Readers Respond

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Letters to the Editor

A casino would bring money into Storm Lake


Reading the Paper about a casino boat on the lake sounds good to me.

Each month there is a bus twice from Storm Lake, twice from Early, heading to Sloan, Iowa.

On the same bus trip there are people from Algona, Emmetsburg, Spencer, Highway 3 & 71 all going to Sloan.

The bus going through Early has people from Algona, Humboldt, Ft. Dodge and Sac all heading for Sloan, Iowa.

So why not have all those people stay in Storm Lake and leave some money to help what Storm Lake needs.

It could help lower our house taxes so all of us seniors on fixed incomes could stay in our homes.

It could also help build the new County Jail.

Why not let the boat come in on a three-year lease, if it's not helping Storm Lake bringing in people who leave behind money to help with our needs then cancel their lease and go from there.

With all the money going to Sloan and other casinos in our area, lets leave some of it right here in our own city.

I've been to the casino several times in Osceola, Iowa and they are enjoying a nice sum of money coming back into their town.

So why can't Storm Lake enjoy a nice sum of money too?

- Jerry Hansen, Storm Lake

Vote for respectability


I'm of the opinion that as Iowans, we risk losing respect politically for two reasons; keeping Steve King in office and not exercising our democratic duties on any level. We need new representation in office, especially on the Congressional level. Get out and vote, please.

- John Hammond, via Internet

Bad policy for seniors


Many seniors are starting to get their new Medicare drug discount cards.

But what do you really know about this new system? In his speech the other day, President Bush claimed the new "drug discount cards will allow seniors to save between 15 percent and 25 percent off of brand-name medicines." But did you know that these new cards do not guarantee any savings at all, as the new program allows drug companies to raise prices at any time, without notice, and without giving seniors the option to change plans or providers? Plus, many mail order and online pharmacies can already beat most of the prices that are offered through the official discount cards.

According to the Washington Post, Medicare beneficiaries are under no obligation to sign up for a card, but if they do, they can choose only one.

They can change cards only once, when enrollment for the 2005 program begins this fall. Card sponsors can charge different annual fees - but no more than $30 - and different prices for the same medications. They can change drug

prices once a week.

One would think that with such massive combined buying power the government has, that they would be able to negotiate some nice volume discounts from the pharmaceutical companies, like the VA does. According to a Congressional report, a month's supply of ten popular drugs costs $587 when purchased in bulk by the Department of Veterans Affairs but averages $1,026

with the new drug cards.

Why would our President promote a bill like this? Maybe because, as the Boston Globe reported, President Bush allowed his longtime Texas crony and financial backer David Halbert - a drug industry executive - to personally

craft the portion of the Medicare bill that created the drug card program.

Halbert's company, Advance PCS - which Bush himself once invested in and made up to $1 million from - was one of the first companies approved to participate in the new drug card program, and stands to make substantial profits. It could also be because of the billions of dollars the

pharmaceutical companies spend on lobbying and financial campaign contributions to President Bush and the Republican National Committee.

Is our President working for America's senior citizens, or is he selling our country to the highest bidder? You decide.

- Matt Pearson, Storm Lake