Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: Perils of Obamacare; affirmative action still needed

Letters Published: May 6, 2014

Venting about a travesty

OK, I need to vent. I have never understood how "Obamacare" is a good thing and now I'm watching my son try to follow its rules and it's so infuriating! Who in their right minds thinks this is a workable solution?

My son is an engineering degreed college graduate who just passed year two of job hunting. So much for the economy bumping up, at least in our area. He is working an interim job for $9/hour as a cashier to keep up with his auto insurance and student loan payments. He thanks my husband and I every day for giving him free room and board or he would be in a shelter.

So, March 31 was the deadline to sign up for Obamacare. He dutifully signed up for medical and dental care, which costs him $200/month. That is one third of his paycheck, so I'm not sure how anyone else is affording this. His coverage was to start yesterday, May 1. He had a previously scheduled dental appointment and rescheduled it for after May 1 so his new insurance would help with that cost. The dentist just called him and said his dental insurance requires that he pays into "their" system for six months before they will cover appointments or fillings, two years before they will cover a crown.

Oh my God. The kid is supposed to pay them for no services for six months, then they will pay a percentage of his care after that? Not. It's much cheaper for him to just pay the dentist the full amount. What a travesty this whole thing is.

Please, let one of those nimrods "in charge" come live in my basement, stand all day as a cashier, try to job hunt, and budget out his $9/hour part-time income that now includes a mandatory $200/month payment for nothing. There, I feel a little better. Not.

Dawn Schoon, Colorado Springs

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A loser with a capital 'L'

Re: Leonard Pitts column, "Dismantling the War on Drugs". With the exception of your comment regarding Obama's Affordable Care Act, I thought your commentary was spot-on. The war on drugs is a loser with a capital "L". The sooner the federal government recognizes this and starts to take prudent steps to deal with it rationally, the better off America will be.

Yes, the prisons are overflowing with non-violent petty drug offenders and the system is doing absolutely nothing to rehabilitate them, if anything preparing them for a life of more crime when they get out.

The lack of enforcement of existing laws on white-collar criminals who bilk millions and billions from innocent and unwitting victims is appalling.

Victim "A" leaves a bar and gets mugged, leaving him with a swollen lip and black eye and $10 poorer. The authorities will aggressively pursue the perpetrator who may get several months or years in jail for assault and robbery if caught. Victim "B" gets scammed for $10,000 by a cunning white-collar criminal who faces a very small chance of prosecution if caught.

If I had to, I would choose to be Victim "A" any day of the week.

Don Powers, Colorado Springs

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Playing field is not level

Affirmative action is needed now more than ever in our country! Colorado should not ban affirmative action.

In a perfect world, I would support and embrace colorblind equality as suggested by Ed Jones. We, as minorities, cannot forget, nor should we, about the injustice that minorities have endured in the past and even today. Within the last few weeks with the racist remarks from Cliven Bundy of Arizona and Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, it is evident that affirmative action is needed more now than ever.

It is unfortunate that we, as a society, are still dealing with racist, insensitive people. I believe, unless you have been a victim and experienced blatant or institutional racism, you really don't understand the scope, impact or the emotional toll minorities have faced.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently rendered a 6-2 vote, which allowed the voters to decide whether affirmative action should be used as criteria for admission to the University of Michigan. The Supreme Court took the easy way out because if they would have looked at the enrollment figures and other factors that have been used at the universities that don't use affirmative action, the minority student enrollment numbers have decreased significantly and is declining over previous years.

The Supreme Court did not take into consideration or either overlooked the fact that the politically influenced people, the wealthy, university trustees, board of regents members, and alumni make special provisions for their immediate family, friends, relatives, etc., to be admitted to certain universities without strings attached. Is that fair?

If the playing field was level and all things fair, we would not need affirmative action. The wealthy and politically connected minority are the ones who makes all the decisions for the majority which is in its sense, unfair.

I believe the minority populations (African American, Hispanics, Native Americans, handicapped, women, gays, poor Caucasians, homeless, etc. ) are not looking for handouts or special set asides. The only ones who benefit from all the privileges and special "deals" are the rich and powerful who control everything because of their wealth.

I believe all people deserve to be treated equal, fair and be given a chance to be successful. It wasn't too long ago when African Americans were denied admission to the University of Mississippi and other universities. How soon we forget that times have changed and there are now a different set of rules used to deny minorities to what they are entitled. Minorities did not create the problems, but it will take all of us who are of a sound mind and rational to demonstrate that it is indeed a possibility to achieve a colorblind society!

Ronald J. Wynn, Colorado Springs

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