The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 3, 2013

Readers' Forum 11-3 | Even unimportant elections are important


JOHNSTOWN — Affordable Care Act was mismanaged

Perhaps this is too simplistic or perhaps I am not well-enough informed of the intricacies in Obamacare, but if the majority of people who are successfully enrolling in Obamacare are enrolling in the Medicaid portion of the act, why didn’t we approach this in a more targeted manner?

The Affordable Care Act is trying to provide affordable health care to the poorest in our country. Why do we not simply allow the needy to enroll in Medicaid on a sliding scale cost basis? Pay according to income. Many people would pay nothing, and the cost would be picked up by the taxpayers, who are the government.

I believe this would probably be cheaper and more cost efficient than the $654 million we have already spent on the computer system that doesn’t work.

If you consider that people who simply answer the phones at Obamacare are receiving $26,000 a year and who knows what the so called “navigators,” who are going to guide the rest of us through Obamacare, are paid, the costs are never-ending. I have seen that it is upwards of $70,000. And with no background checks.

Let the rest of the people who were satisfied with their health care continue choosing and paying for their health care privately or from their employers. Government could enact regulations for those things that need to be corrected, such as pre-existing conditions.

Why turn the entire country upside down because we want to provide health care to the needy?

Rebecca L. Carlin


Redistricting cannot create new world

Both parties like the idea of safe congressional seats, especially the congressmen who occupy them, so the chances of persuading them to support a new system are pretty slim. Also, the 11 percent approval is misleading; while the body as a whole gets lousy marks, most voters are fond of their own congressman.

There is always a touch of self-righteousness in discussions of redistricting, as if by some magical snap of the finger a new world could be created with perfectly “fair” legislative districts. It seems naive to assume that a system could be created that would not be subject to manipulation.

An intransigent Congress was not the only problem in the recent shutdown; some of the blame must be borne by President Obama. Obama is a product of Cook County, Ill., politics. In Illinois generally, and Chicago especially, there is little of a loyal opposition, so the president isn’t accustomed to talking to anyone but his fellow Democrats. That works in the Windy City and during Obama’s first term, but now not so much.

As a leader, he needs to be talking to the opposition in hopes of finding common ground. This isn’t an impossible dream; the late House Speaker Tip O’Neil and President Ronald Reagan had an understanding, as did former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton.

Our system can work if the people running it are willing to do so, the presi-

dent first among them. That can happen a lot sooner than Congress can be redistricted.

Dave Folan


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