Advertisement

Letters to the Editor - Aug. 27

August 27, 2013

A one-payer system could be solution to insurance woes

To the editor:

Most people who are seriously, chronically ill are covered by Social Security disability, Medicaid and Medicare. People with lesser ailments, such as diabetes and hypertension, are already paying higher rates for individually purchased coverage. Furthermore, if everyone were in one pool, the costs would be spread enough to minimize or eliminate the issue. The addition of the uninsured was supposed to counter the increase by enlarging the risk pool. 

Policyholders’ annual out-of-pocket costs will be capped. This provision was specifically included to protect people from cost increases. But insurance companies that refuse to accept cost controls will just increase rates.

There is some justification for higher rates for standard benefits such as drugs, mental health, etc., but most decent insurance has included them for several years. I had a personal policy 10 years ago that included those benefits, and the cost was reasonable. Insurance law was changed to force coverage for mental health issues and substance abuse several years ago. 

Not much has changed with Obamacare. The real reason that insurance costs will go up is simple: Insurance companies are for-profit and seem more interested in their stock prices than in the welfare of their customers. 

We should either go to a one-payer system that would eliminate much duplication of administrative costs and services (wellness programs run by third parties but required by insurers, for example) or just eliminate insurance altogether. Health care providers would be forced to reduce rates to what people could pay. I doubt the entire existing system could live off the 1 percenters. 

Amy Schmersal Paradise
Hagerstown


Rockwell erred in his reference to scripture

To the editor:

This is in response to the letter by Thomas H. Rockwell (Aug. 19), in which he quotes Acts 4:32-35 to support/justify “socialist, communist” — to wit, Karl Marx.

Mr. Rockwell makes two grave mistakes in quoting the scriptures. First, the early church did this, not the government. Second, these Christians did it out of their new relationship as believers in Jesus Christ as their personal savior, not a law requiring them to do so, other than the law of Christian love. They did it among themselves.

I am glad Mr. Rockwell searched the scriptures, but he erred.

The Rev. Kenneth J. Schmidt
Hagerstown


‘Rain tax’ causes apprehension on several levels

To the editor:

Recently, Jim Laird provided a differing opinion on the “rain tax,” basically stating that the tax is necessary to ensure water quality and water table quantity. While I tend to agree that we should take steps to ensure that both aspects are protected, my main contention with the tax is that many developments have already paid their share in upfront costs.

A new development goes through the approval process, in which the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Soil Conservation District provide their input. During this process, specific to relatively new projects, water quantity structures are a requirement, as well as water quality structures. Bioretention facilities, sand filters and rain gardens are examples of water quality structures necessary for new construction.

If I had developed a new facility, with these structures in place and mandated by the regulatory agencies, I would have contention with the State of Maryland and argue that the “rain tax” is potentially double taxation.   

I also have apprehension about this tax on other various levels. First, the state has a history of placing money within the general fund and utilizing tax dollars for other unintended projects. Secondly, I would suspect that most of the pollutants are generated from runoff from agricultural land (tilling and fertilizing), not from new construction. If money is raised, much of it should go directly to farmers to reforest creek banks or place various stormwater management facilities on their lands. Somehow, I don’t see this happening.

Cullen Coleman
Hagerstown


Liquor store would serve tourists and residents

To the editor:

Mr. Franks must assume the town of Williamsport owns the Wolfe’s building. It does not. Therefore, the town must choose the best proposition it is offered.

Williamsport does not have a best-selling author to restore the building as Boonsboro was so fortunate to have. Also, there is a bed-and-breakfast in town. I would guess the lack of parking hinders its business as it does many in town. I do not believe there would be enough customers for two B&Bs. 

There is a full restaurant and cafe and pizzeria to satisfy the hunger of tourists. There is a cyclist shop and a town museum.

What there is not is a liquor store. It is apparent Mr. Franks does not approve of said store. However, those tourists he so desperately wants to attract often would like a cold beer or wine after a long day on the towpath. At this time, the only beverage store available is outside of town in an area not conducive for cyclists and hikers.

I am confident the new building will be a welcome addition to serve tourist trade as well as local residents.

Laura Traver
Williamsport

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|