Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Wrong Doesn't Make A Right

Those opposing the Front Range Toll Road (aka Praire Falcon Parkway Express) have been pushing Colorado House Bill HB08-1343. One of the glaring problems with the bill is it severely restricts citizens ability to start a new railroad. Unfortunately, those opposed to the toll road give in to NIMBYism and support such irrational restrictions. I can't blame them for their opposition to eminent domain. Nevertheless, trying to keep their freedom by taking freedom away from others is not the solution. We simply continue down the path where people use government to get their own self-serving pet projects done. In response those restrictions I wrote the below letter to my Colorado representatives.

I am writing to you in regards to House Bill HB08-1343. I am not a fan of the use of eminent domain. I have empathy for those land owners faced with the Front Range Toll Road (also known as the Prairie Falcon Parkway Express). Nevertheless HB08-1343 will create problems. The main one is in concern to starting a railroad. It is not acceptable that the bill doesn't make it impossible to start a new railroad. The fact is it does make it much more difficult. Can you imagine a bill that had the affect of forcing all new restraunts to partner with an existing one? HB08-1343 will result in that sort of situation for railroads.

What will happen to new tourist railroads? What will happen if someone wants to start a new railroad to serve a line that UP or BNSF are looking to abandon? I'm sure as a legislator you are familiar with the bills that result in unintended consequences. At this point HB08-1343 looks as though it will be one of those bills. Please oppose this bill until it doesn't place such onus' on the railroads in an attempt to help those not in favor of the Front Range Toll Road.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Colorado Health Care

I'm glad to see others out there weighing in on the health care debate. To me the fundamental flaw of it lies at the core premise that so many people automatically assume, that the problem is a lack of health insurance. Health insurance in and of itself doesn't guarantee good health care. Doctors can choose to not to be a part of the plan. We can see that already with Massachusetts where people buying into the state plans have trouble finding providers (...and the state faced with ballooning costs is already looking to cut back). What good does that insurance do if you can't use it?

According to Brian Schwartz, a healthcare policy expert who testified before the 208 Commission, Ritter’s plan to increase enrollment in state sponsored insurance programs is only going to grow government unnecessarily and hurt Coloradans in the long run. “The children’s health plan is like the kiddie version of Medicaid,” said Schwartz. “Instead of passing more laws that unfairly compete with private companies and put people on crappy plans, why doesn’t the government look at what it is already doing make insurance so expensive?”