Union Democrat staff

Sonora bond $$ priorities skewed

To the Editor:

A radio interview with Superintendent Mike McCoy by B.J. Hanson on KVML back in July 2012 is of interest as much because of what was not said as what was. In a considerable amount of time discussing how Sonora High School would use Measure J funds, there was no mention of a new swimming pool nor any of the problems they now attribute to the existing pool. In the interview Dr. McCoy told listeners that in his stakeholder meetings with senior citizens, teachers, students and local business owners, they had expressed "overwhelming support" for upgrades of instructional facilities focusing on electrical, plumbing, roofing and energy efficiency.

Anyone who wants to listen to the interview on Measure J should go to the KVML website, http://www.mymotherlode.com/multimedia/audio/1715786/Aging-SchoolInfrastructure.html.

Sonora High School should proceed first with the work they told voters was needed and then, if there are adequate funds left over, address other "add-on" projects. And given the level of community use of the pool in the summer and past investment (last refurbished in 1994 with private funds) it seems like there should be more public input into the design if the pool is replaced. The preliminary design shows rather limited space for water play and swimming instruction.

Thomas Beck


Watch out for Obamacare costs

To the Editor:

Obamacare, if it is not stopped, hold on to your wallet!

Home Depot's current limited liability health insurance plan allows part-timers (20,000) to get critical health-care coverage at low cost. It doesn't provide all the health-care services required by Obamacare, so rather than increase cost, Home Depot is "dumping" this group of employees into the Obamacare exchange.

The government-run exchange requires people to buy insurance for a government-designed set of health-care services. The insurance packages can be more expensive than sought by workers, especially younger workers. Therefore, 20,000 people will end up with improved coverage that will more than likely cost more with the extra cost partially offset by subsidies from taxpayers.

The accelerating shift of workers to Obamacare's taxpayer-funded network will likely drive up costs to taxpayers, disadvantage companies that try to pay for their employees' health-care and make more voters dependent on health-care decisions made by Democratic officials and legislators.

Obamacare puts in place a number of restrictive federal regulations - it requires insurers to cover all comers, regardless of pre-existing health conditions; it severely limits the factors that insurers may account for in pricing their policies, for example, insurers may not vary premiums based on health status and must charge a 64-year-old no more than three times as much for the same plan as they would charge an 18-year-old; and, the law mandates that insurers cover a number of benefits that they may not have had to previously.

The CBO recently reported that "federal spending devoted to health care would rise from 4.6 percent of gross domestic product today to 8 percent in 2038." A 1 percent annualized increase is approximately $170 billion.

GOP legislators are working to defund ObamaCare (www.dontfundobamacare.com,) or to extend White House-imposed delays in the program to all Americans.

Ray Anderson