, Derry, New Hampshire

December 12, 2013

Letters to the editor

Derry News

---- — Derry taxpayers have little to celebrate

To the editor:

This past Friday, Dec. 6, the Derry Municipal Building was closed for business during the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the annual employee holiday party. For the citizens of Derry that were unaware of the closure and who went to Town Hall to conduct their business, they were informed of the closing with a sign taped on the door.

In the 15 minutes which I was standing outside the Municipal Building during the time of closing, at least 15 people got out of their vehicles, walked to the door, tried to open the door and could not because of the door being locked, read the sign, shook their heads and then returned to their vehicle. Two of the individuals who stopped to speak to me said that they were on their lunch hour and were there to pay their tax bill and register their vehicles.

I do not know if the transfer station was also closed, I can only assume that it was, because like the Municipal Building it is manned by Derry town employees. If so, how many citizens of Derry were denied entry to the transfer station?

I am saddened to say that the Derry Town Council was not only aware of this closing, but appears to have condoned it. Were the town employees paid to attend the annual employee holiday party? Who paid the bill for the restaurant that catered the affair? Did the town of Derry rent a hall? How much did this celebration cost the Derry taxpayers who just received a substantial increase in their tax bills?

Town of Derry employees are well compensated monetarily for their work and in addition, receive health and dental benefits that you and I pay for that we do not see working in the private sector. Must we pay for holiday celebrations also? When I worked in the private sector, holiday parties were held after hours so as not affect business, and either the company paid for the party through proceeds from their yearly profits or we contributed monetarily.

The Municipal Building located at 14 Manning St. was built and staffed to serve the citizens of Derry, paid for by the Derry taxpayers. How were the citizens of Derry being served between the hours of 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, with the doors of our Municipal Building locked and not an employee in sight? What a blatant display of total disregard for the citizens of Derry who are forced to foot the bill for this latest excess in an economy that is still struggling.

Janet Fairbanks


No going back on health care

To the editor:

To hear Republicans tell the tale, the U.S. was in the golden age of health care insurance before the abominable Affordable Care Act (ACA). Their misty-eyed sighs of longing for the good old days seem to have by-passed a few memory cells.

In fact the U.S. health care system is one morass of inefficiency, waste and head-scratching complication. That’s why there have been major efforts to reform it, both Republican and Democratic, for 60 plus years!

Just a few basics should suffice. First, well over half of all bankruptcies in the U.S. are caused by medically related emergencies. Many of these families had medical insurance, but under the laws of the good old days insurance companies were allowed to cancel medical insurance when people got sick. Many policies had fine print that limited payouts to so little as to be meaningless. People only found out their medical insurance was worthless after they got sick. Almost all of this is eliminated by the ACA.

Second, the 2000 report of the World Health Organization (the only worldwide one ever done) rated the U.S. No. 1 in cost but 37th in delivery. So, yes, we are No. 1.

Third, in an Aug. 2013 report, a Bloomberg study ranked the U.S. 46th of 48 nations in medical efficiency but No. 1 in per capita GDP costs.

Fourth, last month the non-partisan Commonwealth Fund published the results of a survey of 11 industrialized countries. Their findings show just how bad the status quo of our health care system is. The United States has the most complicated, most expensive and most frustrating health care system in the industrialized world. And none of it due to the ACA, most of which took effect after the survey.

Before the ACA, we had medical insurance cost inflation two- and three-times higher than the inflation rate, millions of people were thrown off their insurance policies at the whim of insurance companies. More than 30 percent of all medical dollars went to administrative costs, not medical care, the ACA ends that.

The Republican solution? Endless complaints about the ACA and tireless efforts to sabotage it. What have the Republicans offered in place of the ACA? The good old days -- an incorrect diagnosis and a worse treatment plan.

Michael Frandzel


Morse must answer for Medicaid position

To the editor:

What is New Hampshire state Sen. Chuck Morse going to say to the over 50,000 people -- a percentage of whom are probably his own constituents -- when he and his Senate Republicans have now denied them health care through the Medicaid expansion program starting Jan. 1, 2014?

These are the working poor who are working two and three part-time jobs making minimum wage to support their families here in New Hampshire, but unable to afford the high cost of health insurance. Feeling a lump, ill or hurt themselves, they will turn to the emergency room, where we the citizens of New Hampshire end up paying for these services through our tax dollars.

Not even our own New Hampshire insurance commissioner or the director of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services felt Morse’s compromise plan was a viable one that would benefit our state’s families in this situation of being unable to get health insurance through their employers because they work under 30 hours.

I only hope these 50,000 people remember this at the next election. As our great President John F. Kennedy said: “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.”

Jane Lang


Doors can model political parties

To the editor:

I find doorways intriguing, like the catchy cover of a book. What is the story behind the door? I have a collection of personal doorway photos from 32 countries. I am not alone, there are hundreds of books and thousands of photo collections available. What is the attraction, the physical doorway or what it might portend?

There are many ways to look at doorways, their size, color, material, design, strength and their number. One seldom thinks a doorway could be an icon for a political party, but I do.

When I see a tall, wide, clear glass, automatic double door that swings in, displaying a big bright welcome, that suggests an inviting and easy entry, I think of the Democratic Party.

When I see a single, narrow, heavy wooden door, unlocked with a passcode, a skin and voice scan with a members only notice above the gold-plated handle, I think of the Republican Party.

Behind the Republican door awaits a litmus test to access the inner offices: the anti-choice door, anti-immigration reform door, anti-government door, anti-science door, anti-tax door, anti-health-care door. If you don’t commit to any of these options you are directed to the exit door.

The Democratic door opens to a landscape of problem solving pods, no closed doors, no restricted areas, no loyalty test. Instead a suggestion box, in multiple languages, dominates the entry area along with a sign-up sheet for public service projects.

The doorways tell us even more|one is welcoming, suggests diversity, focus on moving forward, a positive attitude and openness to new ideas. The other is barrier like, ideologically restrictive, opposed to any and all change, with a generally spiteful attitude.

In the next election cycle I hope that the voters slam the door in the face of Republican candidates and show the incumbents the door that leads out of their offices and out of town.

Dave Potter

North Hampton