Obamacare easy in California

We have all recently heard of the many challenges people have experienced signing up for Obamacare.

Additionally, it has been reported many people with private policies have been told they need to find new coverage as of Jan. 1. Our family was one of many who received notices that our policies would expire at the end of the year.

Guess what? We were able to obtain better coverage and save 12.8 percent. And it was easy to do so on the California website: coveredca.com.

I have a friend who has not been able to afford insurance for her and her son for 10 years. They, too, were easily able to purchase insurance on the California website. She cried for 15 minutes telling me how important this was for her family.

It would be nice if the media would report some of the successful stories.

Hillary Swiggett

Alamo

Implement EPA's 3 Tier standards

My daughter found affordable housing facing a freeway and never realized until too late for her and my grandson the effects they were to suffer. Both have asthma as a result of toxins from cars. Then I moved to Contra Costa County and developed asthma myself in my 50s.

I think of China and how families can't allow their children to play outside because of air pollution. And this happens right here in Richmond.

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Tier 3 air quality standards could save our lives and the lives of the children in our area. The oil industry would try to convince the very citizens its pollution sickens that it can't afford Tier 3 standards -- at 1 cent per gallon of gas -- while their profits are as obscene as the financial industry's.

Tier 3 standards, which could save us all, need to be implemented as soon as possible. Our kids deserve to breathe more than oil companies deserve one penny more profit.

Ria Tanz Kubota

El Sobrante

Socialism merely degrades care

Socialism doesn't work, largely because it lacks a mechanism for accountability.

Socialized medicine, an important subdivision of it, inevitably degrades the quality of health care, while wasting vast sums of money.

For example, recently some Washington masterminds let out a no-bid contract to a Canadian firm for more than $200 million to create the healthcare.gov website. It has proved to be a disaster. Any one of hundreds of American firms could have done a better job for less than $1 million.

We want good health care and most of us had it, but now fear we will lose it. It appears more than 250,000 Californians have received notice they cannot keep their doctors or their plans, contrary to what politicians promised.

This is not EPA graft going to pseudo-environmental crony capitalists like Solyndra, this is our health. We must support those leaders who want to delay or stop socialized medicine.

John den Dulk

Concord

It's wrong to extract more dirty goop

This is regarding the Oct. 27 Globalist Quiz, "U.S. shale gas: All it's cracked up to be?"

With an oversupply of conventional oil and gas reserves already, it's crazy to punch another million holes and cracks in the Earth to frack out more dirty goop. Were it not for the subsidies and regulatory exemptions, fracked gas would be a non-starter.

Just like the subprime mortgages debacle, early investors will make huge profits and taxpayers will be left holding the bag: paying the subsidies; bailing out stranded assets; and paying to clean up the drilling pollution.

Citizens Climate Lobby (citizensclimatelobby.org) recommends a carbon fee levied at the well, mine, or port of entry starting at $15 per ton of fossil CO2 emitted and increasing $10 per year.

This cancels out the tremendous fossil fuel subsidies, tax breaks and regulatory exemptions so clean energy can compete on a level playing field. Return all that money to individuals on an equitable basis and more than 66 percent would break even or receive more in their dividend check than they would pay for any increased cost of energy.

Let's improve our economy, national security and health.

Elizabeth Fisher

Pleasant Hill

Fisher is a member of Citizens Climate Lobby.

Let NSA test the website security

OK, the next step is obvious: Congress should ask the NSA to test the security of the private information of millions of people on the new Obamacare network.

My guess is that NSA will say, "Piece of cake."

C. Travis Alonso

Orinda