Medicare rules mean less use of local pharmacy
I have enjoyed great Medicare Part D coverage this first year of retirement. For 2014, the price and co-pay are going up. I have been able to go to my small-town pharmacy but will not be in 2014.
I get good exercise walking up the hill to this pharmacy. Now all companies that I have contacted want me to drive 15 to 20 miles to big-box stores or want me to use mail order.
Not only will the policy and co-pay be more expensive, I will have to buy more gas for my car.
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I have tried mail order before, and occasionally medicines get lost or I wind up with too many pills or not enough. I find that mail order is no replacement for the personal contact and care that you get with your pharmacist at a small-town drugstore.
Is there anything the insurance companies or we citizens can do to make small businesses get fairer treatment in the marketplace and for their customers?
Pay attention to debt
As Washington and the nation grapple with the consequences of the Affordable Care Act, the ongoing issue of debt and budget is again ignored.
The score on the budget negotiations: liberals, 2; conservatives, 0. In January, taxes on the rich went up with no give on debt reduction. Again in October, the debt ceiling rose with no budget cuts.
The first round of sequester cuts is in place with no significant consequences, except for the ongoing complaints about the terrible unfairness and negative impact it has had on the various government agencies and our economy.
Which poses interesting and somewhat frightening questions: Exactly how dependent is our economy on federal spending? How can such a miniscule cut have such a profound and widespread impact on our economy?
Many are convinced that the sequester has solved our deficit spending issue. After all, the deficit is now less than $1 trillion.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve administers endless quantitative easing injections and our debt bubble has reached 105 percent of gross domestic product. Most economists and their studies agree that economies slow significantly after government debt passes 90 percent of GDP.
No one knows how much longer the economy can be sustained with such shortsighted, deleterious policies. I predicted a collapse by now; I was wrong. Perhaps those who think it can go on indefinitely are right?
U.N. doing more harm
The United Nations, however noble its founding intentions, is now a nonstop exercise in futility and an inexhaustible source of hypocrisy.
It serves almost no useful purpose and is a net drain on the American taxpayers; its committees are peopled with and chaired by some of the globe's worst actors; and it works at cross purposes to world peace and the best interests of the free world far more than it does in its service.
And as we see in Syria or Iran, it gives diplomatic cover and false public relations to ineffectual measures that let ignorant politicians such as our president make fanciful claims about the success of negotiations, while doing nothing to stop the international transgressions it pretends to address.
The U.N. has deteriorated into far worse than a joke, and if 90 percent of Americans believe it is important for us to "maintain an active role" in it, that demonstrates how sadly ignorant most Americans are about international affairs.
That's something to keep in mind five to six years from now when Iran's first nuclear bomb goes off somewhere in the Middle East.
Senator ignores workers
Sen. Mitch McConnell, as usual, let his anti-worker attitude show by supporting a national right-to-work bill. I'm not surprised, as he is paid big bucks by companies who don't want to pay their employees good wages and benefits.
A right-to-work law is a law to work the employees for less. It allows employees to decide if they want to join the union and if not, by law, they have to be represented the same as dues-paying workers.
This is like allowing people to decide if they want to pay taxes or not, yet use the tax-paid roads, lakes, police and fire departments equally.
The Affordable Care Act, which McConnell opposes, is definitely an improvement for people who need insurance. McConnell has had health insurance, paid for by taxpayers, for the past 29 years.
Yet he wants to deny you and me the same coverage.
McConnell is no friend of the working person and has no intention to start now.
Alison Grimes is just the opposite. She will represent the working person, the challenged person, the poor person, etc. She would not give away what we already have or cater to the top 1 percent.
Don't be fooled by McConnell's ads. He is still the same person who has voted against us all these years, (remember he voted against women getting equal pay for equal work) and if re-elected, will continue to do so.
Owen D. Humphress
Thomas good for state
I have had the opportunity and pleasure to know, observe and work with Reggie Thomas on several community projects over the past five years.
He has proven that he can recognize a problem and will work to find a fair solution. He is a well-educated man with a caring heart, and that is needed in the Kentucky Senate.
Decisions made by the state Senate affect not only Lexington but the entire state.
I am a farmer in Powell County and I care about good, honest government in Frankfort. I urge voters in the 13th Senate District to do what is right for their district but also what is right for the entire state.
Vote for Thomas, a qualified man whose time has come.
Aim for a better world
The shutdown has passed and concern will fade as it has over Social Security, immigration and any other issue.
We allow ourselves to be satisfied with Band-Aid solutions that only last until the next election cycle, but this cannot continue with environmental reform.
Young adults in Kentucky see the world that is being passed to us, but what kind of world will we have to pass to the next generation?
The questions we ask are whether we will have air safe to breathe, water safe to drink and soil that provides us with crops, not whether we will be able to afford that larger house.
Young adults across the nation are working hard to ensure we will have a future by turning out in record numbers in recent elections and working on the leading edge of change.
We will not sit idle and wait for solutions to occur; we are active participants of change. Change will appear slow, but this is no reason not to commit ourselves to sustainable change.
Every success that we have today is an advantage tomorrow. The time for small fixes has passed and we need a serious commitment for the future.