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Obamacare critic’s attack, like most, was disingenuous

Friday, March 7, 2014
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Obamacare critic’s attack, like most, was disingenuous

I take exception to many of the points by C.J. Guare [Feb. 14 letter] regarding Obamacare. The overall tone is that the existing health care system was perfect until Obamacare came along.

I would point out that the workload described for his family doctor existed before Obamacare came along. Additional people are only now signing up for their health plan. His plaint that doctors are getting out as fast as they can begs the question: What will they do? The average GP [general practitioner] make $166,000 a year and all the various specialists make more, sometimes much more. Does he know of any $150,000 jobs out there waiting for a retired doctor?

Mr. Guare also seems to be repeating the incorrect view that the government is providing health care. Actually, the government is providing rules and regulations for health care providers, and sign-up Web services — the federal exchanges that had the trouble — for states that refused to create their own exchanges to serve their population.

There is no single-provider plan. Obamacare is an untold number and variety of health plans in the 50 states to which the uninsured can subscribe.

There are definitely problems with Obamacare. The physician shortage is real. Some people with existing policies have been hurt by the higher requirements for health care services. However, screaming to repeal the entire law [as] each problem appears is the same as throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Total repeal would kick millions of new subscribers off health care, parents could not keep the children on their plan until age 26, and — the worst — it would again allow health care providers to discontinue the plans for people who have preexisting conditions or ones they consider too expensive to continue care.

I’ll bet Mr. Guare doesn’t know that Obamacare requires health care providers to spend 80 percent of the premiums they get on health care services. Wonder what the percentage was before Obamacare?

It’s time for both sides to get together and accept the positive parts and revise the negative parts of Obamacare. The richest country in the world should be able to find a way to provide all its citizens with proper health care.

William Wray

Niskayuna

Gazette did right by same-sex wedding

As a retired minister of a local Baptist congregation, imagine my sheer delight when I opened the “Special Bridal Section” March 2 to read about a same-gender couple’s recent wedding. It was a shining light cast against so many accounts of the hatred spewing forth from many of our country’s political and religious leaders.

In 1983, I stated for the first time in a sermon to my congregation in Ohio, that homosexuality was not a sin. As you might imagine, it was not received well. In 1998, the Schenectady church where I served as pastor for nearly 30 years, Emmanuel Baptist Friedens United Church of Christ, took the courageous stand of becoming a welcoming, open and affirming congregation — a position that put us in jeopardy with the American Baptist Denomination but fully supported by the United Church of Christ.

Members of our church joined me in working for the passage of New York’s Marriage Equality Act in 2011, as well as other important legislation. We have come a long way since that anxiously preached sermon in 1983. We still have a long way to go.

The March 1 article reminds us of the truth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,’s prophetic vision that “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice” and “darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

May the Gazette continue to shine light on this most basic human right.

Rev. Larry Phillips

Scotia

Don’t harass poor, or corner store owners

People with a craving for nicotine retrieve cigarette butts. I am a nonsmoker and fully aware of the health issues, but will give a dollar for a fresh one if asked. The person may be jobless and homeless or one of our suffering veterans. An act of kindness can also benefit all concerned.

From my point of view, the mayor’s legislative initiative [Feb. 28 Gazette, “Mayor eyes cigarette crackdown”] cracking down on loose cigarette sales as a crime-fighting tool should be recognized as feeble and a further harassment of the poor. The required entrapments of small store owners and litigation can further damage the reputation of city police, prosecutors and court, while costs will be passed on to taxpayers.

Supermarkets in neighborhoods don’t exist. The need is filled by so-called corner stores, where a single cigarette can be purchased. These stores may also sell single cookies, rolls, slices of pizza and cans of beer for those who can’t afford the full package.

Frank Wicks

Schenectady

Saratoga casino jobs worth preserving

Enough of SAVE’s [Saratogians Against Vegas-style Expansion] negative rhetoric against Saratoga Casino and Raceway!

I’ve worked there for 10 years and am not a puppet. They’ve supported me through a lot and are a great employer!

I moved here 10 years ago after falling in love with Saratoga. One week later, I was lucky enough to find a job here in HR [human resources]. I’ve had the fortune to talk with thousands of applicants, giving many a job. When the economy was a mess, we still had jobs offering great benefits and even got annual raises!

We’ve helped many people in our community, donating over $2 million to charities. We spend our paychecks downtown. We haven’t hurt the community at all, we’ve helped! Now some are claiming we’re bad for Saratoga — that’s baloney!

If the casino goes to another city, many of our guests will leave, our business will be hurt and employees will lose their jobs.

Please don’t do this to me and my fellow 630 employees. We are good people who work good jobs that we can’t afford to lose!

Danelle Healey

Ballston Spa

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