Letters to the Editor: May 20
May 19, 2009 · 3:55 PM
Health care reform
Event on May 30
Got some time on May 30 for a good cause?
As our health insurance premiums continue to soar, the Obama administration and Congress have committed to find a way to reduce costs and cover the nearly 50 million Americans who, in this most affluent of nations, have no medical coverage.
The heart of the proposed reform is a public insurance plan that could be chosen as an alternative to those offered by private insurers. Even though this is not a case of government taking over health care — participants choose their providers and doctors and hospitals remain independent — lobbyists for the private insurance industry are hard at work trying to cut this core component out of the proposal.
Such a public plan would be the most cost-effective way to cover the uninsured as well as relieve those of us who increasingly have to settle for insurance with such high deductibles that, except in emergencies, it’s like having no insurance at all.
Insurance companies that have contributed heavily to the campaigns of our congressional leaders are twisting their arms, trying to get the public plan option off the table. We need to counter their efforts and persuade Congress to put the public’s needs first.
Here in Washington, more than 125 groups have come together to organize a major march and rally on Saturday, May 30, in Seattle to support affordable health care for all. If enough of us join in, perhaps we can demonstrate so much support that our leaders will not be able resist the pressure and will vote for this sensible option.
The march begins at 12:30 p.m. at Pratt Park on Capitol Hill (18th and Yesler) and will proceed to the rally at Westlake Center. Details can be found at www.may30march.org. Come on along. It might even be fun!
— Richard Bard
Big contributors still run the game
Hefty majorities of people of all parties want a government-run health insurance option, yet our leaders in Congress declare that it is “off the table.”
A bill to allow renegotiation of mortgages to avoid foreclosures is solidly supported by a majority of Americans, yet it fails to pass in Congress. What is going on here?
It is a well-established fact that those who contribute the most to election campaigns get more consideration than those who don’t. Since only about half of 1 percent of us regular folks contribute substantial amounts ($200 or more) to campaigns, it is easy to see why we get short shrift. Candidates really need those contributions and will take them wherever they can get them. Members of Congress spend 30 to 50 percent of their time raising money instead of doing the work we elected them to do. The average senator needs to raise $7,000 every day for six years to have enough to run next time!
For a paltry sum of about $5 apiece, we could pay for those campaigns and have Congress working full-time and directly accountable to us. Elections could be won by the candidate with the best ideas, not the most money. Sound too good to be true?
The Fair Elections Now Act, now before Congress, will accomplish this. Learn about it at www.washclean.org.
Our elected officials know who their benefactors are and will not act on this unless they hear from a lot of us. Call or e-mail your representative and senators and tell them to support this bill — and spread the word!
This is not a party issue. If you feel that your voice is not being heard, this is for you. No matter what your favorite issue, don’t expect action now if it happens to conflict with a major player. We can take our democracy back if we act together.
— Terry Sullivan
Owner has right to locate it there
Hang in there, Karen.
The May 13 article in The Beach-comber, along with a letter by Gary Sipple, malign a longtime Vashon resident. For what? Opening a liquor store in the center of Vashon.
My initial reaction was that this was the normal Vashon aversion to change. How dare Karen Lindskog think she has the right to apply for a state contract and move the liquor store to property she owns in the town center, without community input? In the view of Mr. Sipple, Karen is “selfishly ignoring the betterment of our town” by using “valuable space in midtown Vashon” for a liquor store.
Contrast the gracious response of Dr. Jon Willem, who notes that the move will serve Eyeland Optical well, with the complaints of Ken Zaglin, owner of John L. Scott (JLS). As a real-estate professional I would expect that Mr. Zaglin would know the benefits and drawback each party assumes in a month-to-month lease. In addition, I would assume he is aware that “improvements” made by a tenant belong to the owner of the property.
Curiosity aroused regarding the players, I Googled “Sipple Vashon.” Surprisingly the fourth result was for “Nancy Sipple-John L. Scott.”
Clarity. Gary Sipple…Nancy Sipple, JLS…JLS, Ken Zaglin, Owner. Finally, JLS…Beachcomber large advertiser.
So Karen, keep your head up. This tempest will end. However, in the meantime watch your back. The favorite pastime of disgruntled Keepers of All Things Vashon is to make anonymous complaints to various government agencies. Keep in mind that you will be operating a legal business in properly zoned property.
Contrary to widely held beliefs on this Island, you do not need to request permission from anyone to “allow” you to do what you plan to, except of course the various licensing and permitting agencies.
— Scott Hitchcock