Readers comments 1-10-13

Claremont nativity

Dear Editor:

Each year, I look forward to seeing the Christmas display at the Claremont United Methodist Church. It’s thought provoking and yes, depending upon your point of view, often controversial. This year was no exception.

Actually, I’m surprised by the comments the display solicited this year.

“Ridiculous…shameful…stupid— what possible connection—obscene manger scene…” Because I saw something very different.

I think Jesus, who was known to be controversial himself, would be pleased by the images. What better way to make the point of mankind’s need for more patience, kindness, truth, justice and forgiveness than just such a scene? Just because some people were offended, I doubt Jesus would have been anything but in agreement with the concept.

I’m the mother of a 20-something son myself, so it was easy for me to identify the image of a bleeding Trayvon. Not because I put my son on the same level as Jesus by any means, but because the loss of any one mother’s son, no matter the circumstances, should be a loss for all of us.

I commend both the church and the artist John Zachary for their courage to challenge our perceptions. Well done.

Susan Stocker



Thank you, Mrs. Nelsons

Dear Editor:

My two-year-old daughter and I attended the grand opening of Mrs. Nelson’s Toys and Books 28 years ago at her first location on Grand Avenue in Covina.

I will never forget the one story time, which in those days consisted of sitting on a red and white quilt on the cement sidewalk outside Mrs. Nelson’s overstuffed store to hear award-winning author Eve Bunting captivatingly read from her phenomenal work Ghost’s Hour, Spook’s Hour. Ms. Bunting’s haunting, lilting and transfixing Irish brogue raised and dispelled every child’s fear of the dark and the unknown.

My daughter and I have been Mrs. Nelson’s fans and loyal custormers ever since, and we are truly indebted to Judy Nelson for bringing stories and authors to life!

Years later, my husband and I, and our then grown daughter, shared a wonderful evening with Ray Bradbury, as my husband shared with him his own spine-chilling experiences reading Something Wicked This Way Comes. The rendezvous was all Ms. Nelson’s doing and we will be eternally grateful.

How thoughtful that the COURIER printed the story about Mrs. Nelson’s in the same issue that announced the opening of the newly-refurbished children’s section of the Claremont Public Library. Kindle will never replace kin as a cozy reading partner. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mrs. Nelson.

Elizabeth Tulac



Health insurance

Dear Editor:

I was saddened to read that Douglas Lyon and his family have had their health insurance plan cancelled by the corporate entity to which they had become so attached and had given so much of their money. I am sure Mr. Lyon will shortly be using his constitutional right to vote to oust the board of the company that has so shabbily and undemocratically treated him and his family.

Hopefully the cancellation of his policy does not fall under some newly-evolved religious freedom, to which corporations are now entitled to have because they are, after all, just people just like us.

However, if Mr. Lyon and his family had their insurance cancelled because it did not meet the standards set by the passage of the ACA, then that is a whole different ball game and begs the question as to why did Mr. Lyon pay for a health insurance plan that can’t even meet government standards! Was he not paying attention? Or did he not care? Or does he think government standards are too high?

In his letter, Mr. Lyon notes several ways to improve his healthcare, with the first being tort reform. Tort reform has worked well for Texas (the state now only has a mere 28.8 percent of its citizens without health insurance!) and has made it into state of choice for many more medical-care practitioners who have lost their right to practice medicine in their home states than ever before, which means greater access for Texans to a form of healthcare lawyers can’t get rich from. 

Also in his list of ways to improve his healthcare, Mr. Lyon requests that “the exclusive regulator of insurance companies will be the state in which the company is incorporated.”

Though I am not sure why Mr. Lyon would want to live in one state and be subjected to the regulations of a different state, I would ask why stop at state borders? Why not allow doctors and surgeons in other nations to advertise their skills and their fee structure here in America? Is Mr. Lyon afraid of competition?

Over the years I have had the pleasure of excellent and cheap medical care in Greece, Malta and Jamaica—for the price of a plane ticket and a few days stay at Motel 6, I am sure Mr. Lyon could have needed surgical-care at less than his former monthly insurance premium!  And all well-regulated by the foreign state they trained in.

Finally, I am a little confused as to why Mr. Lyon is requesting Congresswoman Chu and Senators Feinstein and Boxer tell him what they are doing to get him back the freedom and liberty his medical insurer took away from him.  Surely the three of them are not each on the governing board of that company? If they are, he should have mentioned that. Perhaps he can clarify that in any follow- up letter.

Michael Benfield



Facts regarding the ACA

Dear Editor:

Doug Lyon’s recent letter regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is full of inaccuracies and misleading statements.

First a little history about the ACA.  This plan was created by Republicans in response to what Democrats wanted, which is socialized medicine, like every other industrialized country.

Democrats believe that healthcare is a right that all Americans deserve. Republicans believe healthcare is a privilege reserved only for the wealthy. So the Republicans came up with the ACA, which allows healthcare to continue to be delivered through private insurance companies. Mr. Lyon doesn’t mention that part but, the truth is, all the ACA principally does is expand coverage provided by private insurance carriers like Kaiser, United Healthcare, Cigna, etc.

I’m sorry that Mr. Lyon’s insurance was cancelled. But prior to the ACA passage there was nothing preventing his insurance carrier from dropping his policy at any time. Who would Mr. Lyon have blamed if that had happened?

If in fact your insurance policy is cancelled it is likely that it didn’t meet the minimum 10 essential benefits now required by the ACA for all private insurance policies. These benefits include coverage for prescription drugs, emergency care, hospitalization and preventive services. 

If your insurance carrier cancels your policy the ACA requires them to offer you a replacement policy, or you can go on the insurance exchange and shop for a lower cost policy.  The exchange will also tell you if you qualify for a subsidy to help you pay for the policy.  The ACA prevents all of these private insurance companies from denying coverage because of a pre-existing condition.

I think Mr. Lyon has forgotten why the American people wanted to reform healthcare in the first place. The ACA requires all Americans have insurance for healthcare. Prior to the ACA millions of Americans didn’t have insurance. When these uninsured people got hurt or ill they would go to the emergency room.  Who paid for this?

Before the ACA these private insurance carriers would routinely limit coverage, drop policies, deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions and constantly increase the cost of coverage year after year. Every year these private insurance companies were making billions in profit, while denying coverage and cheating the American people.

Mr. Lyon talks about the ACA limiting his liberty and freedom. What if you had a heart condition and were told by your insurance company that coverage was being denied because you had acne as a teenager, which they determined is a pre-existing condition? Is that liberty and freedom?

How about if you were taken to the emergency room thinking you had insurance coverage only to find out your carrier refuses to cover the bill sending you into bankruptcy? Liberty and freedom? For who? The private insurance companies?

Just like the Republicans in Washington, all Mr. Lyon does is bemoan the law they created. They offer no alternative that would fix the healthcare crisis we were in prior to the passage of the ACA. 

Not to worry Mr. Lyon, someday you will qualify for socialized healthcare. We call it Medicare.

Bill Stevenson



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