Printed letters, October 10, 2013

Any person in Colorado who voted for former Gov. Bill Owens or any legislator who voted to commission the 2006 Colorado “Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform” and accepted its findings already supports provisions such as those in the Affordable Care Act.

The initial findings of this bipartisan commission include a recommendation to require “all legal residents of Colorado to have minimum insurance coverage (individual mandate).”

The commission also wrote, “Make the mandate feasible by:

✓ Expanding eligibility for public programs;

✓ Providing sliding-scale subsidies for low-income workers to purchase private coverage;

✓ Reforming the individual insurance market by requiring health plans to cover everyone who is not eligible for a restructured Cover Colorado program due to a high cost pre-existing condition;

✓ Enforce the mandate through the income tax system.”

Medical costs in this country do not reflect the health care available to all. It is the best money can buy, but if you can’t buy, then bye-bye — everywhere except hospital emergency rooms.

That was taken care of 1986 via an unfunded mandate called the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act that required all hospitals to provide emergency treatment to all.

Who enacted it? The same party that then controlled the presidency and the Senate and that now is holding our country hostage over the Affordable Care Act — Republicans, then led by the Teflon president, Ronald Reagan.

I guess Reagan, Gov. Owens and the Republican senators of 1986 were just a bunch of socialists.


Grand Junction

President, other Democrats 
resort to scaremongering

I consider President Barack Obama and Sen. Harry Reid, along with the Democratic-controlled Senate, responsible for the government shutdown. The budget is there to fund the government and keep it open, but they turned it down in favor of their egos and partisan ideology.

Obama and Reid’s intransigence and their disdain for fairness are appalling to me but, sadly, not surprising. Instead, the White House and Democratic Party leaders resort to the same spin tactics used with the sequestration — name-calling and scaremongering. That is not leadership, but it is bullying.


Grand Junction


Shell’s oil shale withdrawal 
puts focus on sustainables

As a third-generation rancher and farmer in western Colorado who’s been hearing about “the promise of oil shale” my entire life, I was surprised to hear recently that Shell Oil had decided to pull the plug on its Mahogany Project.

For as long as I can remember, oil shale has been marked with the same obstacles to viability — requiring extreme amounts of energy and more water than we can spare. It’s obvious now that oil shale also fails as a source of revenue or jobs.

With any luck, Shell’s failed experiment will be the last news we hear about this issue for a very long time. I hope now we can focus on forward-thinking, sustainable ways to grow our local economies and energy resources.




Blind, vision-impaired people 
recognized on White Cane Day

White Cane Safety Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 15. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law a national resolution that Oct. 15 be proclaimed “White Cane Safety Day.” This day commemorates the independence, achievements and positive contributions of vision-impaired and blind people. It is meant to increase awareness of the white cane and what it signifies for those individuals who use it.

As a certified vision rehabilitation therapist and orientation and mobility instructor, I work for the Department of Human Service’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. I know that the white cane is an important tool for the visually impaired user. It indicates low vision but not necessarily total blindness.

It is important to be vigilant when someone with a white cane is crossing a road. When moving about in the environment, a vision-impaired person may use a cane that could be a folding, rigid or support cane. The person may walk with a guide dog, walker or Global Positioning System device.

The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides assistance to disabled individuals. These services may include travel skills instruction, independent homemaking skills, training, career and job planning, educational opportunities and equipment. The division is located at 222 S. Sixth St. in Grand Junction, Suite 215. The phone number is 248-7103.

A group of low-vision people, The Western Slope Visionaries, meets each Tuesday at the Center for Independence at 740 Gunnison Ave.. This organization offers information and support and promotes community solutions that assist the disabled to live independently.

“Please don’t assume we’re helpless,” says group member Steve Davis. “If we ask for help, please help us. If you want to help, just ask us if we could use some help. ... Communication is critical to all of us and feeling respected and valued as a person.”


Grand Junction


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Congressman John Dingell (D-MICH) – the longest-serving incumbent in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives – has long insisted that Republicans are “skilled liars”.

This attribute became apparent when failed Republican 2008 Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IOWA) falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) established “death panels” that could “pull the plug on grandma”.

Republican lies multiplied exponentially during the 2012 Romney-Ryan “etch-a-sketch” presidential campaign, reaching a crescendo during 2013’s orchestrated misinformation barrage targeted against “ObamaCare”.

The most recent evidence of just how deeply “skilled lies” have penetrated the Sentinel’s local readership is today’s letter from Jim Daniels (“President, other Democrats resort to scaremongering”) – which has its facts completely backwards.

Despite the expanding majority opinion of better informed Americans, Daniels believes that President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are “responsible for the government shutdown” – because “they turned [the House Republican budget] down in favor of their egos and partisan ideology”.  Of course, the facts are otherwise.

As of March 23, 2013, both houses of Congress had passed budgets—which differed, and therefore required a conference committee.  Republican Speaker Boehner refused to appoint House conferees for six months, while Senate Republicans are still filibustering Reid’s appointees.

Both houses have also passed “Continuing Resolutions” to keep the government open.  While the Democratic-controlled Senate accepted the House Republicans’ budget figures, the “Tea Party” faction initially insisted on provisions that would repeal, de-fund, and/or delay the ACA – knowing in advance that such provisions were entirely unacceptable.
Thus, had Daniels been armed with more accurate facts, he might well have concluded that Repugnicans’ “intransigence and disdain for fairness are appalling”.  Moreover, even as Daniels accuses President Obama of “scaremongering” for warning of the dangers of default, Fidelity Investments is dumping its short-term U.S. government debt securities!

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