Medicare cuts will hurt seniors
On Jan. 1, doctors who treat Medicare patients in Hawaii will receive a 25 percent pay cut. Unless Congress acts to fix the flawed payment system that determines Medicare reimbursement rates, many seniors could face having to give up the doctors they trust and depend on for care.
With baby boomers starting to retire and even more people qualifying for Medicare, it’s more important than ever that Congress take action to keep doctors in the Medicare program. Seniors have earned their Medicare and deserve the peace of mind of knowing they can keep seeing the doctors they count on.
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Unions will control Capitol
Members of government employee unions have every reason to rejoice over the results of Hawaii’s elections. The near-total Democratic sweep means that union contract demands are assured a sympathetic reception in the Legislature and the governor’s office.
These unions have achieved significant power, even dominance, in the electoral process, in Hawaii and other states. Their self-interest in election results is obvious: They are trying, and often succeeding, in electing their bosses, who are going to give in to their demands if they want to stay in office. Almost always, that means Democrats.
As the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees has declared, "Our jobs, wages and working conditions are directly linked to politics." These unions have used their political clout to win wages and benefits much more generous than in the private sector — at taxpayer expense, of course.
Pledges to avoid tax increases should be viewed with extreme skepticism. The taxpayer can expect the worst.
Real names for online forums
Obviously, Honolulu Star-Advertiser management feels it is a good policy to require writers of Letters to the Editor to identify themselves, and sign their real name. It is accepted by all as a time-honored tradition in newspapers.
For the same reasons, the policy should be extended to the electronic edition forum, where readers comment anonymously on letters and stories that have been published in the newspaper. The use of aliases and noms de plume encourages some otherwise seemingly intelligent writers to lash out viciously at those with whom they disagree. One even suggested that they all lie because they are hiding behind a phony name.
I’m sure there is a simple way to set it up so that everyone must take credit for his or her writing. Doing so might bring some respect and sanity to the feature. It might encourage others to participate.
Abercrombie’s aide an asset
It was a distinct pleasure to read Richard Borreca’s article in the Sunday Star-Advertiser concerning Amy Asselbaye, who was selected by Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie as his administrative director ("Abercrombie’s top aide, from Congress to Capitol," Star-Advertiser, Nov. 14). As an advocate for an association of federal managers and supervisors, I met Asselbaye when she first joined then-U.S. Rep. Abercrombie’s Washington, D.C., staff. She is intelligent, dedicated, concerned, asks the hard questions and follows up on our issues. Kudos to Abercrombie for selecting her.
Fallen veterans, families heroic
Veterans are all heroes. I would like thank Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo for recognizing Nainoa Hoe and Deyson Cariaga ("For our veterans, a day to remember…" Star-Advertiser, Nov. 11). They were two local boys who cared about serving their country and made the ultimate sacrifice. Too often we forget those who have served and fallen. Too often they just become names on a wall. I appreciate that 1st Lt. Tamayo does not forget those who have served and those who have sacrificed. The families of those in the military who didn’t return have also made the ultimate sacrifice and that is why Veterans Day is so important.
Injustice again with Akaka Bill
The armed overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy in 1893 and the refusal of the William McKinley administration and Congress to respect the Hawaiian nation’s wishes for its return says only that the USA hasn’t changed much today. The politicians in Congress still want to treat the overthrow as a race issue as well as a political one. They have again failed to recognize that the issue is a constitutional one in which the Congress and the president failed in their kuleana. It appears that Congress will repeat what was done in 1893. The Akaka Bill is small restitution for an illegal act a long time ago. Auwe!