January 22, 2014

Inbox — Jan. 22, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Tolerance for All
I have just finished reading Jaison A. Gardner’s column in the Jan. 22 LEO Weekly. He taught me about many famous people I had no idea were gay. But his feelings reach all of us who didn’t fit in — too fat, too gay, too black, too Jewish and, believe it or not, too white. Tolerance has still not been a part of the American experience.
Beth VanCleave, Jeffersonville

New Light
Bravo to Jaison A. Gardner for starting LEO’s new column, “In Visible Ink” (Jan. 15 issue). For too long the African-American LGBT community has been in the shadows, not just in Louisville but nationwide, and so Gardner’s column is a welcome addition. I’m sure he will be providing us with immeasurable insights not afforded us before. I welcome him to LEO’s impressive lineup of talent.
David Williams, Old Louisville

Talk the Talk
Mayor Fischer’s comment to LEO in the Jan. 8 LEO probably reveals more than he intended. “Any issues during (labor union) contract negotiations need to go to the bargaining table,” he said. He seems to be saying that he just delegates everything to his negotiators. So, what happens in between the negotiations?

In any event, I’d say that Wesley Stover’s comments to LEO are worth remembering. He’s the president of AFSCME 2629. “Mayor Fischer’s open-door policy has too often been closed to us. We have reached out to the mayor many times during his tenure with disappointing results.” With those words, I don’t think Stover was talking about money. Open-door policies are about personal engagement. I think Stover just wants Fischer to talk with local union leaders, like him, face to face instead of indirectly through intermediaries. I think his message amounts to only three words: Talk with us.
Tom Louderback, Highlands

A Pooled Risk
Rich Mills’ Jan. 8 Inbox letter demonstrated some common misconceptions about the Affordable Care Act and about Medicaid. It is not “making droves of young people overpay for insurance” that ACA relies on for solvency. Insurance is a pooled risk. The pool needs a share of healthy (not necessarily young) people to be paying in to afford the costs of claims for those who have medical needs. Younger people statistically have fewer chronic illnesses but more accidents than older people. An older person can be charged up to three times as much as a younger person for the same policy, regardless of health. So the “overcharge” may be on the 55-year-old healthy person, not the 26-year-old. And people over 65 will not be in the pool.

The Medicaid recovery is for bills they paid for you after age 55, mostly long-term care, and only after you and your spouse die and you have no dependents. They get in line with your other creditors to recover money from your estate. Medical bills not paid by insurance are normally paid out of the estate anyway.

Medicaid is your fellow taxpayers, and why should we have to pay your bills so your heirs can inherit?
Laurie Spezzano, Crestwood

Political capitalism
Capitalism seems to be a religion to far too many people. Today, Pope Francis, the world’s most influential spiritual leader, is correct in criticizing capitalism. He does what true prophets do: He speaks truth to power.

In his book “Economics for Prophets,” former Public Policy Official of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Walter L. Owensby, says: “We are obligated by faith to stand in judgment of capitalism and all economic orders, insisting always that they produce a society as nearly in accord with the biblical vision as possible. There is no Christian economics. But there is a Christian critique of all economics.”

Pope Francis’ critique of capitalism is in accord with the biblical vision and is not motivated by politics. Meeting the needs of the poor is a thread that runs through the entire Old and New Testaments. Unfettered capitalism fosters greed; it serves the rich primarily, not the poor.
Paul L. Whiteley Sr., St. Matthews 

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