Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016

Supports Trump’s plans

Before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in on January 20, 2017, a few obvious dangers face the future of our constitutional republic. The national debt combined with the unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare will exceed $20 trillion. Trump’s appointee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, understands that Medicare will not become more solvent if the Affordable Care Act is not repealed and replaced. His replacement plan, formerly called H.R. 3200, will provide a safety net for individuals with preexisting medical conditions, and it will provide a more free market approach to health care. Trump’s tax plan includes cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent and reducing federal regulations on U.S. businesses. Hopefully, the labor force participation rate will increase, and more Americans will be hired on a full-time basis as significantly more currency and jobs will come from overseas or stay within our borders.

Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, once settled a $7 million lawsuit against the Ku Klux Klan in Alabama, which essentially abolished their existence. He also was influential in desegregating the school system in Alabama. When the news media calls someone controversial, just remember that actions speak louder than words.

I also support President-elect Trump’s efforts in strengthening our military, supporting and respecting law enforcement on all levels, protecting our borders from those who jeopardize our national security, and upholding the U.S. Constitution when appointing U.S. Supreme Court Justices.

Alan H. Preston,

Macon

Forest Hill Road design

Thanks to The Telegraph for the timely announcement of the meeting regarding local government actions impacting many citizens, i.e. “Latest Forest Hills designs ready for unveiling.” Scores of citizens met Macon-Bibb County representatives and Stantec Consulting Services staff at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Dec. 9 to review the project description as presented without formal presentation although they requested preliminary citizen comments in writing.

I feel confident that many will have comments and concerns which will require a formal presentation to start to address same and try to mitigate future unsatisfactory surprises. My cursory review of the wall mounted large scale color presentation drawings indicates to me their desire to provide more information at the concept development phase than was provided on the yet-to-be finished first phase of Forest Hill Road project.

I must candidly state that I resent the design intent to try and legitimize the long ago constructed “rogue” Charter Boulevard Road ending with the “T-bone”curb cut to Forest Hill Road by adding a traffic signal. This, to me can be an impediment to traffic flow and road safety. My father and father in-law, old time farmers, would advise, “don’t let the same mule kick you twice.”

I like the idea of a possible “roundabout” at the intersection of Wimbish Road and Forest Hill Road if the design includes sensitivity with how Northminster Drive and nearby properties are integrated and handled.

Arthur D. Brook,

Macon

Media backlash?

“Trump presides over the Divided States of America.” “A strange Trumphoria rules U.S. stock market. For Now.” These are just two examples of headlines which appeared in recent editions of Time Magazine. Just two examples of how biased media are dumping on President-elect Trump. And the liberal press can’t figure out why their popularity is so low right now? Can’t understand how the backlash against their anti-Trump stance, day after day after day, has finally caught up with them? Thank God for Fox News and other conservative news outlets.

Jerry Norris,

Warner Robins

Cross your fingers

We’ve all read that only two big health insurers are offering plans in Georgia now, and I’ve just reviewed them. I found last year that, as a person with income and saving for retirement, I had to add back all the income I didn’t actual get, and the subsidy I’d had all year had to be repaid with my taxes. So I looked for a more affordable plan. What I found was upsetting. The biggest insurer we’re all familiar with had plans at good prices, and their website showed good hospital and doctor coverage. But the Healthcare.gov website revealed that neither one of the medical centers in Macon were “in network.” Neither were the vast majority of doctors in Macon. It turns out, you have to buy your plan privately, not through the “exchange,” to have any meaningful coverage. And that costs a lot more.

Checking the other insurer we have in Georgia, at least one of the large hospitals was included, and most local doctors as well. But, the premium was double or triple what I had found with the first insurer. And if I had to repay my subsidy again, we’re talking thousands of dollars more, on top of the thousands already paid in premiums.

So I guess with no medical problems on the horizon and no prescription medicine to take, I’ll skip insurance for this year and pay the penalty instead.

It’s clear to me that the Affordable Care Act has reached the end of it’s run. It could only have succeeded if the Medicaid expansion had been applied everywhere, with the discounts on services and drugs that would have brought.

From what I read, our next president hasn’t thought through what he wants to do, and the party which now should be able to change things is still arguing after years of talking without coming up with something workable. If you watch where the latest things in medicine come from, and which countries are in the top 10 in providing every sort of health care in a timely and successful manner, we are dropping fast in the rankings. I know the 40 percent overhead and profit in our system (versus the 7 percent to 10 percent in the private systems in Europe; yes, there are some) is “the American way,” but we’ve got to figure out how to do it better.

Meanwhile, I made sure to get my flu shot and guess I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

Fred Brown

Macon

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