Our Lt. Gov Mary Taylor – close to criminally negligent

5 May

Letters to the Editor

Columbus Dispatch, 

As head of the Ohio Department of Insurance, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor successfully kept over 168,000 Ohioans from getting quality, affordable health insurance.  Her actions and inactions come close to criminal negligence. 

The ObamaCare numbers were released on May 1st . . . 45 pages of numbers, statistics, charts and graphs.  And Ben Sutherly’s article on the front page of the next morning’s Dispatch captured the essence of how Ohioans benefited . . . not as much as they should have. 

“About 155,000 Ohioans selected a plan through the federal marketplace.”  But that’s 18% below the Obama administration’s 190,000 goal for Ohio. 

At the same time the 7 million goal for the entire country was beat by 15% in spite of the problematic rollout. 

In New York 70% more people signed up than their target goal. 

If Ohio had surpassed its goal by that same percentage, we would have a total of 322,810 enrollees. 

That begs the question:  “Why did New York and other states do so much better than Ohio?” 

They set up their own state-run marketplace.  Mary Taylor didn’t. 

They explained the importance of having health insurance, that pre-existing conditions no longer mattered, and what real insurance is.  Mary Taylor didn’t. 

They encouraged their citizens to explore their options.  Mary Taylor didn’t. 

But she didn’t simply do nothing.  She aggressively tried to dissuade Ohioans from applying for coverage while making it harder for Navigators to get certified so they could help people through the application process. 

She warned of 88% premium increases because of ObamaCare which turned out to be flat out wrong. And as Ben Sutherly pointed out in Friday’s Dispatch the ‘numbers’ show “the pools of people who signed up in every state are sufficient to keep premiums stable in 2015” as well. 

Ohioans deserve more from their public officials.

Homophobic title cinched

30 Apr

Letters to the Editor

Columbus Dispatch, 

While billionaire, Don Sterling, and millionaire, Cliven Bundy, vie for the title of who is the most racist, our own Jeannine Vogel wins, hands down, as the most homophobic person in Columbus, (Dispatch letter, April 28th.) 

While citing statistics indicating that less than 0.2% of Americans would enter into a gay marriage, she’s convinced that allowing gay marriage would be “unfair” to her and to most people because it “infringes on traditional marriage.” 

I agree that many things in this world are unfair and should be corrected but she failed to explain just how that gay couple, down the street, affects her in any way whatsoever.

“Nobody wants ObamaCare” but 7,100,000 sign up for it

1 Apr

When you spend months working for something and then win, it’s a truly joyous feeling.

Both times Obama got elected I experienced that rush.  And I experienced it again today when he announced that 7.1 million had signed up for ObamaCare.

Over the past week I’ve spent 34 hours calling people on the phone and asking if they need help signing up for health insurance.  The only real help I could offer, outside of answering a few basic questions, was to give them the healthcare.gov website and the 24-hour phone number for them to call to sign up.

And it’s a good feeling when you find some poor soul who is in desperate need of insurance and has no idea what to do, who has never heard of ObamaCare, and if he has, he thinks it was repealed.

When you get someone like that on the phone and hear them thanking you for calling, you can tell you have just altered their life in a positive way.  And that’s pretty much the way those 34 hours of my life went.

Of course there was that one guy yesterday, the last day of open enrollment.  I was on the phone from noon to 8 pm.  On the third call I made, he answered, and I explained that I was calling to see if he had health insurance or if he needed any help signing up.

He immediately started complaining because we were wasting government money calling people about a health care plan that “nobody needs and nobody wants.”

When I informed him that I was an unpaid volunteer, that no government money was being spent, and that 18 years ago, long before the Affordable Care Act, when I was out of work for 6 months, no insurance company would sell me insurance because I had diabetes, he accused me of lying.  He was sure that they would have sold me a policy, but at a higher price.  But back then I wanted insurance and my broker said that no insurer would even offer a quote.

When I said that many people I had been talking to wanted insurance and couldn’t get it without ObamaCare, he again said I was lying and hung up on me.

I went ahead and called the next person on my list.

But you know what?  I still have his phone number and his address.

It’s going to feel good when I send a note, to his home, saying that evidently 7.1 million did want it and bought it, that millions more signed up for it through Medicaid Expansion, (and likely millions more would have signed up if the other 24 states had expanded Medicaid), and over 3 million more kids under age 26 got added to their parents’ insurance.

Though it’s still too soon to know for sure, the best estimate so far is that 9½ million fewer people are uninsured now than before ObamaCare.

Maybe some people wanted it after all.

Today is a good day to be an American.

Let’s all vote

14 Mar

Letters to the Editor

Columbus Dispatch, 

What’s wrong with opening the polls for early voting from 11 am to 8 pm Wednesday through Sunday? 

Secretary of State, Jon Husted, has set the hours to be from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday, but for those who have normal work hours that is problematic. 

Both scenarios offer 45 hours per week to vote, but only one of them offers evening and weekend hours to make it convenient for most people.

ObamaCare — over 4 million copies sold

14 Mar

Letters to the Editor

Columbus Dispatch,

In the first sentence of Friday’s lead editorial, (March 14th), you say the Affordable Care Act “killed jobs, raised costs and generated turmoil” in the nation’s health care industry.  But not a single example of a job lost, or a cost raised was included.

There was turmoil generated, but that was the result of outright lies, half truths, and fabricated horror stories told by politicians who worried about losing their own jobs when the voters discovered the true benefits of the ACA that those politicians voted to repeal 50 times.

In the last sentence you say Americans “can’t afford” the health insurance offered by the ACA.  Again, not a single example.

I realize that the word “Opinion” is printed above your editorial, so you aren’t constrained by facts.  I’m sure that is helpful to you.

For the past year I, and thousands of other ‘Get Covered America’ volunteers, have been reaching out to people without health insurance to help them get covered.

I have yet to find anyone who can’t afford health insurance through the ACA.

I have found many who tell me that it is a “life altering experience to finally be able to get covered and not worry about what would happen” if they got really sick or injured.

And I found some who had heard the lies and simply didn’t believe it was possible to get quality, affordable coverage until they saw the actual options available to them.

Let me know how many examples you want and I will be happy to provide their names and contact information.

More guns make schools safer?

27 Dec

Letters to the Editor

Columbus Dispatch,

I just love it.

In Thursday’s letter B. Sutton Coffman criticizes Toby Hoover’s earlier letter that suggested gun laws in this country are too lax, by saying “It would be nice if there were some facts to support that position, rather than Hoover’s nebulous claims.”

He then proceeds to list several of his own nebulous claims, conjectures, and opinions without offering a single fact to support any of them.

Let me offer just two facts and ask him to draw his own conclusion.

If you combine the populations of Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia, you’ll get a population close to that of the United States.  We had over 30,000 gun deaths last year; they had less than 1,500.

Is that because Americans are more homicidal by nature, or could it be because those countries have stricter gun control laws?

The number of gun deaths per 100,000 of population in the U. S. is 10.3.  Japan’s rate is 0.06.  We are 172 times less safe.

Dave Girves

Bit by bit, more guns in Ohio

11 Dec

Letters to the Editor

Columbus Dispatch,

I respond to the response in the Tuesday letter “Concealed-carry does not boost violence.”  In it Lawrence Ferraris quotes statistics about the number of murders in Ohio compared to Illinois.

It isn’t simply ‘concealed-carry’ or ‘stand-your-ground’ laws that our legislators propose at the behest of the gun manufacturers.  Bit by bit, they make it easier and easier for more and more guns to be on our streets and in our homes.

While that certainly boosts their profits, it does little to protect our safety.

I would suggest Mr. Ferraris look at the bigger picture’s statistics.

If you combine the populations of Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, and Australia, you’ll get a population close to that of the United States.  We had over 30,000 gun deaths last year; they had less than 1,500.

Is that because Americans are more homicidal by nature, or could it be because those countries have stricter gun control laws?

The number of gun deaths per 100,000 of population in the U. S. is 10.3.  Japan’s rate is 0.06.  We are 172 times less safe.

Dave Girves