Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Monday, November 20, 2017

Rosemond critic

I have tried to ignore the column by John Rosemond in the past as just the rants of a man of a bygone era but his latest column has gone too far. As the mother of an autistic child, I am appalled by his lack of knowledge of science, understanding of the autism diagnosis, much less its symptoms, and his need to spread his ignorant assumptions to the public. He simply parades his anecdotal musings as science. It is an incredible disservice to the teacher who could have used real guidance and the children who will be neglected as a result. Please consider removing this column and replacing it with articles from a qualified professional. We all may learn something worthwhile.

Shelley Price,

Macon

Different approach

With the marked increase in crime in Macon-Bibb, many people are saying this is not my problem or little can be done. While county leaders are walking in the affected neighborhoods, much more could be done.

Activists for the community are saying these kids need jobs. The jobs we are seeing coming to our county recently are ones that do not require a high school education or advance degrees, but they do require an extensive background check which excludes those with petty crimes and incomplete work histories. These mostly national corporations seek only profit and taxpayer money and in return, give us mostly low wage, repetitive work, at hard to get to locations. The evidence is clear: spending millions of our dollars for infrastructure for national corporations is not in our community’s best interests.

Leaders should be supporting more sustainable options like locally-owned business to fill vacant strip malls, more and smaller community parks and trails, mental health resources, and wise use of county land for shared use like community farming.

Macon-Bibb officials are chasing the same carrot and getting the same results at taxpayer expense. Let’s stop putting the cart before the horse and get to work taking care each other and let the big dogs know we expect them to work with us and give people who deserve it an opportunity show their worth.

Fred Gunter,

Macon

Forced diagnosis

Deciding whether the pain you feel is an emergency or not should be left to licensed medical professionals. However, as reported in your recently published story, “Is it an emergency? Insurer makes patients question ER visit,” patients in Georgia are being forced to make that determination themselves to avoid being stuck paying thousands of dollars in medical bills. This is a result of Anthem, America’s second largest insurer, changing its emergency department policy, citing the need to unburden overcrowded emergency rooms and decrease the high costs of emergency care.

This policy change goes against findings of a recent University of California at San Francisco study in which researchers found that defining what constitutes an “avoidable” visit is arbitrary, and determining this after the fact, overlooks the disparity between initial symptoms and final diagnosis.

We encourage consumers having issues with emergency treatment, or those with questions or concerns about this policy, to file a complaint with their state insurance commissioner here: https://www.oci.ga.gov/consumerservice/complaintprocess.aspx. Consumers may also call the toll-free hotline at 800-656-2298.

As long-time health care advocates, we urge Anthem to fix its policy. We believe it violates the basic tenets of the insurer/patient agreement and provides yet another example of abusive practices that prevent Americans from accessing quality health care.

Donna Christensen M.D.,

Consumers for Quality Care board

Washington, D.C.

Insane

Recently Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate majority leader, admitted that he had lied when he said that no middle class family would pay higher taxes because of his Republican tax plan. That's millions of middle-class families. This because of huge tax cuts to corporations and our richest citizens.

So then congressional Republicans will try to limit the deficits by taking away tax credits and exemptions that mostly benefit the middle class. And they want to abolish or greatly reduce the estate tax that only affects those inheriting $5.6 million or more. Cuts to social programs will result.

Tax cuts will mainly be paid for by our middle and working classes. Republicans will not hold any hearings on these tax plans that are being rushed through without any significant efforts to study them. Their goal is the continuation of fiscal inequality for most of us into the near future and beyond.

The GOP tax plans takes care of the children of our rich but not most of the rest of us. Our millionaire senators only care about abolishing the IRS and creating a national Fair Tax. No matter how you look at it, most of us are not being treated fairly in these GOP tax plans.

The abolition of the Individual Mandate will lead to the loss of health care for 13 million Americans. This is insane.

Frank W. Gadbois,

Warner Robins

The Thanksgiving speed bump

There seems to be a trend in the retail community to plunge into that extraordinary time of year they call the “Holiday Season.” You know that moment in time, right after Labor Day, when store shelves are simultaneously stocked with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

Of the three, it seems like Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick. Who decorates for Thanksgiving, anyway? It is, after all, only one day, not a season like Christmas. But Halloween is one night only and those displays seem to have increased a lot. There is little room for more Christmas decorations without annexing a foreign country.

I believe there is a reason behind this behavior. If you designate a day to be thankful, you must consider not just what you are thankful for but who you are thankful to. With Halloween you suffer no such dilemma, and with Christmas, well, there is always “Ol Saint Nick.” Thanksgiving, celebrated correctly, is gratitude to Almighty God and merchants, a reflection of society, regard it at the same ratio of their customers. I need God in my life more than I need my life. Without him I am like a stray dog doomed to roam this world until I die.

John Wayne Dobson,

Macon

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