Health insurance, non-partisan elections this week’s topics
UNTYING HEALTH INSURANCE FROM JOBS
Do you know anyone who is working or has worked at a job they didn’t like because their medical benefits were tied to their job?
Can you imagine what it would be like for that person to wake up one morning and discover that they were no longer dependent on their job for medical insurance? I suspect that many of those people would head for the door. Some of those folks would certainly find jobs in a more suitable situation and be happier in their time at work, a plus for both the worker and employer, and that employer’s customers. Others would undoubtedly start a new business and who knows where that would lead. Employers would be relieved of the financial burden and time required to managing health care. Seems to me that it could be a win for all of us.
Jim Leschke, Rhinelander
AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
President Trump’s attack on the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA and Obamacare) has a Wisconsin angle. Our congressman, Rep. Sean Duffy and Sen. Ron Johnson are cheering the president’s actions. They were among those in Congress who tried to kill the ACA, even though their effort failed. As one of their constituents who has contacted them about healthcare, I have received form letters from each of them stating their position on the issue. Those letters are full of falsehoods. For example, they say that the ACA is causing large premium increases because of its fundamental flaws. Premiums are not rising because of the ACA’s flaws. The insurance companies have made clear in statements widely reported to the public that they are raising premiums because of the threats to the ACA by President Trump and elected representatives like Duffy and Johnson. That is, the companies felt they had to raise premiums in case their costs went up from damage to the law if the attacks by Congress and the president were successful.
The president’s order to end health insurance subsidies will by itself cause one million people to lose health insurance in just the next year and could lead to the collapse of the ACA, which would end health insurance for tens of millions of people. The ACA isn’t perfect. No law that complex could be. But it has helped millions of people get insurance who previously couldn’t afford it. I was one of those people. I’m a hardworking communications professional in the medical industry but I never made enough money to afford insurance. The subsidy provided by the ACA enabled me to buy a decent policy at a fair price. I was 64 at the time — not a good age to be without insurance. I was so grateful that the government was looking out for me and other hardworking people who couldn’t afford our country’s high-priced insurance (we have the most expensive health insurance in the world, by far).
We need representatives in Washington who work for our interests instead of carrying out petty acts of revenge against the other party. Duffy and Johnson don’t care about how many people get hurt as long as their party wins. We must do better!
Alan Reder, Elcho
A CALL FOR NON-PARTISAN CANDIDATES
Ever thought of serving on a school board or in local government – town or city or at the county level? The spring election for these levels of public office will take place April 3, 2018; a spring primary, if needed, would be Feb. 20.
In order to have one’s name placed on the ballot for the spring election 2018 the following forms need to be completed: registration form, declaration of candidacy, and nomination papers.
All three forms can be obtained from the municipal or county clerk or downloaded from the Wisconsin Election Commission at http://elections.wi.gov/candidates/local/non-partisan. The registration and declaration of candidacy forms must be completed and returned to the clerk before nomination papers for signatures can be circulated.
The nomination papers can be circulated starting Dec. 1 and need signatures from qualified electors with their voting residence in the appropriate town, city or county. Nomination papers with legible signatures must be returned to the clerk no later than 5 p.m. Jan. 2, 2018 for the candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot.
Please consider running for a local non-partisan office. The process is not complicated and can be done with the school district, municipal or county clerk.
Yolan Mistele, Director
League of Women Voters of the Northwoods