Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

December 29, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Keep speed limit same on U.S. 23

As is my usual practice at this time of year, I try to review the summaries of the pre-filed bills which may or may not be taken up by the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly.

One of these bills is BR 38, filed by Rep. Kenny Imes of Murray.  It would raise the speed limit from 55 mph to 65 mph on four-lane highways where feasible, in addition to interstates and parkways which are already at the higher speed or higher.

This might be feasible for some sections of four lanes in certain parts of the state, but not for U.S. 23, I think. With the many side roads, crossovers and heavy coal truck traffic on U.S. 23, I feel raising the speed limit on this highway would be unsafe. Some coal trucks are already running 65 miles an hour or higher while empty.

About 20 years ago, my brother’s wife was almost killed by a coal truck that ran a red light at Louisa. I would invite you to let your representatives know how you feel about this issue and the many other bills pending before the 2014 legislature that you may have an interest in.

Go to the Kentucky General Assembly website and click on pre-filed bills.  It takes some time to review the summaries of the almost 200 bills, but that is the cost of being an informed citizen. A lot of these bills will never see daylight, but I feel it important to let them know early on how we feel on the ones of interest to us.    

Doug Spillman, Flatwoods

Single-payer is only other choice

The individual is responsible for his or her own well-being, and rightfully so. Take health care for example, now unaffordable for the majority of Americans, and over-priced to every American. 

Just as in the case of our soaring national debt, soaring health care costs are forcing the issue. These problems, obvious for decades, are monuments to the incompetence of our governments. Patchwork half-measures merely complicate the situation; this includes the Affordable Care Act.

Regardless of all the propaganda to the contrary, governments, employers and insurance companies do not pay your medical bills. All three groups had their motives for getting into the health care game. Politicians were interested in making themselves indispensable. Employers were simply protecting their backsides and bottom lines. Insurance companies wanted their percentage of the take. Now that it is evident that the system is failing, all three groups are writhing and wiggling.

How are you going to pay for health care? Let's create a state-of-the-art "single-payer" health care system with these characteristics:  Every American citizen included, free choice of medical provider, negotiated prices for services, negotiated prices for pharmaceuticals, limits on court-awarded damages, tiered rate structures from basic preventive care up to catastrophic care applying the insuring principle to spread the risks and costs broadly and legitimately, built-in incentives to lower costs, monetary rewards for staying healthy, with the individual paying  at the rate proportional to the goods and services he or she requests and receives above the basic care-minimum rate which everyone pays.

System designers must remain focused on the rights of those providing medical goods and services, and those receiving goods and services. Both groups must be treated fairly and equitably.

No viable plan exists today.We’ve two choices: (1) current hodgepodge or (2) single-payer.

Michael Myers, Lexington

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Opinion
  • What's next?

    While virtually all cities in northeastern Kentucky provide their residents with some utility services — water and sewer, mainly, and sometimes natural gas — to the best of our knowledge, Olive Hill is the only town in the FIVCO‚Äąregion with its own electrical company.
     

    April 13, 2014

  • 'Waited too long'

    Lt. Garlin Murl Conner left the U.S. Army as the second-most decorated soldier during World War II, earning four Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, seven Purple Hearts and the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during 28 straight months in combat.

    April 12, 2014

  • Enact HB 3

    The National Rx Drug Abuse Summit is under way hundreds of miles from eastern Kentucky in Orlando, Fla., but the three-day conference which runs through Thursday, was organized by Operation UNITE, the eastern Kentucky anti-drug group that knows all too well the devastating impact the prescription drug epidemic continues to have on this region.

    April 11, 2014

  • State officials cease efforts to stop advance of ash borer

    Kentucky’s war against the tiny emerald ash borer responsible for already killing more than 25 million ash trees in the eastern United States has ended in surrender — by state officials, not the tiny insect.

    April 8, 2014

  • Demise of apparel industry in Kentucky continues

    The steady demise of the once thriving clothing industry in small Kentucky towns continues with the latest factory to announce it is shutting down being one of the largest: Fruit of the Loom has announced it is closing its last remaining plant in Jamestown, a move that eventually will see the elimination of more than 600 jobs in the small town near Lake Cumberland.

    April 7, 2014

  • None on ballot

    The 2014 Kentucky General Assembly considered an unusually high number of proposed amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on such issues as casino gambling, the restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and the elimination of state and local elected offices.

    April 4, 2014

  • In Your View

    Letters to the editor

    April 3, 2014

  • Time runs out

    Two bills proposed by House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and designed to boost the economy of this region have apparently died in the Kentucky Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives. Despite easily being approved by the Democratic-controlled House, neither bill was even brought up for a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Time runs out

    Two bills proposed by House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins and designed to boost the economy of this region have apparently died in the Kentucky Senate after being approved by the House of Representatives. Despite easily being approved by the Democratic-controlled House, neither bill was even brought up for a vote by the Republican-controlled Senate.

    April 2, 2014

  • Dismal numbers

    The good news is that the health ratings of all but two area counties improved in the latest ranking of the state’s 120 counties. However, before we pat ourselves on the back for those improvements, the overall health of residents of counties in northeast Kentucky remains rather dismal. Yes, we are improving but we still have a long, long way to go.

    April 2, 2014