Printed Letters: April 25, 2014

Reader thankful for RMHP insurance
I don’t have to take sides on the Obamacare issue or even have an opinion, because I am firmly entrenched in Rocky Mountain Health Plans (a blessing and a godsend to my wife and me) and have been for many years. But I did run across an interesting viewpoint attributed to Donald Trump on the Internet site of Perhaps your readers would find the following statement interesting, even though it’s a bit dated:

“Let me get this straight. We’re going to be ‘gifted’ with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don’t, which purportedly covers at least 10 million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provided for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn’t understand it, passed by a Congress that didn’t read it, but exempted themselves from it, signed by a Dumbo president who smokes, with funding administered by a Treasury chief who didn’t pay his taxes, for which we’ll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese and financed by a country that’s broke.”

I have become partially bald from scratching my head in shock and awe at the Machiavellian, convoluted thinking of our federal government. Having taught civics, American government, U.S. Constitution and American history and political science for 30 years, I should be accustomed to the obfuscation of “FedThink,” but I’m not.

I love the daily newspaper and its coverage of the federal comics known more familiarly as politics, and I have learned to find laughter therein — for the alternative is to collapse in helpless tears. And we keep electing ‘em again and again. Oh, my.

Grand Junction

American Rivers has indeed been involved in water issues
I appreciated Gary Harmon’s article April 14 on the American Rivers listing of the upper Colorado system as the second most endangered river (system) in America. The listing was made due to the development of the Colorado water plan and the persistent pressure from the Front Range for a new diversion from the already seriously depleted Colorado River.

I do have one point of clarification. Chris Treese from the Colorado River Water Conservation District was quoted as saying that American Rivers has never been involved with the roundtable or Interbasin Compact Committee process. To the contrary, while I have only worked for American Rivers for a year now, I have been involved with the Colorado Basin Roundtable as the environmental representative since its inception nine years ago. I have been very engaged in Colorado and West Slope water issues for over 20 years, and I am currently involved with the Colorado water plan and with drafting our basin implementation plan.

I can excuse Treese for perhaps not realizing that I work for American Rivers, although I’ve known him for a long time, as well. Harmon should have given me a call to talk about the listing. He had sufficient lead time, the information, press release and all of my contact information, yet I never heard from him. I was surprised at Harmon’s lack of journalistic prudence, as I regard him as an outstanding reporter otherwise.



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T. Streff’s letter – “Reader thankful for RMHP insurance” – aptly illustrates the perils of relying on “birther clown” and one-time Republican presidential “wanna-be” Donald Trump for accurate information about the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).

First, the “individual mandate” (requiring individuals to obtain qualifying coverage or pay a tax penalty) was the cornerstone of the “conservative” approach to reforming a “broken system” that was leaving 40 million Americans without access to affordable health insurance – by promoting a “risk pool” large enough to spread the actuarial risks of insuring those with “pre-existing conditions” while eliminating annual/lifetime limits. 

The “liberal” alternative was a “single payer” (“Medicare for all”) approach that would have displaced some 1300 commercial health insurers and their 500,000 employees—when the economy was just beginning to recover from the Bush Recession.

Second, and contrary to Trump’s sarcasm, the ACA also endeavors to expand the supply of health care providers needed to serve 10+ million new patients.  Title V, “Health Care Workforce”, includes Subtitle C, “Increasing the Supply of the Health Care Workforce”, containing ten explicit provisions to achieve that goal, and Subtitle F, “Strengthening Primary Care and Other Workforce Improvements”, offers nine more.

Moreover, S.744, the Senate’s comprehensive “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” contains provisions that would facilitate the legal immigration of foreign-trained doctors.  Apparently, House Republicans oppose that.

Third, the ACA was the product of decades of hearings, years of studies (beginning in 1989), and weeks of Senate committee meetings—during which dozens of Republican amendments were included in the final legislation.  Moreover, the ACA’s “market-based” approach had already been endorsed by our own Club 20 and by Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission, and had already been successfully tested in Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts. 

Consequently, some 14.4 to 23.5 Americans are also now “thankful for ACA insurance”.

Mr Hugenburg your undying devotion to our chairman and his minions is laughable. husseincare was, is and will forever be nothing more than an albatross around the neck of our nation’s poor. Your insults upon any and all who are not of your political democrap bias are sophomoric. What? Considering your “similar to barry hussein soetoro education” as well as your stated penis envy one would surely expect much better from you. Better than these displays. But then again barry is not any more impressive than you. Apparently democraps opposed adding any new doctors to husseincare as stated by Mr. Streff. Therefor lets open our borders and recruit all of those illegal doctors. Will you EVER get off of Bush’s case? He has been out of office for six years. Your excuses are laughable. Your arguments re never on point and your facts are never true. Indeed you are as skewed up by that “similar education” as much as barry. Were I you I would demand a full refund and a new teleprompter. It is totally bullhockey that you mention a “cornerstone” of the “conservative” approach. IT DID NOT PASS. WHAT IS THE POINT? husseincare is the point. Jeez.

Sad-sack “bubble-headed” Jerry Sanders is at it again—substituting nonsense for facts and vitriol for cogent discourse.

Obviously, Sanders is in a permanent state of denial—which might have been penetrated only if Nancy Pelosi had named the Affordable Care Act the “Ronald Reagan Memorial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”.

Contrary to Sanders’ opinion, the ACA promises to free “our nation’s poor” and would-be middle class from the “albatross” of crushing medical expenses and the specter of bankruptcy precipitated thereby.

Contrary to Sanders’ fact-free denial, both our national debt and the lack of adequate current revenues are the direct result of Republican policies—which President Obama inherited from (guess who)George Bush.

While Sanders merely asserts that my “facts are never true”, he has yet to specify a single factual misstatement.

On the other hand, Sanders rose to the defense of racist “welfare cowboy” Cliven Bundy by falsely asserting that “Bundy’s agreements/leases dates back to the 1800s”, when 1954 is more like it.  See below.

LAS VEGAS—It has been widely reported that Cliven Bundy’s family claims to have ranched in the Bunkerville area since the 1870s even though a federal judge held a different view of Bundy’s history: the 1998 opinion from U.S. District Judge Johnnie Rawlinson in a case where it was determined Bundy wouldn’t be allowed to use federal land for his cattle because of failure to pay grazing fees to the Bureau of Land Management. Rawlinson wrote that it wasn’t until roughly 1954 that “Bundy or his father or both have grazed livestock on public lands owned by the United States and administered by the BLM.”
Clark County Recorder documents show the 160-acre Bunkerville ranch Bundy calls home was purchased by his parents, David and Bodel Bundy, from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt on Jan. 5, 1948. The purchase included the transfer to the Bundys of certain water rights, including water from the nearby Virgin River.

“ReaganCare” did pass, so what’s the point?

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