Union Democrat staff

Proud of Obamacare

To the Editor:

In a visit to Sonora this week, Congressman Tom McClintock was quoted as saying, "We are now watching the destruction of what was once the finest healthcare system in the world, due to Obamacare." This comment is misleading and irresponsible. There was nothing fine about the way healthcare system was working prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Consider the following from Families USA, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization:

•In 2010, 50 million Americans went without health insurance for the entire year. For many of these uninsured people, the consequences of going without coverage are dire. The uninsured frequently face medical debt or go without necessary care, and too many of them die prematurely.

•Between 1999 and 2008, average annual family premiums more than doubled, rising from $5,791 to $12,680, an increase of 119 percent. Without health reform, average family premiums are projected to increase from $13,100 in 2009 to more than $22,000 in 2019.

And this:

•Health care expenditures in the United States are the highest of any developed country, at 15.3 percent of GDP. (Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development)

•The United States does not spend health care money efficiently. An estimated one-third of 2006 health care expenditures, about $700 billion or nearly 5 percent of GDP, did not improve health outcomes. (Source: CBO)

• Prescription prices for drugs are about 35 to 55 percent higher in the United States than in other countries. (Source: CBO)

I am disappointed that the roll out of the Affordable Care Act has not been a smooth one. Obviously there are many issues that have yet to be ironed out. However, I am proud to be associated with a party courageous enough to admit that the American health care system is at a crisis level. To suggest otherwise is simply dishonest.

Lisa Fogarty


Putting politics before people

To the Editor:

Rep. McClintock's recent town hall appearance in Sonora as reported by The Union Democrat, finds him unapologetic about his stand against the Affordable Care Act, and siding with fellow Republicans that a government shutdown was the price they were willing to pay to get their way to defund Obamacare.

The problem was that following extremist groups like the Tea Party didn't hurt the Congressman, but it did hurt individuals who were without work and pay and the thousands of people we depend upon to keep things working like National Parks.

Since McClintock's area he represents includes Yosemite and the businesses that depend upon tourism, he chose to put politics first and his constituents in last place. Such a callous attitude shows that although he is paid from taxpayer's money, he has no problem denying others their ability to do their job.

His position is clearly anti-government while he unabashedly supports the moneyed interests that support he and fellow conservatives at the expense of a nation that wants and expects their representatives to represent THEIR communities and not ideological organizations that pervert democracy for their selfish whims at the expense of the majority of us.

Wayne Kirkbride

Twain Harte

Nature's beauty sacrificed for profit

To the Editor:

After we sacrifice the abundance and beauty of the natural world, what could short-term profits buy to replace our perpetual loss?

The greedy will profit from misuse of our shared resources as long as a pernicious ethos favors heedlessness over prudence. It is shortsighted for the Board of Supervisors and Rep. McClintock to obstruct well-thought out plans to protect endangered species, including frogs.

John Watson