Printed letters, August 1, 2013

In a highly political effort to sugarcoat the insurance exchanges and Affordable Care Act bitter pills, Dr. Michael Pramenko joins the promotion blitz that is occurring across the country. I’ll just take on a couple of many items that he put a thick coating on to hide the bad medicine underneath.

According to Pramenko, partisan detractors of health care reform ignore the human element. Since he only looks at the medical component, he fails to mention the harm to the human element of being underemployed or not employed. And that’s being demonstrated all over the country by companies that are not expanding, not hiring or are hiring part-time employees and cutting the hours of current employees.

Since President Obama has been in office, we have never had a monthly unemployment rate of less than 7.5 percent nationally. That’s the “adjusted” figure. It’s really higher than that. The ACA isn’t wholly responsible but it significantly contributes to a stagnant economy and thus, the ill effects on the human element.

Pramenko extols the ACA’s mechanisms to cover its costs and states that “Obamacare will increase the solvency of Medicare.” Does anyone remember how that happens? Here’s how: $500 million was taken away from Medicare and shifted to Social Security, thereby increasing the solvency of Medicare and strengthening Social Security, according to Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid.

Of course, that’s nonsense, as both programs are underfunded and the money doesn’t exist anyway. There is no increase in the solvency of either. We’ll see a profound negative impact on the human element as those programs collapse financially.

Pramenko can pontificate all he wishes about the so-called positive aspects of the ACA, but Obama’s announced waivers to favored groups demonstrate something far different. As just one example that not all see only positive aspects of the ACA and insurance exchanges, some 23 states have announced that they will not set up insurance exchanges. What do they know that Colorado doesn’t?

I realize that Pramenko has a political reason to promote the ACA and Colorado’s insurance exchanges. You can be sure that while he encourages us to “leave our politics at the door” he won’t be leaving his there.


Grand Junction

Shopping locally is great idea, 
but it’s sometimes challenging

This letter is in response to Jay Seaton’s column in The Daily Sentinel Sunday regarding spending locally.

Shopping locally is absolutely a great idea and good for the local economy. In theory and concept and on paper calculations, it all makes sense and should work. In practicality, though, in 2013, it doesn’t always work.

A couple challenges people find when shopping in Grand Junction are limited product selections (inventory) and a limited selection of outlets from which to purchase, but that just goes with any smaller town.

What is the most troubling and directs sales to the Internet is the price disparity. More times than not, I have found as much as 30 percent to 50 percent pricing difference on identical products, even on items as low as $200. Somebody is still making money (be it a lesser amount) selling at this significantly lower price.

So, while I support a local business and I get it about the expense of brick and mortar, I am not willing to spend that kind of price difference unless it is an emergency expense or possibly a local hand-made specialty item. Local businesses could also start conducting additional incremental business a bit more “globally,” if you will, via the Internet and without a great deal of additional overhead. If their market here is not big enough, how about trying the world? Would that work?

It is a challenge for them, but it is a reality that they should deal with. There are two kinds of businesses: those that covet what they have and those that want it all and continue to expand and grow to survive. Unfortunately, it has been proven over and over that those that only covet what they have generally do not survive.


Grand Junction


Fletcher generously aided 
Mesa’s theater department

I did enjoy the article about Marion Fletcher, written by Mary Louise Giblin Henderson, that was published in the Sentinel July 19. The story spoke of Fletcher’s generosity, and I have to add how the Mesa College theater department benefited from her benevolence.

When the Walter Walker Fine Arts building was being constructed in 1969, there was not enough money in the budget for any sort of lighting for the theater. Fletcher learned of the dilemma and gave the college money for a “state-of-the-art” (at that time) lighting system to be installed in what is now known as the Robinson Theatre. Without that lighting system, we could never have been able to achieve the technical versatility that made our productions so enjoyable.

Not only did Fletcher give us the lighting system, she was a loyal patron of the theater and made generous donations to scholarships for needy students. All this was done without fanfare, and she was truly humble when thanked for her generosity. She was indeed a remarkable woman.


Mesa College Theater Department


Grand Junction


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