July 18th Letters to the Editor
Many in Congress and the media continue to lie about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They call it “the biggest tax increase in the history of the world” and refer to it as a massive tax on “everyone.” Of the fifteen largest tax increases since 1950, the ACA ranks sixth, amounting to one half of one percent of GDP, much less than the Reagan tax hike of 1982. The Congressional Budget Office expects that the ACA will cut the deficit by around a trillion dollars in its second decade. And, far from being a tax on the middle-class or on everyone, it will affect only a small portion of our population, the wealthiest two percent. Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says taxes on the rich are currently lower than they have been for 80 years.
Fewer than 6 percent of Americans will be required to buy new health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and more than half of them will qualify for government subsidies to help pay their premiums. The other 94 percent will be exempted from the requirement to buy insurance; for example – if family income is below $18,700 per year, if they are on Medicare or Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or if they already have insurance from an employer.
Only 2 percent of the total population will be subject to a penalty if they do not buy coverage. The people in this tiny group can afford to buy health insurance and they should. Otherwise, they will be what Mitt Romney calls “free riders” who get hospital care at the expense of those who do have insurance. The Individual Mandate penalty tax is designed to encourage those who can afford insurance to accept financial responsibility for their own health care.
The increase in the Medicare payroll tax applies only to those families with incomes above $250,000 per year – the wealthiest 2 percent of the population. They are also the ones who will be most affected by the increased tax rates on capital gains and interest income and the new limits on Flexible Spending Accounts and so-called “Cadillac” plans.
And, finally, let us put to rest the biggest lie of all – death panels. The Independent Payment Advisory Board will have fifteen full-time members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. It will submit annual recommendations to Congress but Congress is not obliged to accept these recommendations. The Board is also prohibited by law from changing eligibility or benefits, reducing the Part D low-income subsidy, or rationing care.
There is no excuse for being uninformed or misinformed (or misinforming others) about the Affordable Care Act. Anyone who wants to learn the truth should turn away from unreliable news sources and buy “Landmark: The Inside Story of America’s New Health Care Law and What It Means for Us All.” This book was written by the staff of the Washington Post and covers every aspect of the Affordable Care Act. It is available at www.amazon.com and Barnes and Noble Booksellers. www.healthcare.gov is another trustworthy source of information.
Edward Taylor, Mount Gilead
Dear Sir or Madam:
Isn’t it strange that the Democrats keep ragging on Governor Romney because of his wealth and his connection with a legitimate business, namely Bain Capital, for basically doing his job and looking out for the shareholders of that company by pointing out how companies could save money, even if it meant that some non-profitable factories had to be closed or restructured. The truth is, if they had used the same criteria with John F. Kennedy that they are using with Mitt Romney, Kennedy would never have been elected President.
John Kennedy inherited his wealth, unlike Romney who’s family was wealthy and he did inherit a huge fortune, but he gave most of it to charity.
John Kennedy’s father acquired much of his wealth by bootlegging Rum in the twenties and thirties and it was pretty much of a foregone conclusion that he had ties with several well known underworld characters, but that did not stop him or his family from being the darlings of Society, which helped the Kennedys to become so powerful politically.
What isn’t strange is the double standard they always use. If the Democrats do anything that would be considered taboo for the Republicans, for some unknown reason, it becomes perfectly fine. Case in point, when Rush Limbaugh said what he thought about a college student when she made the asinine statement that she and many other college students used several thousand dollars worth of birth control in a year, according to the Democrats this was outrageous, ludicrous and just wrong. But Bill Maher the supposed Miscreant Comedian, uses vulgarity and calls Sarah Palin the C word for doing nothing more than expressing her opinion, that is A-OK, with no outcry from the Democrats whatsoever.
I could quote many, many other cases, where-in, “What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander” is not the case, where Democrats are concerned.
Thank You, Darl Mills, Mt. Gilead
To the Editor,
While reading a recent Letter to the Editor about the evils of Obamacare it quickly became apparent that the writer had gotten some bad information quite possibly from Fox News or maybe Tea Party emails. Maybe “2 Thessalonians 3:11″ is a better fit. The letter is written from the viewpoint of a successful hard working person, smart and lucky enough to have had health insurance through her working career and good for her. Where she goes off track is the with the misconception that the Affordable Health Care Act is for the poor or in her words lazy people.
There are millions of people that work hard everyday and don’t make enough to pay for insurance or it is no good when they needed it. If you choose to remember, you know that conservatives for years have blocked any attempt to make health care better with no real effort to improve any ones life. The Affordable Health Care Act is not the final answer, but is a good start to helping the working class and I thank those who made it happen.
Jim Clark, Marengo