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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
Letters To The Editor

Letter to the editor: Improve VA phone service


Improve VA phone service

I recently visited the C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center for an eye re-exam due to an incorrect prescription for glasses. I noticed the waiting room was completely full, and therefore I was prepared to spend the morning waiting. Much to my surprise and pleasure, I was re-examined, visited the optical shop for measurements and information for shipment and was out the door in about 30 minutes. I assume I was given priority treatment because I am classified as “service-connected” as indicated on my VA ID card, and this is the way it should be in all clinics in the VA.

I do have one suggestion: Please prepare a wallet-size card for each veteran, listing all the clinics in the VA with the telephone extension, or post a large sign at the entrance of the VA listing all the clinics with telephone extension number. This way, the veteran can make a note of the telephone extension that he or she uses or is likely to use. Unfortunately, the C.W. Bill Young VA facility has a poor telephone system, and this suggestion may help to improve it. I often give up trying to speak to someone in a certain clinic and end up visiting the VA rather than attempting to call.

Chuck Graham

Pinellas Park

What hurricane?

Regarding Chris Hudson’s op-ed on Aug. 20 (“Hurricane Obamacare taking toll on Tampa area’s health care,” Other Views): How does the Tribune justify publishing such one-sided drivel? Millions of Americans have gone bankrupt because the U.S. does not have a national health care system that covers everyone. We rank 40th among industrialized nations. Countless souls have died and continue to die because coverage is not universal. The Affordable Care Act is beginning to change that, but not without having to constantly battle the naysayers in the 26 red states where conservatives have impeded access, refused to set up statewide markets and expand Medicaid and obstructed and interfered with access to health care advisers.

If Rep. Will Weatherford would bring it to the floor of the Florida House for a vote, it would probably pass, and over 800,000 Floridians would qualify for Medicaid. Instead, he refuses to accept 100 percent federal funding for the first three years. Gov. Rick Scott, the guy who never saw a CEO he didn’t shower with perks, has done nothing to help you. These people are costing Floridians jobs and lives. It’s immoral.

The ACA is working in the blue states but not so well in the red states. Now that couldn’t be because the Republicans are doing all they can to make it fail, could it?

Gary Rice

New Port Richey

Obamacare alternatives

Chris Hudson’s “Hurricane Obamacare taking toll on Tampa area’s health care” clearly explains the unintended destructiveness of Obamacare. There are at least two alternative ways to provide health insurance and reduce the number of uninsured by 34 million, similar to what was originally projected under Obamacare. One way is to amend federal law, which currently permits states to restrict purchases of health insurance across state lines. In 2008, an analysis from the University of Minnesota that was presented to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services demonstrated that the cost of insurance policies with similar coverage differed by as much as 500 percent to 700 percent from one state to the next.

Allowing people to purchase insurance policies across state lines would significantly reduce the cost of health insurance due to the competitive marketplace.

A second alternative to Obamacare is based on the Medicare model. The private sector participates by offering Medicare supplement policies that cover deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance.

Allowing all those under the age of 65 to purchase Medicare and Medicare supplement policies would provide an excellent means of insuring almost everyone.

J. Leslie Glick


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