Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, Nov. 17, 2014

Sick and tired

One of the letters on the Nov. 13 Viewpoints page really stuck in my craw. The writer said he’s sick and tired of people showing a lack of respect for President Obama. As an example, he cited opposition to the so-called Affordable Care Act and implied that such behavior is racially motivated. He also remarked that President George W. Bush was not treated as badly as President Obama.

I’ll begin my rebuttal by saying that I’m also sick and tired of people who ascribe opposition to President Obama’s policies to racism. Attributing opposition to or support of political issues and candidates to racial bigotry is one of the main ingredients of our continued racial divisiveness. These retorts are insulting, especially when regurgitated by people who refuse to accept that others can disagree for legitimate reasons that have nothing to do with ancestry. It’s really nothing more than a convenient excuse for avoiding a meaningful dialogue.

Electing an African -American president has long been a necessary part of our nation’s healing process, and I would enthusiastically support any minority candidate who shares my values and has a proven record of effective executive leadership. The color of the president’s skin is so irrelevant as to be unworthy of mention. It just so happens that Barack Obama and I do not share the same values and our ideas for restoring us to greatness are diametrically opposed. In my opinion, he’s also displayed an almost unprecedented lack of leadership on both the domestic and foreign fronts. If you think the ACA or the way he’s managed immigration or foreign affairs are worthy examples of his executive abilities, we’re on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

The assertion that President Obama is being treated with less respect than President Bush is laughable. Perhaps the writer was in a coma for the duration of President Bush’s two terms and wasn’t able to hear or read how he was relentlessly ridiculed by critics on the left. President Obama has been disparaged for his position on major issues, his habit of trying to lead from behind, and for overstepping his constitutional authority, but I’ve never heard of him being called stupid.

Finally, the writer needs to understand why so many people are bashing the ACA. It has nothing to do with racism, disrespect for the president, or denial of the need to reform health care. The law was crammed down our throats by the president and a Democratic Congress who refused to give the slightest consideration to input from Republicans who were told to sit down and shut up. As a result, this misguided effort has caused millions to lose their preferred plans in exchange for less coverage, much higher premiums and deductibles, and limited freedom of choice. Now we’re hearing from an insider that proponents were relying on the “stupidity of voters” and a lack of transparency to enact the ACA. Does the writer really believe these aren’t valid reasons to be indignant?

-- Steve Wooley


ACA a blessing

Linda Morris recently wrote an article that said health-care reform has been “rocky” for some local residents. However, all of those who cited problems had chosen Blue Cross as their insurance provider. My wife and I also signed up for a policy through Healthcare.gov but we chose Humana, and our experience has been quite different.

In the article, a man complained that the Medical Center of Central Georgia, as well as Piedmont and Emory hospitals in Atlanta, wouldn’t accept “Obamacare.” In fact, they don’t accept the policy offered by Blue Cross, but they do accept Humana policy.

Until this year, we also had a Blue Cross policy. We never liked it, but couldn’t find anything better due to pre-existing medical conditions. Last year when we were considering policies through the exchange, our insurance agent advised us to go with Humana because Blue Cross planned to shrink its network when the ACA went into effect. We have yet to find a health-care provider who won’t accept our insurance, and Humana has paid every claim. Blue Cross never paid anything, they just added claim amounts to our deductible, which was $5,100. Our deductible is now $2,500 and the premium is over $200 per month lower.

For our family at least, the ACA has been a blessing.

-- Steve Allen


Treated the same

Enjoyed AC Pup’s article about military dogs and fully support and see nothing wrong with these loyal, dedicated, hard-working dogs being given the same kudos as given to our human military members. Veterans Day is meant to honor all members of the military, and including the wonderful dogs who work side by side with their military handlers does not in any way diminish the day. I thank each and every member of the military, both human and canine, for their dedicated service to our country.

-- K.E. Cox

Warner Robins

Helping the homeless

The Nov. 6 article about Arnold Abbott and his recent trouble with the Fort Lauderdale, Florida police concerning the feeding of the homeless is a great story that highlights an issue here in the Macon area.

According to a 2013 Census Bureau report, 33.4 percent of Macon residents live below the poverty line while the state in comparison has a rate of 17.4 percent. In 2009, the National Coalition for the Homeless published an article linking homelessness and poverty.

There are many efforts to overcome homelessness in our area. In 2002, Georgia created the 10 Year Interagency Homeless Action Plan. In 2004, Gov. Sonny Perdue signed the executive order creating the Georgia Interagency Homeless Coordinating Council to implement the plan. Religious organizations like the Rescue Mission of Middle Georgia and Loaves and Fishes Ministry of Macon provide food, clothing, housing, transition assistance and faith-based counseling. Secular organizations like Daybreak, Georgia Alliance to End Homelessness and the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank provide policy advocacy, food assistance, technical/job training, housing/transportation referral services and medical assistance.

With this network of organizations, why haven’t we ended chronic homelessness? We need more partnership between government, academia, commercial business and nonprofits. We need to meet the needs at the neighborhood level, integrating the network of providers who are providing assistance at the point of need.

Thank you for the great article on Abbott. He is dedicated to caring for the homeless in his community, and we should take his story and make it ours here in Middle Georgia.

-- Rodney McCraine

Warner Robins