Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
November 09
00:00 2013

I Support Rep. Watt

To the Editor:

For over 20 years, Congressman Mel Watt has been a true champion for middle class families. When President Obama nominated him to be the first confirmed Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), I was encouraged that middle class families across the country would have a proven advocate leading FHFA.

I was deeply disappointed last week when Senate Republicans blocked Congressman Watt’s nomination to serve as Director of the FHFA. I was proud to join my North Carolina colleague, Senator Richard Burr, in introducing Congressman Watt at his confirmation hearing earlier this year, and I was pleased that the Senate Banking Committee approved his nomination.

The bipartisan support for Congressman Watt from the North Carolina delegation is a testament to Congressman Watt’s ability to work across the aisle and shows that Congressman Watt deserves an up or down vote.

Congressman Watt’s background, skills and track record of bipartisanship make him an immensely qualified nominee who, if confirmed, would confront the challenges that face our recovering housing market and strengthen the backbone of our current housing finance system.

As a member of the House Financial Services and Judiciary Committees, Congressman Watt has been a steadfast advocate for affordable housing in North Carolina and across the country.

Congressman Watt’s nomination is supported by over 50 community and advocacy organizations, by industry groups such as the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders, and by respected business leaders like former Bank of America Chairman and CEO Hugh McColl.

Congressman Watt’s strong record of working with industry leaders, consumer advocates, Democrats and Republicans proves that he can deliver results for middle class families in North Carolina and across the country.

We need Congressman Watt at the Federal Housing Finance Agency. I know he will work successfully with Congress to strengthen the backbone of our housing system. He deserves an up or down vote, and I will continue to advocate for his confirmation to this critical post.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)

Medicare Help Available

To the Editor:

The next month marks a crucial period for Americans who have recently or are about to turn 65. From Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, the Medicare Open Enrollment (also called the Annual Election Period) is held. This is the only time in 2013 that those 65 and older may make changes to their health and prescription drug coverage plans. And with the hundreds of insurers offering coverage, it is imperative that seniors choose the plan that best suits their needs.

To make matters even more complicated, the nation’s healthcare system is in a state of transition due to the Affordable Care Act, and there is much misinformation circulating about it. For starters, Medicare’s Open Enrollment is not part of the Affordable Care Act’s new Health Insurance Marketplace, and people with Medicare do not need to do anything with Marketplace plans.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Medicare remains strong with more benefits, better choices and lower costs to beneficiaries,” said Marilyn Tavenner, administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. “Seniors and people with disabilities have the opportunity to find and compare the best plan for them. Coverage options and costs can change each year, and everyone should evaluate their current coverage and choices. If people with Medicare are satisfied with their current coverage and feel it will meet their needs for 2014, they do not need to do anything.”

If, however, one is a first-time enrollee, feels that his or her coverage is inadequate or that his or her needs have changed, where does one turn? How does one navigate through the maze of plans in order to find the one tailored to their specific needs?

One option has been provided by the Winston-Salem Urban League, which has launched a campaign called “The 10,000 Seniors Challenge.” During the open enrollment period, the goal is to reach 10,000 area seniors and provide them with help in choosing which plan best fits their situation. Toward that end, they have partnered with Senior Advisors Group, which has a proven track record of asset protection and financial advice tailored for seniors and retirees. The Senior Challenge has been endorsed by the 32-member Ministers Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinty.

To request a consultation with a licensed agent or for further information, please call 1-800-828-3792 or email There is no obligation and all information is free.

Ogi Overman,
Winston-Salem Urban League

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