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Letters to the editor — Saturday (3-15-2014)

This letter is a reminder for people to get health-care coverage by March 31 to be in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Now, I realize that since a majority of Rowan County residents are registered Republicans, this reminder may fall on deaf ears. After all, Republicans have been the party of “personal responsibility and every man for himself” for years. I would imagine then, that most people already have insurance since it is an act of personal responsibility.
So, if you have insurance through your employer, great. You are set. If you have a private policy, great. You are set. If you have Medicare or Medicaid, you are all set. However, if you don’t have any health-care coverage, you have until March 31, 2014, to get it. If you do not qualify for a subsidy, call a local agent and get covered or go to the BCBS website and go through the steps to get a plan. You only have to deal with the healthcare.gov website if you qualify for help in paying your health-care premiums.
So many people seem to think that the health care people are signing up for (sometimes referred to as Obamacare) is some type of government insurance. Wrong. Only people who are under 400 percent of the Federal Poverty level are eligible for advanced premium tax credits that help folks pay for part of their insurance premium to BCBS. If you are a family of four making between $23,550 and $94,200, and you are not covered by your employer, then you may qualify for a subsidy to help pay for your BCBS plan. It would be worth it to check out healthcare.gov or Google “Kaiser Family Foundation subsidy calculator” to get an idea of how affordable health-care coverage can be. Be personally responsible, follow the law, and get covered!
— Bonnie Harrell
Salisbury

Regarding the March 9 opinion piece “Why does the Republican Party persist in deifying Lincoln?” by Bill Ward:
Mr. Ward’s piece is interesting. He is not the only one puzzled as to why some Republicans deify Abraham Lincoln. According to some citizens, this is deceitful and insulting. Disrespectful and divisive public discourse and actions such as passing laws restricting voting rights seem to depict today’s Grand Old Party (GOP). Perhaps Confederate President Jefferson Davis would be a more appropriate idol.
Any impact Lincoln had on Republican character ended when Southerners of the solid South abandoned the Democrats and gained control of today’s GOP. Passage of updated versions of the 14th and 15th Amendments known today as the Civil and Voting Rights Acts was the last straw. Some Rowan County citizens remember the brief revival of the Ku Klux Klan when the acts became law in the mid-1960s.
Once upon a time in America, Republicans were known as the party of Lincoln. During his presidency, slaves were emancipated, slavery was abolished with the 13th Amendment, and the United States as a federal union was saved. Reconstruction began the healing of a nation in spite of Lincoln’s assassination.
President Lincoln’s last paragraph in his second inaugural address probably defined the mission of his party when he said,
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
The character of today’s Republican Party does not match the closing sentences of Lincoln’s last address.
— Reginald Brown
Salisbury

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