Get rid of insurers to give care to all
Thanks to Gov. Steve Beshear's foresight and preparation in creating a state-run health insurance exchange, rather than leaving it to the federal government.
Kentuckians who purchased policies with subsidies will not be at risk to lose coverage, if the U.S. Supreme Court shuts down subsidies in states that don't have exchanges. Nationally, some 8 million patients may lose coverage. Even though Medicaid has its problems in terms of its managed-care manipulations and low compensation rates, the coverage is better than none at all.
However, the Affordable Care Act, even fully implemented, will not achieve the goal of affordable, universal health insurance. Some 30 million will remain uninsured.
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The system we now have is grotesquely expensive and complicated. We spend 17 percent of our gross domestic product on health care. Other countries do it for 8 percent to 10 percent of GDP, and do it better. We can improve by expanding Medicare for all of us and eliminating private health insurance companies.
By so doing, enormous savings would occur. High deductibles, enormous co-pays and exaggerated medication costs would be eliminated. It is possible. Think about it. House Bill 676, now introduced in Congress, will do it.
Ewell G. Scott, M.D.
Enforce distance laws
The news about the Nicholasville officer killed in a crash exposes poor judgment of driving too fast when blinded by fog. Conditions were unfit for travel in zero visibility. Our incompetent government outlawed texting while driving but refuses to enforce laws on safe following distances to protect motorists from being crowded dangerously into hazardous conditions.
Local TV weather forecasters know the details, however they are all unaware of how to present them. They give a lot of time to details viewers aren't interested in. When they show forecasts for five to seven days, it is for five seconds or less. They do a poor job.
James R. Broaddus
We periodically hear the shrill nagging of the pro overpopulation zealots who attack legal, safe and consensual abortion. Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans endorse birth control, as the falling teen pregnancy and abortion rates attest.
Human population has increased in 500 years from 1 billion to 8 billion, making life cheap. Population has stabilized in the first world and some of the second world countries, though many tradition-, religion- and ignorance-dominated countries are still increasing with vast abject poverty resulting.
Look at the overpopulation-driven wars in the Middle East in the past 35 years — slaughter, millions of refugees, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, etc. Young males are the most expendable despite the huge investment society made in them.
Military aid to countries like Iraq must be linked to family planning. Increasing family planning in Latin America would help reduce the tide of economic refugees crossing our southern border.
We are not helpless.
Allen T. Kelley
Easy halt to colon cancer
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is second only to lung cancer as a leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It affects men and women equally. Yet few Americans know that colorectal cancer can be prevented — not just detected — through colonoscopy.
Colorectal cancer arises from pre-cancerous growths or polyps that grow in the colon. When detected early, polyps can be removed, halting their progression to cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, the colon-cancer death rate — 50,000 last year —could be cut in half if Americans simply followed recommended screening guidelines.
The American College of Gastroenterology recommends colorectal cancer screening and prevention starting at age 50 for the general average-risk population and at age 45 for average-risk individuals of African descent.
For individuals reluctant to have a screening/preventive colonoscopy every 10 years, there are additional screening/prevention options. If a screening test is positive, then follow-up colonoscopy with removal of pre-malignant polyps is required.
Protect your health and your family's well-being. Talk to your doctor about the screening test that is right for you. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends colonoscopy as the preferred cancer prevention strategy.
Luis S. Marsano, M.D.
Governor for the State of Kentucky, American College of Gastroenterology
University of Louisville