Thursday, July 10, 2014





YOUR OPINION: LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


September 28. 2013 11:18PM

By - mguydish@civitasmedia.com - (570) 991-6112




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Act now against


Obamacare woes


Dear Sens. Pat Toomey, Robert Casey, Reps. Bill Cartwright and Lou Barletta,


Don’t you think it is cruelly ironic that the massive law enacted to solve the problem of the uninsured in America is more likely to worsen it while everybody’s costs are going up? Those who had health insurance will be losing it and at least thirty-one million of today’s uninsured will remain uninsured. Even if we forget about conscientious objection to the bill for its coverage of abortion and things contrary to many people’s religious beliefs, the affordability factor makes this bill a non-starter.


It will cost more than the present situation for all and have fewer people insured even if the program is perfectly implemented. But we know that will not happen as corporations already have begun exercising loopholes. As you are aware, the Congress and congressional aides are not part of the package, and there are more exceptions coming soon. Such exceptions make the bill a bigger charade, and it is making life worse for all Americans, with the exception of those with special exemptions, of course.


Corporations are cutting their employee work week to 29 hours. This helps them avoid liability for insuring these employees. Additionally, other companies are firing employees to get down to the magic number of 49 so they do not have to pay the exorbitant cost of employee health insurance.


Meanwhile, major corporations such as IBM are dropping healthcare coverage for their employees who happen to be old enough to be on Medicare.


In the confusion of Obamacare, and the costs that will be borne by companies, they will cut wherever they can. How then does Obamacare help the people who have earned their healthcare through hard work? How could you support such a plan?


There are other issues of which you are aware I am sure. For example insurers are decreasing their network of healthcare providers to save costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that at least seven million people who today enjoy employee-sponsored health insurance will lose their coverage.


They will have fewer choices in deciding their healthcare providers and the costs will be unaffordable. I am sure you also know that over one third of doctors will not accept new Medicaid patients in states that choose to expand the program under the law. Like Senator Baucus has said, this is a train wreck and it is wrecking America and destroying healthcare for regular Americans such as myself, my family, and all the IBMers that I proudly worked with in Scranton PA for so many years.


Many of us do not trust the government. Can you blame us? Sen. Harry Reid’s purpose is total nationalization to enable government to grow bigger. It is not for Americans to have better care.


My fear is that once you and your cohorts destroy the insurance industry; all the cronies in government will have a lot more jobs to control when government fills the vacuum that will be left.


The government says that median household income, adjusted for inflation, halted its decline over the last fifteen years at $51,017. That is about 9 percent down from $56,080 in 1999. Theoretically during this period, if you believe the numbers, the economy has grown by about 28 percent since then. If true, the growth was between 1999 and 2007. Income is also down about 8.3 percent since 2007.


Most economists would say at a minimum that there are some weird things coming up in the jobs numbers, when looked at in a dispassionate, clinical way. The reporting does not have to tell the true picture. Its purpose is to make the government look good while government policy, including Obamacare is actually the cause of the bad statistics.


The “official” unemployment rate has been about 7.2 percent for several months and so it would appear that things are better and they are being spun that way by a generous press. But, they are not, and you know it. The rate does not include discouraged workers who took part-time work or those who quit looking altogether. The real unemployment rate is known officially as the U-6 number and right now it is 14.3 percent .


This U-6 rate, like the “official” rate doubled between 2007 and 2009; but the U-6 rate is staying up high and not coming down as quick as the official rate. Unfortunately, most news organizations are not very truthful and they do not track the real U-6 rate or more people would be upset.


I cite these statistics because Obamacare is one of the major factors in the poor economy, and the government is now asking Americans to take more from a shrinking income to pay for something that was not wanted in the first place. If it is so good, sir, why don’t you fight to be on it? Have any of your staffers volunteered to give up their Obamacare exemption?


I would like you to do five things for me which will help all your constituents:


1. Assure that all members in both houses of Congress as well as all their staffers have the same Obamacare insurance as all other Americans.


2. Assure that there are no exceptions for unions or union members.


3. Assure that there are no exceptions for corporations.


4. Subscribe to the work being done by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. Obamacare must be defunded and the rest of the government must be fully funded .Of course a preferred action would be the repeal of all aspects of the Obamacare law.


5. I would like legislation passed immediately that (1) requires corporations to track all changes made to their employees regarding healthcare. This would includes companies such as IBM who have undone a long-standing retiree health plan and it would includes those companies who moved employees to 29 hours or who reduced their number of employees to get below 50.


When Obamacare is defunded for good or it is repealed, the changes made by corporations or other businesses ostensibly because of Obamacare, or even if not directly because of Obamacare must be rolled back. In other words, until Obamacare is fully resolved, companies that change health plans may be liable for back benefits and a plan reinstatement/rollback.


Brian W. Kelly


Wilkes-Barre




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