Rounds wrong; Lillie, what have you done?

November 10, 2013 

Rounds wrong on Obamacare

In reference to “Haley not accurate about programs,” published Oct. 22 in the Lake Wylie Pilot, I would submit that Gov. Nikki Haley has more information available to her than does Mr. Nick Rounds. Therefore, it is hard to believe his assertion that she is wrong about her details and understanding about Obamacare and its effects on the citizens of South Carolina.

That said, if South Carolina had accepted federal money for Obamacare, we would also have accepted the mandated minimum standards of 138 percent of federal poverty level for everyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who falls in that category. That standard is based on the poverty levels in states such as New York and California whose cost of living and the resulting standards are much higher than here in South Carolina. Raising the South Carolina minimum to conform would automatically add thousands of people to the Medicaid roles who are not currently eligible under South Carolina’s poverty guidelines. Ask anyone who buys a house in Palo Alto or groceries in Martha’s Vineyard if the cost of living there is the same as in Lake Wylie, S.C.

Connecticut was an early adopter of Obamacare and reported a $190 million Medicaid deficit – in spite of subjecting their citizens to a massive $1.5 billion tax increase.

California raised taxes in part to cover their Medicaid deficit and yet needs $350 million more to pay for Obamacare the next year. South Carolina would be no different. Tony Keck, head of S.C. Dept. of Health, estimated the federal government would kick in $3 billion but S.C. would have to kick in an extra $1 billion of taxpayer money to fund the program.

And Mr. Rounds assumes everything the president has said about Obamacare would happen, including the federal 90 percent funding after year 2020. We were also guaranteed we could keep our doctors and our insurance if we liked those, and that signing up would be as easy as buying a football ticket. Remember?

Obamacare originally included a corporate mandate. President Obama arbitrarily granted a waiver to 1,200 corporations for a year, and then arbitrarily extended that waiver to all corporations. He next granted a waiver to Congress, which has since metamorphed into a plan that still leaves the taxpayers footing the additional cost. (He stopped, however, from exempting average citizens.)

This “law” that does not have the force of law is subject to adjustments, and when the federal government can’t fund it all, what do we think will happen? The funding will be waivered but not the mandates, leaving South Carolinians footing the much higher bill.

MARGARET BLACKWELL

Lake Wylie

What have you done?

In response to Laura Lillie’s “Let candidates know, we need real change,” published Oct. 29 in Lake Wylie Pilot, I read your frustration loud and clear. It echoes so many others who know or feel that something isn’t quite right in America today, but we lack the ability to put a finger on just what it is. So we lash out at everyone and everything we perceive to be in charge, from Congress to the statehouse and right down to the mayors of towns large and small.

Surely, it’s their fault, right? They’re our leaders, right? Well, no; actually, it isn’t their fault. It’s yours, Ms. Lillie. Yours and mine. And, by the way, just what have you done to change what you don’t like?

Where were you when local political parties needed your help to work for candidates, register voters, be a poll worker or a poll watcher, be a precinct officer, knock on doors handing out candidate and issue literature, man local telephone banks, make calls for candidates in other states via the internet, put up candidate signs in neighborhoods, hand out bumper stickers, go to political rallies, contribute to candidates and political parties, attend a candidate forum or a meet and greet in someone’s home – or host one in your own home?

Maybe you’ve done all that, Ms. Lillie, and more. I’ve just never seen you at any Republican events or volunteering at any Republican victory headquarters.

Political parties operate with cadres of volunteers. No one is paid, at least in the GOP; we give up weekends, nights and even weekdays without monetary compensation because we’re working for a cause bigger than ourselves. We know that we have to be a part of the solution and not the problem if we want to effect change.

After all, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Also, another benefit of being active politically is that you can ask these questions of elected officials directly in town halls, candidate forums and other smaller, more intimate events where constituents can question their elected leaders face-to-face. Most elected officials are extremely accessible. You might learn the facts behind a vote or legislation rather than making unfounded, largely wild and inaccurate suppositions.

Now, perhaps you’ve done all the above, for another party or even the GOP, just in another state. If so, I applaud you for your good citizenship.

“It had long come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” – Leonardo De Vinci

DIANE CARR

Lake Wylie

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