Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 letters: DIA sign, health care, Equifax data breach

DIA sign is distracting

Re: “A sign of the times: DIA ready to cash in,” Feb. 7 news story

Thank you so much for your article on the lights along Peña Boulevard.

While it is pretty from a distance, it is rather distracting to drive by at the speeds on Peña . I’m afraid that even more “flashy” advertising will be even more distracting. In general, I think it’s a costly mistake but no one asked me. I wish I had known when they were considering it.

Valerie Burns, Denver


Big health care is the problem

Re: “Government and health care,” Jan. 31 letter to the editor

This to take vigorous issue with a letter from Chuck Wright who wrote to allege that the “main cause of high health care costs is government.” Baloney!

In fact, it is the need of 1,300 health insurance companies for profit, overhead, marketing and legal expenses.

The savings from taking health care out of the hands of 1,300 insurance companies and paying for it through a single-payer tax system would make Medicare for All easily affordable for this country. This is especially true when you consider that the Medicare risk pool is made up of old, sick people. Imagine how much average health care costs would be driven down if all the young, healthy people were added to the medicare pool.

A study by Public Citizen found that 75 percent of all health care lobbyists represent Big Pharma, health insurance companies and hospitals. What does that tell us about the main cause of high health care costs?

Health care is too important to every individual and every family in America to be left to a system whose main concern is profit.

Dick Bureson, Golden


Ask the experts on the border

Perhaps what we need instead of political parties wrangling over what is appropriate border security, is a strong voice coming from the people who are actually on the border doing the work needed to protect our borders. Would a president or member of Congress approach General Milley, the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and tell him we need more tanks, or more paratroopers or whatever? I don’t think so, because being the senior general of the Army, we would defer to his
judgement as to what the needs of his service are. If we don’t have a strong, experienced person capable of making an a informed request on behalf of the border patrol, then let’s get someone to act in that capacity. And soon.

Don Roll, Englewood


Protect consumers from forced arbitration agreements

Re: “The unfinished business of the Equifax hack,” Feb. 2 editorial

Saturday’s editorial calling for legislation to protect consumers from corporations who harm them spoke to me. As one of the 145 million people victimized by the 2017 Equifax data breach, my private information was compromised. To add insult to injury, Equifax offered me “free” identity theft protection, but only if I signed an arbitration agreement waiving my right to take to them to court.

Consumers should be able to hold corporations accountable for wrongdoing. But as the editorial pointed out, virtually nothing has changed in the year-and-a-half since the Equifax debacle happened.

Arbitration agreements protected the company from consumers, and authorities haven’t held the company accountable nor addressed the deeper industry-wide flaws that made the breach possible.

Until this happened to me, I didn’t realize how widespread the use of arbitration has become and how destructive it is for everyday people. Corporations hide forced arbitration clauses in the fine print of contracts and use agreements to shirk responsibility for everything from exploding cell phones to abuse in nursing homes. Forced arbitration stacks the deck against us because it’s secretive and typically allows corporations to dictate the arbitrators.

Consumers deserve better. Luckily, state legislators are expected to introduce a bill to make arbitration more fair and transparent. It would protect consumers by 1) requiring basic public reporting so consumers can research whether a corporation has a pattern of troubling behavior toward consumers and 2) ensuring arbitrators adhere to ethical standards like we have for judges to guard against conflicts of interest.

Kevin Rhoades, Denver

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