W. making us sick | AspenTimes.com
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W. making us sick

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:Four more years of W should worry all of us!As we get ready to vote, let’s take a timeout from the fog of terror and war, and the unending barrage of political rhetoric. Looking into our own life, how well have we personally fared during the past four years? How is your index of (in)security? If you feel stretched and stressed to the limit you are not alone!Take health insurance, for example:In four years my health insurance premiums have increased from $200 a month to more than $400 a month and the deductible from $500 to $5,000. But I feel lucky to even have insurance. An uninsured single parent acquaintance of ours recently was forced into bankruptcy because of more than $15,000 in credit card bills incurred to pay emergency medical bills for her child. Sadly, her story is all too common.In this, the richest country on the planet, individual bankruptcies have no protection against usurious and irresponsible credit card lenders, while corporate deadbeats like United Airlines and others are able to freeze interest and pension plan payments under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. Where is the balance in this?Yes, there are no easy answers. But in the Brave New Bush World the social and economic momentum of our society is relentlessly being redirected from public well-being toward private greed. Under slogans of “compassionate conservatism” and “permanent tax cuts” Bush is stonewalling any attempts to ask his base of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to give back even a fraction of their increased wealth. No easy answers, but in contrast John Kerry has a real plan and vision to redress the balance between public well-being and narrow private interest. His draft plan for public health insurance will begin to close the widening health insurance chasm and give a realistic perspective of affordable insurance to the 45 million plus of our citizens who are presently without any coverage. Gerry VanderBeekGlenwood Springs


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