Letters to the editor: Oct. 15

October 15, 2013 

Affordable Care Act shows good government

Thank you Gov. Steve Beshear for supporting the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, and implementing it in Kentucky.

As a physician, I see many good hard-working people in Mount Sterling having great difficulty accessing health care. Implementation of the ACA should give all of us hope that the government can still do good. I have spoken to dozens of patients, and once people understand the intent and benefits of the law, I have not encountered anyone against it.

If Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul and Andy Barr are so convinced that the law has flaws (and it does) they should set about improving it rather than being hell-bent on bringing the country to its knees for their political advantage.

Edward Roberts, M.D.

Mount Sterling


Finger-pointing

Two of the main finger-pointers over who is to blame for the government shutdown, President Obama and Majority Leader Harry Reid, should examine themselves.

Republican members of Congress have voted repeatedly to fund the government since the shutdown, while Reid and his loyal Democratic Senators have struck down the House's resolutions, and Obama has criticized the GOP from the comfort of the sidelines.

Our own Congressman Andy Barr has consistently been among those voting to fund our government, and I commend him for that. The House Republicans are being blamed for refusing to compromise when really they are the ones working tirelessly to end the shutdown.

Cullen Smith

Lexington


Tom Eblen fan

Tom Eblen's recent column was the best explanation about the Republicans' extortion attempt with the government shutdown.

Early in President Obama's second term, former Attorney General Edwin Meese III and a coalition of conservatives gathered to plot a strategy and soon found willing partners in Tea Party conservatives who have repeatedly expressed willingness to shut down the government. When Ted Cruz arrived on the Senate floor to deliver his monologue, accompanied by Jim DeMint, a former South Carolina senator who runs the Heritage Foundation, he put into action a plan that all knew could lead to a government shutdown.

Now we have a political faceoff where the GOP favors a shutdown of the federal government if we do not defund the Affordable Care Act.

I agree with Eblen. This is not politics, this is extortion.

John Wade

Nicholasville


No sense of history

The handful of radical Tea Party members in the House who are holding the Affordable Care Act hostage have no sense of history.

While they proclaim their love and fidelity to the Constitution, they do not understand that the system established by our founders does not allow one party ("faction" as James Madison termed it) to repeal or amend a law by shutting down government until their demands are met. If it did, no law would ever be settled. A tyrannical majority in one chamber could always use the threat of a shutdown or a debt default to overturn any law they didn't like.

The founders never intended such an abomination. The current stalemate in Congress is about more than Obamacare. If the Tea Party wins this standoff, it will set a precedent that will threaten the very foundation of our government.

Jack Blanton

Lexington


GOP willing to talk

Congress and President Obama share responsibility for the partial government shutdown.

No one branch of government, nor one party, is to blame.

All have chosen to permit the shutdown rather than cave in to the demands of their opponents.

But one of these entities has clearly shown a willingness to compromise and negotiate, and that is the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

I call on President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate to negotiate in good faith to end this unfortunate government shutdown.

Stan Schilffarth

Lexington


Retroactive payday

With the federal government partially shut down, there is some concern over the loss of pay by dedicated government workers.

Well, no need to worry. The House, true to form, is taking care of that. Rep. Jim Moran, D.-Va., and one Republican co-sponsor have introduced a bill for retroactive pay.

Talk to any federal employee whose pay is being withheld and you probably will notice a lack of concern. They might even be welcoming what will become paid holidays.

Other than some inconvenience regarding visits to parks (with some collateral damage to tourism) and access to certain regulatory government offices, the effects of a shutdown are rather minor.

However, if retroactive pay is not made, then perhaps Congress will think a little deeper when they want to exercise extortion to pursue partisan objectives. Nothing would get their attention like irate government employees, their families, relatives and friends, who are also voters.

When I was in the Air National Guard in Wisconsin, there was a board whose task was to survey pay rates in the local community for certain civilian specialties that paralleled the military specialties being performed by federal civilian employees. However, that board never factored in the unemployment rate for the local community. Think about that. I suspect there are comparable situations in Kentucky and elsewhere.

Ron Blackburn

Sadieville


Proud ex-Kentuckian

As a transplanted Kentuckian I was proud as I watched Gov. Beshear's speech and interview on the Affordable Care Act on C-Span.

New Hampshire was a victim of a legislature which tried to kill the law by not participating, so we have only one insurer who won't even participate in all the hospitals in the state. And we are still debating expanding Medicaid.

Way to go, Kentucky.

Sally J. Davis

Campton, N.H.


Bevin for Senate

Many Kentuckians are finally realizing that Sen. Mitch McConnell has been doing a masterful job of telling us one thing while doing exactly the opposite.

This is a hallmark of the career politician. It's why Congress has a 16 percent approval rating.

The current government shutdown over Obamacare is providing an excellent lesson to voters who are paying attention. Rand Paul and many other new senators voted in support of their new House colleagues, but McConnell voted to end debate so Harry Reid could strip the Obamacare defunding language from the bill and send it back to the House. Sure, McConnell voted against the revised bill with the Obamacare funding and he'll spend millions of dollars to tell us about his anti-Obamacare vote, but he'll never say that he voted with Harry Reid in support of Obama care in the only vote that mattered.

McConnell finally has a Republican primary challenger, and I look forward to Matt Bevin educating Kentucky voters, not only on McConnell's voting record and backroom deals, but also on McConnell's duplicity with Kentucky voters.

Kentucky elected Rand Paul in 2010 and Thomas Massie in 2012. I hope we elect Matt Bevin to the U.S. Senate in 2014 for the Kentucky Congressional reform threepeat.

Bruce Layne

Lexington

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