Letters Shocked at ballot wording

To the editor:

As I entered the Armory Building to vote on the opt-out I saw a reminder that it was illegal to lobby within a prescribed distance from the polls so I was truly shocked at the wording on the ballot. To state that we were voting for or against "the School" is my idea of lobbying for a positive answer, right on the ballot. After all, what decent person would vote "against" our schools?

If the ballot had asked the question "Are you 'for' or 'against' the raising of taxes" I would have considered the ballot to be slanted the other way! Nobody in their right mind is for increasing their taxes.

The proper wording should have been "are you 'for' or 'against' the opt-out." That was the decision-neutral way to word the question.


Helen Meylor


Editor's note: The ballots contained the following question: Shall the Vermillion School District 13-1 decision to raise additional general fund property tax revenues in the annual sum of $600,000 for a period of five consecutive years ? be approved or disapproved. Voters were asked to vote for or against the June 23, 2003 decision.

Thousands being priced out of insurance

To the editor:

I discovered, that when the governor passed the risk pool legislation, he secretly added a new law. This new law was made part of the risk pool legislation (Sec. 29), but has nothing to do with the risk pool.

This new law restricts people's freedom to choose their own health insurance. It essentially prohibits people from switching their health insurance to a shared risk policy.

A shared risk policy is one where the person insured typically accepts more liability in the way of out-of-pocket expenses, but typically has lower premiums and is usually easier to get on than a major medical policy.

In effect, the companies that specialize in the type of policies that are most likely to help the 60,000 uninsured in South Dakota are now being discouraged from doing business in South Dakota.

Currently there are thousands of South Dakotans in the process of being priced out of their health insurance. Some of these people, because of pre-existing conditions, are only insurable under a shared risk policy. The governor is now forcing these people to go completely without health insurance.

Under the new law these people are forced to go without health insurance for at least 63 days. If these people incur medical expenses during this time, there is no provision for helping them. If during that same time period, something happens that makes them uninsurable for a shared risk policy, they would have no place to go.

These people who are forced to go without health insurance by the state need to be reimbursed by the state for medical expenses they incur during this time.

This new law does help protect market share for the same insurance companies that benefited from the risk pool legislation. It is written in such away as to allow these same companies the option of experimenting with shared risk policies in the future with our competition from the insurance companies that specialize in shared risk policies.

It is obvious that some insurance companies are very well represented in Pierre, but who is representing the people of South Dakota?

Chad Liedtke


Vermillion unit could visit Ratingen

To the editor:

Vermillion's Medical Unit, now apparently serving at the Baghdad International Airport, could benefit from our sister city relationship with Ratingen.

As Germany is one of the two approved destinations for U.S. troops serving in Iraq for their two weeks of R&R, our soldiers could stay in Ratingen and enjoy the same type of hospitality which many other groups from Vermillion and USD have enjoyed for the past one third century.

They probably would also be quite pleased that at each entrance to that German town, signs (adorned with a U.S. flag) can be found declaring that Vermillion is one of its sister cities. And for anyone from Vermillion, wanting to join our soldiers there, it would be nice to know that Ratingen can be reached by a non-stop flight from Chicago, as it shares its airport with the much larger city of Duesseldorf.

Benno Wymar


United Way expresses thanks

To the editor:

The members of the United Way of Vermillion Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the individuals and Vermillion businesses who helped make the United Way 2004 Campaign Kick-Off event, "The Taste of Vermillion," such a success.

Thank you to Jack Marsh of the new Al Neuharth Media Center on The University of South Dakota campus and his secretary, Carlene Schieffer, for allowing us to host the event in this outstanding facility and for their assistance with the arrangements. Thank you to USD's Facilities Management for helping with setting up and to Mike of USD Campus Dining and Carol Robertson of PBS for help with cleaning up. Thank you to USD's Michael Allen for opening the CSC parking lot and the new lot south of the media center to the public.

Finally, thank you to the 24 Vermillion restaurants which provided the food for the dining pleasure of the more than 275 people who attended the event. Thank you to Bunyan's, Burger King, Doo Wap Shake Shop, Chae's, Cherry Street Grille, China Express, Coffee Shop Gallery, Dairy Queen, The Diner, Domino's, Hy-Vee Deli, Latte Da, Leo's, Main Street Pub, Mexico Viejo, Mr. Smith's Bakery, Pizza Hut, Recuerdo's, R-Pizza, Silver Dollar, Subway, Taco John's/Steak Escape, Texas Roadhouse, and USD Campus Dining.

Last, but most definitely not least, a huge thank you to United Way Vice-President Jon Robertson of Cherry Street Grille, who coordinated all of the food and beverage arrangements as he has done for the past seven years. Bravo, Jon!

Thank you to all who attended the "Taste of Vermillion" in support of your local United Way and our 25 2004 member agencies.

Randy Houska, president

Barbara Campbell, executive director


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