(re: Opinion/Editorial, Feb. 14-20, 2013)
Jonathan Small and Derek Osborn should be ashamed for their article "Sticker Shock." I was morally shocked. It is filled with lies and absurd allegations. I will address only one. They state that health insurance companies will be "forced" to raise their rates under Obamacare. This is similar to 2009, when health insurance companies spent $380 million, over a few months' time, lobbying Washington against an act they claimed will force them to raise rates. New regulations took effect in 2011 that were intended to require insurers to spend more on health care and less on administrative costs, including salaries. The act passed and the insurance companies were correct. They did raise their rates along with the number of claims they denied. They also raised their record-breaking profits and CEO compensation. In 2011, the top 6 CEOs of insurance companies received an increase in annual earnings. This is what these individuals received while cutting care to their customers:
David Cordani, Cigna Corp.: $19.1 million
Stephen Hemsley, UnitedHealth Group: $13.4 million
Angela Braly, Wellpoint: $13.3 million
Patricia Hemingway Hall, Health Care Service Corp.: $12.9 million
Mark Bertolini, Aetna Inc.: $10.6 million
Michael McCallister, Humana: $7.3 million
How is Small and Osborn's concern for the insurance companies and not the working class people of America? I suppose I'll give them my shoulder to cry on if poor David Cordani is "forced" to only make $19 million this year. But don't you worry; they will not take a pay cut. They will continue to cut our care and raise their salaries as they have for the last 5 years.
Our country has given insurance companies the right to place a price tag on our lives. This is not only unjust; it is inhumane. We should demand the basic right to be healthy and stay alive. Small and Osborn may lose sleep over the insurance companies' obvious burden. I will lose sleep over a three year old child being denied a healthy heart because his mother is unable to afford one.
I Feel the Power
Can we look to government for 'real' tax reform?
The president has been asking for reform that does not punish job creation, yet removes loopholes and deductions the rich use to avoid paying "their fair share."
Republicans have been asking for reform that doesn't inhibit job creation, doesn't raise taxes on businesses, and encourages investment.
It's been eight years since Democrats asked President Bush for "fair tax reform," laying out what a plan should look like. It's been two years since President Obama stood up in his state of the union address and outlined what he'd like to see tax reform look like.
It's also been two years since Republicans took control of the house and the Ways & Means (tax writing) Committee.
Where is the tax reform they've been asking for?
What both parties have outlined asked the other side for exists in one bill, a bill and neither side will touch. Why? Power!HR25 "The Fair Tax Act of 2013" does what both sides want with the exception of one thing: it takes power away from them and puts it in the hands of we the people.
Purple Cow for Pope!
A purple cow is a nonconformist who thinks outside the box.
That is why a purple cow should succeed Pope Benedict XVI.
This new head of the Catholic church will have absolute power to declare church doctrine and infallibility.
He should use the power to permit priests -- gay or straight -- to marry.
The source of pedophilia in the church's clergy is requiring priests to take a vow to never marry. Celibacy is an unnatural state that leads to priests engaging in homosexual acts.
Problem number two for the pope will be to decide whether to continue treating nuns like downstairs maids instead of giving them priestly standing "in the person of Christ" like Mary Magdalene.
In the 21st century, most of us girls no longer subscribe to being subservient to men and treating them like generals when we're the privates.
We don't deserve to have second-class Christian status just because we were not at the Last Supper.
Unless the church starts to ordain women as priests so we can give religious teaching, most of our sisters will not choose to become little Mother Teresas.
I suggest the first order of business for the new pope should be to summon Frank Keating, a former Oklahoma governor, to Rome.
Keating, who headed a lay panel investigating the church's child abuse scandal, told how the cow ate the cabbage: "I certainly have concluded that a number of serious officials in my faith have very clay feet. To act like La Cosa Nostra and hide and suppress is very unhealthy."
--Virginia "Blue Jeans" Jenner
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