Letters to the editor (10/24/13)

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It’s about health care
Editor:
The costs was one of our major concerns during the 20 years of involvement in attempting to reform health care and continues now that the Affordable Health Care Act is law.
As a member of numerous local, state and national health care-related committees and commissions and, as a hospital trustee, our principal charge was to put into place a system that provided quality health care for all at an affordable price.
We had success implementing some reforms and extending health care to under-served areas via establishment of clinics in rural areas, improvements to emergency medical services, recruitment of health care providers including physicians and reducing duplication of effort, especially in the area of very expensive medical equipment such as MRI’s and CT scanners, etc.
Some of our initiatives are still in place, some are not.
The Affordable Health Care Act’s main accomplishment, I believe and applaud, is the extension of health care to many who previously did not have coverage.
However, since first writing this letter back in March, it has become clear that the Act does not contain costs.  It increases them particularly as it relates to the dramatic expansion of Medicaid as well as deals that Obama, Pelosi and Reid cut with hospitals, nursing home chains, insurances companies, physicians, unions, medical device companies, etc., in order to get the Act through Congress.
Little wonder is it that previous attempts at national reform failed. As has been noted before, health care is just an enormously complex system with many well-heeled players that refuse to collaborate and compromise in a genuine fashion.
The providers, many who reluctantly favored reform, see no wrong in perpetuating loop holes that contribute to such an expensive system. In fact, between 1998 and today, they have spent $5.36 billion for lobbying services in Washington to protect their interests as compared to $1.36 billion spent by the defense and aerospace industries and $1.3 billion spent by oil and gas. The $5.36 billion does not include thousands spent at the state level. It does, however, allow for the employment of about seven lobbyists per member of Congress.
Be that as it may, enough is enough!  It is time to truly provide quality health care at an affordable price for all Americans.
Equally important, we as recipients of health care services must become active participants in the process and not go with the flow only because the prevailing mentality is that our providers know best. We must be cognizant of the fact that “over doctoring” is real.
In closing, let me say that, generally, I believe we have a quality system in America.
However, as developed as we purport to be, through real collaboration and compromise from all stakeholders, we can surely provide even higher quality health care at a reasonable price to every citizen such that it would put us in a better light when compared with other developed countries.

John Lopez
Bosque Farms

Are they all insane?
Editor:
A big question looms before the American people, using any sanity measuring metric: just how insane is the Republican-led House of Representatives?
Well, let’s see. Einstein’s famous metric is as follows: the definition for “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”
After somewhere close to $60 million wasted dollars and immeasurable wasted time, the Republican led House just held its 40th vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act (some call it Obamacare; I call it 3,000, plus pages of Republican poison-pill amendments signed into law).
Nonetheless, most people know insanity when they see it, that is, except the insane themselves, and like an alcoholic, when fully sloshed, believe they are the most brilliant and level-headed minds around.
Yep, no question about it, using any sane metric, the Tea Party segment plus the old time religion of slavery, the loud, persistent, anti-reality base of the Republican Party, is completely and dangerously wacked.
Oh, and after the 40th repeal vote and wasted millions, they left the capitol for a five-week paid vacation, which means, the majority of American citizens, allowing such congressional insanity over and over again, while hoping for different results, must themselves meet the same Einstein definition for insanity.

Terry Mehaffey
Los Lunas

Event won’t happen again
Editor:
This letter is in response to the letters to the editor of Aug. 8 regarding the Bikini Barrel Race in the Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse arena.
We apologize for these past events in our arena … We rent our arena to make money for our organization, and have nothing to do with their events, and very rarely attend their functions.
All of our officers and members live in the rural area, so we do not have city water and have never seen the fliers.
We do not condone such affairs. Please accept our apology and keep us informed as to any other disgusting functions in our arena, and in their advertising. Again, we are very sorry for the appalling event. It will not happen again.
We are a family-friendly organization, and try to have events that can be enjoyed by all.

Gene Vallejos
Valencia County Sheriff’s Posse Board of Directors