Readers comments 4-28-17
Thank you for thank-yous
Last fall, the two local candidates for state assembly were invited to speak with the fifth graders at Sumner Elementary School to help them get a taste of the political process. Both candidates, Chris Holden and Casey Higgins, came to Sumner to share their thoughts and answer student questions.
Each student in my class wrote a thank-you note to Mr. Holden and Mr. Higgins highlighting what they had learned from each candidate’s presentation.
Much to my surprise and the students’ delight, Mr. Higgins wrote a personalized response to each student.
Mr. Higgins may have lost the election, but he won our class’ respect.
Be cautious of SB 562
The April 21 COURIER viewpoint on single-payer healthcare admirably pointed out recurring problems US citizens face with medical expenditures. However, it offered a somewhat confusing rationale for support of SB 562, a healthcare alternative to the current system. This was particularly apparent with the statement, “This is not government-run health care. Rather, it is the state of California replacing the private insurance industry.”
If the costs of this system are reimbursed from revenue collected by the state, and the regulations about how those funds are utilized are ultimately set by a state agency—how is this not a government-run?
In researching the text of the bill it appears, unfortunately, that management and oversight of the program [Healthy California Board] will be by something similar to the nefarious Public Utilities Commission. Claremont’s experience with the PUC has shown it to be as disreputable as many health insurer groups. There is little reason why this “appointed commission” whose only oversight by the public is “advisory” would be a desirable alternative.
I was also disturbed by a SB 562 proposition which “…would prohibit health care service plans and health insurers from offering health benefits or covering any service for which coverage is offered to individuals under the program…” This could be interpreted as setting up monopolies similar to what we have with the water company.
When you look at what the CPUC was supposed to be doing and how it ended up being a front for profit-making monopolies, it makes one cautious about setting up another bureaucracy that may end up doing something similar with health care.
Claremont’s energy vision
As a longtime resident of the city I applaud the efforts of the Claremont Energy Vision, Roadmap to Net Zero and any/all other efforts toward energy sustainability. I admit to not being engaged in this process other than doing what I can at my home toward sustainability, and reading the COURIER to try and stay abreast of local developments.
What I am not reading about are large-scale efforts toward solar renewable energy generation—that is, a city-owned, solar-based public utility. We all know that solar equipment is relatively inexpensive, easy to design/install and almost maintenance-free.
The best part is that every day, that nuclear reactor we call the sun comes up and radiates free power upon us; all we need to do is collect it and deliver it to the community. Isn’t every municipality looking for a new income source?
Why isn’t the city working on an agreement with the Claremont Colleges to fill the depression east of Pitzer with solar panels? An agreement with CalTrans to line the south-facing freeway banks within the city limits with solar panels? Other properties within the city may also be available for smaller distributed generation sites.
I’d really like to hear back from our leaders on this. How about an editorial in the Claremont COURIER to inform the citizens on the feasibility of forming and operating our own solar utility?