Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 8, 2013

Aug. 8, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — ‘No blue sky’ for folks without health care

I read Indiana Commissioner of Insurance Stephen W. Robertson’s letter to the editor claiming that expenditures of individual health care costs will skyrocket due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, other experts in the health insurance field dispute Commissioner Robertson’s assertion and offer healthy skepticism about the Pence administration’s estimates.

The Pence administration arrived at its figures by weighing each of the four plans — Platium, Gold, Silver and Bronze — equally, which is unrealistic. States like California, New York, Oregon and Washington based their estimates on the costs of the Silver Plan, which is more realistic than expecting 25 percent of consumers will choose the Gold Plan and another 25 percent will opt for the Platinum Plan.

The administration needs to provide Hoosiers with a more realistic estimate, rather than trying to give proof to its ideological animosity toward President Obama and ACA. Commissioner Robertson should base the corrected figures on the likely percentage of use of a plan multiplied by the cost of that particular plan. It would enable those of us on the Indiana Health Finance Commission, as well as average Hoosiers, to view a more accurate picture of the effects of ACA rather than watching unrealistic figures being moved around in a type of political shell game.

May I respectfully remind Gov. Pence and Commissioner Robertson that while you may believe the sky is falling because of ACA, there is no blue sky for Hoosier families without health care. Remember, health care is a human right, not a privilege for the wealthy.

Rep. B. Patrick Bauer,

D-South Bend

1,500-foot setback protects landowners

I guess I don’t understand. In March of this year, after several hours of expert and public testimony, the BZA granted the petition for the Prairie Breeze Wind Farm with two conditions. No. 1, that a 1,500-foot setback from property lines be maintained and, No. 2, that juwi return to the BZA with a property value guarantee. One thousand five hundred feet from any property line, period.

The BZA did not ask for an opinion, rebuttal or any discussion on this. The BZA did ask for juwi to return with a property value guarantee that would protect the non-participating property owners. It is my understanding that juwi had 30 days to submit an appeal to a court of law if it did not like the ruling, not an appeal to the BZA. The BZA does not have a procedure to hear an appeal because it does not hear appeals to their rulings.

I commend and applaud the BZA on voting to uphold its ruling in March.

The setback is a done deal. The BZA ruled to use property lines. Using property lines with a minimum of a 1,500-foot setback needs to be included in the county wind ordinance and in the comprehensive plan for future wind applications. Using property lines protects the rights of a property owner to use the property as the owner sees fit, without imposing on their neighbor. Using a setback from a residence restricts the use of the property, which is a violation of the rights of the property owner.

It’s time for juwi and E.ON to move on to some other unsuspecting county, if there is one. Thanks to the efforts of the CRD and others in surrounding counties and around the world, it is getting harder for the wind companies to sneak in and set up.

Stan Jones