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Letters 04-01-2013

- April 1st, 2013  

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Obamacare’s benefits

Three years into Obamacare, politicians are still fighting over it and the public is still divided about it. Yet millions of Americans have benefitted from it.

President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 23, 2010. As a community health representative I have seen the many benefits firsthand. People under age 26 now have access to health coverage under their parents’ plans, and many preventive services are now covered by insurance without co-pays such as birth control, annual exams, Pap and STD tests.

Some of the biggest changes are still on the horizon, set to begin in 2014, including insurance exchanges, tax credits for coverage, and the expansion of the Medicaid program.

Here in Michigan, some House lawmakers appear determined to keep the Medicaid expansion benefit from our state’s citizens despite knowing the public and Governor Snyder support it.

Medicaid expansion would give nearly half-a-million low-income workers access to health care while also saving state tax dollars and bringing in billions in new money. The figures are staggering: an estimated 10-year state savings totaling $1.1 billion and new federal revenue to the state totaling $20.5 billion.

So once again lawmakers are shamelessly putting their own petty agendas ahead of Michigan’s families and economy. It is our job to let politicians know we are not going to stand for their stalling tactics once again.

Ann Fraley • Health Care Specialist • Planned Parenthood of West & Northern Michigan

Whither Interlochen?

While reading your Best of Northern Michigan edition, I wondered when the Village of Interlochen moved to Benzie County? I have lived in Interlochen for 37 years and it’s always been in Grand Traverse County. Bud’s and the Hofbrau are indeed two of Interlochen’s best restaurants, but they are not in Benzie County.

Kathy Johnson • Interlochen

(Good point Kathy -- the reason we place Interlochen in Benzie County for the ‘Best Of’ issue is because there are so many restaurants and businesses in Grand Traverse County that the village would likely get overlooked in that region’s listings. Interlochen is an ‘in between’ community, so we place it in the Benzie listings to raise its profile in the issue. - ed.)

Pretentious MyStyle

When did pretentious become stylish in Traverse City? I am a local born and raised gal who has been a fan of Northern Express until the recent MyStyle article featured a “banana bread princess” New Yorker (who recently moved here) fashioning a $2,742 outfit.

What happened to featuring a local who wears items from the area with a reasonable yet fashionable sense of style? I hope the new contributor can get a realistic sense of the local economy and can inspire your readership for fashion sense and not nonsense.

Sarah Roberts • TC

Clueless representative

Some of our citizens find Rep. Ray Franz and his staff unresponsive to requests for information about dates for town meetings and about global warming.

Regarding global warming, Franz has unburdened himself during his campaign. He very clearly stated in a debate with Alan O’Shea in Glen Arbor that the whole batch of work on warming was and is “a hoax.” It’s a hoax, he claimed, in the opinion of “30,000 scientists” who were polled in 1998 by a poorly based group of petitioners.

As a matter of fact, he noted that an increased sale of SUVs pleases him since this helps warm his winters. Inconsistent? Well, you might think so...

The US National Academy of Sciences issued a news release about this poll stating: “The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science.”

However, that humans are causing global warming is indeed the position of the Academies of Science from 19 countries, plus 27 scientific organizations that study climate science. More specifically, around 95% of active climate researchers actively publishing climate papers endorse this consensus position.

Franz doesn’t belong in this latter league.

But, maybe on another planet.

Robert E. Marshall • Lake Leelanau

Rigged arbitration

Corporate kangaroo courts have quietly usurped our constitutional right to trial by judge and jury... welcome to arbitration where corporations win 99% of cases.

Most arbitrators are chosen by the corporation who generally handpick arbitrators from firms with proven records of favoring the corporation.

The “standard forms” you either sign or click “I Agree” probably has an arbitration clause. Even some employment agreements have an arbitration clause. The clause to look for goes by the name of BMA – “Binding Mandatory Arbitration.”

You would be surprised to find this clause in your agreements with AT&T, Amazon, Citibank, eBay, Verizon, PayPal, Netflix, Sony... and the list goes on and on. From Hooter’s to Macy’s to Manpower, the employment agreement has a BMA clause. This clause also states you cannot join a class action suit against the corporation.

For more eye-opening information, go to You’ll be disgusted by what has been done to negate the rights of your 7th Amendment to the Constitution. Make no mistake, Republicans have one thing on their agenda – GOLD! Not People!

David Petty • Charlevoix

Peak government

Remember when America was running out of oil in the early ’70s, along with concerns over acid rain and ozone layer depletion? Remember when “climate change” was politicized into global warming and now back again to climate change, thanks to Al Gore?

Remember the predicted concept of Peak Oil, and peak almost everything else? And yet America is on the edge of energy independence despite President Obama’s policies, and the mainstream press's attempt to scare us away from Canadian oil, pipelines and fracking, or almost anything that provides independence from unfriendly oil. Except of course the 3% we get from green energy. Remember three years ago when we were told we could insure 30 million folks and the cost of medical insurance would go down?

These scare tactics work through a clever combination of science and politics and unquestioning support from the mainstream media. The results are never as predicted because these folks always underestimate America’s response of supply/demand, market capitalism and tech innovation, like horizontal fracking.

Now a new concept is emerging. Peak government, has the possibility of bringing Americans together around the concept of limited, right-sized local, state and federal governments, to achieve post-recession levels of economic growth, creating jobs and growing the middle class.

Peak government is easy to understand, and discuss, and not difficult to achieve with the political tools at hand.

Adrian DenHaan • Beulah


Due to an editing error, Andrew Dost was mistakenly named as the bass player for the band fun. in last week’s Express. Dost, a Frankfort native is actually a multiinstrumentalist who plays keyboards and piano for Grammy Award winning and multiplatinum selling band.

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