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Letters

Affordable Care Act good deal for Indiana

What would be said of a businessperson who refused to engage in a transaction where an expenditure of each $2.60 would safely return between $14.30 and $26.40?

I all the time hear conservative Republican politicians saying that government should be run more like a business. Yet in Indiana, Gov. Mike Pence, has refused to engage in just such a transaction. But I’m not talking about several dollars; I’m talking about several billions.

Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Indiana would get between $14.3 billion and $26.4 billion in federal tax money for an expenditure of $1.7 billion to $2.6 billion in Indiana tax money. That’s a great deal, and the only possible reason it’s being refused is because conservative Republicans won’t say yes because President Barack Obama wants it.

I don’t think that a government should be run like a business, since it isn’t. It should be run in a cost-efficient manner to provide necessary services to its citizens. I think that health care is necessary. The discussion above doesn’t even consider the estimated 400,000 Hoosiers who would be covered under the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid if Pence would simply agree to the more than 1000 percent return being offered. Among those 400,000 people, there will be many who will needlessly suffer and die without health care. That’s what government should try to correct, even if it’s not a good business deal.

DAVID KOLHOFF Fort Wayne

Damage only adds to artwork’s ambience

I’m having trouble understanding the big fuss about the “artwork” that was recently damaged by a wayward motor vehicle. In my opinion, it looks much better with the orange plastic and chain-link fences that now surround it.

JAMES A. BRENOCK Fort Wayne

Duke’s Edwardsport fiasco continues to mushroom

Now that Duke Energy’s Edwardsport plant is allegedly “commercial,” it’s once again time to set the record straight.

Duke, along with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, continues to perpetuate the myth that the plant will result in just a 14.5 percent rate increase. This 14.5 percent represents only a portion of the financing costs. Additional financing costs of at least $320 million, as well as the actual construction costs currently capped at $2.595 billion, are not included.

Duke is already collecting about $30 million a month from ratepayers just for financing costs.

Duke claims its construction costs are capped at $2.595 billion, but that isn’t accurate. Duke declared the plant in service on June 7, which effectively marks the end of this so-called cost cap. From this date forward, ratepayers can potentially be stuck with every dollar Duke spends on the plant, and there remains a lengthy list of items to be completed.

The IURC has declined to protect consumers by refusing to place any requirements on the Edwardsport plant. Despite this plant being a first-of-its-kind technology, if it doesn’t work or operates at less than the 85 percent capacity factor that Duke estimated the plant will achieve, Duke ratepayers are stuck with the bill.

Duke indicates it will be another 15 months before the plant is expected to have its “long-term level of availability.” Duke has been less than forthcoming every step of the way with this boondoggle. Why should anyone believe them now?

KERWIN OLSON Executive director Citizens Action Coalition

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