Readers comments 6.16.12

Return power to the people

Dear Editor:

“All contributions by corporations to any poltical committee or for any political purpose should be forbidden by law.” —Teddy Roosevelt

That statement was true then, and it is no less true today. It is not just the money that is spent by corporations that is corrupting and corrosive to the democratic process; it is the obscene amount of money that is spent by individuals and groups in the name of free speech that is being used in an attempt to buy elections, influence and power that should be objected to.

When we were 13 colonies, the colonists rebelled against the edicts of the king. Now we have a new form of aristocracy that is just as dangerous and perhaps more incidious than the king: it is the super wealthy in whatever form that seeks to rule us and control us through the use of money to buy our electeds.

The Supreme Court at this very moment is hearing a case that gives us hope. The state of Montana claims that a state may regulate campaign expenditures in its own state for state and local elections in order to control corruption.

Claremont should pass a resolution in support of overturning Citizens United.

Claremont is not isolated and protected from the outside influences of this danger. Under Citizens United, money from another state or from a foreign country can be used through a political committee to overwhelm our local ordinance regarding campaign finance limitations in local city council elections.

This is not democracy and, in fact, endangers the very existence of our Republic. The city of Claremont needs to join in on the national effort to overturn Citizens United. If we are to keep ourselves free, we must once again work to return power to the people. If we are to remain a free people, power must reside in the people and not in the hands of the few and powerful.

Gar Byrum



The Clean Air Act

Dear Editor:

Clean air protections are being attacked in the US Senate. A vocal minority is threatening to eliminate an historic regulation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This regulation is a landmark Clean Air Act achievement for public health, and we need your help to fight and make sure it remains.

Stand up for Clean Air: Send our senators a message now!

Earlier this year, the EPA set an historic standard, regulating mercury and toxic air pollutants from power plants. This standard came after decades of delay and sets strict limits on mercury and toxic emissions. This standard will save thousands of lives and help those with asthma and bronchitis breathe easier.

Despite resounding support from the public, Senator Jim Inhofe has introduced a bill that would ify this historic advance. For years, the League has worked to fight for clean air and protect the Clean Air Act. Now that action has been taken to strengthen this law, some senators want  to take a step back!

Tell  our senators you want clean air in our community.

You can make a difference! Send a message to our senators today. Tell them to oppose S.J. Res 37. Tell them to limit mercury and air toxins including arsenic, lead, acid gases and dozens of others from power plants that burn coal and oil.

Tell the US Senate it’s time to support people not polluters.

Ellen Taylor

VP LWV of Claremont Area


Affordable Health Care

Dear Editor:

For those concerned about the effects of the Affordable Health Care Act, besides no refusal for pre-existing conditions and allowing children to remain on parents’ health insurance until they are 26, comes this following tidbit from the Kaiser Family Foundation regarding the amount of rebates people and companies will receive from the over-charging of premiums. This is scheduled to happen about a month after the close of the health insurer’s fiscal year, June 30:

“Insurer Rebates under the Medical Loss Ratio: 2012 Estimates

Beginning in 2011, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurance plans to pay out a minimum percentage of premium dollars towards health care expenses and quality improvement activities, limiting the amount spent on administrative and marketing costs and profit. Under the law, large group plans are required to spend at least 85 percent of premium dollars on health care and quality improvement, while small group plans must spend at least 80 percent. These ratios are known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR). This analysis looks at the latest estimates provided by insurers to state insurance commissioners. The analysis finds that consumers and businesses are expected to receive an estimated $1.3 billion by this August in rebates from health insurers who spent more on administrative expenses and profits than allowed by the ACA. The rebates include $541 million in the large employer market, $377 million in the small business market and $426 million for those buying insurance on their own.

Rebates in the group market will generally be provided to employers, and in some cases be passed on to employees as well. Rebates are expected to go to almost one-third (31 percent) of consumers in the individual market. Among employers, about one-quarter (28 percent) of the small group market and 19 percent of the large group market is projected to receive rebates. The share of consumers in the individual insurance market expected to receive rebates ranges from near zero in several states to as high as 86 percent in Oklahoma and 92 percent in Texas.”

Wow, Republicans and Tea Partiers, how are you going to explain this? Rep. Joe Lewis said that the president lied? Methinks the Republicans and Tea Party really need a “no lie” spin on this.

William Rook





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