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Council critiques, credits

With the sole exception of our new City Council’s lone female member, Charlette Roman, who makes her points clear and concise, the remaining councilors trend towards long-winded discourses, irrespective of need and regardless of the chair’s efforts to keep things moving.

For example, in one instance when the chair simply asked one councilor if he agreed with a particular statement, that councilor took a lawyerly full minute and 40 seconds to say “yes.” Please, fellas, keep it brief.

On a different subject, another councilor with an excellent command of the English language unfortunately also has a heavy accent. Please, Mr. Rios, consider your electronic audience at home by slowing down your speech a little.

Councilors, the public needs and wants to understand your positions.  Too many fancy words can, and do, get in the way.

In sharp contrast to some past City Councils, this new council seems to understand that a hired city manager is an employee who serves at the City Council’s pleasure and enjoys only a limited authority. It’s not the other way around.  The attitudes, approvals and abdications of some past councils regarding their city manager had understandably confused some observers. Removing that confusion is certainly reassuring to, and appreciated by, Marco’s electorate.

Russ Colombo

Marco Island

Many want to keep benefits

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney wrote, “Recovery begins with repealing Obamacare.”

He banters, “The recent election proves that America wants change. The American people have spoken loud and clear that Obamacare must go.” The only thing that the election results show is how divided our country is on many issues, including health care.

It has also become very clear since the election that many people who have benefited from Obamacare didn’t even realize it and now are asking Congress not to eliminate their benefits.

Instead of listening to constituents, the representative goes on to make several slams at President Barack Obama -- “there is no escaping the fact that Obama left our health care system in shambles.”

Then he says, “It is going to take focused leadership to fix this broken system.” When?

For the last seven years the Republicans in Congress have done nothing but try to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some 90 times in the House and 40 times in the Senate. And here we are with repeal, repeal, repeal and with no replacement. Vouchers maybe? What have they been doing besides saying 'no'?

For all who are interested in the facts, the Department of Health & Human Services can tell you what the ACA has done for Florida, despite the negative synergy of our governor and his failure to bring more federal dollars in through Medicaid expansion.

The facts are the facts -- if the ACA, or Obamacare, is repealed, 2.2 million Floridians will stand to lose their health coverage in 2019, according to the independent Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/ files/12-7-16health-factsheets-fl.pdf).

I hope you will take up the challenge of looking up the information suggested and maybe write Rep. Rooney.

Bob Klatt

Marco Island

Rooney should research facts

The Republican Party’s newest efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- enthusiastically endorsed by my newly elected U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney -- are irresponsible and dangerous.

According to Andy Slavitt, acting administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a repeal of the Affordable Care Act -- in the absence of an immediate replacement plan -- will result in many negative and possibly life-threatening consequences for millions of Americans.

The CMS is part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which administers programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the health insurance marketplace.

Here is a sample of the impact that “repeal and replace” (at some future date with no details provided) would have:

  • 127 million American with pre-existing conditions will lose coverage.
  • Health care bills will again lead as the cause of personal bankruptcy.
  • Women will again pay more than men for health insurance premiums.
  • 31 million young adults between 18 and 26 will be dropped from their parents’ plans.
  • Americans 55 to 64 will see rates increase dramatically.
  • Medicare recipients will no longer see the average savings of $2,000 a year on prescription drugs resulting from the ACA.
  • 1.25 million Americans with mental health disorders will lose coverage.
  • The 42 percent drop in the uninsured rate for veterans will reverse.

With all due respect, Congressman Rooney, you just got to Washington. Don’t just blindly accept the party line. Be a true leader. Do your research. Once you have the facts about the ACA, work across the aisle to keep the provisions that work and fix the ones that don’t.

Lisa Freund

Naples

Inauguration boycott a real scandal

What’s the definition of a scandal?

A 2008 election scandal involved Barrack Obama’s campaign connection to community activist group ACORN, Project Vote, etc., with fraudulent voter ID registration nationwide.

A 2012 election scandal involved a unit of the Internal Revenue Service run by Lois Lerner, who allegedly targeted and delayed hundreds of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status to block fundraising for Republicans’ seats and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

A 2016 election scandal involving the Democratic National Committee and former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s gmail, which was hacked and published.

Since the Nov. 8 election, the response from the Democrats has revealed they can’t handle or accept defeat. I know how hard it is to accept the election results when you lose, because that’s how I felt in 2008 and 2012.

But in 2008 and 2012, I don’t recall any protests in the streets, crying forums, vandalism, violent acts against each other or the police, or fake news stories.

An election took place, the results were accepted, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle attended the inaugurations.

The group of elected officials who chose to boycott the inauguration of President Donald Trump was disgraceful. They thought they were making a statement, but in reality their actions publicly demonstrated to all of us they are part of the problem of why the government isn’t working anymore. That's a scandal.

Liz Murray

Naples

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