Letters to the Editor

10/30 Letters: Well-intentioned NC lawmakers should be wary about expanding Medicaid

Medicaid expansion

It would be marvelous if the simple answers were always the best, but altruistically wanting folks to be insured and expanding government programs are two different animals.

Medicaid expansion can cause private health insurance costs to rise as hospitals actually lose money from the government reimbursement program as opposed to private insurance, causing costs to be passed on.

A recent study by the American Medical Association reported that a quarter of U.S. healthcare spending, representing roughly $900 billion, is waste. Most of this waste is through admin costs and pre-authorization processes associated with payer programs (Medicaid).

Furthermore, this isn’t a “money on the table” situation. The state has to pay its share, that share increases next year, and there is no idea what those share increases will be in the future.

I respect the good intentions, but caution should be exercised.

Dan Lloyd, Raleigh

Durham housing

When my wife and I moved to the Old West Durham neighborhood in 1999, we were motivated by Durham’s diversity, the community’s activism, and affordability of homes for first-time buyers.

As home prices and rents have risen on our block, we can see that our newer neighbors have higher incomes and that fewer neighbors are people of color. I see these changes reflected across downtown neighborhoods and beyond.

The real estate market is not working to provide housing options for people of all incomes. Nonprofit organizations have been doing great work for years to provide affordable housing, but it’s not enough.

It’s past time for the city, county, and Durham Housing Authority to act together to provide more affordable housing for our neighbors who are being priced out. Join me in voting yes for the affordable housing bond.

John Tallmadge, Durham

Fund police instead

The presumed need for more affordable housing does not justify a $95 million bond issue and higher property taxes.

Durham is already budgeting millions per year for affordable housing, and incurring still more debt means only that we’ll build affordable housing faster than currently.

Plenty of affordable housing exists in Durham outside downtown.

Durham’s property taxes are already some of the highest in the state. We should vote to defeat the $95 million bond and budget more funding for our police force.

Barbara Gerwe, Durham

Hill’s resignation

Through near-tearful fury at “revenge porn,” Calif. Rep. Katie Hill resigned from Congress Monday, pledging to “fight for women and girls” to ensure our ability to run for public office without fear of this menace.

Her outrage is misplaced. She cries “victim” without a shred of awareness that, in fact, her appalling lack of judgment as a candidate for political office, coupled with her egregious misuse of her workplace power, led to her demise.

Hill is no more the victim of “revenge porn” than Donald Trump is the victim of the tape recorder that captured his call to the Ukrainian president.

Ms. Hill, please do not “fight for me.” You are not fighting my fight: the elimination of the sexual exploitation of women and girls.

Mary Elizabeth Windham, Chapel Hill

Game-day alcohol

I’m in my fifth year serving as a volunteer usher for UNC football and basketball games.

While I enjoy helping fans, I do not relish the duty of monitoring those who drink too much.

I suspect the General Assembly approved the law allowing UNC System campus trustees to permit alcoholic beverages at games as part of their efforts to win re-election next year.

Attendance at games should be opportunities for enjoyment and not present the chance to engage in a three-hour bar stop.

UNC System campus trustees should be mindful of the effects of too much drinking and forgo the extra profits generated by alcohol sales. Law enforcement officers and game staff on duty have other safety concerns.

Mark G. Rodin, Durham

NCDMV renewal fee

It used to be simple and free to renew a vehicle registration online, but no more.

The NC DMV has enlisted the services of a third party called PayIt.

The new interface is unnecessarily complicated and they now charge a fee of $3 per transaction for the privilege.

To add insult to injury, the DMV no longer encloses a return envelope for renewing by mail. I guess they really want to encourage everyone to pay $3 per transaction and discourage everyone from renewing by mail.

This state is so concerned about being business friendly, why doesn’t it concentrate on being consumer friendly and taking care of its citizens?

Chris Rappl, Raleigh