Letters to the editor for Sunday, June 25, 2017
Do your own research on health care reform
We are being bombarded by TV ads paid for by “Save My Care” and AARP that are designed to scare voters about the pending legislation on health care reform. At the same time I’m disappointed that grade school civics teachers haven’t stepped forward to remind the public of the process that takes place in the House and the Senate to get a bill passed. The House and the Senate are a long way from passing a bill that might be signed by the president. Why is AARP funding the scare ads?
If you’ll recall, AARP backed Obamacare because they stood to make $10 billion over a 10-year period, selling health care policies through one of their subsidiaries. They backed Obamacare to make money instead of being critical of it as being bad for their constituents. It took me two years to get AARP to drop my name from their rolls. A viable alternative to AARP is AMAC, by the way.
Don’t be scared by the barrage of TV ads that are designed to scare you. Do your own research and follow what happens in the House and the Senate. Tell your congressman and senators your concerns. Don’t let outside interests make your decisions for you.
If you read all the components that make up the U.S. Constitution, you’ll see that health care is not a right as some want you to believe. It is, however, covered by “the pursuit of happiness,” which is one of our rights.
Support of family planning essential for Nevadans
In response to “After scathing report, grant loss, Nevada invests in family planning,” we want to affirm the importance of Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s recent pledge to replace lost family planning funding.
As health officers in two Nevadan districts, and two of the state’s Title X grantees, we have seen firsthand how the loss of hundreds of thousands of federal dollars over the past two years has negatively affected the health and wellbeing of our state’s most vulnerable residents. We applaud Sandoval’s commitment to repairing this fraying health care safety net.
In 2013, Title X-funded health centers across the country helped women avoid 1 million unintended pregnancies, which prevented 501,000 unplanned births and 345,000 abortions. Despite these positive health impacts, federal funding across the board has shrunk, ultimately leaving more people in Nevada without access to family planning and health services funded by Title X.
From fiscal year 2010 to FY 2015, funding for family planning and sexual health services in Nevada has been cut by more than $565,000. Years of budget cuts have fueled a 53 percent decline in patients receiving publicly funded family planning care.
Access to health care is a basic human right, and all individuals should be able to receive care from a provider that fits their needs, regardless of financial or insurance status. Adequate options for accessing reproductive health care lead to better health for patients, families, and our entire state.
Joe Iser and Kevin Dick
Why it’s a good thing the U.S. opted out of climate accord
Recently in the Nevada Appeal, there was commentary from the usual global warming/climate change crusaders. To hear them talk you would think that all the polar icecaps are going to melt and the seas will rise, swamping coastal cities across the globe. Any discussion with them usually includes the comment, “the science is settled,” and that 97 percent of scientists agree that global warming/climate change is mostly due to the influence of mankind.
There was incredible consternation over the withdrawal, by President Trump, from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Of course they make little mention of how phony this “agreement” really is.
Some of the largest polluters on the planet (China, India, Brazil and Mexico) are allowed to continue their polluting ways for the next 20 years while the U.S. is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions even more than current levels at the expense of billions of dollars. Perhaps before rushing in to these dubious regulations a little more research on the influence of our sun to our climate is in order.
An article from the Danish Meteorological Institute states that a “natural cooling cycle that occurs every 230 years began in 2014.” We should all be able to agree that polluting our planet is bad, but we should also be able to agree that more study is needed.
In addition, a real agreement that treats countries the same should be our goal, not the one-sided Paris Accord.
Health care in U.S. riddled with problems
The June 18 commentary by Medicare’s regional administrator titled “Coordinating Medicare, other benefits” is a perfect example of just one of the problems with medicine in America.
In nearly 20 column inches of text, the administrator is unable to completely and certainly not clearly explain how one’s medical bills are paid by the incredible bureaucracy of American medicine. Knowing people’s brain circuitry overheats with all the “ifs,” “buts” and exceptions to the rules, he refers everyone to a 36-page “booklet” regarding who pays first. More like a small treatise, I’d say. Of course, given you will likely still have questions, if not a total meltdown, he provides an 800 number. But, you really do have to read the “booklet” to even begin to know what questions to ask.
In the U.S. those 65 and older often have more than just Medicare to cover their medical expenses and thus the “coordination of benefits” must ensue. While benefits sounds promising, actual delivery is often lacking and certainly confusing. The addition of preferred provider and facility networks, required preauthorizations for medically necessary procedures and medications, varying insurance formularies and quality assurance programs all contribute to 30 percent of every U.S. healthcare dollar disappearing into the smoke-filled bureaucracy of corporate medicine.
The administrative expense of traditional (government only) Medicare of 4 percent versus U.S. corporate’s 30 percent is yet another reason to support “Improved Medicare for All” as proposed by Physicians for a National Health Plan (see their website at PNHP.org).
Colleen C. Lyons, MD
AARP’s political ads are inappropriate
I am a member of AARP and I may not be a fan of Sen. Heller, but I feel the above ads are totally out of line.
The TV ads ask the senator to vote against changes to Obamacare.
Legislation covering any change has not been finalized as yet, so nobody knows what changes might be made and thus the comments in the ads are not truthful … only wild speculation.
Asking someone to vote on something that is unknown at this time is like asking someone to sign a blank check. Very improper.
Has AARP taken a poll of its members to determine how they feel about Obamacare, or is this just a management decision?