Printed letters, November 15, 2013

The action taken by the City Council to cut funds from Grand Valley Transit is incredibly shortsighted.

The transit system has made great strides, moving people all across the valley quite successfully. If anything, support should be increased so the buses move more people at additional convenient times.

I’ll bet a cookie that if a list were made available of all the “contributions” the city makes, more than one recipient could be cut, impacting fewer people. This is about the economy, folks, getting people to work and to shop, and it’s about the environment, to keep a few more cars off the road.

The citizens of the valley and the team of government bodies, from Fruita to Palisade, should demand the city reconsider its support to continue and improve this vital service.


Grand Junction

City’s contribution to chamber 
better spent on transit system

The City Council needs to pull the $6,000 it pays annually to the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and instead put it toward Grand Valley Transit to help fund the bus line.

Have our council members lost their ability to reason? GVT helps people get to work, hold jobs and get to medical appointments. It helps our economy.


Grand Junction


Tipton’s constituents clearly 
back immigration reform bill

An overwhelming majority of Rep. Scott Tipton’s constituents support H.R.15, the immigration reform bill in the House. It’s time that he signs on.

Tipton has said he supports a DREAM Act-like bill, but that’s not enough. We need him to support a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants.

Immigration reform is popular in Colorado, especially with employers who count on seasonal workers. Both of our senators — Mark Udall and Michael Bennet — already helped pass an immigration bill in the Senate.

Now we need Tipton to cosponsor H.R.15 in the House. Colorado needs immigration reform!


Grand Junction


Tipton must help pass 
immigration reform bill

This past summer in Mesa County and the 3rd Congressional District, we have been encouraging the business community to support immigration reform. We have gained the support of the agricultural community.

We have met with Rep. Scott Tipton in town hall meetings and privately numerous times, and each time he tried to make excuses about why he couldn’t support reform. There are no more excuses. Reform is good for the economy, good for the social fabric and good for our international standing.

After many months of foot-dragging, it is time for Tipton to do what his constituents elected him to do: Represent their interests. Support H.R.15 with a pathway to citizenship.


Grand Junction


Chris Christie’s detractors 
oblivious to political reality

I am amazed that many in the GOP and tea party are already coming out against Chris Christie because he is too “moderate.”  When did “moderate” become a disqualifying feature?

How many elections do they want to lose before they back off their extreme litmus test, one that almost no one can meet and be elected? Anyone, and I mean anyone, would have been better than our current president.

It is time for conservatives to wake up. Or maybe they want Hillarycare added to the fiasco we have now.


Grand Junction


Government owns blame 
for health-care cancellations

I am one of many people who could not keep his health insurance if I liked it, as the president promised. The situation was predictable. Obamacare regulations require a one-size-fits-all plan.

So, if you are a 51-year-old male and really don’t need birth control coverage, too bad. Your old policy is not adequate.

Stop blaming the insurance companies. The blame lies with central planning, i.e., Obama, his administrators and the Democratic legislators who voted for the bill that had to be passed “before we can find out what’s in it.”

Losing my insurance is more than an inconvenience, since I just finished chemotherapy in mid-August. My relationship with my insurance company and my physicians is disrupted because Obama and the Democrats, in their infinite wisdom, decided to take over the health care industry.


Grand Junction


Local fire officials need 
to tone down attitude

Recently we rolled past a vehicle off the roadway just as the fire department appeared. Firemen appeared to be running around in confusion ast they tried to manage traffic flow, but I saw little activity at the wrecked vehicle. These firemen seemed more concerned with playing cop than rendering aid.

As a former EMT, I was appalled at their protocol and was not the least bit happy with their attitude. Cops in America can be overly authoritarian, but why do firemen act like that? Whenwill the city issue them guns and tasers?

My advice to authority figures is to ratchet down the attitude a bit.


Grand Junction


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While Sentinel readers should empathize with the predicament John Pennington and other similarly situated insureds receiving cancellation letters now find themselves in (“Government owns blame for health-care cancellations”), his assignment of blame is belied by two companion articles:  “Health law will be fixed, president says” and “’That’s on me,’ Obama says of blunders”.

Since well before the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”)was enacted, health insurance policies have been one-year contracts, subject to cancellation at any time for “cause” (i.e., for concealing some “pre-existing condition” or exceeding annual or lifetime coverage limits)and – particularly – at annual renewal (when insurers often raised premiums and/or reduced coverage).

Thus, given the cost of his condition to his insurer, Pennington might well have received a cancellation letter even if the ACA didn’t exist.  Indeed, one purpose of the ACA was to eliminate arbitrary policy cancellations.

The ACA explicitly “grandfathered” all policies in-force as of March 23, 2010 – without regard for whether they complied with the ACA’s minimum coverage standards—but prohibited issuance of non-compliant policies after December 31, 2013.  The ACA thus created a “window of opportunity” for health insurers between those two dates. 

Too many insurers exploited that opportunity using “bait and switch” marketing ploys—inducing insureds to convert from “grandfathered” to “non-grandfathered” policies and continuing to issue non-compliant policies—without informing insureds that those policies would be cancelled by January 1, 2014, and/or that similar coverage might be available on insurance exchanges, even at lower premiums from the same company.

Consequently, responsible state insurance regulators are already taking action against some insurers, and yesterday President Obama gave all insurers permission to rescind this year’s cancellation letters in some circumstances.

Meanwhile, the “pre-existing condition” of annual cancellation letters has been exacerbated by the malfunctioning insurance exchange websites—making it more difficult for insureds like Pennington to shop for alternative coverage.

Thus, there is plenty of blame to go around.

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