|A 1,500-pound pumpkin is being displayed on Essex Street, near Summit Avenue, in Hackensack.|
By Victor E. Sasson
The Record's lead Page 1 story today and Wednesday reports on the cancellation of thousands of "bare-bones" health policies outlawed by the Affordable Care Act.
Today's breathless account raises an alarm, noting some of the policies cost as little as $100 a year.
What good is a health-insurance policy that socks a
20-year-old you with $1,000 in bills?
Why is The Record portraying the cancellations as a bad thing, and as just another problem with federal health-care reform?
And where are the stories about companies such as North Jersey Media Group cancelling health-insurance policies?
NJMG, which publishes The Record of Woodland Park, has informed retirees and their dependents under 65 that "we have decided to eliminate" medical benefits, effective Jan. 1.
This year, I have been paying $1,004 a month to cover my wife and son. I am covered by Medicare.
The letter notes "the Affordable Care Act now offers other choices," and even provides a telephone number (1-800-318-2596) to avoid the problem-plagued Web site, www. HealthCare.gov.
"In the Marketplace, you could be eligible for a new kind of tax credit that lowers your monthly premiums right away," according to the letter, which is signed by Thomas G. Heffernan, NJMG vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.
The Record has waited until five days before the gubernatorial election to report on the candidates' differences on controlling property taxes (A-1).
The story says property taxes have continued to rise despite Governor Christie's policy changes, but doesn't specifically remind readers the GOP bully promised to cut property taxes and realize other savings through consolidation of home-rule communities (A-1).
Christie broke both promises.
Democratic challenger Barbara Buono would use revenue from a so-called millionaires tax to provide more middle-class property tax relief (A-4).
An estimated $1 billion would be raised by a tax on the wealthy, including the Borg family, but Christie has vetoed it at least three times.
Did anyone read more than a few paragraphs of Mike Kelly's lame column on "two distinct portraits" of Newark, also known as Brick City (A-1)?
The front-page photo shows the "gleaming Prudential Center sitting alongside older brick buildings."
Older brick buildings? Horrors. Check out Kelly's shit-eating grin in his dated column photo.
Two embarrassing corrections appear on A-2 today.
On A-3, a photo of Christie almost makes overweight first lady Mary Pat Christie look petite.
Readers lost in valley
Endless coverage of the proposed Valley Hospital expansion in Ridgewood continues today on the Local front.
Considering that the hospital would add space without going outside its current boundaries, The Record should be ashamed of itself for giving so much space to opponents in the past several years (L-1).
Hackensack University Medical Center's many expansions virtually destroyed the surrounding neighborhood, but The Record didn't provide anything close to the kind of coverage we see in the Ridgewood controversy.
The Borg factor
Today, the hospital's ambulance service keeps many Hackensack residents awake, and its non-profit status inflates homeowners' nightmarish property tax bills.
Where are those stories?
In the past, the gentle handling of the medical center could be explained by the presence of NJMG Vice President and General Counsel Jennifer A. Borg on the HUMC board.
But what is the excuse now? She left the board several years ago.