I am urging my elected officials to address the withholding of $10.4 billion in risk-adjustment payments required by the Affordable Care Act. Any increase in the health insurance premiums and co-pays for my family will be catastrophic.
My husband and I, along with nearly half of Americans, struggle with chronic disease. Nearly 70 percent of deaths each year are due to chronic disease. While I am no fan of the current health care system, the withholding of funds required by the law will make things even worse.
My representatives may think that sick people won’t vote. Think again. They should either stand with good policies for Americans or stand with Trump. They are mutually exclusive stances. I urge you to choose wisely or lose your job.
AMIE URBAN, AUSTIN
Re: July 8 article, “There’s kid in idling car? Assess before you panic.”
How about this instead? “There’s kid in idling car? Steal it!”
I’m sure the article’s author, who is also the founder of Free-Range Kids, would not truly want kids to be kidnapped by a car thief. But that’s what can happen — and has happened — when parents or caregivers in a hurry leave one or more children in cars with engines running, keys in ignition. And as far as kids needing air conditioning in order to be left in hot cars? If it’s that hot, it’s too dangerous to leave them inside the car at all.
Law enforcement stresses, time and time again, never to leave children or other dependents in unattended vehicles, or to leave keys in cars. They don’t mention exceptions. Yet, just about everyone considers himself or herself an exception.
JEANNE DEVINE, AUSTIN
Re: July 1 letter to the editor, “Property appraisals biased toward rich.”
A writer points the finger at our appraisal districts blaming them for unfair appraisals. I am no fan of the appraisal districts, but frankly, their hands are tied by our Legislature. A small number of states do not publicly disclose real estate sales information. Texas is one of them.
Without this vital information the appraisal districts are basically left to guess. That’s right: The amount you pay in taxes is based on a guess. The Legislature has repeatedly failed to pass laws to correct this unfair practice.
So, instead of looking at the appraisal districts, I suggest you contact your elected representatives to demand they back public disclosure laws. If enough of us do that, we can make it happen.
DAVID LEFFLER, AUSTIN
Re: July 12 article, “Readers honor grackles in verse, story and in a backyard.”
Are you serious? Whose bright idea was it to designate tons of print to memorialize these pests?
I didn’t see the one reason most people in Austin detest these birds: Their poop lands on our cars!
If you don’t get it off the car quickly, it can ruin your paint. So, from my point of view, the coverage you gave these birds was a waste of time.
BUD MCMULLEN, AUSTIN
Re: July 10 commentary, “Media mistaken in labeling Trump backers as cultists.”
Cal Thomas’ column on Tuesday, “Media mistaken in labeling Trump backers as cultists,” was riddled with errors of omission and commission.
First of all, the media didn’t label Trump backers as cultists; Sen. Bob Corker did, and the media reported it.
Then, he hangs the “cultist” label on supporters of Obama and Clinton, omitting a huge difference: Obama and Clinton adhered to principles of the Democratic Party. Trump violated numerous principles of the Republican Party, including free trade and legal immigration.
Finally, he ignores how Trump stokes his followers’ fears, demagouging Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, and African-Americans.
“Cult” is defined as “a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.” Trump said his followers wouldn’t care if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. That sounds awfully like a cult leader to me.
KEN RYGLER, ROUND ROCK
If you are not angry and depressed about the treatment of children on our southern border, you are not paying attention. Our rogue government has resorted to criminal kidnapping as immigration policy. Kidnapping is a crime, regardless of who does it. Failure of Congress to oversee, investigate and stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Health and Human Services’ policy of child-napping is an astonishing failure of both the executive and legislative branches of government. Only the third branch — justice — has responded; and then, only because the American Civil Liberties Union sued on our behalf to stop the criminal activity of our own government.
It is distressing to realize that there are many among us who are OK with this illegal activity by ICE and HHS. “We the people,” our Constitution begins, not “we citizens.” It charges us with preserving and protecting civil liberties for all. We regularly pledge just that: liberty and justice for all, remember?
BILLIE REANEY, AUSTIN