Updated: November 4, 2013 12:11PM
I was just informed that the Blue Cross Blue Shield policy that I have had for several years and pay for myself will no longer be available after Jan. 1. I have to choose a new policy because of the Affordable Care Act.
If I want a new policy that has the same deductible and benefits as my current policy it will cost $1,200 more a year. If I want a policy that costs the same as my current policy, I will have a deductible that is 500 percent higher and less coverage and a higher copay. What happened to the statement that if I like my current plan I can keep it? It seems the Affordable Care Act is anything but affordable.
Another debacle thanks to your government.
Gary Glenn, Wilmette
Stumbling up the food chain
Our representatives in the Illinois General Assembly have shown a clear inability to deal with the state pension crisis. The logical career advancement for them is to serve as members of the United States Congress.
Gerald Weisberg, Lake View
How the shutdown hurts Chicagoans
As an employee of the federal government, I see the direct impact that this shutdown is having on the average citizen. I work at a local Social Security office on the West Side of Chicago. I have to tell recipients that come in for a benefit statement verifying their income that I cannot assist them. The impact is dire for many, who are being asked for proof of their income by other agencies that assist with light/heat bills, food stamps, unemployment benefits, and so on. I have to explain to people that because of the government shutdown, we cannot process requests for original or replacement Social Security cards or even provide them with a print out of this information.
These politicians who have fought against Obamacare all the way to the highest court and lost that fight are holding the average person hostage because they don’t like the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s nothing short of treason. Many people have misconceptions about the government and its employees, they assume we are lazy and overpaid. They don’t see how we have to get our work done in a timely fashion just like any other business. They assume we have such awesome benefits and high pay for doing nothing. Well, how many of them know or even care that federal employees have not had a pay increase in three years, meanwhile the cost of our health care has skyrocketed? If this shutdown isn’t resolved by Friday we have already been told that our paychecks on Oct. 11 will be for six days only, so “prepare yourselves” was the advice we were given. My question is, will my landlord prepare herself or will I be faced with eviction?
My final question is, where are the civic leaders in our community? This is a time of protest, a time to march, a time to have citizens register to vote and get these Bozos that don’t care and don’t have a clue out of office!
Vanessa Jenkins, Austin
In the Sun-Times editorial on Wednesday praising Obamacare and condemning the Republicans for the government shutdown, you devote less than three lines to the problem of cost. But without cost there can be no proper analysis of a program. Some $716 billion in revenue in the Medicare trust fund was removed and replaced with $716 billion in Treasury bills. Incredibly bad government accounting standards hide this debt expansion, but that money is still borrowed, adding to the debt. The cuts made to Medicare are, according to the CBO and the Medicare actuary, unsustainable. That money will have to be replaced. Another $716 billion added to the debt. So that’s $1.432 trillion in higher deficit spending over 10 years. The president insists on including cuts to doctors who see Medicare recipients in his budget estimates even though Congress has pushed those cuts off ever since the legislation was signed into law by Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Those cuts will never happen according to the CBO and Medicare actuary. That adds about a half a trillion more to the debt over 10 years.
The CBO says the debt will be 200 percent of GDP in 2037. Our entire country will collapse like Detroit under debt. The Sun-Times complains that those of us who oppose Obamacare have never put forth our own plan. That maybe true, but until we get our pre-Obamacare-sized government reduced to the point of sustainability, it is madness to discuss new spending proposals like extending health insurance to everyone. The Sun-Times wants to argue over how to best rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Gerald Shinn, Pilsen