be passed on, one pair of gloves at a time. Donations can be made at several locations in Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade.

Special thanks to the businesses who allowed collection boxes to be put in their establishments. Even more thanks for continuing to collect during the next two months. We would not have had such success without your help.

To all who donated, thank you. It is because of people like you that our community is such a wonderful place to be. Your kindness and generosity will be paid forward.



Affordable care

must be priority


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