Let's talk honestly
Those who receive Medicare benefits and are disappointed that Obamacare was not ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court should be thankful they did not get what they wished for.
If Obamacare had been ruled unconstitutional, Medicare would be the next to go. If the federal government does not have the power to tax people to pay for the health care of those younger than 65, how could it have the power to tax to pay for health care of people over 65?
The decision should force an honest debate about health care. Democrats will be forced to admit that it involves a tax. Republicans will have to save their "loss of liberty" rhetoric for those who don't understand the decision.
Let's ask some serious questions about Obamacare:
Who will not pay the tax? People who already have health coverage, or obtain coverage, or are exempt from obtaining coverage due to economic hardship or religious beliefs.
Who will pay the tax? First, individuals who have incomes high enough to purchase insurance but choose not to. These are the freeloaders the rest of us taxpayers pay for when they end up in the emergency room. Second, companies employing 50 or more people who don't provide employees with insurance.
How many will be taxed? Thanks to Gov. Mitt Romney, we have a sample. In 2009, fewer than 1 percent of the citizens of Massachusetts had to pay a similar tax.
Do you want to allow insurance companies to deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions and drop us if we get too sick? If the answer is yes, repeal Obamacare.
Here are some reasons
to like President Obama
Regarding the Sept. 19 letter, "There's good reason not to like Obama":
The writer says he loves all his fellow human beings but does not like President Barack Obama.
Here are a few reasons why I like Obama:
He signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act. He provided $1.4 billion to improve services to American veterans. He provided travel expenses to families of fallen soldiers so they could be at Dover Air Force Base when the body arrives. He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Act, restoring protection against pay discrimination.
Obama is the first president to endorse same-sex marriage. He signed a treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear arms. He appointed the first Latina to the U.S. Supreme Court. He cut prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients by 50 percent. He established a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He funded the Violence Against Women Act. He passed health care reform. He signed legislation to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.
I can list at least another 15 accomplishments, all of which help improve the lives of seniors, students, veterans and the everyday American.
Perhaps the letter writer can find some compassion for Obama and give him credit for the fine job he is doing.
More funding needed
to preserve open space
Regarding the Sept. 19 story, "Green Acres funds set for Barnegat Bay, Cape/State awards millions for open space, recreation":
I would like to thank the Garden State Preservation Trust for approving $123 million in funding for projects that will protect open space, provide parks and safeguard drinking-water supplies.
These projects will leave a legacy of open space and clean water for future generations.
However, as the story pointed out, the money represents the last of the Green Acres funding approved by voters in the 2009 bond referendum. Yet significant needs remain.
In Barnegat Bay alone, at least 15 high-priority parcels totaling 17,800 acres need to be preserved to protect water quality and wildlife habitat.
In order to protect areas such as Barnegat Bay, New Jersey needs a long-term sustainable source of funding for preservation and stewardship.
Voters agree. In a 2012 poll, 75 percent of New Jersey voters said they would support dedicating $200 million annually for 30 years to preserve open space, protect our water supply and preserve our farms and historic sites.
New Jersey has approximately 1 million acres (20 percent of the state) that are still unprotected and developable. We need to act now to protect our future.
NJ Keep It Green
want some answers
Employed taxpayers want someone to talk to us about those who have taken pay cuts and reduced work hours to keep their jobs, about those who now work two part-time jobs to make ends meet and about those who haven't gotten bonuses or raises in the past few years.
Candidates should talk about college graduates taking jobs at or near the minimum wage because there are no other jobs and they have loans to pay. They should talk about the skyrocketing costs of food, fuel, taxes, medical expenses and utilities, and about people who won't even take that minimum-wage job because they have never worked or because it's easier to receive assistance.
Talk about the 53 percent of us who are not eligible for assistance and wouldn't take it because we'll do whatever we have to do to get by. Talk about hard-working people who only have a pension or medical coverage if they pay 100 percent, not just a small contribution.
Who are politicians talking to when they assure us that things have gotten better? Have their retirement accounts eroded away? Have their incomes declined but their expenses gone up? Are they worried about the solvency of Social Security and Medicare or do they have funded pensions and guaranteed medical benefits? Are they worried about the rising cost of health insurance and health care or are they employed by a company or government body that received waivers releasing them from the requirements of Obamacare?
If Obamacare is so great why is anyone exempt? We need answers. Is it worth considering a change, remembering that the promise of change elected Barack Obama? We should have asked what kind of change.