Printed letters, January 27, 2011

Thorough cost review
needed for health law

Democrats claim Obamacare increases competition. Republicans claim increasing government control and restricting free markets limits competition. To increase competition, Republicans suggest allowing sales of health insurance across state lines. Debate of such issues was obstructed by Democrats before passing Obamacare.

A thorough review of costs and benefits makes sense. It was common sense that led most voters to reject the idea that creating a major new government entitlement will lead to cost reductions and improved care. They also questioned the rush to get this bill passed. We still have time to add up all the costs. Most provisions don’t kick in until after 2012.

Everyone was in agreement that our system of paying for medical care needed to be reformed, but nobody wanted that reform to damage our health care system itself. In a new Thompson Reuters survey 65 percent of physicians believe the quality of care will deteriorate over the next five years. Only 18 percent think it will improve. Ask your doctor.

Obamacare does contain many good provisions, but those provisions do not require the administrative monster it creates. The better provisions will get bipartisan support and be included in a simplified law. There are many other good ideas that can be added, like provisions that allow workers to take their health care from job to job.

In the Senate, Democrats are still able to obstruct bipartisan debate. If the bill is so good, why are Democrats blocking a thorough review? Let both sides make their case and vote.



Tipton votes against his own constituents

Scott Tipton is to be commended for his consistency. With his first speech in the new Congress, Tipton lived up to his campaign promise to ignore the needs of his constituents, in favor of partisanship, when he spoke in support of depriving the nation of an improved health care system.


Grand Junction

Electric rate increases show HB 1365 problems

When House Bill 1365 was passed by the Colorado Legislature last year, essentially promoting the closure of coal-fired power plants and escalating future electrical rates, I thought citizens would demand an explanation.

The story was that converting from coal to natural gas would preempt an intervention by the EPA. We don’t know what the changes, if any, will be, but the state has decided that increasing electrical rates as much as four times to Colorado consumers is a small price to pay, just in case the EPA might do something, someday?

Xcel jumped on this bandwagon for an obvious reason: increased profit. Xcel stated, before the PUC in 2007, that switching to natural gas would be much too expensive. I suppose if you guarantee profits and allow for basically unopposed rate increases, any company could change its mind as to what is efficient and what is not.

On Jan. 19, Patrick Bahr’s article in The Daily Sentinel offered confirmation as to where electrical rates are headed, thanks to deals made between Xcel, the PUC and state government.  Specifically, the Grand Mesa Little League’s power bill “has risen from $500 to $2,000 a month from August to March.” The jump will increase their power bill by $12,000 a year. The disturbing part is that these rates are not even close to peaking. Xcel is not half way to the 30 percent renewable position and gas prices are still relatively low considering historic numbers.

As reported by The Denver Post on Jan. 21 Colorado legislators are now seeking an audit of the PUC in light of recent decisions, including HB 1365. It is starting to look like profit motivations, a green-energy agenda and an effort to target coal use has been carefully structured and implemented. Unfortunately, all this will be at the expense of the consumer, the people who live and work in Colorado.



WWII veterans should consider Honor Flight

I was selected to go on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. and thoroughly enjoyed it. I would like to encourage all World War II veterans to consider this trip. All expenses are paid and the care is wonderful. Even if you are disabled, you should check into going. We had at least four or five disabled on the last trip. It may be your last chance to go, so apply.



Why is the Sentinel infatuated with Buescher?

I’m struck by The Daily Sentinel’s infatuation with Bernie Buescher.

Given his record, I’m wondering whether it’s possible for Buescher to obtain employment anywhere other than the public trough.


Grand Junction


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