New health law is a failure, and Beshear is wrong
Gov. Steve Beshear left a few facts out of his column — facts that make clear Obamacare has been a failure.
More than 280,000 Kentuckians have had their private insurance policies canceled, despite the president's repeated promise that "if you like your plan, you can keep it."
On the other hand, fewer than 21,000 Kentuckians have signed up for new private plans. The governor made no attempt to rebut these facts. Because he can't.
Most new Obamacare enrollees are not on private plans but are added to Medicaid.
While the federal government — read: taxpayers — will pay for that Medicaid expansion for the first three years, the commonwealth will be responsible for an increasing share of the bill after that.
The governor was right to wonder in 2011 how Kentucky would ever pay for it. It's too bad he is now ignoring this question to close ranks with an unpopular president whose agenda has never received majority support in Kentucky.
Finally, it was odd for the governor to boast that the state's Obamacare website has gotten over a half-million hits when only a small percentage actually liked what they saw enough to sign up. Kentuckians know that in basketball, it's shots made, not shots attempted, that count.
I continue to hear daily from constituents upset and angry that Obamacare means higher premiums and deductibles, and less access to the doctors and hospitals they trust. Their problems deserve more attention than hits to a website.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a licensed architect on staff with University of Kentucky Facilities Management, with no interest in any private weatherization/insulating/ construction company.
Most days I take my dog for a two-mile walk through Lexington's Chevy Chase neighborhood, a neighborhood built in the early 1900's with similar wood frame construction with brick veneer.
I am repeatedly amazed at how many houses have insufficient attic ventilation, insufficient insulation, heated air leaks from conditioned space or a combination of all, as evidenced by the amount of recent snow missing from their roofs when the temperature is in the mid-20s with an overcast sky.
An easy way to tell if you have a problem is by comparing your house to your neighbor's unheated garage. Your house should have almost as much snow, if not the same amount, on it as the unheated garage. If it doesn't, you're doing the equivalent of throwing money into a fire.
Most utility companies have a free or low-cost energy audit service. Take advantage of the service. They should be able to calculate the payback for adding insulation and weatherproofing.
Then either do it yourself or find a local reputable contractor to insulate/weatherize your home.
Your pocketbook will thank you.
Joseph E. Crouch
No issue with Cuba
On Dec. 19, President Barack H. Obama and other world leaders gathered in South Africa for the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
During Obama's greeting of foreign leaders, he and Cuban President Raul Castro greeted each other and shook hands.
Regarding the greeting and handshake, ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer misdirected Obama's statement: "There are too many who claim solidarity with (Mandela's) struggle for freedom but do not tolerate dissent from their own people."
Sawyer implied Obama was directing this statement to Castro.
How Sawyer could even relate events in Cuba with the former apartheid government of South Africa is unbelievable.
The disagreement between the American people and Cubans is rooted in Cubans who fled to the United States at the overthrow of the U.S. puppet government of Cuba.
The deposed bought Florida's congressional delegation, thus the economic sanctions against Cuba.
Billy Ray Wilson
Contempt for poor
The recent sequester and government shutdown have resulted in congressional contempt for the poor.
Many conservatives spend so much time trying to cut back social programs, when in reality the people using these services are not at fault for their situation.
Often, these services have great gaps in them, causing even greater social problems and cost.
For instance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, requires that unwed minor mothers live with a parent or guardian or they are ineligible for funding.
Unfortunately, some young parents are deterred by these stringent living requirements for fear they might be returned to an unsafe living situation.
If denied funding, with no secure housing to turn to, youth might make risky decisions to support their child, which in turn might require further government intervention.
While our government tries to deter "living in sin" by requiring a more prototypical family structure, some teen mothers must decide between providing basic needs for their children and putting those children in the same abusive environments they grew up in.
Rather than being cut, like many social programs, programs like TANF must be improved to be more flexible and preventive.
To achieve change we must contact those who drive public policy. Write your representative and urge them to change TANF regulations to serve those who need it most.
The new stadium, an unnecessary expenditure by almost any standard, is presented as a good idea.
The requisite dubious reasoning to make it palatable to cut student seating by 50 percent so the "highly positioned" will have a nice place to sit away from the rabble was all there, while the need to spend scarce funding on such a profoundly unneeded boondoggle was purposely incoherent.
I immediately thought this plan was hatched after the outrageously expensive and likewise unneeded plan for a new Rupp Arena was mostly uncontested.
So, from the planned smackdown of students, we move to the issue of homeless people out of work, money, food and a place to live — due mostly to circumstances beyond their control.
Little comparative support and no real plan from the few who run things around here, but there is a new committee to study it.
Without a committee, city officials find money and support for projects we don't need. Also without a committee, the same officials routinely let developers damage our neighborhoods.
To give them some credit, they do give lip service to the democratic process by holding mock hearings.
The city should let the University of Kentucky find a way to help poor folks. They get things done. You can bet that UK officials would find a way if they could steal something else from students, raise their tuition yet again or perhaps force campus tow-truck owners to give $5 of your tow bill to a community shelter.