Aug. 23 reader letters

Aug 22, 2013

Our Affordable Care Act(ions)

To the editor:

Crisis management is not a good way of doing business, as evidenced by our legislators.  Let’s be responsible and do our part to reduce the cost (15 to 20 percent of America’s spending) of health care.  Let’s not wait for the crisis of a heart attack, stroke or diabetes to cause a change in our health habits.

Let’s be sane and not expect wellness despite our poor health habits.  We all should be athletes in training for the game of life.  True, a person who is genetically handicapped or has a malady faces a stiffer challenge.  The simple wisdom of eating smart and moving more will help preclude the aforementioned problems.

Healthy Haywood will soon offer its annual Fitness Challenge, from Sept. 30 to Nov. 8.  The generic challenge is to commit to a lifetime of healthy habits -- after getting started in this bargain priced ($10) six weeks program.  You get to try out local vendors and find new habits that benefit mind, body and soul.

Are you ready?!  Let’s be inspired and inspire others.

Damian Bud Dirscherl


Brace for higher property taxes after state cuts

To the editor:

They, the legislature and governor, have bullied and hurt women, but no matter, you’re a man.

They also hurt the kids, but you’re too old for that to be a problem. Clearly you’re not a person of color either, so voting restrictions and such don’t matter.

And you’re not poor, so those people will just have to fend for themselves as usual. Out of sight, out of mind.

As a white southern man you’re in the clear, unaffected by whatever mischief those in Raleigh are up to. Except, wait a minute, they are hitting your wallet in a big way. You just haven’t realized it yet, which makes you look foolish and stupid.

As a middle-class homeowner it’s your turn to be the target. Local property taxes are rising across the state as local governments cope with less state funding. Income taxes were cut so the only way to make up for that loss is higher local property taxes.

The bills have to be paid. Buncombe County raised property taxes 7 percent. Are you paying attention now? Are you ready to fork over more money to local government? Of course anybody in Haywood County suggesting higher property taxes will get landed on with both feet.

Regardless of circumstance we must live within our means. This translates into fewer local government jobs and services, and tossing foolish projects like the planned annexation at Lake Junaluska.

There is no other solution. And sadly, the schools will have to do more with less. If this means larger class sizes in addition to other cost cutting measures, then so be it. We can’t allow ourselves to live in some fantasy world where everything is perfect and there is an unending stream of funding.

Otherwise we will travel the road to gradual, step by step, personal bankruptcy. Happy now with our Republican overlords? Lollipop anyone?

John Buckley



Many benefit from health care reform

To the editor:

A recent letter to The Mountaineer stated “the catastrophe that is coming when Obama Care takes effect.” We know that the Republicans are trying to stop this law before it is fully implemented, but there are thousands of people who are already reaping the benefits of this law.

In 2008, because of the recession, several million people in this country lost their jobs along with their employer provided health insurance.

Most could not afford to find affordable health insurance for themselves and their families, made more difficult for some because of pre-existing conditions.

For them, this was a catastrophe. You have to ask yourself “Is the best way to obtain your health insurance through your employer?” The Affordable Health Care Act solves this dilemma.

Obamacare was developed to make medical care much more accessible to people who could not afford insurance previously. This law may not be perfect, but has many good features, so at least we should give it a try and then have the opportunity to improve it where necessary.

I know that in some circles it is regarded as socialism, but we already have Medicare, a single payer system and Social Security, both run well by the government.

I know of no one who is not happy to have access to both at age 65. I believe that most people who are against Obamacare have never had to try buy individual health insurance which for most people can be prohibitively expensive and often comes with exclusions and large deductibles of up to $10,000.

If we all had insurance it would cost us less due to the size of the insurance pool. If you already have insurance that you like, you can keep it.

All of our politicians have excellent health care coverage. Surely we, who pay their salaries through our taxes should be entitled to the same.

Mary Cortvriend.