Letters to the Editor

in Letters to Editor/Voices by

Contact your reps about business license program

You may have heard that a bill has been introduced in the SC House of Representatives that will have dramatic impacts on the way that municipalities operate their business license program. 

A conservative estimate indicates the impact on the city of Beaufort’s budget would be a shortfall of $1 million. The bill gives special exemptions to large corporations, while leaving local businesses and property owners to make up revenue shortfalls. 

We urge you to contact the sponsors of this bill and your local representatives, and express your opposition to this proposal.

For a fact sheet prepared by the Municipal Association of SC, visit bit.ly/2lkdwyL.

We urge you to contact the city’s state Rep. Shannon Erickson and express your concern about this bill and the impact it would have on your local government and small businesses. 

Erickson can be reached atshannonerickson@schouse.gov or 803-734-3261. 

We also suggest you share your thoughts with the city’s state Sen. Tom Davis at TomDavis@scsenate.gov or 803-212-6350. 

Please contact Kathy Todd, finance director, or me, with questions or for more information. 

I can be reached at landerson@cityofbeaufort.org. Todd can be reached at ktodd@cityofbeaufort.org.

Thank you for your support.

Libby Anderson
Planning Director
City of Beaufort

Lady’s Island growth needs long-term plans 

I attended the Lady’s Island Corridor Study meeting at Lady’s Island Middle School. I must say that I was a little more than surprised. 

First, the meeting was opened by the mayor of Beaufort. There was no statement by any official of Lady’s Island or Beaufort County. Are they just following and not leading? Do they not care? Is it a pre-gone conclusion that the prime areas of Lady’s Island have already been given the OK to annex by the city?   

Second, three different traffic proposals were made and each of them was based on a residential increase of only 1 percent per year between now and 2038. This was confirmed by the study presenter. 

Really??? Do we think that Walmart would spend millions on a new store for only a 1-percent population increase per year? If we do, then I feel sorry for the local businesses, because it means that most of Walmart’s business is going to be taken from them. 

While I believe that the proposals will provide some relief, it will be only short-term. The corridor study appears to be a shallow attempt to do something with minimal pain instead of providing a real comprehensive plan to get ahead of the situation and a real solution for the future growth of Lady’s Island. 

Let’s bite the bullet now rather than try and play catch-up over and over again.

John Stevenson
Newpoint, Lady’s Island

Robotics team needs financial support

On behalf of the Lady’s Island Middle School Robotics Team, I am writing this letter to request for your support. 

One of our teams has been selected to compete in the prestigious US Open Robotics Championship in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in April 2017. Teams from all across the world are selected to participate in this unique event. 

The competition spans all ages with numerous competitions, allowing for our students to participate in a global educational experience.

Our robotics team, affectionately called “The Janitors,” has made great strides over the past few years working together to help build a quality robotics program at LIMS and the Lady’s Island Community. 

The program is important to us as a school, and is not only a curricular activity for our students but also an extra-curricular activity. 

Our robotics teams participate in numerous competitions throughout the year and consistently are recognized for their talents and dedication to the program. 

We are asking our local businesses to support our endeavors as we continue our efforts for a high quality, global technology program that strives to prepare our students for the future. 

Money raised through your sponsorship will go directly towards the cost of travel, meals and lodging for our students. With a $200 donation by March 15, we will include your business on our T-shirts. We welcome any donation.

Please consider making a contribution today. Checks may be made out to Lady’s Island Middle School and sent to Greg Hall, Lady’s Island Middle School, 30 Cougar Drive, Beaufort, SC 29907. 

Gregory Hall
Principal
Lady’s Island Middle School

Senator’s comments on ACA are misleading

The only reason Sen. Tim Scott can headline his misleading column (The Island News, Feb. 9) with “We are building a better healthcare system” is because citizens and medical care providers work hard at it, and because the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) beat him to it. 

The successes of the ACA are widely documented with testimonials about finally getting care despite pre-existing conditions, and in the numbers. The uninsured rate is down from 41 million people in 2013 to 28.5 million people in 2015. So there’s still work to do. 

Instead, in his editorial the senator continues on with complaints meant to mislead rather than heal. 

“President Obama’s mantra that if you liked your doctor you would keep them,” claims the senator. 

The ACA does not determine your network of providers, that is a business agreement between insurance companies and hospitals and doctors. 

Insurance companies, however, have been narrowing the networks as a way to save themselves money and water down the benefits we pay for out of our pockets and with our taxes. 

Insurance companies are furthermore often incapable of telling patients what is in and out of network, which leads to balance billing, cutting people off from specialists and delaying and interfering with medical decisions. These failures are also a major cause of bankruptcies. 

Scott complains about the costs of reform and healthcare in general. Yes, it’s really expensive, and yes, it would be more expensive now without the stewardship of proper reform, and yes, I agree, there’s room for improvement in the ACA. 

So let’s be positive about it instead of divisive, and forward-thinking instead of hissy-fitting. 

Healthcare is a best use of our tax dollars. South Carolina has awful, and awfully expensive, rates of diabetes, infant and maternal mortality and more. Then there’s security issues like Zika, ebola and mental illness and guns. Walls are nothing to bullets and germs. 

A sincerely managed healthcare system means a lot: that all children are healthy enough learn to the best of their abilities, and it means well-paying jobs, innovation and technology and hope. 

If healthcare was not tied to employment — because it doesn’t have to be — workers would have the freedom to choose jobs suited to their skills and ambitions, and employers would not be responsible for the profit margins of insurance companies. 

“In the Palmetto State,” Scott claims, “insurance companies have fled the marketplace exchange, and many of our constituents are left with only one option for healthcare.” 

This is true because Gov. Haley refused to expand Medicaid and grandfathered in the state health plan, essentially preventing taxpayers from shopping for their own insurance. 

She also spread the same “alternative facts” as Scott is now. 

Follow the money to BlueCross BlueShield. More significantly, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida turned off the Risk Corridor program of the ACA, which forced numerous insurance companies to close in South Carolina and nationally. Now, those insurance companies are successfully suing the federal government because a little man who wanted to be president needed to score some political points. In South Carolina, patients were cut off from their specialists mid treatment; the Post & Courier covered their stories well. 

Insurance companies and politicians are not patient-centered. Consumers are still getting ripped off. 

Keep in mind that the ACA is not for everyone. No one has to shop at marketplace.gov; it’s simply a resource for people who need or choose to. 

The “repeal and replace” plans are big, expensive, deliberate steps backwards, steps taken to personally profit certain politicians and the many middlemen known as insurance companies. 

As our new president tweets: Sad. 

Lisa Rentz
Beaufort