Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for April 6

What we have is insurance reform

I have listened, read, and discussed health care reform for nearly a year and a half and the only thing I have heard discussed is health insurance reform.

I think it is time we started calling it what it is and not something else. If it really was health care reform, there would be some emphasis placed on ways of making affordable health care available to those Americans who do not have insurance. There would also be something done to make the insurance companies pay what doctors charge in a timely manner. Instead, insurance companies pay what they want and in many cases, it takes them months to pay.

Determining what is affordable health insurance is all perception, depending on your annual income. Fining people who do not have the money for insurance sounds like a great way to support our community.

There are many ways to help our community and those who do not have health insurance and the first step is to become honest with our current health insurance reform law. It is time to get involved and become part of the solution.

PAUL GRAVES, Shelton

Census Bureau is wasting tax dollars

In this time of budget cuts and higher taxes, I’m puzzled by the lack of comment on the letter sent out by the Census Bureau that I was going to get a census form in the mail.

One would assume most everyone knew that.

Why a warning letter and what did that cost? Where are the environmentalists? No comments? No rage? No demonstrations over all that paper it took to send out all those letters?

Even if they used recycled paper, recycling still takes energy.

I suppose if I never get an answer I can always blame it on George W. Bush. That always seems to work.

RALPH E. ALDRICH, Shelton

Be ever conscious of climate change

Climate change is upon us. We need to consider all the options before us to contribute to abating its increasingly harsh impacts upon us as a people and on nature – all aspects. We need more energy choices, more clean energy jobs, and more leadership on global warming. 2010 gives us opportunity for that to happen, with some of the leaders in place in D.C. and governors in our region who are working together on these issues.

What works against climate change initiatives is political obstacles funded by special interests for industries that continue to pollute, thereby adding to the negative impact of climate change and blocking sustainable solutions.

We as a nation and as a community need to be thoughtful leaders and participants in this matter. Every one of us can add to the problem or solution in our own choices.

I, for one, continue to ponder of ways I can more holistically contribute to the health of our human and nature communities – from rethinking/changing daily behaviors to supporting leaders. Please join me for the good of the Earth and its people.

KATEY SIMETRA, Olympia

Every reason to be thankful

Last year, I answered President Obama’s call to the nation to volunteer in our local communities to make a difference.

I joined the Court Appointed Special Advocate program here in Olympia, and also volunteer at the Senior Center. In total, I donated over 350 hours to these programs in their effort to support and protect the low-income, at-risk children and seniors in our community.

I hope my efforts have made a difference. I know the experience has made a difference in my life.

I have gained a first-hand understanding of the struggles people endure who have no home, no job, no health care and no support system.

Recently, when I watched President Obama sign America’s new health care bill into law, I wept tears of relief for more than 400,000 Washingtonians who will now have accessible and affordable health care. They were also tears of joy because insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to people already sick or from withdrawing coverage just when people need it most.

Our young adults and students will now have access to affordable health care. This new health care law may not be perfect – nothing ever is – but it has given me newfound hope for my country and every reason to be thankful.

WENDY ANN GOLDMARK, Olympia

Insurance reform is long overdue

I am so glad the health care insurance reform bill is now law. I thank our congressional representatives for their vote in favor of benefiting average Americans and ending an expensive form of corporate welfare.

Big businesses like Boeing and 3M are currently whining over what they claim will be huge losses – implying employee cuts – as a result of the reform bill. They would like us to forget their past seven years of health care insurance tax write-offs for retirees. They’ve become used to this subsidy from the taxpayers which provides prescription drug coverage to their retired employees. Plus, then they got to write it off as a tax deduction. Suh-weet.

Sorry Charlie, the new law is doing its job of cutting government waste by ending this corporate hog feed. Plus, since small businesses didn’t qualify for this welfare hand-out, the insurance playing field is leveling out.

Even Wall Street analysts, mindful of the upcoming financial industry reform bill, aren’t buying these threats. AT&T squealing over having to charge-off a billion dollars is a truck load of used hog wash: the taxpayer subsidy really amounted to about $40 million a year.

Let’s see, that just about covers the pay package for two Boeing execs. According to the AP, Boeing pays CEO Jim McNerney a salary of $13.7 million, personal use of company jet $436,478; life insurance premiums of $269,447; oh, and bonus incentive pay of $4.5 million in life insurance premiums.

Long live reform.

J. "PENNELOPE" GOFORTH, Olympia

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