Health care reform could save county big time
According to the article, “School district talks shortfalls at meeting,” (Times-Standard, Sept. 30, Page A1), Humboldt schools are in danger of deficit spending. Teachers have negotiated successfully for their health insurance coverage but have realized no cost-of-living increase, which means deficit spending for them and their families, as well.
In 2017, Humboldt County paid out $18 million for health insurance plans for its employees — the next year, Measure Z was necessary to compensate for a $6 million shortfall. Now consider, as it is well documented, that about 30% of money paid to insurance companies does not go for health care expenditures but instead finances profit, overhead and bureaucratic waste. It just happens that $6 million is 30% of $18 million. So imagine the savings the county (and schools, respectively) could realize by the institution of a single payer healthcare system that cuts out profit and enormously reduces overhead (no advertising, no corporate pay-outs, no obscene CEO salaries and bonuses).
Consider taking the county as well as all businesses out of the business of health care so that endless union squabbles over that benefit becomes moot — becomes an entity that every resident can depend on for life. No one would ever be denied care because of loss of employment, poverty, race, marital status or preexisting conditions.
Our current healthcare non-system is inequitable, ineffective and inefficient. With single payer; namely, publicly financed but privately administered health care, teachers could expect normal cost-of-living raises and still have all their health needs met.
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Patty Harvey, Willow Creek
Break up the monopolies — take your world back!
I purchased a Ring doorbell system. The instructions were for use with an Android and a laptop. I have an iPhone and a Mac desktop. Ring is owned by Amazon. I just bought something from Amazon. At check out there were several places to click on the page to join Amazon Prime, but no way to avoid it and no phone number to call. I googled their phone number and talked to someone over a lot of background noise at their end. I explained that I had no interest in paying $12.99 a month for a service I can’t use. She told me all I had to do was hit the refresh button, which I did and then I checked out. Most of the goods I ordered are due to arrive, not in three days but by the end of November, two months from now. These are unfair business practices and should be illegal. Wikipedia lists 100 mergers and acquisitions by Amazon, just a few of which are; Alexa Internet, Ring, IMDb, Audible, Whole Foods, Cloud9 IDE, and CloudEndure. If you didn’t know what a monopoly was before, you should now. Elizabeth Warren wants to break up monopolies. Everyone will benefit except a handful of people like Jeff Bezos who is worth $107.8 billion and won’t end up in the poorhouse. One job of government is to keep businesses fair, honest and above board. Let’s put people who will do that back in government.
Larry DePuy, Eureka
‘We could have driven to the nearest beer joint’
It is now painfully obvious that it is long past time for our unprecedented president to be unpresidented (and, yes, that is a joke about Trump not knowing the difference between president and precedent.) As the slowly moving wheels of justice make it clear that they will one day grind him up and spit him out, our president has reacted with all the grace and aplomb of a cornered rat.There are a few here and there who are sufficiently divorced from reality to still approve of him. I’m afraid the only useful advise I can give them at this point would be to lay off the cheap liquor, at least before breakfast. Most of us have figured out that putting Trump in the White House was the national equivalent of turning over the your credit card, the keys to the new pickup, and your sixteen-year-old niece to your no-good cousin who just got out on parole. In the wake of Trump-inspired mass shooting in El Paso, we should ask how long Americans will tolerate this uncouth, unfit, and unhinged man in the White House. I’m looking at you, Speaker Pelosi.
We could have driven to the nearest beer joint and dragged some random drunk from under a table and they, after being sobered up, would be a better president. Come to think of it, he or she would probably be a better president before being sobered up.
Bruce Will, Hydesville