Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 26, 2013

In Your View

The Independent

ASHLAND — Sign of future under ACA?

Early April 2013, I submitted my 2012 1040 to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).  I was due a $268 refund. 

May 6, 2013, an IRS computer sent me a letter.  “Some changes had been made” and I owed $673.

I responded, explaining why the “changes” could not be true.  Two computers responded but not to the specifics in my letter. One needed a 45-day extension for research and one added interest and a failure-to-pay penalty to the previous $673 bill.

After many more letters, a computer informed me in early October of its intent to seize my property. The next day, the research computer informed me by letter that it had reached a decision.  The next day, I received a refund check for $268. Finally, on Nov. 15, a computer declared that my 2012 tax was paid in full.

Why the computers threatened and harassed me from May to October is a mystery.

Now, apply my simple 1040 situation to the most complex, valuable asset any person can possess — good health — and consider this hypothetical. You or a loved one needs a test or surgery and time is critical. A bureaucratic bungle denies coverage. When you attempt to get coverage confirmed so  treatment can go forward, a bureaucrat in a distant city assigns a cadre of non-responsive computers to your case that will presume you do not have coverage until you can prove you do. 

Far fetched?  Not really. The Affordable Care Act will be the “King Kong” of bureaucracies. After implementation, it is reasonable to predict millions will experience my 1040-like predicament and sick citzens need prompt human responses, not computer-generated non-responses.

Moreover, the so-called rollout of that wolf in health-care clothing has already presented a preview of its customer service that should frighten every soon-to-be indentured citizen.

Shafter Bailey, Lexington

Sen. McConnell avoids real issue

Mitch McConnell continues to push the Family Friendly and Workplace Flexibility Act, a bill that allows hourly workers to have comp time. While the merits of this are debatable, the problem remains that McConnell is avoiding the real issue. A much greater need is an increase in the minimum wage.

Millions of full-time employed Americans are paid such low wages that they receive public assistance, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. The large majority of Americans favors raising the minimum wage, but the minority who oppose it are McConnell and the ultra-wealthy who fund his campaign. They’d rather stick taxpayers with the bill than step up and do the right thing.

If Mitch McConnell really cares about the people he represents, he should show it by making the minimum wage a decent wage that enables hard-working Americans to meet the basic needs of their families.

Sam Lapin, Burlington

Highlands tour will be best yet

We are marking off days until The Ladies of the Highlands Christmas Tour of Homes and it looks like this will be our best yet. The homes are wonderful, both in decorations and historicl value. The Highlands Museum, which this year is one of the open areas to view, was decorated from top to bottom by the Boyd County Extension Homemakers Clubs under the direction of Kathy King, president, and Vicki Shope, vice president.  This is the first year the Homemakers have decorated the museum, and it won’t be the last. The results are stunning, with trees all over the museum decorated in handmade ornaments and handdecorted wreaths.

Start your tour at the museum to get refreshments, brochures, buses to the homes (four running loops all day) and, best of all, to get into the spirit of Christmas. I thank the Boyd County Homemakers.

The tour of homes will be Dec. 7 and 8.

Ann Wiseman, Publicity  chair, Ladies of the Highlands Museum

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