Let locals decide fate of health coverage
Idahos impending decision surrounding a health insurance exchange has generated attention throughout the state. Gov. Butch Otter appointed a work group to advise him among the three models: an exchange model created for and by Idaho, a one-size-fits-all model designed by the federal government and imposed on Idaho, or a partnership model that Idaho undertakes with the federal government.
Western Benefit Solutions feels strongly that the local businesses and communities most affected by a health insurance exchange should be in charge of creating and controlling that exchange. While questions surround the implementation of health care reform, we must take steps to ensure that Idahoans are clearly represented. Waiting for a federally based exchange would take control away from Idahoans and deliver more power to the federal government, potentially adding regulations that will impact you, your employees and the people of Idaho.
We have added our name to a coalition advocating for an Idaho exchange. The Idaho Health Exchange Alliance offers the broadest possible representation of Idahos businesses and citizens by advocating for a locally controlled exchange. Im writing today to encourage your support.
Sign up, learn more and contact the coalition at www.keepitinidaho.com.
RON OSBORNE, CEO/owner,
Western Benefit Solutions, Boise
There are no positives with federal mandate
Obamacare is one giant leap down the slippery slope to socialism. Obamacare is a major blow to all freedom-loving Americans.
Another blow comes from a provision in the act mandating that a health exchange be established in each state. The federal government gives the states first dibs on creating their own exchanges, otherwise the feds will come in and do it for them. Many in Idaho argue its better to do it ourselves. This way, at least, it will be under state control. This way, at least, we can maintain our states rights. But theres no such freedom dancing under the strings of the Washington puppet-masters.
Instead, its more like this: The feds have passed a law demanding that each Idahoan get a whack on the head with a stick. Washington is happy to do the whacking, but if Idaho prefers, the feds will graciously give the stick to us and let us whack each other ourselves. This way, at least, it will be under state control. This way, at least, we can maintain our states rights.
What? We want nothing to do with this abuse. Maybe we cant stop the exchange, but we certainly must not be party to the violence.
STEVEN HARRIS, Meridian
More research needed to halt deadly disease
Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease with no detection methods or cure. Seventy-six percent of the time one dies in the first year. This statistic has barely changed in over 40 years.
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Boise Affiliate has been advocating for Congress to increase research to help find any type of early detection method or cure. The Recalcitrant Cancer Research Act is a bill in front of Congress that advocates not only for pancreatic cancer but all cancers with a five-year survival rate below 50 percent, such as ovarian, esophagus and lung cancer.
The bill requires the National Cancer Institute to write a scientific framework on how it would approach these deadly cancers. NCI has never had such a framework in place in over 30 years.
The House version of the bill (HR 733) recently passed with 293 co-sponsors out of 435. This was the largest bipartisan co-sponsorship ever gathered for a bill. The Senate version (S 362) now has a majority of bipartisan co-sponsors as well. When our elected officials return to work after the elections, were very hopeful it will be passed.
Locally, Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson and Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have agreed to co-sponsor the bill.
Rep. Raul Labrador has declined to co-sponsor the bill.
JOHN BRADLEY, Eagle
Protect your pets from fireworks displays
Attention dog owners! Please support Jessies Law. On Oct. 20, there was a big fireworks display in town. Having had no warning from the city, my dog, Jessie, is no longer with us.
Like many dogs, he was deathly afraid of fireworks and was struck by a car after getting out of our yard. My son grew up with Jessie and was not quite 2 years old when we drove all the way to Yakima, Wash., to get him. He was a mini-Australian shepherd, incredibly smart, well-mannered, and would chase tennis balls until he dropped. Jessie died at just 7 years old. The Fourth of July we plan for, but have no way of knowing when a random event might take place. Pulling a fireworks permit should generate an email to people that want to be on a warning list. If news organizations are on that list, they would automatically be notified as well to reach everyone else. As many people are painfully aware, losing an animal is like losing someone in your family. I'm looking into enacting a law to prevent further accidents. I would love some input. To help, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
RAY LEEDS, Boise
Leash laws are confusing
Are Boises Foothills dog-friendly? My daughter was walking her golden retriever puppy off leash on an off- leash trail in the Boise Foothills. The dog greeted a man who said he was threatened and yelled profanities at her. She and her pup continued walking. When she returned an hour later the man was waiting at the trailhead (not safely in his car) and began to yell at her again. She felt threatened. Other men in the parking lot offered no assistance.
The man called Animal Protection Services and filed a complaint saying the dog attacked him. Our daughter is guilty because her dog was off-leash and not by her side in an off-leash area. She was told it didnt matter if the dog was friendly. If the man felt threatened it was an attack. She must pay a fine or go before a judge who will find her guilty. She was told to carry mace and a big stick to protect herself from human aggression. The mindset of the man has no bearing on the case. The off-leash signs need to be changed to provide accurate information.
SUSAN WARD, Star
Article paints false picture to seniors
I read your front-page article, Oct. 15, about reverse mortgages. I have to say such a one-sided article does nothing to benefit your readers or consumers and certainly does not provide complete information to the seniors of our great state. Such hit pieces have been put out on a consistent basis by many publications and news organizations and does nothing but perpetuate fears and incorrect stereotyping of the reverse mortgage program. Furthermore, articles like this paint with a very broad brush regarding lenders and results of the reverse mortgage program.
How about articles containing testimonials from consumers whose lives have been greatly enhanced by the program? How about allowing a true, seasoned specialist from within the industry provide a factual article about reverse mortgage?
For once, I would like to see an unbiased article about a program that has been used to better the lives of seniors since 1989 (when FHA started regulating them). If you are going to continually put out hit pieces, I think it is only fair to your readers and consumers to hear the other side. Factual, unbiased articles to rebut the irrational articles used to perpetuate fears.
BO HIGBY, Garden Valley