In a recent letter, Greg Russi gave three reasons to vote for Bennet and Salazar, one of them being that they voted in favor of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
He states that they helped insure 31 million more Americans who now “won’t swell the welfare rolls.” I would argue this point.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have estimated that Medicaid will see an increase in enrollment of between 15 million and 18 million new people as a direct result of the new healthcare bill. There will be another 2 million children enrolled in the CHIP program.
This bill directly swells the welfare rolls by putting more people on government funded Medicaid. In addition, many of those who won’t qualify for Medicaid and who purchase individual health insurance policies will qualify for tax subsidies to offset the premiums. This again swells the welfare rolls.
Perhaps Mr. Russi thinks that the new health care bill provides this insurance for free, but nothing could be further from the truth. The government is going to end up paying more for health care than it does now, using more of our tax dollars to do it.
In addition to the increased Medicaid population, the Center for Studying Health System Change reported in 2009 that only 40 percent of all doctors are accepting all new Medicaid patients, while nearly 30 percent of all doctors are not accepting any new Medicaid patients. With more patients and fewer doctors, access to care will be a huge problem.
There are many other points about the new health care that one could argue for and against, but saying that it will remove people from the welfare rolls is incorrect. The problem is, most of those in Congress who voted for this bill didn’t even know what was in it.
Last week Congressman Jared Polis introduced the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act in Washington, D.C. Designating wilderness requires a daring and almost oxymoronic political act, one that contemplates and values future generations and the long-term over the immediate wants of a seemingly insatiable 21st century populace.
It is an act of humility by the planet’s least humble member. It is a rejection of the notion of Earth as mere playground, or resource, in favor of Earth as life-sustaining home. It is a recognition of the wisdom of the natural world and its processes, of its bounty and beauty when left unmolested, and of its innate right to exist as it is.
In return for simply being left alone, wilderness gives back clean air, clean water, and intact ecosystems that support healthy populations of native plants and animals. And wilderness affords all people the chance to experience wild nature and radical quiet.
Thank you, Congressman Polis, for your vision – for your willingness to trade the votes of those who see wilderness solely through the narrow lens of who can ride which toys where for posterity, for the goodwill of generations to come who will thank you for your prescience, and for the gratitude the earth emanates in wilderness.
Basalt Town Council
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Imagine Glenwood and The City of Glenwood Springs is slated to host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11.