The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services put out competitive bids and awarded contracts to website developers who have now made a complete mess of the rollout of HealthCare.gov. But Republicans should stop claiming that the failure of private contractors to deliver proves the Affordable Care Act — a plan that originated in a conservative think tank and was embraced by Republicans until a Democratic president got behind it — is a failure.
After all, how many Republicans complained that the Iraq war was a failure just because private contractors like Halliburton took billions the Bush administration borrowed from China and tossed them down some rabbit hole of incompetence and corruption in Baghdad?
There had better be an investigation, and those who bear the responsibility for the debacle should be held accountable. Secretary Sebelius should not pay those contractors a single dime until everything works as it should. But let’s have an end to Republican hypocrisy. Though if you think that’s likely to happen, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.
Joan S. Friedman
Ken Babby struck out on this one. Naming his minor league baseball team after a child’s bathtub toy is a joke. Akron will become the laughing stock of baseball after Babby let this grounder go between his legs.
The newspaper stated that minor league baseball “isn’t taken too seriously” (“Gone quackers,” Oct. 31). I guarantee you every player and coach in the minor leagues takes the game seriously. I’ll bet most of the Akron players will be embarrassed to wear jerseys that say “RubberDucks.”
Babby should have let the fans vote on the name, but he dropped an easy pop fly. Sure, the kids will have a good time at the game honking their toy ducks, but the true baseball fan in Akron will now be stuck with a team with a ridiculous name and logo.
Patrick R. Piercy
It is remarkable that pictures like those of Chinese cities with such high pollution levels that visibility is reduced to 30 yards do not shock the rest of the world into swifter action to clean up our shared atmosphere.
Before the rest of us get too smug about our own air quality, recent records of the rising toll on asthma and other respiratory sufferers due to polluted air should show us that even seemingly clear air can produce deadly affects.
Let us demand of Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency that the standards of the Clean Air Act not only be enforced vigorously but strengthened. It is not only the disastrous projections of climate change but also the deteriorating quality of the air we all breathe that threaten us — even those who deny that there is a problem.
A Thursday column by Beacon Journal editorial writer Steve Hoffman erred in describing the status of bills sponsored by state Rep. Zack Milkovich. All three have received at least one hearing. One has been reported out of committee.