Reader letters Dec. 16

Dec 13, 2013

God is in all experiences

To the editor:

While reading a part of the Christmas story in the article (Dec. 11th) by Richard Ploch, I was happy he reminded us of the human side of it.

The smells of the shepherds and the animals in that manger were not the best in the world, I am sure.  And yes, Mary may have been asking Joseph to please go out and buy them a deodorizer to hang in the manger.

I quote his last special paragraph, “From God to the angel, from the angel to the shepherds, from the shepherds to the world and that’s now our story to tell to everyone we know.”

And,  yes, I believe we need to be reminded of the smells also. God is here in all the experiences of our world with His purposes and love.

Lucy N. Adams

Lake Junaluska

Let’s learn about other cultures

To the editor:

Wow. Bethel Middle school is doing an educational presentation about cultural diversity and the celebration of different holidays in different religions and some local ministers have a problem with it?

Public schools are for the public, right? They would want to include all religions, races and thought groups, correct? Why would it not be OK with anyone to educate on some of these ancient traditions?

To say that a Christian “rebuttal” is needed is laughable. You would have to live under a rock in this country not to know about the origins of Christmas and the birth of Christ.

Bravo to Bethel Middle for exposing the kids to this wonderful opportunity for an excellent and thoughtful education opportunity.

If they do leave having learned a little bit more about tolerance, who could fault that?

In the spirit of Christmas, as I happen to be a Christian, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and hope that in new year we can work together to enhance more learning opportunities in our schools for building and living in communities.

Happy holidays.

Nancye Buelow


Insurance program, process was great

To the editor:

I went with my friend to the Asheville Blue Cross/Blue Shield office to explore her options under the Affordable Care Act.

I was impressed with the knowledge that Marisa had in navigating their site so Linda could compare the different plans and cost.

We left very happy knowing she was now able to acquire insurance and at a very affordable rate, as of Jan. 1.

I personally cannot understand how the politicians in our state can justify their actions to deny any opportunity to assist the uninsured and poor from acquiring insurance.

They refused to set up an insurance exchange for North Carolinians.

They refused to extend Medicaid for the poor even though the cost was free for the first three years and would only be charged 10 percent of the federal cost after that.

We need to have politicians who are much more compassionate for the plight of the uninsured and poor in our state.

Joe Vescovi


Comments (6)
Posted by: Ron Rookstool | Dec 14, 2013 09:14

You are right on, Joe. It is always good to read and hear about the successes of the ACA. And this is only the beginning.  Time will undoubtedly prove the naysayers wrong. Mark my words. Yes the State Republicans are so afraid ACA will work and they have done everything in their power to try to derail all the good things our President has done for the 95%.  

Posted by: Joseph Edwards | Dec 15, 2013 08:37

Joe I have to say that you were one out of thousands that was able to achieve what you set out to do.  GOOD FOR YOU...

Mike Edwards


Posted by: Scott Lilly | Dec 16, 2013 15:57

Mr. Edwards, be sure to realize Mr. Vescovi's testimony was that he simply accompanied a partially anonymous friend to the Blue Cross Blue Shield office to learn that insurance was available to her after January 1.  There is no detail to determine if insurance is available to Linda before January 1 or why insurance would not be available for her.  There was no representation that "Linda" made any purchase or that she even intends to purchase insurance.  As well, Mr. Vescovi describes his opinion that the insurance was "affordable" but gave no details as to what that means to him or if "Linda" agrees that it is "affordable".


An interesting perspective I found last week.  A relatively wealthy man had cancer.  He spent his fortune to extend his life perhaps another 6 months before ultimately succumbing to cancer.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not a million) of his own money together with his insurance money and cancer still beat him.  It was a choice he made to spend his fortune for a few extra months that were in agony.  I pause to wonder: if the government were in charge of his insurance, what would have been different?  We don't have enough public funding to pay for this kind of end-of-live expense for every American.  Heck, we barely have enough public funding to cover Social Security and quality teachers.

Posted by: Joe Vescovi | Dec 17, 2013 08:02

Wow, Mr. Lilly surely does not want to believe the ACA helps people.  I personally did not think to say something good would require so much detail.  Yes, Linda purchased the insurance.  Yes, because of her income and the federal subsidy it was very affordable for her. No, she could not get it before the ACA for an affordable price.  Why is it some would rather see people have to go without insurance and lose everything because of medical bills?

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Dec 17, 2013 09:00

To clarify my position: Mr. Lilly would like the poor and uninsured to better themselves so they might want to afford insurance and not have to depend on the law that says a hospital cannot refuse anyone who walks in and cannot pay -- perhaps like the Circles of Hope program teaches.


Thank you, Mr. Vescovi, for the additional information.  It would be interesting detail to hear how this is finally happening.  Since "Linda" is anonymous to us, please tell us exactly what "affordable" is and how much we are paying toward Linda's subsidy.  Also, I would like to know how this works financially.  (Did she write a check to BCBS?  Does she get billed monthly?  What are the payment terms and what happens if she misses a payment?  Does she pay everything and then get a refund for the "subsidy" or does BCBS get to take from public funds monthly on Linda's behalf?)  Perhaps we only need this kind of detail to see how specific cases of the ACA "helps people".

Posted by: Scott Lilly | Dec 17, 2013 09:23

Ms. Buelow, Although I think your statement rings true in Haywood County: "You would have to live under a rock in this country not to know about the origins of Christmas and the birth of Christ." But today, half of the young "Christians" out there beyond Haywood County will tell you Christmas is the celebration of Santa Claus.  (Case in point: I know a Jewish family who put up a Santa Claus and tree for the holiday!)  That condition is somewhat new.  Perhaps including a formal and continuing reminder about the birth of Christ is not such a bad idea -- even if only generically in a public school setting.  Merry Christ-mas!

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