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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Letters to the Editor

Waiting for answers about condition of health site
I have been curious (and concerned) about the condition of the MD Health Connection Web site, as well as the status of enrollments.
Research on my part has unearthed the disturbing information that, as of May 31, 2014, only 72,000 persons have enrolled in qualified health plans through the exchange, while over 300,000 have enrolled in Medicaid. Try as I might, I cannot find any information on now many of the 72,000 qualified health plans are subsidized by the taxpayers of Maryland, or how many of these were replacements for policies that were canceled due to the Obamacare requirements.
A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Sen. Jim Mathias for this information. I reasoned that, since he voted for the 2011 legislation that created the exchange, and co-sponsored the 2014 bill that required Maryland taxpayers to cover the medical bills of those whose existing health plans were canceled and who were unable to obtain replacement coverage on the botched exchange, he should certainly know this information or be able to find out fairly quickly.
I think it is very important for Marylander taxpayers to know the following:
Exactly how much money have the original exchange and the replacement exchange cost us, including state employees’ salaries and benefits?
How many of those enrolled in private plans through the exchange are “new insureds”?
How many of those enrolled in private plans through the exchange are subsidized by the taxpayers?
I’m still waiting on Sen. Mathias’ response.
Carol Frazier
Ocean Pines

What happened to plans for OP gas conversion?               
Whatever happened to the schedule to convert Ocean Pines to natural gas in the fall of 2013?
Something is very fishy about this community’s conversion; after all, we were the people that started the drive that brought Chesapeake Utilities focus to bring natural gas to Worcester County.
Our petition signing and getting local media to support our petition was the driving force in getting Chesapeake to bring the pipeline down. Since that has been done, other conversions have taken place in the Berlin area and now it is rumored that Glen Riddle will soon start converting. What is going on? Recently, there was pipe installation along Route 589 heading towards the North Gate, but nothing has been said or reported in local media.
Ocean Pines has quite a bit of pipeline already lain in that community. It was installed by Eastern Shore Gas (ESG) with a contract for 20 years that expired in May 2013. Chesapeake Utilities that then changed the name to Sandpiper Gas purchased ESG. Because of these changes and the end of the pipeline contract, they were given a six-month extension of the contract.
Then both parties were to negotiate a new contract. Has anyone heard anything about what transpired? The BofD has not said a word and the local media obviously does not seem to think this is an important topic. Well it is a very important topic, as natural gas will save the residents of Ocean Pines who use propane a ton of money. Natural gas customers in Salisbury pay half the amount Ocean Pines propane users pay, for the same amount of usage.
What is going on? Why has Ocean Pines been placed on the back burner of conversions? What was the result of the negotiation for Sandpiper to utilize the OP gas lines? Can other propane suppliers utilize the OP pipeline at a cheaper price? Who is standing up for Ocean Pines propane users in this very important economic issue? Why isn’t there any news about this?
Budd Shea
Ocean Pines