Plot thickens

Well, the plot thickens in the Russian hacking business that the media won't leave alone.

The Daily Press reports today on the A3 page (as well as Bloomberg and CNSNEWS, while the LA Times won't shut up about immigration) that sources tied to the FBI say that groups and donors of the DNC have been facing extortion threats from Russian hackers demanding money in untraceable BitCoins. Interestingly, the article says, "In one case, a nonprofit group and a prominent liberal donor discussed how to use grant money to cover some costs for anti-Tump protesters."

The sleazy, dishonest, and criminal tactics of the Democrats left them wide open for this to all take place. They have plenty of secrets to hide and plenty of money to make sure it stays hidden and plenty of friends in the media. But to be paying people to disrupt the peace, beat up citizens, and encourage riots and fires while ordering law enforcement to step aside (as in the case of Ferguson and Berkeley), they have shown themselves to be radical, dangerous and criminal. Their pride and relentless pursuit of power has nipped them in the butt. Good.

Jamie Post

Apple Valley

Fair & affordable plan

I have a fair and cost effective alternative to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. I realize it's a radical, revolutionary idea, but how about this: Everyone takes responsibility for their own lives. With this simple plan, our local, state and federal governments (aka taxpayers) will no longer be on the hook for public employee healthcare. Private employers who are now are, would no longer be.

As both public and private employers wouldn't be obligated to bear employee healthcare costs, they could afford to pay their help a little more each month to help offset those costs for which employees themselves would now be responsible. Their premiums and deductibles would be set by actuaries and based upon several risk factors, just as auto and life insurers have done for decades. Seems reasonable.

People who choose to engage in risky behavior would be required to pay more for their healthcare. Adrenaline junkies (we called them showoffs when I was a kid) who participate in skydiving, rock climbing, motorcycle racing, etc. pay a higher premium. Seems fair to me.

Gluttons who live on donuts and fast food, people who smoke, abuse drugs or alcohol, or engage in unprotected sex pay a higher deductible. How is that unfair? What isn't fair is for a healthy person whose favorite pastime is painting, doing crossword puzzles, and playing chess to pay the same premium as a thrill (attention) seeker who risks breaking his back while river rafting, base jumping and extreme skiing.

You wanna have eight kids? No problemo, but you're gonna need a second job because you'll be paying for their healthcare yourself.

Writing that huge check every month for your own health care premium would certainly be incentive to stay healthy, avoid injuries, use birth control, and just behave more responsibly.

If your health is important to you, then act like it, make it a priority, and behave like a grownup. It's not reasonable to demand your employer (or taxpayers) pay your way or expect others to sacrifice by subsidizing your thrilling lifestyle.

Mike Sparlin

Victorville

Kiss Medicare goodbye

A dastardly stealth attack on seniors has begun. And it isn’t pretty. Kiss Medicare goodbye.

The new GOP plan to gut the Affordable Care Act will give massive tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the poor, elderly and sick.

How does it do this? By raiding $346 billion from the Medicare trust fund to pay for giveaways to the wealthy. This in turn intentionally weakens Medicare’s finances.

Immediately after Election Day, Paul Ryan “justified” his plan to gut Medicare by saying, “because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke.”

Not true according to the actuaries. ACA has in fact extended the lifespan of the Medicare Trust Fund. But the GOP’s plan is a self-fulfilling prophecy: Weaken Medicare in order to destroy the program through privatization.

The bill removes protections that limit the amounts health insurance companies can charge older Americans. This would be particularly devastating to people in their fifties and early sixties, who aren't yet eligible for Medicare.

And, to rub salt in the wound, the bill threatens the financial security of millions of families due to cuts in Medicaid. About 10 million seniors are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid ― with Medicaid covering the majority of long-term nursing home costs for low-income seniors.

Cuts to Medicaid would deprive millions of seniors of needed nursing home coverage, forcing families to scramble to either make up the difference or provide in-home care instead.

Yes, it's a stealth plan. No I didn’t vote for any of this.

Virgil Jose

Apple Valley

Old tricks

A letter writer complains that Liberty Utilities can't stick to the facts ("Liberty's tricks," Daily Press, March 7, 2017). Those who have not been following this issue closely may not realize the author of that letter doesn't recognize facts when he sees them.

To give a few examples, he has was wrong on the drought surcharge, he is wrong on the role of the CPUC in setting our water rates, he is wrong in saying Liberty is not transparent with its finances, he was wrong to imply that Apple Valley Ranchos was for sale separately, he was wrong to imply that Carlyle forced Apple Valley ratepayers to do anything, he is wrong about Liberty's replacement schedule for water mains, he is wrong to say water rates are higher in Apple Valley than in surrounding areas, he was wrong to say that Liberty Utilities are investment bankers, he is wrong to say Liberty is a monopoly, he is wrong to imply that Liberty stands to make excessive profits, he is wrong to say that Liberty is guaranteed a certain profit, he was wrong to imply that Liberty shouldn't make money on the millions it is investing in our community, he was wrong to imply that all water is "our" water, he is wrong to imply there have been uncontrolled water rate increases, and ... oops, I'm out of space.

One of this letter writer's most spectacular failures to recognize established facts has been his insistence on parroting Assistant Town Manager Marc Puckett's false claims about Liberty planning to raise rates 14 percent annually for three years. When confronted with the actual facts of the matter, the letter writer refused to accept them. Now he's taken to criticizing Liberty for freezing rates.

The one irrefutable fact is that he should take his own advice.

Greg Raven

Apple Valley