Printed Letters: July 4, 2017

Medicare a good 
model for health care

Medicare is a good model to follow when considering health insurance reform in the United States. It does not have expenses associated with shareholders. It has far lower costs associated with marketing, advertising and executive leadership.

With this low overhead, Medicare for All would likely cost both employees and employers less than they now pay for health insurance. Calling the existing Medicare product Medicare 65+ and creating a companion Medicare for All product allows for distinctions in funding and regulations.

Private insurers currently manage many Medicare lives through Medicare Advantage and supplemental plans. Plans developed for Medicare for All could give private insurers some things that they really want: many new covered lives, market stability and (through risk sharing across a pool of 300 million people) protection against high cost outliers.

The idea of Medicare for All is the rational economic starting point to finding an answer to a complex problem. It is not socialized medicine. It is socialized insurance; in the same way that the fire and police departments are socialized public safety. A lot of us pay for it and all of us hope we never have to use it.

Medicare for All will allow people to cross state lines for new and better jobs without worry about losing employer-provided health insurance. People who are unemployed would not have to worry about losing current coverage or, as is currently proposed, being penalized if unemployment more than 63 days. Medicare for All would equalize benefits between urban and rural locations. Pre-existing conditions and 10 essential benefits become non-issues as they are all covered by Medicare for All.

Medicare for All builds on existing structure and the expertise of the professionals at the centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, meaning start-up could be relatively quick. Please think about this option.


It shouldn’t be legal to sell 
fireworks during ban

If setting off personal fireworks is banned in Mesa County then why is it legal to sell personal fireworks in Mesa County? Is it because Mesa County will rake in tens of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue? Is it also because they know that no one will obey said order and they actually want people to break the law so they can collect fines in excess of $100,000 for each violation? How is that not entrapment?


We deserve a leader committed to a fair election system

As citizens, all should vote. A democracy only functions properly when all cast their informed votes. This is thought so important that some countries like Australia (The first nation to institute the secret ballot) “requires” citizens to vote. In our last presidential election 42 percent, or 90 million, of our citizens did not vote and in the 2014 Colorado gubernatorial election, 47 percent didn’t vote. Would these citizens’ votes have resulted in a different outcome affecting their and our lives?

Is voting sacred in a democracy? If so shouldn’t we do everything possible to protect its validity? Corrupt political machines, both Republican and Democrat, in states and cities in our past stole our elections. The big holdovers from those times are gerrymandering and efforts to make voter registration more difficult.

Unfortunately, there is a new and unmeasured threat to all democracies. Unfortunate because it is the internet, which besides its great information possibilities, is being used to scam innocent people and also by a foreign power to interfere in our election system to try to get an outcome they see as more beneficial to them. The chief country here is Russia and its “fake” democratic leader, Putin. The four recorded avenues of this attack were/are: 1) Hack the Democratic Party HQ and give damaging political information to friendly groups to disseminate. 2) Use this to spread “fake news” through Facebook and twitter. 3) Direct contact with Trump aides friendly to Russia. 4) Breach U.S. voting systems in at least 39 states and steal voter registrations.

All our security organizations say this is indisputable, except for maybe No. 3, which is still in the investigative stage involving who was involved, and its success. Most Republican Congressmen, leaders, editorialists, and the media accept this. Even most at Fox news accept this.

In our democracy, a major job of our elected leader is to guarantee the security of our election process and punish violations. So, why is the president refusing to recognize this interference? Instead of toughening sanctions against Russia, he wants to remove them and even threatens to veto Congress’ push to punish Russia and Putin. He tweets that voter fraud cost him three million votes and thus the popular vote win and pushed for an investigation. What happened to that? Again, note that Colorado had only one case of prosecuted voter fraud. Yet our president wants to stop the investigations into Russia’s interference. We deserve a leader committed to a fair and safe election system.

Grand Junction


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