This February 22 marks National Heart Valve Disease Awareness Day. There’s no better time to recognize this common, yet little-known disease. As many as five million Americans are estimated to have heart valve disease, which occurs if one or more of your heart valves doesn’t work properly. The disease can reduce blood flow and lead to major health complications, including death: 22,000 Americans die every year from HVD — an estimated 60 people a day. Older adults aged 75 and over and people who have had a previous heart condition are especially vulnerable to HVD.
Yet three in four Americans recently surveyed know little to nothing about HVD. The good news is that, when detected, valve disease can usually be successfully treated in patients of all ages. Visit www.ValveDiseaseDay.org and help raise awareness of HVD.
In this case, what you know can help save a life.
Sue Peschin, MHS,
President and CEO
Alliance for Aging Research
Meet his bosses
How can Rep. Austin Scott of the Eighth Congressional District fully represent his constituents if he doesn’t meet with them? Perhaps he should rearrange his schedule so that he is no longer “too busy” to do his job.
S. Janet Payne,
Crossing the line
In life, there are lines one doesn’t cross. You don’t speak ill of someone’s mother or kick another man’s dog. You just don’t, unless you’re spoiling for a fight.
Frank Gadbois crossed that line in the most foul and despicable way possible; he attacked the honorable military service of retired USAF Col. Christensen because he didn’t agree with the colonel’s political views. Gadbois accuses Christensen of “Republican bias.” This is blatant hypocrisy from a Democrat sycophant whose political bias is legend on this paper’s Opinion page.
I’ve never met Christensen but if he’s honorably retired then criticism of his years of faithful and loyal service to this nation is contemptible. By his unwarranted and disparaging remarks, Gadbois has impugned the service of every man and woman who has served honorably in the military. Not everyone who wears a uniform sees combat, but their work can be critical for the survival of those who do. Those “worthless” training certificates that Gadbois so easily dismisses could mean the difference between knowing the job and success or not being prepared and failure. That applies to every rank. Training is essential for doing the job correctly.
Gadbois talks about role models. He should look in a mirror because the person looking back is the only one who would ever consider him to be a role model.
Not that easy
I realize there are many problems with the Affordable Care Act. But there are some aspects that voters like such as retaining children on their insurance, no preconditions and not losing coverage because of a job change. Republicans claimed they would repeal the Affordable Care Act on day one. The Republicans did not have a viable alternative. They had 90 proposed plans. President Trump stated they cannot repeal the Affordable Care Act until there is a replacement plan in place. President Trump wants health care for everyone. This conflicts with some of the Republican plans. He thinks the transition into a new health care system could take over a year to implement.
Republicans are concerned insurers may not support their plan if it does not: restrict those who can participate in special enrollment periods and tighten eligibility verification by requiring people to provide proof they are eligible before being allowed into the program. Insurers want subsides for out-of-pocket cost like deductibles and co-pays for low earning customers.
There are questions. Will Medicare funds be diverted? How will they make up the revenues from the Affordable Care Act taxes if it is eliminated? How will they pay for the benefits provided by the Prevention and Public Health Fund when Obamacare is eliminated? The fund provides grants to states for disease-prevention programs, child measles vaccination, disease tracking, infectious-disease control, and money to respond quickly to problems like the Zika virus and Ebola outbreak. And the biggest, if they eliminate the Affordable Care Act, how would they cover the 20 million who have insurance?
Some of the Republican plans would: repeal free birth control for women; urge states to establish high-risk pools for the elderly and critically ill who would have to pay higher premiums; reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and restrict and reduce Medicaid.
But to some Republicans, the biggest fear is that they will be blamed if they do not pass a health care plan and Obamacare is still in place during the 2018 elections.
March of hubris
Those who wish to end abortion and participated in the Jan. 27 “March for Life” in Washington, D.C. are obviously unconcerned about the life that already exists on Earth. They didn’t march for the world’s most vulnerable Muslim men, women and children refugees fleeing war-torn countries who were temporarily barred from entering America by their Islamaphobic messiah, Donald Trump. They didn’t march for the millions of homosexual men ostracized and demonized by an evangelical Christianity that destroys these men’s families and treats them as pariahs. They didn’t march for the one million species being driven toward extinction by 2050 and the millions of other species driven to the edge of extinction as humans overwhelm the earth and indiscriminately pollute/destroy the Earth’s air, land and water. They didn’t march for a viable Earth for their children and grandchildren as they recklessly dispute/disregard the daunting task civilization faces of feeding an additional three billion Africans by 2050; and the potentially catastrophic effects of anthropogenic climate change that’s already raising sea levels, warming the climate, and warming and acidifying the oceans.
Theirs was a march of hubris that claims only human life (excluding Muslims and homosexuals) has value and the rest of nature and the world be damned.
Columbia, South Carolina