Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thank you for the tribute

Thank you for the tribute to the mid-state Vietnam casualties in your special Memorial Day weekend “Lest We Forget.” Our small community of Haynesville in south Houston County lost two young men in this war: Terry Yawn and Raymond Jinks. Pfc Terry Yawn was killed in action April 27, 1967, and was listed in your tribute as being from Pulaski County rather than Houston. (A confusion resulting from our mailing address of Hawkinsville (Pulaski County) versus our physical address of Houston County) I could not find a tribute for the other young man, Raymond Jinks. Sgt. Raymond Arthur Jinks was killed May 13, 1969, in Binh Duong, Vietnam. Raymond’s death was the result of multiple fragmentation wounds.

-- Annette Ford White


A kind soul

It leaves me with a heavy heart to read the Viewpoints page on Tuesday, March 24. Neal Smith, Catherine Reynolds Brown’s brother in law, called her a kind soul. Truer words were never spoken. I lived downtown at the Dempsey for eight years before I relocated. Catherine was a lovely, caring and sweet person. Her husband, like myself, was a Vietnam veteran. Everything Neal said was true of Cathy. R.I.P. Cathy. I’ll always have a place in my heart for you. God bless the family and her Kennedy family. Peace.

-- Richard C. Tarver Jr.


Insurance coverage not racism

To state without any supporting evidence, as did Catherine Meeks in her column of May 6, that an oncologist would decline to treat a person with lung cancer because that person “matters less than someone who has not been in prison and who is black nor poor” is false and malicious. The oncologists in central Georgia treat prisoners, former prisoners, alcoholics, businessmen, farmers, people of all ethnicities, etc., on a daily basis and these categories are of no interest except as they may pertain to the risk for disease or the response to medications.

A person released from prison at age 65 or older is immediately eligible to enroll in Medicare and medical care coverage should begin the first day of the next month after enrollment. However, oncologist know from painful experience, there are frequently Medicare reasons for delaying coverage.

The wholesale cost of chemotherapies for the treatment of lung cancer is in the many thousands of dollars. Personalized therapies with biologic agents are often $5,000 to $10,000 per month. Oncologists do not receive funds to cover the cost of these medicines for the indigent unless there is coverage by some form of insurance. At worst, the oncologist described by Meeks may be overly concerned about being able to pay his nurses and office rent if he provides chemotherapy that is not covered by Medicare. There is no reason to think the oncologist is refusing to see the person for any racial or social reason other than concern for reimbursement. Is there any topic in dispute by Meeks in which she does not think there is racial or social discrimination? Perhaps Meeks and her Open Door Community family will move her brother’s treatment along by guaranteeing payment for cost of medical care until Medicare coverage actually begins.

-- Kenneth Deaton M.D. (retired)


Can Republicans lead?

I can’t help but wonder if Hillary Clinton was not going to become our next president would these so called high class emails ever been mentioned? Suppose she was just going to retire and enjoy being a grandmother. What would the Republicans have to say about those very same emails?

Why don’t they check Dick Cheney’s emails and see how many he sent or received from to Halliburton or the white knights of President Ronald Reagan like Oliver North during their Iran-Contra arms deal. All these things seem to be forgotten by our Republican friends and those on their team who call themselves U.S. senators.

On last note, the Republicans have proved they can’t lead the way to govern with control of the House and Senate, so they go to Israel and Iran, and God only knows where they will go next. War I assume. Of those team members, I wonder how many have ever worn a United States military uniform.

-- Thomas T. Cunningham