Health care costs growing burden on small business
During the debate on health care. I've heard citizens complaining they want their America back, that President Obama is like a Nazi, that we're going to euthanize all of our grandparents. I have yet to hear the opinions of small business owners like myself who actually pay for the health care of others.
Twenty years ago I left a job with total security and full benefits and purchased a small Kentucky business. We had four employees who were paid a minimum wage with few benefits. We now employ more than 20 people and give them vacation, sick days and personal days. Six years ago, I could finally afford to offer health care to my employees. The annual increases to our health care coverage have been astronomical: 10 percent, 18 percent, etc. The estimate for next year's premiums: a whopping 36 percent increase.
Who can continue to offer health care at these absurd increases? I can't raise my product's prices more than two or three percent a year.
Why shouldn't I as a small employer pay the same low premiums per employee as big business or government? Why shouldn't my employees and I be able to choose a public option or any other option if it reduces our premiums and offers the same benefits at a more reasonable cost?
We must have major health care reform or my company won't be able to compete fairly and my employees may be added to the ranks of the uninsured in Kentucky.
No to public option
We do need a reformed health care delivery system. We need one that prevents insurance companies from selecting only those who are well and prevents them from discarding payees when they become ill. We need a health care system that is fair and does not depend on Wall Street investors who demand higher profits and less coverage for those being insured.
However, we citizens also recognize that our government is incapable of efficiently running any program. Just look at Social Security, which is periodically going broke. Just look at the U.S. Postal Service. It's running in the deficit again. That means taxpayers will have to pay for that. Our government continues to fail the very citizens that pay for it.
We send representatives to Washington to represent us and what happens? They become so inflated with their self-worth that we don't know anything any more and they are going to do what's best for us. A prime example is our own U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler. In the next two or three years, we are going to pay for his folly in voting for the cap-and-trade energy bill. When your utilities increase twofold, thank him.
We cannot let the government run such a mammoth health care system. The waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid already total millions of dollars and are out of control. The government won't do any better with health care.
Camille N. Haggard
Expand trash service
So, the mayor is politicking again for the next election. If the city garbage tax has accumulated $24 million, why not expand city collection services with the $24 million? This would create jobs with benefits and retirement for these hard-working, little-appreciated people. Why not do this? Why not give these people a good pay raise, as the $24 million was earned on their backs? Fill some of these jobs that are vacant, instead of starving a profit from them.
I don't want to pay more taxes, but I don't want to take advantage of these hard-working people.
I consider all late-term abortionists individuals who earn their living by sucking the life from healthy, living babies.
Do they whistle while they work? Do their children or neighbors know how they can afford to own that fine home or late-model automobile? Do they walk two blocks out of the way when they approach a church?
Those doctors are despicable.
Recently, I called the Lexington office of 6th District Congressman Ben Chandler. I asked where and when Chandler would be holding town hall meetings on health care reform. I was informed that there would be no meetings on anything to do with health care.
YourDictionary.com defines the word representative as "composed of persons duly authorized, as by election, to act and speak for others — a representative assembly of, characterized by, or based on representation of the people by elected delegates." Apparently, Chandler is not familiar with the above definition. In a democracy, one's voice is supposed to be at least heard.
Chandler has apparently traded in Kentucky Bible Belt values for the values of the socialist/communist wing of the Democratic party.
Chandler has apparently decided to vote for the health care mess known as Obamacare and does not want to face the voters, who are against this health care atrocity. In the past, I have voted for Chandler for attorney general, governor and congressman. This will no longer be the case. I will do all that I can as a citizen of Kentucky to vote him out of office.
Joe B. Lanter
Health co-ops pointless
I was very encouraged on opening a Herald-Leader last month to see that the lead article on the front page had a headline with the words "health co-ops." But my excitement waned on reading the description of the "cooperatives." The whole point of health cooperatives should be to get rid of insurance of any kind, in other words, of the third-party payer.
A co-op would require membership dues and a board of managers elected by the members, comprised of health professionals and patients. Health professionals and patients are the only two entities involved; so why pay to a third party?
Mary N. Smith, M.D.
Teach them a lesson
I agree with a recent letter writer about corruption at the Kentucky League of Cities, the Blue Grass Airport and the Lexington Public Library. These people should be made to work for minimum wage for 20 years and pay back all the money they took over the years driving BMWs, using credit cards for strip clubs, buying gifts and eating at upscale restaurants. Who knows what else has happened that hasn't been uncovered?
All that money could have given hungry children food, clothes or a warm place to stay or helped some poor old souls to buy medicine they couldn't otherwise afford.
Maybe some of us who have worked for minimum wage all our lives could teach all these people in higher-up positions a thing or two.