Letters to the editor - Tuesday (10-15-2013)

  • Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:18 a.m.

Commission should reconsider VSO move

From two Salisbury Post editions:

Sept. 12: County Manager Gary Page proposes eliminating the county Veterans Services Office part-time clerical position and cutting County Veterans Services Officer Elaine Howle from full time to part time at 19 hours a week. Reason given for these actions is “to free up funds for other departments.” With these cuts Page said the county will save around $26,000 a year.

Oct. 8: Commissioners voted 4-1 to reduce Howle to part time at 19 hours a week, while adding two part-time positions. Commissioner Caskey said the change would boost the Veteran Services Office from 40 to 57 hours a week. (How is that different in total hours than the sum of Ms. Howle’s 40-hour week and the part-time clerical worker’s hours?) Page said, “technically her (Ms. Howle’s) salary would be two for one and her benefits would just about fund the third one.”

So how is the county saving $26,000 a year? We will now just have three part-time workers instead of one full-time and one part-time employee — with a little increase in cost, according to my interpretation of Mr. Page’s words in the Oct. 8 paragraph referenced above. With three part-time employees, who will be in charge? Who will be held responsible for the department? What is the performance motivation?

To me, the net result of these actions by Page and the commissioners has only been to remove Ms. Howle from her full-time position, not to save the county $26,000. I have worked with Ms. Howle and observed that she exercised due diligence in the performance of her duties. Ms. Howle is one of us, the veterans of Rowan County. She, like us, served her country with active military service; and she has served Rowan veterans diligently. But her service to veterans will be severely constrained under the part-time employee arrangement voted on by our county commissioners. I urge Mr. Page and the commissioners to reconsider the impact of their actions on the veterans of Rowan County.

— O.J. Chandler


Shutdown pain

The government of this country has been one admired by the world, partly because of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of these United States and our representatives’ past willingness to fight for the principles of these two documents. This has been the case regardless of the obvious violations of those documents committed by the bodies of Congress over the years. So why do we, the American citizens, have to be constantly hurt and suffer from the actions or inactions of Congress?

Without trying to place blame on a certain body of Congress, a president or any one political party, I would just like to mention what Washington is doing to the American people today — the people our elected officials are there to represent. First, let me remind you that you in your infinite wisdom of so-called trying to reduce the deficit are adding to the deficit by agreeing to pay federal workers furloughed by this government shutdown, which includes your pay for doing absolutely nothing. Second, a vast number of American citizens are hurting because of your decision or indecision to do the job that you were sent to Washington to do. Let me assure you we did not want, expect or bargain for the pain you are inflicting on us or this country, and you need to stop it.

— Robert Thompson


The ills of Obamacare

Obamacare is the worst law ever for women’s rights on a personal basis. I understand that there are millions of other older women in the U.S. who also have been raised to make life decisions and pay their own way.

As a retiree, I provide for my health insurance with a catastrophic policy, coupled with a health savings account. This HSA could be carried forward each year. HSAs could be used as needed or to build in value when not needed. My cost was $219 a month. As you can see, this is affordable!

Starting in January, my new plan premium will be $620 monthly, with a $5,500 deductible. One proven lie — higher premiums are not banned!

What I don’t need that is mandated: maternity care, well-baby/well-child visits, diabetes screening, domestic violence screening, breast-feeding supplies, contraceptive services, mammograms, bone-density screenings or prescription drug coverage.

For about two premium payments, here’s what I can pay for: flu shots ($20), contraceptives ($20 per shot, three times a year; up to $400 for an IUD good for 10 years), mammograms and bone-density tests ($300 every two to five years), yearly exams ($200 a year).

Yes, this is on an individual basis. This is what I determine I need for myself. The government shouldn’t force me to pay for someone else nor should the government force someone else to pay for me.

Another disgusting aspect of Obamacare is rarely talked about. The Department of Health and Human Services can snoop around in any person’s bank account and financial matters. How long before Kathleen Sebelius decides to just take money as she needs it?

In my opinion, HHS should be bounced out the door — that would be federal and state! Next to go would be Kay Hagan. She voted for this mess for us and then last week voted for herself to be exempt from the law.

— Irene Dalton


Editor’s note: There’s been much controversy and confusion about whether Congress is “exempt” from the Affordable Care Act. The ACA states that members of Congress and their personal staffers — who currently participate in the federal employees insurance program — will be required to buy insurance through the ACA exchanges. However, the Obama Administration issued a waiver early this year that says members of Congress and their personal staff will continue to receive a tax-free government contribution toward their premium, equivalent to the current contribution. This subsidy will apply regardless of income, unlike the income-based subsidies available to others who buy policies through the ACA exchanges. Hagan and other Senate Democrats rejected a House proposal that included abolishing the ACA waiver as one of the stipulations for ending the government shutdown.

Answering the call

A few weeks ago 1,000-plus Christians gathered on the streets of Salisbury to support the Rowan County commissioners’ right to pray and to protest a lawsuit brought by some citizens of Rowan County. At the same time, a few followers of Jesus were no doubt at Rowan Helping Ministries preparing a meal for the homeless, putting their understanding of the gospel into action.

I would like to suggest that if there is such an event in the future, those attending bring a dollar or two to be collected and given to a local charity such as Rowan Helping Ministries or the Community Care Clinic. In this way, those attending could demonstrate a similar response to the gospel call to help the poor and bring healing to the sick.

— Roger Hull

China Grove

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