Letters to the Editor, 10-20-2013

October 20, 2013 

Boise bond

On Nov. 5, Boise voters will decide the fate of two bonds that would raise money to upgrade or replace aging fire stations and equipment; build a new fire training facility; preserve open space in the Boise Foothills; and develop three neighborhood parks and improve three others. I am voting yes for both of these bonds.

Our Foothills trails, Greenbelt, and city parks are a big reason my family lives in Boise. Fire protection is something none of us want to live without. Protecting open space in the Boise River watershed assures that we will have clean water. If we want our neighborhoods to remain safe and livable, and to maintain strong property values, we need to invest in our quality of life. Plus, these bonds will add just $1 to the tax bill for the average Boise home. To me, this inexpensive proposal, with its built-in accountability measures, is a no-brainer to support.

I urge all of my friends and neighbors to vote yes twice on Nov. 5, or vote by absentee ballot before then.

MICHAEL LANZA, Boise

Did you get your new Boise October sewer bill — it went up. Remember the Boise school bond recently passed — taxes went up. Your Intermountain Gas bill just went up. Idaho Power has a rate increase before the PUC; it will go up. Your new Ada County property tax bill is coming in December — it will go up. Boise mayor and City Council are trying to sell you a new bond — your taxes will go up.

Social Security is only going up 1.5 percent Jan. 1; not much help. Wages have dropped since the Great Recession and are not going to recover. Mr. Obama’s health care will cost you thousands more. Any property owner in the city of Boise that reads this and votes for the $30 million-plus bond coming soon is sadly misinformed by our government, which claims inflation is near zero.

I strongly urge you to vote no on the latest tax increases proposed by our local government. We don’t need more fire stations; Boise is one of the safest places to live in America. Open space is nice, but just look around. Boise has beautiful parks. Again, vote no, it’s your money.

WAYNE CRAWFORD, Boise

Affordable Care Act

In the 1930s and early 1940s my parents voted FDR for president. I voted for JFK and LBJ — all Democrats who seemed to have the USA public interest at the foremost.

Now we have a Democratic president and lemmings following him. They are either liars or do not understand fourth-grade arithmetic, logic 101 and economics of capitalism.

The Affordable Care Act: How can premiums be cheaper when insurers cannot exclude people with expensive conditions? (An agent once told me he would insure a burning house; the premiums would be high.) ACA demands “children” to 26 years old can be covered on their parents’ insurance. How can that reduce the parents’ premiums? ACA has a special tax on medical equipment. A tax raises the cost of things. (Gasoline, anyone?) Duh, who pays for the use of the equipment?

ACA plans to reduce payments to medical professionals. Many of the best medical people might accept people insured through the ACA exchanges. Where does that leave you?

Perhaps ACA’s worst feature is destroying the 40-hour work week with its 40 hours of pay.

Heaven help the working people. The inmates have taken over the asylum.

TOM CARROLL, Meridian

I understand here in Idaho we’re 49th in education. Rather than Idahoans, maybe a more appropriate word would be Idontknowans. Help me to understand the ignorance that resides within my state. For example, the Affordable Care Act is not government controlled health care. Government controlled health care in America is called the VA.

When you dig down on veterans’ criticism of the Affordable Care Act, you find that many think their health care needs will always be addressed through their bureaucracy. It’s easy for them to politicize the health care issue when most believe they’ve earned theirs. Truth is, the VA has financial issues, too, and their 2014 budget is $152 billion.

If you want to end government controlled heath care, then eliminate VA health care and replace it with tax-paid vouchers so veterans can enroll in an appropriate program that fits their personal needs through the Affordable Care Act. Then put all the government controlled health care facilities up for auction and apply the proceeds towards the national debt. Placing all these health care needs and facilities in the private sector would likely increase competition, lower the country’s tax burden, mitigate hostile politics, and keep local hospitals out of court.

LARRY LUGAR, Boise

After the Navy Yard shooting I ask two questions which are really the same. Do you want shootings like this to stop? Do you support Obamacare? If you answered yes to the first question, you answered yes to the second.

The Navy Yard shooter was suffering from schizophrenia. Drugs treating schizophrenia may cost up to $1,000 per month, without insurance, for a nongeneric drug like Saphris. That does not include the therapy and other treatments that are necessary to stave off the illness’ crippling effects. Current insurance plans do not provide coverage for necessary treatments for someone suffering from schizophrenia. Currently insurance companies may also deny access to plans covering treatment expenses, if the person actually needs the care. This is the debate over “pre-existing conditions.” For whoever the next possible shooter may be, if they can’t get the help they need, we inevitably will end up with another tragedy. Obamacare is a step in the right direction towards effectively treating mental illness and ending the shootings. Do you want the shootings to stop?

STEPHEN MAGUIRE, Boise

Obamacare must be good. Why else could Republicans like Mike Simpson try to repeal it over and over? Duh! Because they’re afraid it’ll work and they’ll end up looking like morons. Oops, too late!

When Obama does good, Republicans lose credibility, which they’ve been losing continuously since 2000.

If Obamacare were as bad as Republicans claim, they would stand back and let it take effect. Then when it bombed, they’d be heroes.

They know that won’t happen. They’re not stupid. OK, some are. They’re called the tea party. Alice should take them back to Wonderland, where they belong.

Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it’s better than being 19th in the world, right behind Portugal.

Republicans tout our past health care as the best in the world. No, we were 19th. However, ours was the costliest in the world, thanks to greedy hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and Republicans.

Health care should be for people, not for profit.

Health care needed fixing and that’s what Obama’s doing, in spite of the ongoing battle between good and Republicans.

If Republican congressmen insist on acting like children, let’s give them each a cookie and send them outside to play.

KEN WHITE, Twin Falls

Obama’s administration passed a yearlong suspension of the employer mandate. Yet the Republicans are using that as a reason to defund the Affordable Care Act altogether.

I would have thought the Republicans would have appreciated the one-year extension for businesses.

GINNY KINNAS, Boise

Where’s the Affordable Care Act? We are forced into purchasing insurance and will not receive any subsidies due to what income is claimed on our federal tax return. Now we will be using two weeks pay for purchasing insurance and will have the possibility of facing a foreclosure, since insurance premiums are almost double a house payment. There isn’t any construction work in Idaho and we are forced to travel to surrounding states looking for work and then paying costs associated with finding employment. So, how are we supposed to pay all these bills and either buy insurance or be penalized? There are people in Idaho who will never be penalized because they have been under the radar and don’t file any taxes from their earnings.

I like the fact that you can’t be discriminated against for any pre-existing conditions and can have your kids on the medical plansuntil age 26. But, I feel there are exceptions that need to be closely looked at. Our new policy will have many exclusions that we didn’t have with our old employer-based insurance plan.

DIANA FLINT, Victor

I am dismayed that many writers say that the majority of Americans do not want affordable health care. Fact: Twice the majority voted for the current president and his programs. We experience elections all the time, be it prom queen or a popular singer on TV. The person with the most votes wins and nobody expects the runners-up to squawk and take off with a bad attitude. In fact, we usually respect them for being gracious and grateful.

I dare say it is un-American to be divisive, especially when hard-working, deserving people are faced with consequences created by privileged extremists living a financial reality that is not typical of the average American. We are a great country that has risen above widely diverse conglomeration of people, events, financial situations, leaders and change.

America equals democracy that accepts the standard that we vote and then accept the results. If your outcome did not win, then get to work to change others’ votes next time or be patient. Go about your day, research and share ideas, but you cannot make false statements, sweeping generalizations nor create actions that bring suffering to others.

We all do better when the least among us does better.

JANET SOMALINOG, Nampa

In the mid-1960s, George Wallace, the governor of Alabama, stood in the door of the University of Alabama to personally and physically prevent black Americans from enrolling. Federal troops were needed to remove him from the door and to protect the Alabama students wanting to enroll. Years later Wallace participated fully in implementing the Civil Rights Act in Alabama. When he was asked why he was cooperating and reminded of how he had stood in the door of the University of Alabama, he stated that the Civil Rights Act was now the law of the land and he was sworn to uphold that law.

I never thought I would ever want to tell Congress to follow the example of Wallace, that wily, racist, complex reprobate. However, I have lived long enough that it feels appropriate to do so. Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but it is the law of the land. Follow the example of the old Alabama Gov. George Wallace. Know when to stand down and cooperate in implementing the law of the land.

JANELLE WINTERSTEEN, Boise

Congress

Go green — recycle Congress. Enough said.

GAIL KIRKPATRICK, Boise

Traffic safety

In the last couple of weeks we have seen too many deaths from bicycles and cars. There should be the same laws for bicycles as there are for vehicles. Too many bicyclists come up to stop signs and never stop. They also proceed against red lights.

Until the laws change we will continue to see deadly accidents. Bicyclists act like they are above the road laws and that it is the responsibility of the driver of a motor vehicle to ensure their safety. Bicyclists need to be held accountable for their inattentive driving.

LINDA SMITH, Meridian

Recently I was watching the news and there was a segment on people riding in the back of pickups and how dangerous it was. The only time this gets brought up is when a family complains their family member died while riding in the back of one.

If you want to bring up something about safety, start by putting helmets on motorcycle riders, making the seat belt a primary offense and the penalty about $75-$100. I believe the report said three people died last year in Idaho while riding in the back of pickups. Three motorcycle riders died last month while not wearing helmets! Think, folks, think.

JESS W. RYSKA, Meridian

Capitalism

The disagreement between the two major health delivery organizations in Boise points out the evils of capitalism. The argument appears to be about market share. And when we define “market share” it describes the bodies of people who are needed to fill their hospital beds and to be attended by people called “doctors.” The bodies of people are needed in order for these businesses to make a profit.

I’m also reminded of my registered nurse experience in nursing homes in another state, when the manager’s job was to be sure all the beds were filled. This is opposed to what my nurse’s training taught me: If we were in this field just to earn money, we did not belong there.

There is too much of our economy that depends on the existence of the body and not on exerting the use of brain power. I believe many irresponsible businesses are doing much to destroy our economy. The fashion industry is also guilty of this ignorance.

CECILIA B. LANGLAND, Boise

Elected officials

Really, voters. It’s past time we put a stop to these finger-pointers and blame-placers. That is about all these elected officials we keep sending back to D.C. can do. If they worked like this in a business we owned, we’d have fired them long ago. Time to do just that in our next election. Fire them. Vote them out. Time to give that “not so well-funded” candidate in your favorite party a shot at representing you. Time to vote for that independent/third party candidate. Write in a name. Don’t vote for the “lesser of two evils.”

Don’t stay home. Get out and vote. Tell this two-party system, that has gotten way out of hand, enough is enough. “You’re fired.”

KEITH NIELSON, Shelley

Raul Labrador

I hope Idahoans take a good hard look who they sent to Washington to represent Idaho. Two are the status quo (Republican) and Labrador said he was Republican but turned rogue with the tea party for what he perceives as his own best interest. Tactic sound familiar? Tom Luna did the same thing. Luna and Labrador are great friends and have many other interests together.

My point is this. I am tired of seeing the great state of Idaho ranking in the bottom 5 percent of every national ranking of education, medical care, wages, social support to its people. I am tired of seeing Idaho’s representatives (primarily Labrador) as part of the problem and not giving a respected conservative view (instead of a no-win radical view) on overcoming the tough issues.

What happened to the Cecil Andruses, Phil Batts, Robert Smylies? They all loved Idaho and respected all that lived here. So Idaho, come November 2014, get involved and select a good leader, not because of political affiliation, not just one from your church or one who is controversial, but one who will do the job for all Idahoans.

JIM WOODWORTH, Emmett

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