I visited the website Healthcare.gov and found that our BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee policy is not offered. But I found a very similar BCBS policy with far better coverage for $1,500 a year less.
The Affordable Care Act eliminated nearly all the exclusions that insurance companies make a living on by denying people. Before ACA our policy had yearly and lifetime caps on what BCBS would pay, hence we purchased additional coverage. Still, both companies could drop us if they suspected future claims. Now, because of ACA, people cannot be dropped, and maximum out of pocket cost is zero to $6,250. This applies to all ACA compliant plans.
The media would have you believe that few ACA plans are available, and they are expensive. Healthcare.gov offers 30 health and eight dental plans in our hometown of Cookeville. Practically the only information needed to find your rate is your age, county and the number of people you wish to insure. In Putnam County, a family of four making $70,000 is eligible to have some of their insurance subsidized.
BOB RUST, Cookeville, Tenn.
Editor: I don't understand your paper's decision to print Ms. Robin Smith's column on the life and times of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Jan. 20. In my opinion, that's akin to asking a Stokley Carmichael-type to do a Chamber of Commerce objective piece on the Klu Klux Klan. As usual, Ms. Smith's comments and questions, presented as inner musings and deep self-inspections, are for you and me to do, never the author herself. As with every hypocritical Republican, her veneer cracks with every shallow word, and her true feelings for those different cannot be concealed. If you have any doubts about Ms. Smith's deep-seated prejudices against minorities, just refresh yourself on the 2006 U.S. senatorial campaign she ran for Corker against Harold Ford, Jr. Shame on Ms. Smith, and shame on Corker for allowing it. She, Saltsman, and Desjarlais make a mockery of truth and justice and are shining examples of why Republicans must never again be allowed to run our country.
ALLAN BAGGETT, Trion, Ga.
In the Sunday, Jan. 26, paper there was a large ad with a picture of a military man who lost both legs, and it was announcing a luncheon sponsored by Siskin Rehab Hospital. How misleading! My husband, a 100-percent disabled Vietnam veteran who has spinal tumors from Agent Orange, had to be sent to the nearest rehab facility that is contracted with the VA, and it is an hour away in Etowah. I called Siskin, along with some other places in Hamilton County, and was consistently told that they will not contract with the VA for inpatient rehab because they do not pay enough. So it all comes down to money. Veterans put their lives on the line for all Americans, yet some CEO's put their bottom profit line first and refuse to help them. So much for patriotism.
ANNETTE BECK, Ooltewah
Stop Obama before he totally destroys this country. Obamacare does not work. It has already affected my parents, who are in their 80s, with paying for medication they need. They can no longer afford it and it is affecting the insurance that was forced on my husband where he works. Very high deductible. No bailouts!
JAN BURRAGE, LaFayette, Ga.
A writer's letter titled "Actions have Consequences" on Jan. 21, was right on and covered the Swanson bicycling incident in a most honest and professional manner. I couldn't agree more with every word the writer wrote, but I do have one question: What would have been the outcome if this crime had involved young black men and the crime occurred in the Chattanooga area? Oh! I know I'm speculating but also looking for an honest answer. And also while giving praise to the letter writer, lets not forget David Cook (who like Mike Royko years ago from Chicago) is a very gifted columnist that we in the Chattanooga area are fortunate to have.
BRIAN KISNER, LaFayette, Ga.
In the Jan. 26 guest commentary titled "Supporting a free life," Pam Rumancik tells us Jesus was silent as, she seems to purport, he was tip-toeing around babies left outside to die. Ergo, abortion must be OK! But Christ was not silent about the treatment of children. In three of the gospels he tells us that those who offend the little ones would be better off drowned in the sea. Is it such a stretch to imagine that infanticide, whether in the womb or as the child emerges into the world, might be deemed offensive to the little ones? The letter writer states: "This issue is not about life." What rot!
JEFF EPPERSON, Hixson
The employees of VW at the Chattanooga plant deserve an election to determine whether or not to unionize, not a "card check" acknowledgement of the UAW by VW management. Employees signed union cards to escape the intimidation of union backers thinking they would be allowed to vote their true preference in a secret election. VW management should consider employee's morale and loyalty following such betrayal. While VW is struggling to figure out how to grow the VW brand in the U.S., they should take into consideration the effect a U.S. boycott will have on the VW brand if VW betrays their employees with a "card check" recognition of the UAW. The U.S. public is not sympathetic to unions as evidenced by their historic membership decline and total absence from any Southern auto plant.
BOB McLELLAND, Ooltewah
I congratulate the Times Free Press for printing the letters from subscribers without comment. A recent letter chastised the paper for printing a letter with errors. On issues about the Affordable Health Care Act most citizens know little about the thousands of pages in the law and thousands more in regulations. Here are some of the facts we do know. After signing the bill into law the current President has made numerous substantive changes without consulting the Congress, who are the lawmakers. While the law does now state the federal government (which is $17 trillion in debt) will pay the full cost of Medicaid expansion to the states for the first three years, and 90 percent thereafter, we know the current president or one of his successors could easily reduce or withdraw that offer. We also know that as it is, Medicaid is not sustainable at the current level of expenses. Therefore, the governor of Tennessee and the 29 other states that have not elected to expand Medicaid are just being realistic about who will be paying the cost in the future. After all, Tennessee cannot run a deficit like the federal government does.