GOP offers no solution to fix health care law
It's amusing to hear all the Republicans in Congress who bemoan that the Affordable Care Act (which they disparagingly dubbed Obamacare) was passed without any Republican votes, especially when our own senior senator, Mitch McConnell, made it his priority to block his party's cooperation with any initiative President Barack Obama proposed.
Yes, there are problems with the sign-up process. The Republican solution? The same one they have voted for over 40 times previously: Repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The effect of this approach?
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Status quo, which is to say that young adults would not be able stay on their parents' insurance until age 26 and, worst of all, that those citizens who have pre-existing conditions either would not get insurance or their premiums often would exceed their yearly incomes.
Hate our president if you will — and I know a disconcerting number of you will for both understandable and despicable reasons — the truth is the American health care system is broken for a large number of our citizens.
Obamacare is the only real solution offered to date to try to fix it.
Take a holiday break
Thanksgiving, the first American holiday, has now gotten lost in the shuffle between Halloween and Christmas. Merchants market decorations, costumes and candy for Halloween, then transition into marketing decorations, toys and other items for Christmas.
The meaning of Thanksgiving precludes marketing, so merchants ignore it.
Are we incapable of observing a holiday of gratitude without the intrusive specter of shopping?
First, stores opened at 5:30 Friday morning, then the creep to earlier opening times began. Two years ago Toys R Us opened at 9 p.m., now Macy's opened at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving day, but K-Mart topped that by opening before sunrise on Thanksgiving so Christmas shopping could start even earlier.
So much for enjoying Thanksgiving. Any wonder why there is so much depression around the holiday season, really?
Then on Christmas, the stores open early for post-Christmas sales; we have to get there before the sale on stuff we can use next Christmas is gone; next thing we know, it's Christmas that's gone, still wondering about why we're depressed.
Merchandise is to augment the holiday mood, not replace or destroy it. Is it too much to ask that for these two holidays, stores remain closed until 8 a.m. the following morning? Holiday shopping is really governed by the amount of money people have to spend, not the number of unlimited shopping days they have to spend it.
James F. Wisniewski
Out with Mitch, Barr
Next year young people have a chance to get rid of our terrible Sen. Mitch McFilibuster and the newest crazy person from our state, Andy Barr.
McConnell has a record of blocking legitimate votes more than 400 times since Barack Obama became president, Mitch is the epitome of a do-nothing politician.
Barr is the most recent member of a group that has a 5 percent approval rating: the do-nothing Republican Congress. He dove in head-first for a government shutdown to stop the health care reform law already settled by the Supreme Court and the 2012 elections. Of course, Barr and the rest of the rump Congress cost the economy $24 billion and hurt our credit rating due to this childish stunt.
Young people turned out in droves and gave Obama a landslide victory in 2012. If they turn out in 2014 to vote for Alison Lundergan Grimes and whoever is running against Barr, we can change the direction of this country.
If you are sick and tired of 400 filibusters, shutdown gimmicks and gridlock, you can fix it in 2014. Get involved and make a real change in Kentucky next year, tell all of your friends, donate, do whatever you can.
Don't ignore Indiana
I moved to Kentucky from Indiana several years ago, and I've enjoyed all (well, almost all) of living among the fine people, varied and beautiful scenery, history, horse racing, arts and crafts and more.
But, even though I have few regrets about leaving Indiana, I am puzzled and a bit peeved that the Herald-Leader, much as I value reading it each day, refuses to acknowledge that the state exists.
For all the political news you print, I'll bet few native Kentuckians could name a single senator or congressman from Indiana; for all the sports news you print, I never find the scores of Indiana teams (much less any details of games).
The Indiana Pacers are the talk of the NBA, yet the Herald-Leader neither makes any mention of the Pacers/Bulls game, the biggest game of this young season, nor bothers to print NBA standings.
I can read that the assistant volleyball coach at Podunk State College has been assigned a new locker, but I will look in vain for any report should the Colts win the Super Bowl or Purdue score 25 touchdowns in the first quarter. In contrast, you stop the presses if John Wall stubs his toe in the shower.
Sometime back you published a letter in which I said I hope that the Herald-Leader would someday learn that the Ohio River is not the northern boundary of the United States. I guess that will never happen.
Safer streets, please
Since I am handicapped and like traveling to the library and other places downtown, I am worried about drivers not respecting crosswalks and bike trails.
I wish the Urban County Government would not allow all streets to become two-way streets. And I would like to see stronger punishment for traffic violators.
It's time we stop bikers and pedestrians from being killed.
Ronald T. Winkler
On Nov. 5, WLEX aired a segment accusing Lextran of wasting taxpayers' money because the service really didn't carry anyone. It is now viewable on Youtube.
They showed an empty bus at the Loudon facility. This bus was red flagged because it was in the garage for repairs. Let's hope if a bus is in need of repair, it's at the garage, not picking up passengers.
Then they went to the end of the Hamburg route. Not many routes have a lot of people on them at the end. Why? Because riders have gotten to their destinations. Then the route heads inbound, picking up passengers.
An accurate story would've filmed people waiting at the transit center for their buses. An even more accurate depiction would've been filmed five to 10 minutes before departure time.
Had they done this, especially at peak time, you'd see how extremely hard it is to get to the bus due to high ridership.
Also, there are a number of routes, especially during peak times, where riders are lucky to find a seat. People have to stand because the buses are so full.
If you doubt transit is a vital service, check out how negatively Lexington was impacted by massive loss of service in the 1990s. Check how important it is in case of disaster.
When a news medium does this blatantly inaccurate report on a vital service, how can we trust anything they report? WLEX-18 won the misinformation-to-the-max award.