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Letters to the Editor for the Week if Nov. 1, 2012

Obamacare would not negatively impact seniors

Editor, The Sun

I really donít want to start a war of words in the Letter to the Editorís column, but I feel I must respond to the writer who claims Obamacare would negatively impact senior citizens. He wrote in direct response to a letter I wrote a couple weeks ago.

First, I donít know where he got his information that the lionís share of health insurance carriers are not for profit. Some 72 percent are actually for profit (per Kaiser Research Foundation, among others) and those profits run up into many billions of dollars each year. Not only that but such profits have been skyrocketing at a rate of 12 to 24% a year, which far outpaces inflation. In addition, recent research about to be released by the International Journal of Health Services has estimated these companies have for a number of years been collecting from 10 to 12 billion dollars per year from the government in overpayments that were never paid to customers. Itís estimated billions more are wasted through inefficiencies in the system. Even some non-profits make money but they divert it into huge bonuses for upper management in order to claim it as administrative costs. Itís in these areas that Obamacare regulations are attempting to curtail costs and where they hope to get the now infamous $716 billion thatís been bantered around. Incidentally, the underwriting the writer mentioned I believe is provided by the government itself utilizing the money deducted from seniorís social security checks each month. If they donít save the money they expect from their efforts, I suspect future Obamacare regulations that are down the road and not yet in place will suffer. The Obama administration, however, is adamant there will be no raise in cost or loss of benefits in Medicare due to Obamacare.

As the writer said, insurance companies have had to give rebates to many customers, but not, as he claims, when premiums collected exceed the sum of benefits paid plus admin costs. In actuality, rebates come after premiums collected exceed the sum of benefits paid, admin costs and an additional 20% overhead and profit margin. This profit margin had been much higher but Obamacare has put a limit on it. This is fact, not fiction. If theyíre giving rebates, can you imagine what they were making before the new regulations?

The writer claims I donít understand the insurance business, which may be true, but Iím not quite sure he does either. His statements about insurance pools were a bunch of rhetoric. I get it! More customers, more money, the more the risk is spread, the lesser the financial impact, the more stable the premiums, everybodyís happy, including the insurance companies. Just one thing. Isnít that basically what I said, only without getting into the pool concept? Go figure.

One last point, regarding the writerís comments on no premium insurance. Such policies have been around for about 10 years, but those that did exist did not provide benefits that suited most seniors. In the past few years, however, not only has the quality of these policies gone up but theyíve also more than doubled in numbers. Seniors who could afford no better than the original Medicare can now get better policies for no extra cost. Did the writer, as he says, ďburst my bubbleĒ with his remarks? Hardly! You see, Iím one of those seniors who recently traded in a premium policy for an equivalent zero premium, something I was unable to do a couple years ago. So please donít try telling me I donít know what Iím talking about.

Everyone agrees that Medicare has its glitches and could use some fixing, and like everything else in this country, Medicare costs will rise. How it all pans out will depend on the ideology and fortitude of our future government leaders. However, when increases do come, I doubt it will be due to Obamacare.

Dick DePasquale

Hamburg

Stealing political signs is a shameful act

Editor, The Sun

To the person who stole one of our political lawn signs, shame on you. Not only did you commit a crime by stealing personal property, you violated our constitutional right to Freedom of Speech. Itís apparent that by taking only one sign, you donítí support our choice of a particular candidate.

Are you so narrow minded to not respect our Constitution, or are you threatened by the fear that your candidate might not win? Either way, you chose a cowardly solution. Instead of stealing our sign, why not be proactive and do phone calls, send post cards, go door-to-door, or place a sign on your property for your candidate? Then exercise your constitutional right to vote. And, may the best man win!



Roger and Joyce Corlett

Hamburg

Gratitude to those who made benefit a success

Editor, The Sun

Thank You....We would like to express our sincere ďThanks and GratitudeĒ to everyone who helped make Tammieís Benefit a huge success.

To everyone who contributed in any way with donations, food or baskets, Thank You.

Special ďThanksĒ goes to ďTammieís Crew, Strange Addiction, Sheree, Karen, Joanne, Sue, Donna & Kathy. All of your time, effort and thoughtfulness is truly appreciated.

Forever Grateful,

Tammie & Kevin Horton, The Powers, Bushen & Horton Families

ĎCitizens Unitedí does impact New York State

Editor, The Sun

I attended a ďMeet the CandidatesĒ forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at the Union Pleasant School. The public could submit questions which were screened and then presented to the candidates by the LWV moderator. Since there was no direct interaction with the audience, I feel compelled to respond to a statement made by Candidate Sean Ryan in his non-answer to a question about the Supreme Courtís ďCitizenís UnitedĒ decision and if he would support a Constitutional Amendment to reverse it. I agree with Mr. Ryan that we need campaign finance reform, but I absolutely do not agree that ďCitizens UnitedĒ does not affect New York State.

It has caused a deluge of secret money by special interest groups that is corrupting the democratic process. The bombardment of negative, misleading ads on all sides of the political spectrum distorts the truth and makes it extremely difficult for the electorate to form an honest opinion of any candidate. The same forces that brough the ďCitizens UnitedĒ suit are campaigning to strike down campaign finance laws throughout the nation. For example, a campaign finance law that was on the books in Montana for 100 years was recently stricken by the Supreme Court by the same justices that decided ďCitizens United.Ē

These issues effect every level of representative government, from town halls to Capitol Hill, and New York is not exempt. Fair elections and government integrity is at stake, and it matters to all Americans. Furthermore, a Constitutional Amendment requires passages by a two-thirds majority of Congress and a ratification by three-fourths of the states. Obviously, it affects New York State. I ask my fellow citizens to pay attention, learn the facts, and let all of our elected officials know where you stand.

Barbara Rogers

Hamburg


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