Printed Letters: August 17, 2017

Commissioners do more harm than good

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the county commissioners are trying to strong-arm a valuable nonprofit in our community. I have tried to negotiate with the current three commissioners only to have them write me off and refuse to discuss the costs of an eventual purchase and remodel.

I then received a hand-written letter from one of them thanking me for plugging their budget and hoping to work on more projects together – only to watch as they jetted off to Washington to give praise to a man whose only interest is his own. I feel for the recipients and volunteers of Gray Gourmet with their current landlords.

Do the commissioners not understand the ancillary benefits to the community that this service provides and the cost savings to social and medical services? Are their only thoughts based on plugging their budgetary miscalculations in the short term? Commissioner Scott McInnis, in his shiny cowboy boots and washed up Washington suits, is an embarrassment to this community, along with his colleagues on the commission who do more harm than good for our economic growth.

McInnis can stuff his secret ballot measure this fall, stop harassing nonprofits who plug the holes of services the government fails to deliver on, and return the people’s National Conservation Area back to them (Colorado Canyons not McInnis Canyons). I’ll be voting for the schools to improve and hoping McInnis loses his job in the next election cycle.

AARON YOUNG
Grand Junction

Residents, continue the good work of keeping city clean

This letter is in response to Anthony Valdez. I personally think Grand Junction is a well-kept city. If you have potholes, you call and the city is on it. Weeds out of control, call code enforcement. Abandoned cars, call GJPD. And on and on.

Anywhere you live there will always be slackers who need to be prodded. Drive to any big city and you will find way worse. This man’s place is so clean because he is retired with nothing to do all day but work on his yard. The rest of us work all day and it’s a struggle to keep the roses cut. So keep up the good work Grand Junction and stay classy! Don’t listen to these newspaper whiners.

MARK BERKLEY
Grand Junction

Representatives should push for a total repeal of Obamacare

True enough, Dr. Pramenko, the Republicans have pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare with something better and less expensive. However, what is also true is that Obama and the rest of the Democrats lied about keeping your doctor, keeping your current health insurance plan, and saving $2,500 to boot. Also what is true is that Obamacare is in a death spiral. It’s collapse and death, I believe, has always been the plan in the first place to advance the single-payer agenda, which would be Democrats nirvana.

In the column next to the good doctor’s there is a column by Jay Stooksberry that hits on one of the biggest problems in Obamacare — the administrative costs, which according to Mr. Stooksberry, rose from $414 per person per year to $1,537 per person per year after Obamacare was put in place. That is a rise of over 270 percent. Clearly, getting the federal government out of the health care business would go a long way to bringing costs down. I know that there are a lot of people who had insurance that they were happy with and now find themselves paying $1,000 month for health insurance and having a $5,000 deductible per person.

I hope that Sen. Gardner and Rep. Tipton continue to push for at least total repeal of Obamacare. They also need to push to make sure that they are included in whatever they pass afterward and not exclude themselves from it as they are now. If there is a bipartisan bill waiting somewhere in the wings as the good doctor suggests (I am guessing that it is single payer) then let them bring it up and get bipartisan support. The good doctor claims that the polls (the same polls that said that Hillary Clinton would now be our president) show that the American people have spoken and they want to save Obamacare. I wonder how many people would favor not having the federal government in our health care at all?

MICHAEL HIGGINS
Grand Junction

Connection exists between ag burning and climate warming

There is much in the news about climate warming and who is responsible for it. I decided to Google the internet and seek some answers. There is a vast amount of information to be had about climate warming.

In the Grand Valley the spring agricultural burning is a hot issue. Is there a connection between the biomass burning and climate warming? See for yourself. I entered, “What effect does agricultural burning have on climate warming?”

If you go there be sure to read “The Stanford Study.” Also, “Forest burning is a net contributor to global warming,” and “Smoke from biomass burning.” Biomass burning involves burning of crop stubble and vegetation burnt for land clearing.

No matter how much and how often we tell the public we don’t like agricultural burning, nothing is done to change the practice to tilling crop stubble into the soil. Won’t anybody listen?

BOB EVERETT
Fruita


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For almost four years now, Michael Higgins has been railing against the Affordable Care Act by relying on false FauxNoise talking points that are well-proven to be “fake news”.

Like many of his ilk, Higgins still refuses to accept the fact that—for seven plus years—Republicans’ “pledge” to replace the ACA “with something better and less expensive” was always logically impossible and has now been proven to be an abject fraud.

Nevertheless, Higgins distorts the definition of “lie” (connoting an intent to deceive) and instead projects Republicans’ intentional falsehoods onto President Obama by refusing to acknowledge the well-documented facts that nothing in the ACA prohibited anyone from keeping their preferred doctor nor required anyone who “liked their current health care plan” to change plans.  Rather, all policies in-force in March 2010 were “grandfathered” – regardless of whether they complied with the ACA’s minimum coverage standards. 

Higgins also conveniently forgets that health insurers then “baited and switched” those “grandfathered” policies and marketed cheaper non-compliant policies after March 2010 (which they knew had to be upgraded or cancelled by January 1, 2014, but failed to so inform their trusting customers).  Thus, the ACA’s drafters can properly be faulted for failing to anticipate and prohibit the dubious business decisions of some health insurers.

Likewise, Higgins ignores the fact that both the CBO and the Kaiser Family Foundation projected that premiums for the “typical family” would average $2500 per year less than what they would have been without the ACA – and for far more reliable coverage.

Also false is Higgins assertion “that ObamaCare is in a death spiral” – when it is actually working quite well in the Blue States that support it, but less so in the Red States where Republicans remain determined to sabotage it.  Contrary to Higgins’ conspiracy theory, “the plan in the first place” was to implement conservatives’ market-driven approach to expanding access to affordable health care – hoping (in vain) to gain bipartisan support.

While the reportedly excessive administrative costs of the ACA are indeed cause for concern, it remains unclear what portion of those costs are non-recurring “start-up costs” (including the abortive web-site debacle) versus those attributable to continuing efforts by Red State Republicans to undermine it – even as it serves its purpose in Blue States.

Likewise, Higgins is obviously still laboring under the oft-debunked misconception that Senators and Congressmen are currently “excluded” from ObamaCare.  See, for example:  http://www.factcheck.org/2017/05/congress-exempt-gop-health-bill/.

Part 2:

Meanwhile, Higgins remains willfully ignorant of bipartisan efforts to “fix” the most impactful shortcomings of the ACA – by restoring certainty as to federal payments to insurers, by bolstering reinsurance arrangements, by extending graduated subsidies above the current earnings cut-off line, and by facilitating interstate regional risk pools.

Ultimately, Higgins offers no constructive alternative to the ACA, but would deprive 22+ million Americans of its direct benefits and the entire country of its insurance reforms.  Thus, Sentinel readers would be wise to embrace the fully-informed opinions of “good doctor” Michael Pramenko and ignore those of dissembling trolls like Higgins.

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