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Politicians should be loyal to their public before their party

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Politicians should be loyal to their public before their party The Feb. 27 article [“Erikson votes irritate Dems”] about Democratic City Councilman Carl Erikson not always voting with his party is unfortunate, but not surprising, in view of the arrogant power in the local Democratic Party, both in Schenectady County and the city. Historically, American legislators have had a tradition of prioritizing the value and correctness of an issue over party loyalty. Recently, however, at ...


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comments

Phils2008
March 7, 2013
5:57 a.m.

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You started out ok Lyle but then you lost it when you went after Republican unity. If you really paid as much attention as your writing seems to imply, you would recognize that Republicans as a whole are rarely in lock step. Democrats both locally and nationally are the true lemmings. With a Democrat its Party first, personal profit second, liberal philosophy third and then somewhere down the line, the voter. If Republicans acted like Democrats, Lew, Hagel, and Brennen would not be confirmed. Obama would not get his debt limit raised or his taxes. The fact is the Republicans have never been singularly unified on issues. Democrats just do what they're told. Why do you think this state is run by Silver. Why do we even have state legislators? Nationally, Schumer does what Reid tells him. Gillibrand does what Schumer tells her. You are absolutely spot on otherwise.

ronzo
March 7, 2013
7:09 a.m.

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Re: Obamacare worked, but the patient died - it would be interesting to see where in his health plan renewal documents it states a 23% increase due to Obamacare. I have a quite different experience. My wife and I must purchase individual coverage. Our health plan monthly premium for 2013 is $103 per month less than the same plan was in 2012 except that in 2013 our individual deductible is reduced from $6000 per person to $4000 per person. I asked the representative about these cost changes and was told it's the initial effects of the ACA. So the Affordable Care Act is working for us as intended. Maybe Jim Fischer should shop around or get an insurance broker instead of criticizing something that is politically personal to him. Plus, he's living in an alternate universe if he complains that $1400 per month for a family health plan in New York state is expensive. If my wife and I could be able to get health insurance for only $1400 per month our monthly budget would be much less stressed.

albright1
March 7, 2013
11:54 a.m.

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Ronzo, you have made these statements before and there is something wrong with them. If you are paying much more than 1400/month for health care coverage with $4000 deductible per person, you are being taken to the cleaners. Plus you were being overcharged last year if the premium came down this year with a lower deductible applied. It is not making sense.

ronzo
March 7, 2013
2:42 p.m.

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albright1: I agree. It does not make sense that my wife and I have to pay what we do as individuals while that guy only pays $1400/mo for a family, just because we cannot belong to a group. From your statement it does not seem that you are aware of the cost of health plans for individuals. Since you're not, here's a sample of what you'd find are 2013 premiums for husband and wife. Empire Blue Cross POS = $2874.44/mo.; Empire HMO = $2300.62/mo; CDPHP = $2518.18/mo; Blue Shield of Northeast NY HMO = $2060.06/mo; Blue Shield HMO+ = $2359.60/mo. These are the premiums without a pre-existing condition adder. There is one thing that individuals can do like the large groups. You can negotiate their egregiously extremely excessive premium down to a egregiously very high premium by increasing your annual deductible. But nothing close to $1400/mo. So when I send the payment in each month, do I feel that I got taken to the cleaners? Absolutely. Except that there's not much I can personally do about it. That's why government intervention like the Affordable Care Act is important to me, because the exchanges will help get the rates lower through competition.

albright1
March 7, 2013
5:14 p.m.

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Ronzo, I am acutely aware of the cost of health care coverage as I have paid for my own for the last 14 years. I suggest you keep looking and fighting for lower premiums. I have had people tell me they are paying between 1300 and 1800 from CDPHP. I personally pay $1300 from CDPHP. Do you know one of the reasons, premiums are so high? Government interference. In NYS there are 77 mandates that the government says must be included in plans. If the state got out of the business of telling us what to do regarding health care, we would all be better off.

ronzo
March 7, 2013
6:54 p.m.

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albright1: So I would like to know how you can purchase an individual health plan for $1300/mo and I cannot. That is what is unfair about our health care system. You have some connection that I cannot get access to.

To suggest that I "keep looking and fighting for lower premiums", which is exactly what I am trying to do has a condescending tone. In other words, you have your health plan and I cannot get what you have. So your only “suggestion” is for me to search for something like yours? And you very well know what the result of that search will be. So if all your government mandates and other interference is the reason why I pay what I do, why don’t these mandates equally affect your cost?

For what reason would you believe that I should not be "allowed" to purchase the same health plan as you, and to pay exactly what you pay? That is what troubles me about all this discussion.

One of the reasons why health care in New York is so high is lack of government interference. Unlike other states, the “regulators” here say yes to all the health plans “justifications” for rate increases. And that is what the Affordable Care Act is about. To get rid of the state telling us what to do regarding health care. To put our health care system on a Federal level and get the states out of the health care rate setting business.

ronzo
March 7, 2013
7:24 p.m.

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albright1: Another point. You say that you pay $1300/mo. for your health plan and you have had people tell you they are paying between $1300 and $1800 from CDPHP. That's exactly my original statement. This guy Jim Fischer is complaining about paying $1400/mo. for an entire family. So why is that fair when you pay $1300/mo. and your friends pay up to $1800/mo. for their plan?

albright1
March 7, 2013
7:25 p.m.

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Ronzo, I didn't mean to sound condescending. The individual health care coverage market is very complex. I have done a little more research and can see your pain. My coverage is from the small business that I own with 3 employees and I don't have the time to look into what my costs would be buying it as an individual. I know that I have coverage for mandated items that there is no way I would by if I didn't have to and that drives my costs way up. And I also know that I have put a tremendous amount of money in and recieved very little back in coverage. I gotta go now....good luck Ronzo

ronzo
March 7, 2013
8:05 p.m.

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albright1: So in the final analysis of all this going back and forth, you admit that you get your $1300/mo. health plan premium because you are a business owner. So why did you make the statement that I'm being taken to the cleaners when you knew darn well that I cannot get what you have and you know people who are also paying high premiums? I am being taken to the cleaners because I have no choice - like you might have. So back to the original letter from the Obamacare hating guy complaining about his 23% increase for his inexpensive $1400/mo family health plan premium. That guy needs to hallucinate more in the alternate universe that he lives in and maybe read more input from people who have "real" health insurance cost concerns.

ronzo
March 7, 2013
8:38 p.m.

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albright1: And in conclusion, these state mandates that you reference sound a lot like the requirements of Healthy NY for small business owners that mandate choices about deductibles, prescription drug coverage and family member coverage with their contribution amounts. If that's the case, my tax dollars are helping to subsidize your ability to provide health insurance for your employees - and the only thing I'm getting from it is personal financial pain.

wmarincic
March 8, 2013
7:26 a.m.

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It all goes to the plan and the co-pays and how much the employer is willing to kick in. I payed $950 per month last year for just my wife and I, when she got sick with lung and brain cancer the co-pays for just her treatment were $23,000 out of my pocket in a 7 month time period. So I payed $31,600 for health insurance last year for my wife alone.

ronzo
March 8, 2013
10:03 a.m.

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wmarincic: You have your example of a person who has employer willing to kick in and you paid a $950/mo. premium for what seems like a lousy health plan that cost you $31,600 for the year. What about people like me who do not have an employer willing to kick in. That's what got me about the guy Fischer, a small business owner, complaining because he's paying ONLY $1400/mo. for his entire family which to me is an entitlement funded by people like me because my egregious premium subsidizes his low cost. The health care providers that he can use are probably the same ones that I can use. So why is his premium so much lower than mine? And he has the nerve to cast stones at a government initiative that is intended to help him, you, me and everyone with their health care cost. That's what the "affordable" means with the Affordable Care Act. And that's why I believe people like him are clueless as to what this is all about. A further rub is if the reason why he only pays $1400/mo. is because he, as a small business owner, participates in the Healthy NY program, which he gets to have because you and I subsidize him with our taxes.

albright1
March 8, 2013
1:58 p.m.

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Ronzo, I don't want to get into this again, but you are not subsidizing Jim Fisher or any small business health care plans. You are in a different pool. Rates are calculated based on risk. The pool you belong to is very expensive for a number of reasons and thus the risk is high and you pay a high premium. What are the factors that make your pool high risk? Many are older people who naturally have higher medical bills. Some are individuals who do not purchase health insurance until it is needed. There are a myriad of factors. The small business pool is not as risky because many of the participants are younger or for some reason, less likely to have high medical costs. So the premiums are lower for this pool. Again, you are not subsidizing the business pool. I agree that there should be a way to tweak the systems to lower the rates that individuals pay, but the wholesale takeover of the health care system by the government can only end badly.

ronzo
March 8, 2013
5:38 p.m.

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albright1: Regardless of how the health plan premiums are calculated - by you, me or the actuaries - there is one thing for sure. If you are a small business owner who participates in the Healthy NY program that makes it possible for you to provide health insurance for you and your employees, I do subsidize your low premiums via the taxes I pay to the State of New York. And if you are one of those people, I accept your thank you for my contribution that allows you to get the low rates that you get. If you are not one of those people, I hope that you can continue to receive the low $1300 monthly premium that you get however you get it well into the future.

ronzo
March 8, 2013
8:58 p.m.

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albright1: You don’t want to get into this again you say, yet you do. Then so will I. Since I am in a different “pool” than you, the pool I belong to is very expensive for a number of reasons you say. Because older people have higher medical costs? So there are no younger people in this pool who buy their own individual insurance because their employer does not provide it? The small business workers are younger for some reason you say. For what reason could that be? So small business owners don't have non-young workers? And that the wholesale takeover of the health care system by the government can only end badly, you say? If you actually know how and why it would end badly, please share with us your knowledge about the subject. Otherwise if you don't know, your statements that do not conclude with any meaningful information are meaningless.

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