Future medical care like ‘twilight zone’ for some
Imagine this scenario. The year is 2022. You have just turned 65 years old. In the past several years you have developed type-2 diabetes and must take medicine to control it. In addition, your blood pressure is high and you’re under prescription treatment for clinical depression, which is causing you to consider retirement from the job you’ve held for 20 years.
You retire and your employer-paid medical benefits end. Under the new Medicare system you are given a voucher to obtain medical insurance from a private company. Unfortunately, the Affordable Health Care Act enacted in 2010 was overturned by the Supreme Court before it was fully realized, so when you apply for coverage, you are told that no insurance company will cover you because of pre-existing conditions.
You call your doctor to set up a time for your annual checkup, but he will not see anyone who does not have adequate health insurance. You go to a hospital for treatment, but they want to see your medical insurance card before they will serve you. You have no job. You are living on Social Security. And you have no health insurance.
Your only alternative is to go to an emergency room for medical help, but they are so overcrowded with patients that they can only see people who require immediate life or death care. You have just entered Paul Ryan’s twilight zone. Our future America.
Doug Mitchell, Northwest Tucson
Let’s reduce OV salaries, benefits before adding taxes
What makes the Oro Valley councilmembers think the residents will stand for this kind of nonsense? I am already putting my house on the market because of the Pima tax burdens, and certainly will fight to avoid more of the same from Oro Valley.
Have the councilmembers ever thought that many of us cannot simply raise our income whenever we feel the need to spend more on a social program, as if they think more spending will increase the lifestyle of Oro Valley?
Not when we have bloated departments and many spending cuts to fix first. Let’s start with a salary and benefits list of the top 20 department heads, and the number of police and maintenance departments. We could forgo much of these expenses until we see some change in the overall economy, and that is doubtful, given the same political solutions coming out of Washington.
Margaret and Dick Leonard, Oro Valley
OV taxpayers should attend May 4 council meeting
The ongoing mantra to spend more money to maintain a “Community of Excellence” is a fear tactic. I believe it’s the people who create excellence, not local governments collecting more money.
Communities from across our great nation have been bankrupted by ongoing, unwarranted spending for non-essential programs. I don’t want to allow Oro Valley to be one of them.
Three proposed new taxes and multiple fee increases are only the “tip of the iceberg” and we, the Oro Valley residents, are the passengers on the Titanic.
On May 4 at 5 p.m., the Oro Valley Town Council is scheduled to vote to double your utility taxes. Additionally they intend to raise more fees and, as we all know, fees are another name for thinly disguised taxes.
You may remember the utility tax (I voted against in 2006) was to fund 18 new positions; now we’re down 60 staff positions and they still want to double it.
Imagine piling a local property tax onto the backs of families struggling through this economy. Has the town council looked at the foreclosure statistics for Oro Valley? What are they thinking?
As costs for the necessities skyrocket, the Oro Valley Town Council wants to raise taxes. When will the council notice we are currently a “community of survival?”
I urge Oro Valley residents to plan to attend the Wednesday, May 4th Oro Valley Town Council meeting at 5 p.m. If you plan to speak, fill out a blue card as soon as you arrive.
PAC-PAC was founded with the belief that holding politicians accountable was a key to our future.
Conny Culver, Oro Valley
Chair, Politician Accountability Coalition, A Political Action Committee (PAC-PAC)
Former Oro Valley councilmember
Reduce expenditures before asking for more money
It’s budget time in Oro Valley and that means, as Mark Twain said, “Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.” One of the distortions that is in general use is to use the rate of inflation to inflate the prior year’s spending to current budget request.
For example, $95 million five years ago, at an inflation rate of 2 percent equates to $105 million. The argument being that we are only requesting the extra money required by inflation, and of course we cannot do anything about inflation.
The problem with this argument is that its assumption that we are unable to do anything about inflation is incorrect. Successful businesses know that they can control their expenses. How do they do it? They expect continuous improvement on the part of their employees and managers. They call it productivity improvement. They measure it and set an expectation of improvement. They know that they cannot go to their customers and ask for more money, unless they are willing to risk the loss of that customer.
It seems to me that we, the citizens, are the customer. Don’t ask me for more money through increased taxes until you have done your part to reduce expenses. I, for one, think that there is a lot more you can do to reduce expenses, and until you do so, you have not earned the right to ask me for more money.
Chuck Davis, Oro Valley