Women's March

I found it disturbing to keep seeing the picture on the front page of the Jan. 19, 2017, Auburn Villager. I am referring to the photograph of the three ladies with their signs that they were planning to carry in the Women's March.

I had read that a group of pro-life women wanted to join the Women's March, but they were denied because they were pro-life. I guess a person is not considered a real woman unless she wants the right to kill her babies.

Will the March for Life, which occurred this past weekend, receive the same media attention and coverage in this newspaper as the Women's March or the Pro-Choice March? I fear not.

Apparently people only have freedom of speech if they agree with the liberal party line. Conservative people are not even allowed to disagree with the beliefs and opinions of homosexuals, Muslims, pro-abortion groups, etc. People who disagree are called homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, anti-choice and deplorable. I have been told that if I were to say that homosexual sex is a sin, I would be guilty of a hate crime.

I don't hate homosexuals, Muslims, foreigners, etc., and I don't desire to hurt them in any way. I am also not afraid of them. I just don't agree with their beliefs. Has that become a crime in this country?

Why don't conservatives use insulting names to criticize liberals who disagree with Christians or call Christians idiots? Maybe it's really the liberals who are Christianophobics (afraid of Christians), Christophobics (afraid of Christ), and aletheiaphobics (afraid of truth).

Jamie A McVay

Auburn resident

Affordable Care Act

Is amnesia so rampant that people have forgotten what insurance coverage was like prior to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)?

Consider the following: If you listen to Freedom Caucus member Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), Republicans don’t need to do much or anything after repealing Obamacare because the system before the 2010 overhaul would come back.

"As a matter of law, if there is a repeal, then we revert back to the best health care system the world has ever known, and that’s the health care system America had in 2008," Brooks said Tuesday.”

So, to summarize, Rep. Brooks thinks Congress shouldn’t do anything but repeal the Affordable Care Act and then health care coverage will be great like it was in 2008. As a reminder, this is what would change if the A CA is repealed:

• If you have a preexisting condition, insurance coverage would likely be so expensive you couldn’t afford it, IF you are able to access insurance coverage at all. This would include people who are cancer survivors, children with chronic diseases, people with incurable chronic conditions, etc. No coverage for them. (Note: pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition.)

• Affordable plans would likely cover only catastrophic conditions and have high deductibles. 

• Young adults would have to pay for their own insurance once they age out of their parents’ plan, typically at age 19 unless they are a full-time student.

• Insurance companies would set lifetime limits on coverage, and once you reach that limit, you have to pay out of your own pocket.

• Insurance companies could arbitrarily decide to cancel your policy, and there would be little or anything you could do about it.

• Preventive care would be completely out of pocket for you. Under the Affordable Care Act, preventive care - like vaccines and screenings – is covered under your plan.

• Women would have to pay out-of-pocket for life-saving screenings such as mammograms and PAP smears as well as for contraception. Currently, these are covered under the ACA.

Maybe Mr. Brooks thinks the system before 2008 was so great because affording health insurance coverage and having access to healthcare was never a problem for him.

How could a representative of a state like Alabama, which has approximately 200,000 residents with ACA coverage and is one of the poorest states in the U.S., be so blind (or worse, indifferent) to the needs of his constituents?

The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect and has some very real problems. Instead of scrapping the program entirely, our elected officials should work together to fix the ACA. 

It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but rather than throw away something that has helped so many people, they should prove that they care about the health of the American people and make the ACA better. We should demand nothing less.

Lee Wilkins

Auburn resident

Auburn Family: Just a motto

Motto: noun — a short sentence or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution.

Our Auburn hearts are broken. We have always dreamed of sending our daughter to our "family" school, Auburn University. Auburn made us who we are; we believe in the Auburn Creed, and we believe in Auburn as our family.

The Auburn Family isn't a slogan for us and our "family" is being broken apart. We are dismayed to find out that it will be impossible for our out-of-state daughter to attend Auburn for financial reasons.

Out of state legacies for Auburn have little or no chance to attend. Only the top 1 percent of high school seniors in the nation score a 29 or better on the ACT, thus qualifying them for an Auburn tuition scholarship. My daughter has a 3.8 GPA with honors classes, but that alone will not assist her in getting financial help.

My husband and I have two boys with autism that required us to move from the area to obtain specialized schooling. We are also financially better off than most by looking at our gross income, but because both our sons have a developmental disability, our finances have been greatly depleted and will continue to be depleted for their entire adult lives.

Because of our financial status on paper and the fact that we moved from Alabama after living and working in the state for many years, our daughter does not have a chance of being a Tiger.

We considered moving back to Alabama to help our daughter gain in-state admission, but because our sons require special classes, we are unable to help her in this way.

It would also be a burden for our family for her to leave to establish a domicile period in Alabama at age 19 when she is not able to attend any classes at Auburn for that first year, thus extending the time she is obtaining her degree and extending the time she is away from our family.

She is a great help to her father and me by helping with her brothers in all aspects of their lives. In trying to find out how to establish residency for in-state tuition at Auburn, we have communicated with many alumni.

The consensus is sadness that our beloved school has turned away many legacy children because of their out-of-state status and the inability of the parents to afford the out-of-state tuition rates with no easy way to remedy the cost.

Many of their kids wear Crimson and many others have had to attend neighboring SEC schools instead. My husband and I wear our orange and blue proudly and say "War Eagle" to fellow alumni and Auburn fans when we see them here in Colorado. It hurts to admit that we feel let down by Auburn.

The slogan "We are an Auburn family" has less meaning to us now. Like we said before, our Auburn heart is broken.

War Eagle,

Karen Halenkamp, RN BSN '90 and Dr. Michael Halenkamp, '87

Auburn graduates

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