Letters to the Editor

Readers views: Protect Medicare home health + Compare U.S. education and health care

Protect Medicare home health

Millions of seniors across the United States rely on Medicare home health to remain in their homes and receive necessary skilled health care services. However, a new Medicare payment model threatens to restrict access to care for America’s most vulnerable seniors who depend on these services.

If implemented, this payment model will cut Medicare home health by 6.42% — equaling more than $1 billion in 2020 — based purely on assumptions about changes in provider behaviors under the new system.

Fortunately, Congress has recently taken action to protect home health by introducing the Home Health Payment Innovation Act (S.433 & H.R. 2573).

While our lawmakers are home for summer recess, I encourage them to learn more about their constituents who depend on home health and urge them to support this vital legislation when they return to Capitol Hill.

Judi Smith


Let’s not be fooled

President Trump is bound by no ideology other than personal branding and enrichment. He’s corrupt, reckless, narcissistic, and he robotically gushes lies.

Trump the candidate faked an allegiance to conservatism and played a cynical divide-and-conquer political strategy that included dog-whistle racism.

He found himself unexpectedly swept into the White House on a wave of pro-Trump disinformation campaigns run by Russian trolls on social media and right-wing news outlets such as Fox “News.”

(The irony: Trump did not expect to win. He ran only to burnish his brand and bolster his wealth.)

Trump voters tossed a brick into the traditional political machinery.

They got their conservative Supreme Court justice, but at a devilish cost: the current administration’s dismantling of our democracy (ongoing quietly behind the scenes while Trump ramps up disarray as diversion).

We’re seeing the early stages of malign changes to our democratic processes: strongman tactics, discrediting the media as “fake news,” valuing loyalty over the rule of law.

Let’s not be fooled again. These are inroads to an encroaching Hitler-like fascism. As its roots spread and capture ground, the closer comes the day when it’s too late to regain a democracy lost.

Meanwhile, America’s status as light of the world flickers and Lady Liberty yearns to remove her blindfold.

Given another four years of unfettered power, rubber-stamped by spineless, self-serving Republican politicians, the egoistic Trump family will grab even more personal wealth while the country we love fades bumpily into memory.

And Lady Liberty becomes an artifact.

Richard Harkness

Ocean Springs

Interesting comparison

It’s interesting to compare the history of education to that of health care in this country.

The government assumed responsibility for primary education nearly 200 years ago, using a socialist approach: paid by taxes, not tuition. The Constitution was not changed or violated. Private schools still existed (and still do) for those who could afford them.

Health care was left to the private sector. Now, when it’s proposed that health care be put on a similar footing as public education, there is much wailing about the evils of socialism and the demise of private insurance.

Why? Socialism has worked well for education and did not end private schools.

Bruce Emerick