Updated: January 12, 2013 6:14AM
Village of South Elgin should give a break to woman who’s only trying to aid abandoned animals
Let me see if I understand this correctly. The village of South Elgin in their infinite wisdom has decided that a person who has devoted most of her life to abandoned animals is now breaking the law. The great majority of the animals that she has been responsible for have been dumped on her front porch.
Unlike the village, she has seen these animals as salvageable. She has helped numerous animals and families.
I supposed that if the animals would have been dumped at village hall, those in charge would simply let them go free or have them euthanized since shelters are full.
If this is the mindset of the politicians in charge, you are as untrustworthy as advertised. Did you ever hear of altruism, pay it forward or just plain empathy? The problem is not the fault of the animals, but you have chosen to punish them. Shame on you!
Carol Shultz is an asset to the community of South Elgin, and I am proud to have such a compassionate friend!
Barbara P. Essick
Latest farce to open in DC is part of a long-running tragicomedy, and not even a cliff-hanger
The National Congressional Theater is presenting a holiday farce titled “Over The Cliff” starring Republican House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama.
It is a farce in which both Republicans and Democrats pretend that they want to cut spending while reducing revenues.
In the play, Republicans say that they want to extend tax cuts for everyone, and Democrats argue that they should only be extended for 98 percent of Americans.
So if there is no agreement, tax cuts would end for everyone and large spending cuts would kick in.
The biggest laughs in the show occur when the characters say that they want to cut spending because they are concerned about the deficit.
Most of the play, the supporting cast makes speeches about why their plan would energize the economy, reduce the debt and create jobs.
Of course, most of the audience has seen this play in the past and knows the ending — it is always the same, the debt continues to soar, and budget deficits remain high.
If you intend to see the play, don’t expect to see anything new or innovative. It will be the usual Washington blather that you have seen in countless other farces presented by Republicans and Democrats.
Rating — *
Government should not allow the success of Medicare Part D program be spoiled by taxes
Finally, a Medicare success story.
Buried in all the bad news about long-term deficits in Medicare is a little-talked-about success story: Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit signed into law by President Bush.
A survey of enrollees reported in USAToday this summer showed that almost 90 percent are satisfied with the program. In addition, the premiums seniors pay average $30 per month, well below the $54 estimated when the law went into effect in 2006. The cost of the program to Medicare is 43 percent lower than estimated when it passed into law.
How many entitlement programs can say that? And because seniors can afford to take their prescriptions, they are staying out of the hospital and skilled nursing facilities — saving Medicare $12 billion annually, or about $1,200 for each enrollee.
So why does Part D work so well? Simple. Part D allows competition among competing plans.
This simple fact allows seniors to choose among various offerings based on the plan of benefits and cost. Part D providers drive a hard bargain with drug manufacturers and then compete to get seniors to choose their plan. If a plan doesn’t provide quality service at a good price, they know seniors will choose another plan next year.
But seniors need to be vigilant.
In a desperate search for revenue to fund other government programs, some are urging Congress to put a whopping 20-23 percent tax on some drugs sold to Part D plans.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office, estimates this would increase seniors Part D premiums by 20-40 percent.
Before I retired, I helped businesses purchase quality health benefits for their employees, so I am familiar with how the health care system works. My clients always did best when we gave employees choices among plans and benefits.
Medicare Part D’s competitive model is working. The politicians should leave it alone.