Letters to the editor

Sep. 30, 2013 @ 01:26 PM

Obamacare pain

The mail came today.  Now it hurts to sit down.

Blue Cross sent a notice of my health insurance premium for 2014, post-ACA mandate.  My $552 a month premium will only be $1,397, a mere $10,140 annual increase.  This is for a plan with an $11,000 deductible, meaning once I spend $27,764 out-of-pocket, my insurance will kick in. Yippee!

There is some good news in the explanation of the rate changes.  Included in my family’s plan are new, required benefits like maternity and newborn care (we are past childbearing years) and mental health and substance abuse coverage, (we don’t smoke, drink or do drugs although the leadership vacuum in Washington could drive us to mental illness).

Ironically, I chose this year to start a small business and have already created jobs (but can't afford to provide health insurance). During two years of planning and preparation to launch our company, my wife constantly asked, “Do you really want to start a business while Obama is president?”  In my dismissive, husbandly way, I pointed out "our" president said he was interested in growing the economy and creating jobs.  He certainly wouldn’t purposely put impediments in the way of capital formation. Would he? Now, I feel as stupid as the voting public.

I want to thank Obama, Reid and Pelosi that I can "keep the plan I had before" for a mere $10K/year.  And a shout-out to Sen. Richard Burr and the Dempublican caucus for showing some serious spine in the defunding debate.

Patrick Bria

Durham

Appoint a commission

The Congressional Republicans complain that President Barack Obama offers them nothing in return for raising the debt ceiling and not shutting down the government.

If they are serious about their worries about the rising national debt, he could offer to set up a bipartisan commission to review the problem: the economic advisors to the last four presidents, a Mitt Romney advisor and one of his own, and those of John McCain and John Kerry. They could be asked for a preliminary report in January 2014 and a final one in January 2015. They could report what they agreed on, and what they did not, to help guide the present Congress and the next one.

These would all be professional economists and could produce ideas worth hearing, even if they disagree on future projections and policies.

Allen Barton

Chapel Hill

Priorities misplaced

Pam Karriker is right.  We need all of the low-cost housing we can secure for our families in need.

However, Karriker's priorities are misplaced.   Low-cost housing needs to be checked to be certain it is safe and secure for families.  We need to protect children and parents from mold, mildew and vermin.  I have been in apartments and homes where you could see through the floor from the second floor down to the first floor. where mice and roaches apparently were visible where infants were living.  Too many landlords cut corners to rent their apartments without taking into consideration the health of our children. 

Karriker seems more concerned about property owners and landlords and not the thousands of families that only afford low-cost housing.   I really cannot determine who her financial supporters are because her campaign treasurer has failed to file timely reports to the Board of Elections.

Allan Lang

Durham

Deceit on Obamacare

The letter by M.S. Hood Sept. 29 is yet another example of how out of touch many Americans are with reality. She calls "Obamacare" socialism when it is the antithesis of socialism. It is in fact capitalism pure and simple. 

Not surprisingly, the government uses the same methods of deceit by calling it The Affordable Care Act when it is the antithesis of affordable. Turning the system of healthcare needs over to for-profit companies that provide no health care services whatsoever, makes it in no way affordable. Nationally, health insurance companies show profits of billions of dollars a year. This is billions of dollars that could and should go directly to the health needs of the American people instead of lining the pockets of executives and shareholders.

Arlen Custer

Durham