Obamacare not 'deeply flawed'
February 15, 2017 | View PDF
Steve Hansen’s Jan. 18 column — “Caution vital for Obamacare fix” — was off in several areas.
There was no Republican participation in designing the plan. Their agenda was to deny Obama any success, despite what the country needed.
There was wide input by health, insurance and the pharmaceutical industry.
To start with, Obama stayed in the background. He became involved by request because of the death of Ted Kennedy and the likely chances a Republican, Scott Brown, replacing him and imperiling the chances of the Affordable Care Act passing.
That was the reason for the “speed up.”
It is not a “deeply flawed event.” The number of uninsured people in the U.S. is the lowest it has ever been, and the rate of health care costs have been slowed over previous rates.
There are flaws in the law, which had to be included at the insistence of various interests (goaded on by Republicans) to get it passed.
Perfect, no, but better than anything Republicans have come up with before or since.
Republicans have had seven years to come up with a plan and the Congressional Budget Office says the ones discussed will drastically increase the deficit over 10 years and increase the number of uninsured. They will probably have some plans that are cheap but have high deductibles that basically make them worthless.
Now the insurance plans have to meet certain standards, that will probably be lowered or eliminated. And if they succeed in eliminating Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the contracts will baffle a Philadelphia lawyer.
The informed opinion right now is that Republicans cannot come up with a better plan that covers everyone at a cheaper price. I am sure Trump can apply some “alterfacts” that will reveal something absolutely amazing that no one ever thought possible.
Borehole project not worth it
Do you want nuclear waste in your back yard? Would financial compensation make it more appealing?
The Department of Energy has targeted our county. Drilling boreholes into the ground, DOE contractors are seeking our approval to test for nuclear waste storage possibilities.
This proposed science project is the predecessor to a nuclear dump that would be sited in our community. If sited, all land and livelihood within at least a 50-mile radius would be negatively impacted. This area extends beyond Tucumcari, takes in most of Quay County, parts of Union, San Miguel, Curry, Harding, and a distance into Texas.
Money? They promise $40 million worth of estimated income to Quay County. However, virtually no materials or equipment is going to come from Quay County so no tax revenue from sales. Income tax from jobs will go to the state. Our cut of gross receipts taxes would give us a tax income of $100,000 per year over five years. Worth a nuclear dump?
Jobs? These contractors have management positions filled by out-of-state professionals taking their wealth with them when they go.
Education? Educators are lured with opportunity for youth to gain knowledge in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Do we need to build a nuclear dump in our back yard to give our youth an education?
Contracts? If you believe we can have our cake and eat it, too, by writing iron clad contracts, be certain, there is no such thing. Dennis Nielson is president of DOSECC Exploration Services, working with the Energy Department and ENERCON to develop the Nara Visa project. When asked about the site being used for nuclear waste storage in the future, Nielson said, “You can always figure out a way. The federal government can get around anything" (from a Jan. 7 Santa Fe New Mexican article).