Letters to the editor: April 16

April 16, 2014 

Congress hurting Medicare program crucial for seniors

I worked hard my entire life, and even at her age, my wife still works. We don't qualify for free programs, and we do without a lot. A vacation to us is sitting in the backyard with chips, bologna, and some pop, because it's all we can afford.

It upsets me to know that Congress understands nothing of the difficulty facing retired seniors trying to make ends meet. If lawmakers did, they would have never considered making $200 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage and certainly wouldn't consider further cuts.

Medicare Advantage is a senior program that works. In the world outside Capitol Hill, retirees are living on fixed incomes, face a wide variety of illnesses, and need good health insurance to get treatment. Advantage accomplishes this by providing affordable access to physicians, hospitals and prescription drugs.

I recently switched from Anthem to Humana Choice because Anthem's prices were going up. I couldn't afford the $250 prescription drug co-pay.

Switching saved me money and I kept the same providers. It would be a hardship for me if my providers dropped out of the plan, especially if they were farther from home. I have a good doctor who I'd like to keep.

Someone in Congress needs to stand up for us and stop the madness. Cutting our vital health care programs will make it even harder for us to survive what should be our golden years.

Jerry Peters


Don't blame GOP

In response to the letter entitled, "GOP deficits:" First, President Bill Clinton had a Republican House and Senate to work with. House Speaker Newt Gingrich was an authority and voice on how to balance the budget.

I wonder why the writer did not bring up Jimmy Carter's administration?

Under Carter, we had high rates of inflation, unemployment rate and interest — some well into the double-digits.

And what about President Barack Obama? With the largest deficit of all the presidents combined, Obama, the Democratic House and the Senate, have absolutely destroyed all medical care that people were once insured for.

I will not further discuss Obama's policies and the shortcomings of his administration, as there are not enough pages.

The writer gave full credit to Franklin Delano Rossevelt because he "made it possible for veterans to be educated with the GI Bill." FDR's post-war assistance was not exclusive to veterans, but for needy poor people, as well.

This proposal was not even voted on. Harry Colmery, the former national Republican chairman, is credited for writing the first draft of the GI Bill.

He, along with U.S. Sen. Ernest McFarland, D-Ariz., and Edith Nourse Rogersm R-Mass., wrote and sponsored the GI Bill, passed in 1944.

What disturbs me the most is that the letter was an attempt to send another Democrat to Washington to support Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Paul Cummins


McConnell's poor career

It is little wonder that Sen. Mitch McConnell is always attacking his opponent Matt Bevin. Perhaps it is because McConnell has no real accomplishments of his own these past 30 years in office.

Consider, however, these low lights of McConnell's career: He has continuously voted for a larger federal government, including No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D and the 2007 energy bill that raised taxes and imposed new regulations on automakers.

And McConnell has voted to bail out the big Wall Street banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

McConnell's attack ads are to divert attention from his own horrible record. Let's vote to ditch Mitch on May 20.

Nick Bell


Bevin aids Democrats

So commentator Glenn Beck attended a rally for Matt Bevin. That's nice. Beck has just shot his reputation with me.

The polls say Matt Bevin is running behind Sen. Mitch McConnell by more than 30 points. None of the polls has shown him with more than 30 percent of the vote. Most have him with less than 29 percent. He has no chance of winning the primary.

I believe Bevin is only in the race to weaken McConnell for the Democrats.

When Bevin began his campaign, he sounded just like a Democrat. All he did was attack McConnell. He had no positives to say about himself and much of what he did say about himself was not true.

Bevin makes his Tea Party supporters look like Democrats, too.

Ted Smith

Park Hills

Danger in Ukraine

I met Frank Edwin Pivec in Sochi, Russia 46 years ago anf have remained a corresponding friend since.

Recently I asked my Czech friend about his thoughts on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Bear with regard to the Ukraine.

His emailed response:

"Russian Bear and Tsar Putin are always very greedy. When Russian say Yes, they think NO, so normal people with western brains are not able to understand Russians.

"Mr. President Obama was very naive when he tried to accept Russians promises, because they are only promises never fulfilled. We are happy and proud to be members of NATO.

"Our Czech Air Forces help to protect the sky of Baltic states. We know what it means to lose the Freedom, when Russians occupied our country in 1968 and we were alone, because Russia said 'it is our territory.'

"Russian lies and changing a history is standard for them."

This is reality from a man who himself was removed from his working position because of his political stance. He was forced to work on the railroad as a track laborer as punishment after the Russian invasion and occupation in fall ,1968 until his sentence was completed.

His family, previously targeted by the communist authorities, lost all their property and had to close the family business.

History definitely repeats itself.

Brian Schlifke


Pay decent wages

I hear both sides of the debate of minimum wage. One side states an increased wage will boost the economy while the other side says it will cost jobs.

Here is what I see.

A company that made $830 million last year says it can pay part-time help $9 per hour and during the slow time of the year work 10 hours a week, so for a month you will earn $360.

Then in the busy time they can work you 35 hours a week and you earn $1,260 (net take-home pay is $1,100). No health care.

I can collect $975 in housing, food-stamp and medical aid and a phone provided by government.

If you want people off welfare you need to pay them enough that it would be worthwhile.

You cannot expect people to live on $360 a month while the company makes $830 million in profit. Do corporations have a moral conscience or are they just focused on money, not people?

Jerry W. Dale


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