Thursday, December 5, 2013

Why not talk with the people who need insurance?

Members of the Borg family are listed among donors in a special room at Hackensack University Medical Center, above, and help from The Record's staff also is acknowledged, below. However, you won't find any Borgs listed with donors of $5 million and $10 million, only the Creamers and Sanzaris, respectively.

The Record's coverage of the many hospital construction projects that nearly obliterated its Hackensack neighborhood paled in comparison to the seemingly endless stories about The Valley Hospital's desire to build within its own borders in Ridgewood. As a non-profit, HUMC doesn't pay taxes on hundreds of millions of dollars in property it owns in Hackensack, shifting the burden to homeowners and businesses. 


I'm troubled by all of the stories in The Record about the problem-plagued Web site for buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act that don't quote any consumers.

Today's Page 1 "ANALYSIS" forces readers to plow through lots of words before they discover a box on the continuation page with real news they can use under the heading "Web alternatives" (A-1 and A-6).

For example, if you're not eligible for a subsidy, you can buy coverage directly from an insurer. And if your policy has been cancelled, you can renew it for one year, then ditch it when you find a better deal elsewhere (A-6).

I wish I knew that before my frustrating experience with the site,, which asked me to send further documentation to the federal government before I can buy policies.

But in browsing the coverage available on the site, it appears I will be able to save about $100 a month on the two policies I buy now from North Jersey Media Group, publisher of The Record, and a third purchased on the private market.

And those savings come with purchase of three of the best plans, referred to as "Platinum."

The NJMG letter to retirees cancelling two of my policies suggested coverage under the Affordable Care Act will cost more.

GOP noise

Today's story completely ignores a Republican campaign of misinformation about President Obama's signature health care plan that may be racially inspired.

It also lets off the hook Governor Christie and 35 other state leaders who refused to set up their own Web sites, throwing tens of millions onto the overburdened federal site.

Indian haters

Is anyone surprised by a movie that is being called a "hate crime" by North Jersey's Ramapough Indians (A-1)?

The historic screwing of Native Americans by whites includes settlement of the lawsuit that tried to get Ford Motor Co. to compensate the Ramapoughs for dumping in Ringwood that sickened or killed them.

An editorial in The Record urged them to give up their fight and accept the small, out-of-court deal.

Two more embarrassing corrections appear on A-2 today.

Local news

Why is Robert Schroeder still a member of the state Assembly after allegedly stealing more than $1.8 million from other people and writing more than $3.4 million in bad checks (L-1)?

Did you see the glowing account of a new 23-store luxury wing at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus (L-7)?

The Record doesn't say whether security will be beefed up at the state's biggest mall to prevent a repeat of the Nov. 4 invasion by a gunman who committed suicide there.

After all, these are retailers "better known for their shops in Soho, Paris or Beverly Hills," sniffs Staff Writer Joan Verdon.

Are there any new stores or restaurants in your downtown? Don't expect a story in The Record.

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