Adn Letters To The Editor
Adn Letters To The Editor – Hearing about the impact of the opening of hurricane season in Houston, I am concerned for so many communities in Alaska that I have learned are vulnerable to increasingly severe winter storms.
The climate impacts of global warming affect Alaska more significantly than the rest of the country, and we have vast expanses of land and inland waters that protect most of our population and infrastructure. However, this is not the case for some coastal communities. I am concerned that this may be the year that a winter storm, enhanced by the unprecedented rapid increase in atmospheric moisture and temperature in recent years, will devastate one or more of our remote communities. I am not convinced that there are adequate means of evacuation for some of these communities. Please keep these communities in your thoughts and prayers.
Adn Letters To The Editor
Many thanks to Elise Patkotak for her August 30 comment. I generally (but not always) agree with her views, but she hit it off like she was wrong on this one. For the past year, I’ve been advocating for the reinstatement of the state income tax to drastically reduce our fiscal problem, with much resistance from lawmakers facing re-election.
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The bottom line is that we are residents/citizens of this country; we are the owners; and as such we must tackle, stand on our own two feet and contribute to the provision of government services that we all rely on.
Dividend payment is a separate issue; it is a benefit created by, yes, our oil revenues and Jay Hammond’s prediction, among others. That benefit rightfully goes to all of us equally, which especially benefits those on low incomes, according to the latest tax plan.
Don’t rely on politicians’ promises that a nebulous solution is coming with increased revenue (we don’t need to rely on the oil industry) and further government cuts, without any specifics.
Let’s accept the problem and work to solve it ourselves, so that we can be proud of our country.
Dunleavy Campaign: Marriage Of Adn Reporter, Juneau Assembly Member A ‘conflict’
Now we have Sullivan, Young and Murkowski talking about how they would like to provide affordable health care to Alaskans. Nothing about the seven years they spent trying to kill the Affordable Care Act. Republicans were taken aback when they had to admit they had no plan. Hell, they had no idea. Now we are expected to trust that this crew will take care of the people of Alaska. Of course, there is no mention of the 22 million people who will lose their health care under the various Republican health care proposals.
The only plan that makes sense is Medicare for all. Don’t hold your breath; too much money would be lost to corporations.
I appreciated the recent commentary by Representative Young and Senator Sullivan to the Alaska Dispatch News explaining their contributions to the recent failure of Congress to pass health care legislation. Several points raised in their comments led to some further questions.
The comment states that the Affordable Care Act is the cause of increased medical costs in Alaska. In fact, health care costs in Alaska have been increasing long before the ACA (increased 50 percent from 2005 to 2010 and are now the highest in the nation). Premiums are high because medical costs in Alaska have gone up, not the other way around.
Letter To The Editor: A Memory
It is true that some Alaskans in the ACA’s individual insurance market have experienced significant premium increases. There are 19,000 Alaskans (3 percent of the population) in the individual market; 17,000 of them receive federal subsidies for their premiums. While more than half of Alaskans receive group health insurance through their employers (who share the cost of health premiums with their employees), there are 2,000 Alaskans in the individual market who make too much money to qualify for subsidies. These 2,000 Alaskans do not benefit from cost-sharing and are naturally upset about the cost of fully funding their own insurance. The commentary highlighted several of their stories. Repealing the ACA would not reduce their costs, but would increase Alaska’s uninsured rate from 12 percent to 25 percent by 2022.
You want to eliminate the “onerous” individual mandate and taxes. Health insurance equalizes costs among groups by distributing financial risks between healthy and sick people. Unfortunately, in the individual market, if there is no incentive for healthy people to buy insurance, most insurance will be bought by sick people, which dramatically increases costs. Individuals earning more than $250,000 or couples earning more than $500,000 a year pay most of the taxes that subsidize the ACA’s health care premiums.
Making Medicaid “sustainable” by eliminating 34,000 current recipients and limiting future funding takes away benefits from the 185,000 lowest-income Alaskans who currently use Medicaid (25 percent of Alaska’s population, 50 percent of whom are children). It’s a tax cut strategy for the rich. We will not solve our Medicaid costs by reducing access to care. Alaska has introduced a Medicaid reform strategy. We must give him the opportunity to reduce costs by changing the way Medicaid services are provided.
Sen. Sullivan and Rep. Young, it is time to turn away from past efforts to “repeal and replace” and look to the future to solve our health problems. Please accept the facts about Alaskans who depend on health care and work with Senator Murkowski and your other colleagues to stabilize the insurance market and fix, not destroy, the ACA. Alaska needs to reduce costs by restructuring payment mechanisms for providers and hospitals, reducing drug costs, and redesigning our health care delivery system by encouraging innovation.
Readers Write: Letters To The Editor, February 12, 2017
The columns in Wednesday’s paper give a good overview of where we are as a nation and the way forward. Thank you to Christian Caryl, Toney Wade, Texans, Cajuns and others who are helping their neighbors trapped by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. And I appreciate Elise Patkotak and Michael Gerson for reminding us of our obligations to make our communities and government work for everyone.
Conclusion: Love your neighbor. Let’s take this opportunity to do that in our private and public lives. Dear reader, ask yourself: What can I do today to help my neighbors? Then continue with your actions.
As a 10-year employee of Alaska Airlines, I have seen many changes in the industry. As this is our second round of negotiations since I joined in 2007, I have recently become passionate about collective bargaining. What does this mean for me as an employee and my future with Alaska Airlines?
As a new employee in 2007, I was unaware of the effect that negotiations could have on me, not only on my financial future, but also on my well-being. This passion, as I call it, is not selfish. It is driven by a willingness to express what I feel is my duty to get a fair wage in addition to the pension that was lost and went the way of the 401(k) as well as job security. All of this should be default, but it isn’t. How to evaluate an employee’s work is not only monetary; it also includes intangibles: pride, respect, integrity, etc.
Readers Write: Letters To The Editor, July 2, 2017
In economic globalization, there has been a shift in the specialization of work. It has gone from knowledge and experience to a cost-driven economy. Short-term cost reductions did not necessarily produce long-term savings. How to improve this? This is called strategy. However, this strategy is internal. Educate your employees, give them the tools they need to grow and be competitive in any growing industry. This means job security, good pensions and a fair salary as a start and a foundation for them to lead healthy and productive lives.
Sir Richard Branson said it best: “Train people well enough that they can leave, treat them well enough that they don’t want to.”
I believe that our jobs are meaningful and give dignity to employees. However, when it comes to the negotiating table, how do you reach the other side and help them understand that people’s lives are being negotiated? Every dollar of salary increase means that much more to someone struggling to make ends meet, while a dollar less means how much more of a bonus to those on the other side of the bargaining table. Don’t complain; it is to see what is fair to those who question why that elusive glass ceiling has decided not to raise their wages, offer them a pension or provide them with a job. How can you ask the best of us and still not see how important it is?
I saw in Wednesday’s (August 30) paper the headline “New York Times Gets Palin’s Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed.” At first glance it was quite simple, but on closer examination, as said, it was misleading in meaning. Sarah Palin brought a lawsuit against the Times, which was innocent until proven guilty, so the burden of proof was on Palin. So victory or defeat was hers. In reality, the headline should have read: “Palin Loses Defamation Suit Against NY Times.” It could be said that, however it was expressed, the outcome was right