Letters to the Editor
What are lawmakers thinking?
Returned from vacation Sunday and could not believe what I was reading in the paper. What is our State Legislature and Governor Pat McCrory thinking? Are they trying to dismantle the public school system altogether? Are they not concerned about the constitution our forefathers constructed in which they expressed that tax dollars for education in North Carolina are to go exclusively to public schools? Judge Hobgood certainly saw these conflicts when he denied the vouchers for private schools and ruled them unconstitutional. Other points that I certainly agree with are:
1) Why should the taxpayers support private schools, certainly religious ones? What happened to the separation of church and state? Religious institutions already are excused from any taxes.
2) Why should we send those children who are below 133 per cent of the poverty level to a private school for a cost to taxpayers of $4,200 annually when we have our public schools they could attend?
On closing, I would like to address the bill before the legislature concerning the salaries of teachers and administrations of private schools. The bill simply states that the above employees will not have to divulge any of their salaries to the public. It appears the public is supplementing the above private schools, and why shouldn’t the public know where the money is going? As a taxpayer who is now paying for two school systems, you can see why I am a little upset. It appears that our State Legislature and our Governor have not any regard for the taxpayers of North Carolina.
SNbS Herb Joyner
America may die very soon
Our Founding Fathers, fed up with an out-of-control government, departed their native countries, moving to America. Their home governments were seizing their freedoms. Our Founding Fathers were determined to form a new and boundless nation.
On July 4, 1776, a small group from across of our new continent came together in Philadelphia to formulate and approve a new “Declaration of Independence” and proceeded into forming a new Constitution constructed on a “Republic” form of government and based on Christian values and freedoms.
Over the years and since that formation, legislators have written many supplementary laws that would and have chipped away at vigorous and intelligent working Americans’ freedoms by demanding more of their incomes and giving these assets to many who are/were unwilling to work vigorously and/or work nifty in improving their own lives and their families. Those who are unable to work or have
“‘fallen through the cracks” must be protected with essential “needs,” not their desires.
In more recent years, and with this form of expanding “Socialism” by providing all the needs and wants to all the people, all the time, has led up to a point where the question is how can America continue to survive under a Republic style of government.
President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, most other Capitol Hill Democrats, and many Republicans In Name Only (RINO) Republicans continue to spend more borrowed monies and placed on a Credit Card at the taxpayers overburdened costs of the working Americans to again give away more of (y)our money to those who are unwilling to work.
Our National Debt has now reached more than $17.55 trillion to American taxpayers, whereas each living human in the USA owes more than $55,000 each and with each taxpayer owing more than $151,000.
Now, we have reached a crossroad where the taxpayers are overburdened in supporting those who just refuse to work. At the same time, these same President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, most other Capitol Hill Democrats, and many Republicans In Name Only (RINO) Republicans are demanding and requiring more deficient spending, with no “BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT” in sight. Our American government is so deeply indebted to China, Saudi Arabia and others, we have reached a point where we, the USA, may not have the borrowing power to ascertain the necessary funding in a war for protecting our citizens and freedoms. This now affects our National Security and safety. To stop the financial bleeding, legislators much ‘shut down our government’ if that is necessary, until common-sense is restored in enacting and enforcing a “BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT.”As states and federal legislators continue to ignore God, our Holy Bible and our Constitutional values followed by our out-of-control deficit spending, America may die very soon.
Oscar Y. Harward
When words and intent diverge
Indian Trail councilmen Savoy and Daniels recently received harsh criticism from a small but loud group of citizens for their council votes permitting the construction of the Plyler Street Apartment complex.
Although those votes were in concert with prior campaign pledges to address the multiple needs of an ever-expanding town population, those council votes met with bitter rebuke from a small recidivistic group who regularly attend town council meetings. Interestingly, that group profusely argued there was insufficient town infrastructure to support the apartment complex. Yet many of those same members had previously posted on the internet that planned community and infrastructure development were nothing more than runaway “socialism” and too costly for Indian Trail residents.
Several members, in fact, had previously campaigned against passage of the town bond for the widening of Old Monroe in spite its widespread support by the majority of Indian Trail voters. Those members had additionally fought against construction of the highly successful Sun Valley Movie Complex, falsely proclaiming its presence would result in moral decadence and increased crime.
What will satisfy this recidivistic group? Probably nothing short of a total cessation of all Indian Trail town growth, which is highly unlikely to occur. It would certainly be nice if these same individuals could turn their energies into constructive problem solving. How about showing up at town council meetings and actually supporting and demanding needed road construction from their elected officials? What a novel idea!
Congress has done little good
For years Congress has not passed any legislation for the good of this nation and its people. Their mantra is we won’t spend money we do not have. Except, for 11 years they were sending troops, war materials and $33 million to Iraq. And, now war hawks want to go back into Iraq while 50 million Americans are living at and below the poverty level and our infrastructure is crumbling. Someone once said the definition of insanity is to keep repeating the same action while hoping for a different outcome, i.e. voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act over fifty times.
Medicare bidding system is broken
As the owner of a small business that has been providing medical supplies and services for 31 years, I am very concerned about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Competitive Bidding program.
As part of my commitment to providing quality patient care, I am among the durable medical equipment (DME) Providers of North Carolina who were the very first in the nation to require licensure for our industry. We did this more than 25 years ago to proactively protect, provide safety and quality to the patients being served and to help maintain highest standards for our providers and suppliers.
So it is equally heartbreaking and frustrating so see the damage created by the CMS Competitive Bidding unfold before our eyes. When patients who use Medicare are prescribed home medical equipment like walkers, hospital beds or oxygen by their doctor, they are required to use the home medical equipment supplier that has won the non-binding Medicare contract for their area. Those contracts are awarded through an auction that requires providers to bid against each other to win the contract.
This arbitrary pricing process forces small businesses like mine to bid for Medicare contracts against companies that have no presence in the community; are not licensed in North Carolina; and often have never provided the services or products for which they are bidding.
One of the problems that we face every day is orders being called in for a hospital bed. Due to the “nitpicking” regulations that Medicare requires the patient stays in the hospital for another day or two while we await documentation signed from the physician. Consequently Medicare pays for another night in the hospital for about the same amount that they could rent the hospital bed from us for upwards of a year. Where is the logic?
There is no debate that our health care system needs overhaul. Competition in its purest form is extremely healthy. Competition keeps businesses honest; assures quality services with trained staffing, and ultimately keeps prices competitive. The problem is that this particular the Medicare Competitive Bidding program is broken.
I urge Congress to support H.R. 4920 – the Medicare DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Improvement Act of 2014. This fix to the bidding program will make all bids binding as well as require providers to obtain bonds before bidding, cut low-ball bids out of the system and ensure that there are enough legitimate bid winners available to serve patients who need home medical equipment.
The DME Industry is highly regulated. We as an industry are small yet play a vital part in the delivery of health care to the end user. We as an industry want to be part of the solution to solve many of the obstacles that are facing us as a nation. The Medicare Competitive Bidding Program and the excessive audits are not the answer to solving those obstacles. Our goal is to find solutions to preserve program integrity maintain beneficiary freedom of choice in the selection of their provider and ultimately maintain a competitive marketplace that will incentivize value added services with competitive pricing.
William H. (Bill) Griffin
Griffin Home Health Care, Inc.