Letters to the editor: 01-30-19

Medicare far from free

For those who espouse Medicare for all, it is timely to state that Medicare is not free. Currently, at age 65, everyone is eligible. That’s the good part. The rest of the story goes like this: for year 2019, $135.50 (annually $1,626) will be deducted from your Social Security check for Part A and B (A hospital, B doctor visits) if your income is below $85,000.

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The highest tier, for wealthy participants, is $460.50 monthly ($5,526 annually). In addition there is the co-pay and 20 percent of what Medicare does not cover. Many subscribers to Medicare carry what is called a Medicap policy which helps offset the 20 percent not covered by Medicare. Depending on the coverage, the premiums can range anywhere from under $50 to $400 monthly.

Medicaid is the “free” one, paid by us, the taxpayers. The caveat there is you have to be an indigent to qualify. Just saying.

Ann Medve

Hawi

Homeless situation must be addressed

I read the West Hawaii Today homeless article this past week and I wanted to share what I experienced in the first two weeks of our stay.

We have been coming to Kona for 30 years and have owned a condo for 20 years.

These pictures depict what I saw almost every day walking by Honl’s beach. This is a beach highly recommend by the state for tourists to visit. The two-block radius which includes condos and houses gives the State of Hawaii millions of dollars in taxes. This will not continue if rentals start to disappear due to the homeless situation. I know this is a sensitive subject but people come to “paradise” to have a good time and they are spending money on vacation. I’m sure they didn’t expect to share it with the homeless.

The homeless don’t seem to have any respect for property. They took a machete and chopped part of a tree down so that they could build fires and cook food. They also left a lot of garbage, which was not only polluting the beach, but also the ocean. They know when they have to vacate an area so they don’t get caught by the police. I think this is a major problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

When the cruise ships come into town and people see things that appear in these pictures, it will hit social media like it is starting to do already.

Michele Duncan

Washington state

We can’t endure another shutdown

I support the Democratic position of not giving the current occupant of the White House his trophy wall. His racist and white nationalistic views are a cancer on our democracy. His trumped up crisis of drugs, rapists, caravans, terrorists and gangs invading our southern border verges on insanity! We cannot allow him to claim the moral high ground by his fiction that the Democrats want open borders!

However, I am completely opposed to the shutdown which caused a completely unnecessary crisis for the federal and contract workers and affiliated businesses. A pundit on MSNBC (Elizabeth Drew, I believe) stated that in her opinion it is a violation of the 13th Amendment to force the workers to work without pay as if they were indentured servants or slaves! Our safety and security were imperiled by the Trump shutdown. We cannot endure another one and wait for an air travel tragedy to end the next fiasco. I put full blame in the overly large lap of Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.

I think that it is necessary to prevent this from happening again. Couldn’t we have legislation that would outlaw another shutdown by stating that in case of a budget impasse, current levels of funding would remain in place? Alternatively, how about legislation that would require the executive and legislative branches to work without pay until the budget is resolved?

Putin’s puppet must be dethroned and I support his impeachment!

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Daniel Konigsberg

Waimea