Letters to the Editor: Week of April 3, 2014

HABCC deserves kudos for generosity

On behalf of the men and women in the Hanover Sheriff’s Department I wanted to share a huge amount of gratitude to the Hanover Association of Businesses & Chamber of Commerce, their members and their financial sponsors for their gracious generosity.
Last week at the conclusion of the Sheriff’s 14th Annual Awards Ceremony, Emma Lee Melton, president of the HABCC presented the Hanover Sheriff’s Office Foundation a most generous check in the amount of  $7,000. The mission of the foundation is to serve those and their families that serve our community with dedication, sacrifice and honor while furthering the goal of providing for the safety and wellbeing of all citizens of Hanover County. Melton’s presentation of this gift was extremely timely right after we had just recognized and honored so many law enforcement professionals who protect and serve our community with such distinction and valor.
The Sheriff’s Department and all of its members live by their motto:  “Continuing to be a part of, not apart from, the community.” As a business owner, resident, as well as having the honor to serve as president of the Foundation, I can say it truly is a genuine partnership that I am extremely proud of for all of us that are fortunate enough to live and work in such a wonderful community that we enjoy here in Hanover County.

John Cox, president
Sheriff’s Office Foundation

Where was respect during ceremony?

I want to thank all the folks who put on the Hanover K-9 Heroes Day. This is the second year for the event and the second year my wife and I have attended. It was a nice touch to have the Hanover Concert Band this year. I think everyone did a great job. Meeting and talking with Loreen Pantaleone who did the painting commemorating Maggie was extra special.
The only thing that was not special about the event was when over the speaker system everyone was asked to rise as the National Anthem was played and posting of the American and state flags were displayed by our nation’s veterans. I could not believe that while this was going on the children and adults in the field on the same grounds that were playing lacrosse, yelling, screaming and blowing whistles, they could not take 5 minutes of their time to stop and acknowledge this but I guess this is what certain parents in our county have reduced themselves to.
I remember a time when the national anthem and the posting of colors were done all people stood and placed their hand over their hearts and removed their hats. It is sad. Just a reminder to those people in that field.

Melvin Southworth
Hanover

55th District citizens deserve health care

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has offered Republicans yet another alternative to Medicaid Expansion. McAuliffe has received permission for a pilot program that would allow Virginia to opt out of Medicaid Expansion in two years, if, for any reason, our legislators are dissatisfied.
So, now there are three expansion proposals on the table, any of which would provide 400,000 uninsured Virginians access to health care coverage. One is Medicaid Expansion as contained in the Affordable Care Act.
A second proposal is a bipartisan solution called Marketplace Virginia. Marketplace Virginia would require participants to pay up to 5 percent of their income; would require participants to show they are seeking work if they are unemployed (although up to 70 percent are employed); and insurance is provided through private insurers.
The third proposal is a pilot program for which McAuliffe has received approval from Health and Human Services. This program would allow legislators to discontinue it after two years if for some reason they don’t like Medicaid Expansion.
Del. Buddy Fowler, more than 11,000 of your constituents need access to health care through Medicaid Expansion or Marketplace Virginia.

Lakisha D. Greenhow
Montpelier

It’s time for Virginia to step up

Thousands and thousands of Virginia’s poor, disabled, and/or underemployed adults will not have health care in the coming year because Virginia did not expand Medicaid. Others, perhaps up to 200,000 will be able to get insurance but with no subsidies. Many of those may be able to work part time, but they fall below the federal poverty level. Again they make less than the federal poverty level but fall in the donut hole of the Afforadable Care Act. Why? Because the Virginia General Assembly chose not to expand Medicaid!
Medicaid expansion or the compromise Marketplace Virginia must be included in the upcoming budget. The Virginia Senate recognized this and through a bipartisan compromise, reached a solution. Others, in the meantime, continue to argue that this discussion should not be part of the budget discussion. Why not? It is about getting federal tax dollars we’ve already paid coming back to Virginia. I would think that should be an important budget consideration.
I know from personal experience how this is affecting people. I have a family member who worked regularly for six years after college until he developed a seizure disorder of unknown origin. It gradually got worse making full-time work impossible. The condition can only be controlled with very strong medication, which results in dizziness and drowsiness for a large part of each working day. He has not had health insurance since he left full-time employment. Even then, it would not cover anything related to his seizures because of the antiquated “pre-existing conditions clause.” He is the perfect candidate for subsidized health insurance to pave the way for better health and employment in the future.
But the Commonwealth (or at least a significant number of legislators) is determined to block this pathway. I am embarrassed and dismayed at the state where I have lived, worked, and paid taxes for over 50 years.
It is time to step up Virginia!

Delores Dalton Dunn
Hanover

Set aside ‘poison pill’ worries and lead

Here in Hanover County we expect our elected officials to be responsible stewards of our tax dollars. Right now the focus of these expectations is on the commonwealth’s budget and our General Assembly’s recently convened Special Session.
One of the big decisions facing the General Assembly is whether to accept additional federal Medicaid support that will save us Virginia taxpayers more than $600,000,000. The alternative is to let the Washington politicians do whatever they want with that funding. There is no reason to believe that much of the money will help Virginia unless we take control of the funding by accepting the federal support.
I and many others worried about a “poison pill” in accepting the funding. But I now realize that Virginia’s Delegates and Senators should not have that worry because they control the commonwealth’s budget and spending. They have accepted the responsibility for Virginia’s budget so they have no worries unless they intend to abdicate that responsibility.
I challenge my assembly members, Del. Buddy Fowler and Sen. Donald McEachin, to work together to lead their peers to pass a budget that meets the federal requirements so that we can accept this funding. And I challenge them to stay vigilant to make sure Virginia isn’t hit with an unexpected federal burden in future budgets. Don’t follow: take the lead and get it done!
 
Wat Hughes
Ashland

Liberals treat symptoms, not the disease

Liberals have a lot of derogatory adjectives for those of us that do not wish to expand the societal rot of increased dependency in government, but have no criticisms for the irresponsible procreators and the criminal invaders, or the undue burdens that they place upon society. They refuse to admit that the increasing costs of health insurance are due to a gluttonous, depraved society. They fail to acknowledge the increased burdens due to the mentally dysfunctional individuals that think pregnancy is a deforming, debilitating disease for which women should obtain immunity though subsidized contraception, and devalue the dollar by borrowing money to fund the perverse notion that it is the role of government to provide sustenance to its citizens.
Liberals are like a doctor that treats the symptoms, but never the disease. They will never cure anything. They will only partially, temporarily transfer some of the discomfort.

Randy Waters
Montpelier

Posted on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 12:34 pm