Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: medicare


LIBERALS: We don’t need to apologize for anything

Re: “Liberals: How about an apology for failures?” (letter, 5-6).

I hope there aren’t too many people who agree with the writer’s apparent disdain for liberals. History shows us that to be misguided thinking.

Those who choose to make the word “liberal” sound like a curse word seem to forget that it was liberals who founded this country. It was also liberals who ended slavery, brought women the vote and won workers’ rights (the eight-hour day, weekends off, health plans, pensions).

Liberals risked their lives to win civil rights. It was liberals who brought us Social Security and Medicare. Liberals

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GOP: Tea partiers should consider the Dems

I remember the irony I felt when I heard things tea partiers were saying in the previous general election when they claimed they wanted to take their country back. Among the quotes were things like, “Don’t steal my Medicare!” and “Hands off my Social Security.”

Well, folks, Republicans have now, through their proposed budgets, made it very clear they have no such intent. I guess that’s the problem with having to lead.

In the past, they had the Paul Ryan budget, but they could pretend it was fake because it would never get through the Senate. Now, it looks very

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ACA: Obamacare is a $1.5 trillon budget buster

The ongoing partisan back and forth over how many or few are signing up for Obamacare seems to have overshadowed the spiraling cost of this financial fiasco.

The February 2014 Congressional Budget Office report of the effect on the deficit caused by insurance coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act now stands at $1.528 trillion over the period 2014-2024 This report includes only costs directly attributable to the insurance coverage provisions, so the total cost will soar by untold billions.

The ACA was hyped as a revenue-neutral $940 billion law that would pay for itself by raising $480 billion in

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ACA: For many, plan is far from affordable

Re: “Health-care law is a winner for all, especially women” (TNT, 3-25).

Sens. Patty Murray and Barbara Boxer make a valid point that birth control is beneficial to many people. At this point, I have no problem with the government providing free reproductive services to all interested citizens. Planned Parenthood has a head start on that idea, and birth control certainly can be made even more accessible.

However, the astronomical costs and overreaching government intrusion associated with Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) – make it unaffordable for many of us who do not qualify for Medicaid – the happy-sounding

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DRUGS: Opioids pushed on nursing home patients

I am an internal medicine physician who works in skilled nursing facilities and also treat opioid addicted/dependent patients in private practice.

I believe one critical issue in nursing homes is that patients who suffer from pain are threatened with being kicked out (told to pay out of pocket) if they are unable to participate in therapy on a consistent basis. Specifically, if they are refusing three or more times in a week, they are (usually) discharged from therapy services.

That often results in a decertification from the payor – either Medicare, an insurance company or Medicaid/DSHS. As a result, the

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HEALTH: All deserve freedom of choice

The state House is way out of line in requiring insurers to cover elective abortions (TNT, 2-6). This isn’t just about morality or freedom of conscience. It’s about cost.

The primary purpose of insurance is to protect income and assets in case of a traumatic event, like getting cancer or being in a car wreck. Insurance isn’t supposed to cover “elective” anything.

When we use health insurance, we aren’t just paying doctors, nurses or hospitals. We’re basically hiring a team of secretaries, accountants, agents, lawyers and administrators to negotiate and pay our bills for us. This makes insurance incredibly

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HOSPICE: State a leader in end-of-life care

A recent Washington Post article regarding the apparent fraudulent Medicare claims of a few hospices was very misleading in extrapolating the actions of a few and attributing them to the services of thousands of hospices across the country.

Even more disturbing was the fact that The News Tribune seemed to be unaware that none of those issues have occurred in Washington state, due in large part to the state’s health policy of certificate of need, as evidenced by the Jan. 3 editorial.

An examination of the Washington state Medicare data for the past number of years would have

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OBAMACARE: GOP shuns its own ideas

Perhaps some perspective is needed here. U.S. health care spending per capita (and percentage of gross domestic product) is by far highest in the world – double that of the next 19 wealthiest countries. Still, we rank 50th in infant mortality and 48th in life expectancy, with upward of 50 million uninsured.

Since 2010, though, health care spending has grown at the lowest rate (1.3 percent per year) recorded in U.S. history.

Under the Affordable Care Act, no longer can insurance companies deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, place lifetime or yearly caps, or charge women more than men. Millions of

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